Christians' Response to Sin

The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, and that those who consistently practice homosexual behavior are not saved. Personally, I find homosexuality disgusting. (However, I don't believe that it's right to treat homosexuals differently than other people in most cases.)

So I started thinking: Why are Christians more disgusted by homosexuality than we are by other sins? Then I realized that I should be asking a different question: Why are Christians not repulsed by other sins as much as we are by homosexuality? What about divorce, or pre-marital sex, or deceit, or gossip, or gluttony? Yes, I am disturbed by those sins, but not as much as I am by homosexuality. Why? I suspect that it is because those other sins have become so common in our society. I suppose, then, that there is a danger that Christians will become less disgusted by homosexuality as it becomes more prevalent and more accepted in our society.

[I can actually see myself almost heading in the direction of being less disgusted by homosexuality as a result of my attempts to treat homosexuals like I would treat anyone else. I recently found out that a man I work with is gay. (I suspected before, but I wasn't sure until I heard him talking about an upcoming "anniversary.") My first reaction was, of course, disgust--and I was more horrified because this man claims to be a Christian (although I'd really seen no evidence of faith in his life). At first, I had to make an effort not to treat him differently than I had before. After thinking about it, I was glad that I hadn't known about his sexual orientation earlier than I did, because it gave me a chance to get to know him as a person. He's a nice guy, and I've enjoyed working with him. Since I got to know him without having the preconceived notion that he's a horrible wicked pervert, I'm actually concerned about him as a person who is caught in sin and needs Christ rather than seeing him as a homosexual that I guess I'll try to be nice to because it's my duty as a Christian. But having a sort of friendship with a homosexual and seeing that he's just a normal person almost makes homosexuality seem less threatening, somehow.]

OK, now back to the point--Christians are often less disgusted by sins that are accepted by society. What does that say about Christians' view of sin and of God? It seems as though we are viewing as sin only those behaviors that we find distasteful. Sure, if pressed, we'll admit that things like gossip and gluttony are wrong. But do we treat those behaviors the same way we do homosexuality? Nope. How many grossly overweight pastors have you known (and I don't mean those who are overweight because of a medical condition)? Now, how many homosexual pastors have you known? Most churches (in my circles, anyway) would toss out a pastor after one instance of sexual sin--and rightly so; but how many pastors continually practice other ("smaller") sins with no repercussions? [I do realize that nobody on earth is sinless, and that some sins are, in a sense, worse than others, but we do seem to completely ignore some sins.]

Instead of viewing sins as "disgusting" because we personally are offended by them, Christians need to view sin for what it is. As John Piper said, "The wickedness of sin is owing to the implicit disdain for God." Sin is wrong because every act of sin is demonstrating that the sinner does not care what behavior his Creator expects from him. If believers would keep this in mind, we would be much more likely to have the correct attitude about sin--ours and others'.

I apologize for the length and lack of cohesiveness of this post; it's not quite stream-of-consciousness, but it is about as close as I'll ever get to that. Sorry you had to read it. :)

1 comment:

Charis said...

Mel, hadn't been to your spot in a while so I've been enjoying catching up. Your stream-of-consciousness is still right-on, however much of a stream it may be. I'm often discouraged about the disjoint between how God and I view my sin. Without dwelling on my sin, I try to view it as my completely rebelling against God, instead of trying to pass it off as "shortcomings" or "falling short". Somehow "rebellion" hits more home with me...

Keep it up--I'll be back soon!