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Posts Tagged ‘rebellion’

Why is sin really so bad?

It may come as a surprise to many Christians, but our society really does believe in sin. Of course, the issue is who determines what sin it. Our culture at large believes it is a sin to deny two persons of the same sex the opportunity to have their union sanctioned by the state. It is a sin to declare that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. It is a sin to prohibit a woman from having an abortionist end the life of her unborn child. Eating French fries is a sin. Eating anything fried is a sin!

An increasing number are saying that parents who teach their children such things as biblical creation, the exclusivity of the gospel, traditional marriage, and the wrongness of abortion are guilty of child abuse. We laugh at such extremism, but if the last five decades have taught us anything, it has taught us that today’s extremists become tomorrow’s academicians and politicians.

The issue of sin is a mixed up affair in America. We get some things right. Theft is still a sin. You cannot walk in a bank and demand money that belongs to others without consequence. Lying is considered a sin, depending upon who is lying to whom. It’s all relative, right?

That is the heart of the issue. Who determines what makes sin “sin”? Our culture pronounces that society itself is the final arbiter, the final say in what makes something sinful. Will such a pronouncement hold up? German society did not rise up against the concentration camps under Hitler. History is replete with examples of a society committing what later societies would denounce as wickedness. Who today holds the guillotine of the French Revolution in high esteem? Well, outside of places such as Iran and North Korea, that is.

Christians will say that something is sinful because the Bible says it is wrong. The Bible is certainly the place we want to go in order to categorize actions, but the question is not which actions are wrong, but why such actions are deemed sinful to begin with. Why is sin really a bad thing?

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the long-time pastor of Westminster Chapel in London during the mid-twentieth century, throws light on the question: “Our view of sin has gone astray. We tend to think of certain actions as being sinful, and when we say that we have sinned we mean only that we have done something wrong, and that we are bearing the consequences of that. All that is true about sin, but the real essence of sin is that we are not giving the glory to God that is due to Him” (David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God’s Ultimate Purpose: An Exposition of Ephesians 1:1 to 23 [Edinburgh; Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth Trust, 1978], 132).

Sin is so bad because it is rebellion against the creator God. This is his universe. All glory is due him. When we violate his commands, we seek glory for ourselves. We say that we are in charge, we are the authority, we determine what is right and what is wrong. We usurp the place of God.

Why is sin so bad? The apostle Paul puts it this way: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”

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In a June 28 Associated Press story entitled “Presbyterian Assembly votes to drop homosexual clergy ban,” Ed Gorski reports that

The denomination’s General Assembly, meeting in San Jose, Calif., voted 54 percent to 46 percent Friday to drop the requirement that would-be ministers, deacons and elders live in ‘fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness.’ The proposed change to the church constitution requires approval from a majority the nation’s 173 presbyteries, or regional church bodies — a yearlong process that has proven to be a barrier to similar efforts in the past.

As if that were not enough, a second vote entrenched the denomination in its depravity:

Of equal importance to advocates on both side[s] of the debate, the assembly also voted to allow gay and lesbian candidates for ordination to conscientiously object to the existing standard. Local presbyteries and church councils that approve ordinations would consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. That vote was an ‘an authoritative interpretation’ of the church constitution rather than a change to it, so it goes into effect immediately. The interpretation supersedes a ruling from the church’s high court, issued in February, that said there were no exceptions to the so-called ‘fidelity and chastity’ requirement.

Surely the time for Christians to separate from the PCUSA has come. By its actions, the PCUSA has shown that, as a national body, it is no longer a Christian denomination. Indeed, it is apostate. While Christians may differ over doctrine and the interpretation of portions of Scripture, Christians do not reject that which is clear in the Bible. No Christian will support homosexuality as a union blessed by God because the Scriptures are clear. Homosexuality represents the bottom of human depravity: “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26-27, ESV).

Those who claim to follow Christ and yet practice homosexuality worship a Christ of their imagination, a Christ fashioned by the deception of their own hearts. And yes, those of us who call attention to their rebellion against God will be castigated as “unloving” and “uncaring” and “pharisaical” and other such less-than-charitable epithets. The bottom line is this: One cannot be a Christian while condoning that which the Scriptures condemn.

Homosexuality is a sin, just as a host of others are. The apostle Paul provides quite a list: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21, ESV).

None of us is without sin, and all of us who are indeed Christians are followers of Christ by God’s grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Nevertheless, a true Christian will not endorse the practice of that which the Bible prohibits.

This is indeed a sad day for Bible-believing congregations which have remained in the PCUSA. The PCUSA has shown itself to be an apostate denomination, and it is time for local churches comprised of true believers to separate from it. May God give them the discernment and the courage to do so.

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