“Do you believe (insert supposed transgression of choice here) is a sin?”
How many times have you been asked this in your Christian life? How many more times are those in the spotlight asked this question?
Most of us have prepared a response to whatever subject is broached. In fact, as Christians, God calls us to have answers for a multitude of questions.
For defending your faith, “…but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15 ) And, “The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:16)
For instruction and encouragement, “He must be devoted to the trustworthy message we teach. Then he can use these accurate teachings to encourage people and correct those who oppose the word.” (Titus 1:9)
For correction, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
And to expose sin, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
As well as anything else we encounter in life, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness; so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Why then does sin and or godliness seem to flow through cyclical phases while other issues are long forgotten.
For instance, 20 years ago, the hot topic was alcohol.
“Is drinking a sin? If so, where is the line?”
“What if I drink, but I don’t get drunk?”
“Is a glass of wine with dinner okay as long as I don’t drink hard liquor?”
“Will one beer send me to hell?”
“If drinking is wrong, why did Jesus have wine as well as illustrate with it?”
The list goes on and on, and the subject of alcohol seemed to span an entire decade.
Approaching 2020, we’ve since shifted our focus. I can’t recall the last sermon I listened to where drinking was even mentioned. Now we are constantly bombarded by topics like abortion and homosexuality. Everyone is on the edge of their seats awaiting every proclaimed Christian’s answer.
“Is homosexuality a sin? What if someone is born that way?”
“Is abortion acceptable?”
“What if the pregnancy was a product of rape or incest?”
“Is abortion okay up to a certain point? If so, when?”
What I find most fascinating (and equally frustrating), is why these questions are repeatedly being asked at all. From a secular perspective, I understand. The world wants to know what sets Christians apart and why we believe the way we do. From a Christian standpoint, however, I’m curious why we are seeking answers from man at all. We don’t serve man; we serve God. While these things, as all matters mentioned in the Bible, should be addressed, why are we honed in on just one or two? Are we not called to do so much more? Why aren’t we asking others’ views on lust or pornography? Why aren’t we challenging each other about gluttony, pride, idolatry, or adultery? Why aren’t we grilling one another on sexual immorality?
Is it perhaps because we aren’t really looking for heartfelt and Christlike direction as much as we are a reason to support or condemn someone else?
God calls us to be Christlike, above reproach. That is not in question. And maybe it seems like if we can glom onto the trending sin, we can form a flash judgment, so to speak. But really, if we are prepared to throw ourselves behind someone based on one facet of their supposed righteousness, are we prepared to investigate their beliefs further? We may agree on one hot topic, but does that excuse the fact that that individual may abuse their children or cheat on their spouse? Are we willing to overlook the fact that they place a higher emphasis on serving their desires vs serving God? Will we let go of their narcissism in favor of their stance on a “bigger” matter?
I don’t say this as an excuse to kowtow to secular society or tiptoe around calling out sin. We are to be prepared with our answer, but we must also exercise wisdom in giving it. I merely want us to take a step back and view our motivation and intent. Biblical sin is sin. It’s vital we study and understand scripture in context before we can even give a response, and sometimes we need guidance from someone who has been on the path longer than we have. But instead of asking each other what God says on a matter, why don’t we see what God Himself said about it. After all, in the end, He isn’t going to ask you about my sin; He’s going to ask you about yours. So what I have to say on the matter is completely irrelevant.
Why do you think we become so preoccupied with certain topics over others?