Christians love talking about each other’s sins. Sin this. Sin that. It’s their favorite three-letter word. Attend any church for any length of time and you’ll assuredly hear a sermon about sin. Typically, it will include a list of peccadillos like don’t smoke, don’t have sex out of wedlock, don’t say the f-word, and so on. Personally, I think this sort of emphasis misses the mark, and doesn’t do a helluva lot in combating the issue.
But since that is the de facto Christian tactic, let me have a little fun by doing my best rendition of Paul in Romans 1:18-32, as I add to the list of sins we need to start avoiding (you know, by listing the sins some folks don’t really wanna talk about). Here’s 8 sins I would love Christian pastors to include in their sermons.
The sin of “homosexuality” is rampant in the church, if you’re paying attention. In every town in America, the LGBTQ+ community is being shamed and shunned for being who God made them. Their sexuality is constantly demonized. This needs to stop. They need to be included and praised for their bravery and courage.
For many, porn is not a very healthy thing to engage in. However, it’s not necessarily bad as such. Sure, the industry is often awful, but so too are most industries, if you peel back the curtains. What’s worse, however, is the shame that is heaped upon anyone who either engages in porn or watches it. Plus, given how so many Christians watch porn, I’m guessing judging others for doing the same does nothing but render people hypocrites.
III. Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain
Taking the Lord’s name in vain has nothing to do with yelling “Jesus Christ” after your favorite team squanders a late lead. Rather, it’s about whether or not you do the things Jesus asked while claiming to be a Christian. In other words, if you claim the name of Jesus, but refuse to aid the poor, serve the needy, care for the imprisoned, or bring healing to the sick, then you are taking the Lord’s name in vain. That’s sort of the point of the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats.
IV. Gossip (a.k.a. Prayer Requests)
People love to gossip, myself included. We often do it unconsciously, but when we do engage, we typically grow closer with the ones we are gossiping with (at the expense of those we are gossiping about). This is the scapegoating mechanism playing out in real time. In the church, we tend to be a bit more subtle about it by calling our gossip “prayer requests.” This needs to stop.
The sin of racism has a long history within the church. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “11 A.M. Sunday is our most segregated hour.” White Christians need to repent of this. They need to realize their privilege and work towards dismantling it, championing BIPOC voices first and foremost. My personal opinion: It starts by ending the racist drug war. Buying from black-owned businesses would help, too.
Most humans are greedy AF. Christians are not immune to this. But they should at least try a little harder to hide their greed. I mean, just look at who we champion in the faith. Ken Copeland can’t fly commercial because demons might be there, so he has to have a multi-million dollar private jet. And white Evangelicals still support Donald “Bleeping” Trump at alarming rates. ‘Nuff said.
Christians are really good at making accusations. Ironically, Satan (in Hebrew, ha satan) can be translated as “the accuser.” So, the fact that Christians level accusations against others so quickly and flippantly is not lost on me. In just the past week, for example, I’ve been accused of leading LGBTQ+ folks to hell, of having a “diseased asshole,” and being one with the devil himself. All by Christians. All in the comments section of this blog.
Humans are violent. I get that. But Christians should know better. This should be a no-brainer. The fact that Christians lead the charge in war and state-sponsored executions boggles my mind. This needs to change. Yesterday.
If you can think of any other sins I missed, feel free to comment below. Just be kind, if you can.
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