Whatever happened to sin?

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! [Isaiah 5:20] 

For the past few years it seems that our culture has been calling sin good by renaming it. What do I mean? Here are just a few ways that today’s society and mainstream media are elevating evil….

Abortion is called “the right to choose”. It’s legal, free and promoted through oxymoronically named organizations like Planned Parenthood. [95% of the women served by Planned Parenthood have an abortion]
*The source of this statistic is Planned Parenthood’s own annual report. If you take the number of services listed in the report, excluding the ones that don’t apply to women who aren’t pregnant.

Drunkenness and getting high has now become medicinal. Often the news cites studies extoling the virtue of drinking, while hiding the fact that

At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” [Proverbs 23:32]

We must now accept the alternate lifestyle which has been normalized by TV and many music artists. The popular phrase after the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage was “Love Wins”.

Profanity has been called “freedom of speech.” Stealing has become “situation ethics” and lying is “your perception of the truth.”

The scariest of them all; Preaching is currently being redefined as “hate speech.”

There are other sinister ways that the culture normalizes sin. I believe that Satan is behind them all.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” [1Peter 5:8]

They Popularize Sin. The old phrase, “Everybody’s doing it”. That didn’t work when I was a kid and it won’t work with God. What becomes popular soon becomes normal.

Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:” [1Peter 4:4]

They Legalize Sin. They say that drug use is too difficult to stop so they must legalize it. “At least we’ll be able to tax it.” Then, if you oppose sin, if you speak out against the legalization of it, you are called a bigot, a racist and all kinds of names. It’s ironic that a culture that is on a campaign to eliminate bullying in our schools, uses the very same bullying tactics in our culture to silence the voice of opposition and reason.

And it’s working. Christians are afraid to speak out about sin. Our jobs are jeopardized. We’re afraid our cars will be vandalized for displaying an “abortion stops a beating heart” bumper sticker, because it will be. And lastly, I fear, we shall be jailed for speaking the truth.

But we still have hope. Our Lord and Savior warned us about these things.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”[John 15:18] 

            Take comfort, brothers and sisters, knowing that we’re in good company and that company is the greatest of all and the only opinion that matters.

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  [John 15:15]

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” [Revelation 2:10]

By Spencer Blackwelder

Gay Marriage & the Christian

Free to marry or Free to speak?
Today, The Supreme Court has found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, striking down bans in 14 states. Christians have been wrestling with this issue. Not because of the Biblical truth, rather, we have been branded as haters, bullied into silence when we preach the Biblical truth. This issue is not about whether homosexuality is sinful, or that it is a worse sin, i.e., “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like” Galatians 5:19-21, but it’s about the freedom to preach on Biblical topics.

CHRISTIAN SHARIA?
Am I advocating for a form of a Christian Sharia Law? Certainly not. I have no interest or authority from Scripture to compel people into compliance with the Law of Christ [Galatians 6:2]. Folks are to comply with Him willfully, not out of compulsion [1Co 9:17; 2Co 9:7]. What then is the problem? The problem is that the court ruling has now given the anti-God crowd more strength in condemning the Bible, and to continue to push God out of our society.

They do this by belittling our beliefs, chiding us, calling us ignorant. A statement made by Jesse Ventura sums up what is happening to Christians, “Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.”

How is a Christian to respond to gay marriage?
The way we respond to all sin. Homosexuality is a sin [Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Jude 1:7]. Yet, it is no worse a sin than any other sin. All sin will keep a person out of heaven, separating us from God [Mt 7:23; 1Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21, 1John 1:5-10].

When we encounter folks walking in sin, homosexuality being just one of those, we need to do what the Bible has taught us to do; preach Jesus. When Paul met the philosophers on Mars Hill, he didn’t condemn them for their false religious beliefs, rather he taught them the truth about the One True God [Acts 17:22-34]. He let the word of Truth prick their hearts and their hearts convicted them, and some believed.

If we go around convincing folks to quit sinning, all we’ve done is made the lost well-behaved. Surely that could make life more pleasant, but if they don’t know Jesus, we’ve accomplished nothing. Remember also, we too are dealing with sin, [1John 1:8].

The only remedy for sin
Sin is cured by the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ [Mat 26:28]. People, in order to be cured, have to hear about the Gospel and obey it [Rom 10:14-17]. They have to come to fully believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God [Mat 16:16; Acts 8:37]. They must “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” [Acts 2:38; Romans 6:4; Gal 3:27]. Then each person must continue in the doctrine of Christ, remaining faithful until death [Mat 28:18-20; Rev 2:10]

Stay off the bandwagon
The desire to fit in, or to jump on the bandwagon so as to avoid ridicule is to approve of sin, in this case homosexuality. Let us remain faithful, Jesus DID speak on gay marriage when He told us that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” [Matthew 19:4-5]

By specifying who is to be married, male and female, He prohibited every other combination. This is a foundational principle of logic and reasoning, let alone Biblical authority. That which is stated is to the exclusion of all other options.

If we accept this sin, or any other, we become guilty of that sin. “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” [Romans 1:32-2:5; 2Jo 1:11]

What is True Love
They said that this case was about love. No, not even close. True love is telling people about Jesus Christ. [1Co 9:22; 1Ti 4:16] True love is desiring that people be saved, that is why we preach. [Mark 16:16]

“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” [1Corinthians 9:16]

Let us preach the truth about Jesus Christ, which will include the truth about sin. It will include the truth about His plan of salvation which includes baptism. When we do, let us preach it in Love, let our words be seasoned with salt, let us pray so we may know how to answer each one. [Colossians 4:6]

“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” [Ephesians 4:15]