Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On Claiming Sin

Over the past week I have come to recognize something that disturbs me a little. It first dawned on my during Sunday School this past week, but then revealed itself more throughout the week as I continued my studies in Job. The thing I came to realize is this. People are very quick to claim sin on something. Prime example would be that gambling is a sin. But the truth is, just as drinking is not a sin, I do not think buying a lottery ticket is a sin, or spending money at the slot machines. The only time I take issue with people drinking or gambling is when either God spoke to them and gave them orders not to (which, who can judge that?) or, if it is something being done irresponsibly and thus not taking care of what God has given them. going back to the gambling example for a moment, if someone has the finances to take care of their family and pay for all of their expenses, then why must they abstain from something they enjoy and have the spare "free" cash for? It's just a thought.

Not only are people quick to claim sin on things that are, at best, based upon motives, but also on the circumstances people are faced with. This is evident in the way Job's friends talked to him. Although what they spoke of concerning God is true, the fact that they assumed that Job's problems were the result of some sin he had committed echos in everyday life even today. I can still remember when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. I remember hearing certain people express their opinion that the city was flooded because of how "morally corrupt" the city was. To that I ask, then how are some of our most corrupt politicians having no trouble in their lives, and how are some of the most righteous people suffering through all kinds of troubles, struggling just to get by with the day-to-day, and surviving on little hope.

I know that sometimes the things we do can lead to us getting into a sludge we have a hard time getting pulled out of, but the truth is, if we are going to label neutral things as being a "slippery slope" to sin, then maybe we should just say everything can lead to sin. Going to church can lead to sin, because we will become complacent, legalistic, and judgmental toward others. Sleeping can lead to sin, because if we enjoy sleeping too much we will become lazy and not work the way we should. Talking can lead to sin, because we will curse our neighbors and tear them down with our words. I know this is an exaggeration to some degree, but I hope I'm making my point clear.

I am not mad, it just seems a little silly to be so quick to call something as if everything is black and white. However, I've found that most things are definitely not black or white, because there is always more to the story than what our own perspectives lend us. So, I think we need to stop being so overcautious and get out there and try. How are we to reach people, when all we do is hole ourselves up in our churches and try avoiding looking at someone funny so that we don't offend someone and then cause them to sin.

Again, I am exaggerating. It is simply food for thought.

Grace and Peace

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