Here comes a string of cliché’s and Bible verses:
There are no winners in the blame game. You can point a finger, but there are three pointing back at you. Do you really think you’re perfect? Are you ready to cast a stone? Don’t judge others, or you will be judged.
When Christian fundamentalists start railing against Harry Potter or homosexuals or Islam, we might like to set them down and start talking about their questionable entertainment choices, or the amount of wine they drink, or the way they spend their money.
Is anyone in a position to say anything about another person’s free choices? Can we judge another person’s motives? We’re all on a journey. We all struggle.
But what are the implications of this perspective? Is there a danger in keeping our fingers to ourselves?
Implication #1: Sin is ignored
If no one can point out sin without being considered a hypocrite or a hater, should we just stop doing it? Should we turn a blind eye when a pastor commits adultery just because we laughed at a sitcom that made comedy out of an adulterous situation?
Can we hold certain Christians to a one standard, but ourselves to another? Should we?
Implication #2: Sin is minimalized or dismissed
When did we decide that all sins were created equal? Would we really say that a murder is on par with cheating on a Spanish test?
Sure, all sins place us in equal disobedience before God, making us equally guilty, but who says that all sins are recognized or judged the same? Not the Bible.
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Matt 12:31
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. I Cor. 6:18
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” John 19:11
Implication #3: Sin brings isolation
If sin is a private issue between individuals and God, there is a danger of isolation. We don’t point out other peoples’ sins, and we tend to keep our sins to ourselves. Maybe we get together with close friends and hold each another accountable, but what about the Church as whole?
Are we allowed to talk about sin in general terms, exposing a common enemy? Or are we so afraid of sounding unloving or judgmental that talking about sin becomes more taboo than doing it?
When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he taught them to pray as a group. Our Father, not my Father. Our sins, not my sins. Can we be considered a Body if we don’t share the same concern for sin in our personal and corporate experience?
Jesus didn’t just die to save us from the eternal consequences of sin, but for the experience of sin itself.
The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. I John 3:8
When Jesus walked the earth, he spoke truth into a convoluted world. Like a man walking through a dirty room with a vacuum cleaner and dust rag, putting things in order, Jesus healed sick bodies, extracted demons, and even raised the dead. Basically he was saying, “This is how the world should be.”
When he left, he told his disciples to do the same. He was the light of the world, so they should be lights in the world. He was holy, so they should be holy.
The Church should present the world with a contrast, a challenge, a vision of what God intended when he made man in his image and likeness. Not just a bunch of people with “not perfect, just forgiven” bumper stickers.
Imagine a family where brothers and sisters never point out dangers or mistakes. No, sorry, that’s the parents’ job. Imagine a sports team where the players are afraid to challenge one another in things like practice or fitness. No, sorry, that’s the coach’s job.
When Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, he called them “sick.” He wasn’t acting like some cool Christian at a bar, trying to show unbelievers how normal and non-judgmental he could be. When he challenged the crowd not to throw stones, he turned to the adulteress and said “Go, and sin no more.”
In my opinion, love is the solution, but love must be combined with a vision that goes beyond just hugging people into heaven. If we really love people and have a vision for a whole and healthy society, we cannot endure sin.
It is a poison. It is a distortion. And Christ will always oppose it.