Christianity & Sin

Christianity & Sin June 19, 2013

Christians love sin.

I’m convinced that Christians like sin way more than anyone who doesn’t believe in God. We always talk about it, think about it, do it, avoid it…

Christians like sin because we have forgiveness. But we also like to sin more than most. We like sin because we like definitions, lines to but up against, lines in the sand to tip-toe up against. To see how much we can get away with. This is not what God had in mind with the Law, the 10 Commandments, or when he sent Jesus to give the Sermon on the Mount. It’s this same ridiculous mindset that results in us asking questions like, “How far is too far?”

We talked about it a couple days ago. As if we my finally discover some secret loophole. “We did it guys! We finally found a way to trick God!  We figured out how to do the stuff that feels like sinning, but without the consequences!”

Stop searching for a loophole. We don’t need one. Because we have Jesus.

Jesus is not your accuser.

Jesus is your advocate.

There’s a beautiful story of a group of pastors and religious leaders who brought a woman to Jesus. Like a dog bringing their master a dead bird, they excitedly sat the woman down in front of Jesus. They described to Jesus her sin, her promiscuity, and her infidelity. And the law of the time commanded than anyone caught in adultery would be killed. Jesus ignored them. But the religious folk couldn’t leave well enough alone. Finally, Jesus uttered his now infamous phrase, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” One by one, the men who had brought the women to Jesus, slowly left. Jesus then stood and addressed the woman and asked her, “Where are your accusers? If no one condemns you, than neither do I.” And then he added, “Go and sin no more.”

If we are honest, it’s a lot easier to play the role of the accuser. Maybe we’ve never held a weapon in our hands ready to condemn, but we have all had the attitude of an accuser. How often have I uttered that he or she deserves this or that? That’s not what Jesus is doing in this story. He shouting to everyone, “I didn’t come to bring accusation, I am here to bring you grace!”

It’s grace that sets people free, not laws, not customs, not legalism, not check lists, not constantly harping on hell. (I think we Christian’s love our hell just as much as we love our sin, just look at some of the comments on my last post).

Jesus is a lot more interested in love and grace than sin. Shouldn’t we?

What would our lives look like if we focused on love and grace? What would happen If we took up the attitude of an advocate? And stopped condemning sinner’s to hell, stopped casting verbal stones by using out of context scriptures, and focussed more on love, grace, and relationship. Rather than laws, rules, and condemnation.

“Our identity as the holy people of God is not defined by a list of things we don’t do, but the ways in which we actively and sometimes scandalously incarnate the love, grace, hope, and healing of God to a lost and dying world.” – Zack Hunt 

Jesus said he came to give us life. Rich, beautiful, generous life. What would happen if we actually believe that?

This post was co-written with Andrew Steven.

You can see more of his thoughts on andrewsteven.com

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