Is the church really taking holiness seriously? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Yesterday when I was in Sunday School, I don’t know how it got started, but we started talking about secret sins. These are the sins that you never really hear anything about in church. Right now, our pastor is getting ready to go through the Ten Commandments with us so it’s my hope that we’ll be hearing more about these kinds of sins.
The deal with these sins is that we don’t really like to talk about them because they hit so close to home. They are what we all struggle with. One that came to my mind immediately was gluttony. We all know of pastors who are quite rotund who are getting up telling us how to live our lives, but you can be sure too many of them are not talking about this sin.
We just went through Gay Pride Month. Now many people think the church talks way too much about homosexuality, which is odd because I honestly hardly hear anything about it from the pulpit, but when was the last time you heard something about pride from the pulpit? This is considered the chief sin many times. This is supposed to be the sin that made the devil, the devil. Do you hear about it often?
But speaking of homosexuality, our leader also gave us a statistic. I don’t know the source for it as I didn’t get to ask in class, but he said 15% of Christians in the church struggle with same-sex attraction. Even if that number is too high, some do. There is nothing said from the pulpit to help these Christians who could want to get rid of these attractions even.
Along those lines, what about pornography? It’s been said that 1 in 3 men in the church struggle with this. A large number of pastors even struggle with pornography. It’s not just a man’s problem either. More and more women are struggling with pornography. When do you hear anything about it?
It’s amazing really how many of our sins are sexual in nature. We need to talk about abortion and not just that it’s wrong, but that there is mercy and forgiveness for those who have gone this route. A number of women in the church have had abortions and some people will go to the church seeking solace after having one. We need to be able to say that abortion is wrong, but that yes, there is forgiveness available.
The church has a stigma when it comes to divorce as well. This is even the case when divorce could be justified and the right thing to do, such as in cases of adultery and/or abuse. If someone is divorced, negative thoughts are assumed about them, which is our natural tendency. Imagine going through a parking lot and seeing a car with damage on from an accident. You might assume the person was a bad driver, which is my tendency. Maybe they came in contact with the bad driver. You don’t know until you ask. Again, we need grace and mercy here.
Why don’t we talk about these sins? Are we afraid of offending people? Then we’re not really walking as Jesus did. However, if we don’t talk about them, we don’t get to have people come to the cross if it is something they have done wrong to receive mercy and forgiveness and grace, or we don’t get to give them healing from pain that has been afflicted to them in their lives.
Too many of our sermons really feel good messages to help us feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we should feel miserable about ourselves. We should so that it will drive us to repentance, which will bring us an even greater joy. If we want to be like Jesus, we need that repentance as well. The church does not do anyone any favors by neglecting the topic of sin. It’s easy to talk about the sins everyone else is doing and how bad the world is. We need to remember to clean up our own house first.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)