For it is by grace you have been saved...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What Ever Happened To Sin?

From alcohol to pornographic advertising, it seems as though some self-proclaimed conservatives are not as conservative as one might think. On a discussion list for supposedly conservative Missouri Baptists, the ongoing debate is over the use of alcohol (see my previous post for my opinion about that; if you really care about my opinion, that is).

What is so surprising is the large number of pastors on this list who not only have no problem with alcohol in general, but are going to great lengths to support its consumption. And when someone suggested that one argument against alcohol is the predominance of sexual images in its advertising, these same pastors gave a somewhat “oh well” response.

Someone likened it to the overtly sexual ads being run by Hardees these days, which are appalling, and again the response was flippant and dismissive. Derisive comments about “boycotts” were thrown out, as if it would be ignorant of Christians to avoid supporting that particular chain because of its offensive ads. In voicing my concern, I was told, “just flip the channel.”

Is this what the church has become? We no longer oppose sin, we just ignore it and pretend its not there. I understand that we are surrounded by a sinful world system, and it would be impossible to avoid any and all contact with every business that has any connection to sinful behavior in any way. I’m pretty na├»ve, but I’m not stupid.

But that sort of extremism is not what I’m talking about. It’s not a matter of looking in every nook and cranny to find any hint of any sin anywhere. Yet when a company like Hardees or the beer industry flaunts it in our face, mocking us, assuming this is the sort of trash that will encourage people to buy their products, shouldn’t Christian people respond? Shouldn’t we see this as a genuine slap in the face to Biblical morals? Or have I really become that much of a prude? (and even if so, is that so bad?!)

There seems to be a slow erosion of moral values even within the church. People talk about Jesus eating with the sinners, etc. However, I don’t seem to recall Jesus ever speaking flippantly about that sin. Yes He ate with them, but He also called attention to their sin, the seriousness of it, and called them out of it. He didn’t just pretend it wasn’t there by “flipping the channel.”

And whether we like it or not, there is a biblical command to “come out from among them and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Not in a haughty, judgmental way; but in an obviously observable one. We don’t live like the world, we don’t act or think like the world, and we should not accept what the world accepts.

I’m honestly concerned about our Missouri Baptist Convention. Not just about the politicking going on (see Rodney Albert’s blog for a wonderful take on this), but where we are heading on these moral issues. If we fail to stand for the Biblical moral values, I wonder how long God will bless our efforts. As someone reminded me lately: No purity, no power. I pray the MBC will continue to have both.


Rod said...


Could this not be a strong thread of opposition by some within the SBC, the harping on sin by current leaders? Could some want the MBC to have a more gentile, go-along-to-get-along mentality with current issues? Seems like we're both experiencing it a lot more lately.

Scott said...

Could be, but if simply pointing out the obvious in biblical morality is "harping" on sin, then let's tune up the strings and let 'er rip.

Rod said...

Yes, I definitely meant "harping" not harping.

Anonymous said...

I read the other article on the SOC first, and then, this one. It is good to see your stand against alcohol and the other things.
I have written an article on legalism at The Watchman's Trumpet. If you are interested you could read and see what you think.

Scott said...

Thanks Tim. And your article on legalism is excellent, as I posted there. It's good to know that there are some wise enough to see the shouts of "legalism" as often coming from those who would hold no standard at all. Our liberty is definitely limited to being compassionate toward our weaker brother, etc.