Over the past several months I have seen debate after debate about sin on social media. I have sat through discussions that lasted for hours, arguing what sin is and what sin isn’t. And I’m not casting stones, I have involved myself in such conversation, but now I’m drawing the line. I am done. Screw all the sin debates. Screw what you think about homosexuality. Screw what you think about alcohol use. Screw what you think a “Christian” looks like.
Maybe, just maybe, we’ve missed the point. Maybe the point of following Jesus isn’t to debate sin. Maybe the point of being a Christian isn’t to judge the un-believer. Maybe the point of going to church isn’t to learn a moral code. What if everything that the Christian life entails is actually in opposition to all of those things? What if Jesus doesn’t care how someone became “gay”? What if sin debates actually destroy the Church instead of building it up?
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus’ words in John, chapter 8 are a stark reminder to the one who listens. Possibly, one of the most important things that Christians today need to be reminded of is that no-one is without sin.
However, I think that in this time of such great controversy and debate, what we really need to be reminded of is Who God is. God is the Creator of everything (Gen. 1:1). God is King of all of His creation (Psalm 47:7). God is Lord over all all, and the earth is full of His Glory (Isa 6:3; Rev 5:13). This God is free from sin, holy, and perfect. His glory fills the sky, and causes the angels to sing unending worship. The God of Christianity was so grieved by sin that He nearly destroyed creation in the flood. Not only that, but He destroyed His own Son to defeat sin.
These things leave us with one undisputed fact: God is so holy, so perfect, so glorious that all things contaminated with sin fall short of His glory (Rom 3:23).
This fact leads us to discover another that is not so pleasing to our ears: Because God is holy He must judge those who have rebelled against His glorious name. From this God will repay every sin in His judgement (Rom 1:18).
But, then we are led to uncover the greatest truth of all: God is so loving, gracious, and merciful that He laid down the life of His Son as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45), so that all who repent and believe might be saved (John 5:24).
This is the beauty of the Gospel! That despite our sin, Christ died for us. He has paved a way back to God, our creator. Although God is holy and perfect, He was (and is) willing to redeem a people for Himself. God is gracious enough to look at us in our filth and clothe us in garments of righteousness. But, we cannot forget that this is God’s doing, and His alone.
The Truth of the Gospel
The fact of the matter is that we’re all screwed up. We are all sinners. Apart from divine intervention, and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, that’s all we will ever amount too… a bunch of sinners. We all deserve to be destroyed by the wrath of God. We all deserved to be damned for all eternity. But, praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who made a way for us to be reconciled to Him.
And when this reconciliation starts to happen, when God peels back the scales on our eyes, a transformation begins. The Holy Spirit begins to strip away the desires of our hearts, and He replaces them with the desires of God’s heart. The patterns of our life begin to change, and a shift occurs where we are conformed to the patterns of the Kingdom of Heaven. As we seek to know and follow Christ, we begin to become more like Him! As we start to understand who God is, He starts to change who we are, but not before.
So, let’s stop the arguing. Let’s stop trying to transform people by way of debate. May we stop trying to persuade people to be “straight.” Perhaps we can stop trying to clean up the language of the un-believers around us. Let’s stop trying to make “good people” and start telling people the good news of Jesus Christ. Let’s begin sharing the grace and mercy of our Holy God. Then we can sit back and watch the Holy Spirit transform the lives of those whom we encounter.
Stop telling people they’re wrong, and start showing them the One who is right.