Whatever happened to "sin?"
I am told some churches rarely, if ever, talk about sin. Why not? Because people will be turned off by it.
If you use the word “sin” in public some people will look at you like you are some kind of medieval religious crazy person. Like: "Jimmy sinned a few days ago." Say that and you'll get accused of being "judgmental."
· “Sin” is a word that refers to behaviors and actions that create alienation and isolation.
· “Sin” is a word that refers to choices and non-choices that cause emotions of anger and vengeance and sadness and bitterness and bring tears and loss and grief and cries for justice and so on and on and on…
· If sin wasn’t about something very real and very dangerous and very alienating, half the movies that are made would not be made, and many of this world's tweets would be meaningless.
· “Sin” is a big-time reality word. There are not a lot of things more real than the reality of “sin."
· The English word “sin” is just an ancient word that refers to a reality that is still with us. And within us, if anyone should care to self-examine.
· Everyone does it. Everyone has it. If you don't have it, then you can start throwing stones at the rest of us.
· "Sin" is one biblical concept that is easily empirically verifiable.
G. K. Chesterton, in his book Orthodoxy, wrote:
Sin is only meaningful if it has a reference point. The reality of sin evokes the question, "in reference to what?"
"Sin" falls short of something. Sin doesn't measure up. If there's no reference point, then moral outrage is absurd, and "sin" doesn't exist. Think about this.
Moral outrage is everywhere. Moral outrage is currently (but who cares) politically correct. Moral outrage makes no sense if sin (wrongdoing; evil; heinous acts; etc.) does not exist.
Everyone - me and you and you-know-who - has screwed up, and landed short of the Reference Point. (On atheism, there is no Reference Point. Philosopher James Spiegel states how difficult it is for the noetic framework of atheism to discuss evil. "The very notion of “evil” presupposes a standard for goodness which atheism cannot provide. Any notion of evil or, for that matter, how things ought to be, whether morally or in terms of natural events, must rely on some standard or ideal that transcends the physical world. Only some form of supernaturalism, such as theism, can supply this. So to the extent that atheists acknowledge the reality of evil, they depart from their own commitment to naturalism." (The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief)
We need to talk more about
this, not less.
There always has been, and still is, a huge SIN PROBLEM in the world.
Churches should lead the way in this discussion.
And, BTW, "sin" and "death" were the enemies Jesus came to defeat. How foolish for churches not to let seekers in on this open secret.