Treating Sin Seriously

I was pondering last night a news item. Now I know this isn’t a political blog, but I’m going to have to get political for a moment. I am a strong conservative. I do not deny that. I was listening a bit yesterday to a story about attorney general Gonzalez and how he’s being accused by the liberals or perjury.

My mind flashed back to the 90’s and how back then, Bill Clinton was caught lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. It was simply amazing that back then, that was just “everybody lies.” Today though, it was a different story. This guy is lying and he needs to be gone. Now I’m not sure if he is or not, but as a conservative, I will say if he’s lying, we do need to deal with him.

Some conservatives, might be surprised I said that. Some liberals are probably just as surprised. Why should you be though no matter what side you’re on. You know why I take that stance. I don’t because I’m a conservative. I would take the same stance if I was a liberal. I take that stance because I’m a Christian and as a Christian, I do believe that while it could be that “everybody lies”, it’s still wrong.

I believe that the highest offices in our land should be held by men and women that are beacons of morality. We should grow up wanting to be like them. They should be people that even if we don’t agree with them, we know that if they say they will do something, they will do their best at it.

It’s not about political parties. It’s about sin. It’s about how seriously we’re going to treat it. I don’t care whose party someone is in. You do not disgrace the highest office in the land by lying in it. Perchance the reason some of us lose sight of that is because we hold our party affiliation first and our religious stance second, and I am speaking to conservatives and liberals both.

We have said love the sinner and hate the sin. Indeed, we should. However, that does not mean we treat the sinner lightly. Sin is not some abstract concept floating in space doing its own thing. It’s a reality, but it does not act on its own. It requires that some creature that possesses personhood act. Moral actions don’t just happen. Persons perform them.

In fact, to deal with the sin the proper way and the person the proper way is to love the sinner. Punishment is a form of love. If we let the sinner avoid the consequences every time of their actions, then that would not be love. Don’t get me wrong on this. The eternal consequences of our sins are forgiven in Christ, but that doesn’t mean we’re set free from the earthly court.

Yes. Jesus can and does forgive, but if we say that to everyone, then we might as well eliminate the court system and the jail system. Forgiveness does not mean zero consequences. Take someone who is sexually promiscuous and gets an STD for instance. That person confesses and is forgiven. That does not mean their disease is cured. Of course, it could be, but there is no obligation.

Our day is a day and age that does not treat sin seriously, be it in ourselves or someone else. The other side though is that when we take sin seriously, it will allow us to take grace even more seriously. When we think our sins a trifle, then we do not have a high view of grace. When we see what our sins are though and who we have wronged and the consequences thereof, we can recognize how truly awesome the pardon is.

Finally, this will have us living in reality. If we treat sin as less than it is, then we are not living in the world God created. If we treat it as more than it is, we are also not living in the world as it is. We need to treat sin as sin and accept the consequences whether we like them or not.

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