Perspective on Sin

This is a powerful “paraphrase” of a Gospel story. If you’re a Christian, or interested in Christianity, or if you feel alienated from the Church for some reason, go read it.

Sin is a paradox for the Church. In theory, we all affirm our own sinfulness. Yet in our honest place, we often feel superior to people who wear their sins on their sleeve. Indeed, sometimes we shame ourselves out of recognizing our common plight with these people, and for the ironic goal of “not sugar-coating sin”. As if the sins of the unbeliever were their worst problems!

By focusing on acts and not salvation, we focus on shoveling coal on their hellfire, and not on helping them out of the furnace.

Via Donald Sensing. Also see Brutally Honest, especially the comments, for a reaction.

5 thoughts on “Perspective on Sin

  1. Thanks for your recommendation, and your link. As a relative newcomer to the blogosphere, I’m humbled by the attention.

    For years, I heard folks tell me, “Boy (though it sounded like Bo-eh), you sure are goin’ to Hell, son.” I don’t think I ever actually said it, but there were lots of times I thought, “NO [kidding], MORON! Only problem is, it’s TOO LATE! I’m already THERE!” In fact, they could not have condemned me any more than I had already condemned myself. But as you said, these folks seemed to find great joy in shoveling coals on my hellfire. Perhaps, as you hinted, they thought I didn’t want out of the furnace. The truth was closer to, “You mean, there’s a way out?…”

    Along the same lines, I’d be curious to hear what you thought of this.

  2. I’d love to comment on that link, except that it’s empty. That might not be your fault; if you look at the other stories, you’ll see that I’m experimenting with spam plugins, and it might have stripped the link.

    Anyway, if you could follow up and post the link, I’d be happy to take a look.

  3. Cool, thanks.

    There’s a place for conviction of sin; it’s the first step in realization for need of a Savior, of course. But “sin preaching” that doesn’t lead directly to this is not good.

    Too many people, I think, use their faith as a cover for their fear. Preaching about sin is more socially acceptable than telling people that you’re afraid the evil gays will molest your children. Unfortunately, gay people aren’t stupid, and are catching on to this, making it that much harder for Christians to talk about sin to gays (or anyone else who perceives the same thing).

    And you have a good point about the commands Jesus was more insistent upon. I suspect that those commands aren’t all that controversial, just difficult. The problem with getting all the churches to unite in agreement on Matthew 25 isn’t in getting churches to agree, but in getting the churches to admit their faults.

    I certainly have a difficult enough time with those passages…

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