The Power we give to Sin.

poweroversin

Christians give too much power to sin. I sin quite frequently… in fact I sin every day. I won’t bore you with the sins that I’ve committed today or yesterday, but you don’t need to be that imaginative to think about the ways in which people can sin, especially when it includes any thought, word or action that goes against God’s desires for our lives. However, I have come to the conclusion that Christians really do focus on sin a tad too much.

I’ve been a part of various churches, Christian clubs, societies and groups over the last few years, and in the last 18 months or so, these sorts of groups have started to become virtual as well as physical (of course, behind a computer is a person even in the virtual world, but you see what I mean!) There’s worship groups, men’s groups, women’s groups and so on. Many Christian groups today are all about accountability – being open, honest and raw with each other, especially over certain sins… but in reality, just one sin – sexual sin.

I’ve ranted enough about sexual sin in the past with friends, colleagues etc but I don’t think I’ve done a post on it before. But I’ve been thinking and I thought that it was about time that I said “enough is enough” to all the garbage that I so often hear from these accountability groups online. In my experience, (and I can only speak from personal experience) they have been unhelpful. Aside from the fact that I believe very much in one to one, face to face accountability in a threefold sense; a peer (close friend), your pastor, and someone older and wiser than you who you don’t know too well, I have seen people quite damaged through the guilt that bubbles to the surface as a result of confessing on such large scale groups where relationships aren’t that strong.

Please don’t misunderstand me – these groups and the people on them are not being bullied into confessing and they’re not being rebuked either. But a few things dishearten me.

  1. The people who confess feel extremely guilty without any cause to.
  2. The people who confess can’t seem to break the cycle of sinning (at least on the most part, anyway).
  3. The value of accountability is undermined by such a public method to promote it and therefore undermines its effectiveness.
  4. I know all the sins of many different people- those I know and those I don’t.
  5. Quite often this type of accountability is disguised as a “we’re all in it together and it’s a fight that we’re winning” sort of thing, when actually everything is telling people that they’re losing, and losing pretty badly.

Accountability is a good thing.

Sin is serious and needs to be kept on top of.

But the one thing that I really want to hammer home is this: We give sin too much power, and we also give it too much air time in our spiritual lives.

The Jesus I know focusses on life after sin rather than before. The Jesus I know is the one who looks past sin and encourages his followers to see beyond their imperfect self and to gaze upon themselves as Christ gazes upon us – heirs to a promise, and spotless before the throne of God, due to his sacrifice for us.

And it’s a call to see ourselves in that way. We don’t put the rose tinted glasses on when we think of how Jesus sees us as his sons and daughters, but we hold the tension in balance. It’s a very vivid demonstration of the Kingdom now and not yet:

We are spotless when it comes to our position with God. As Christians, we are washed white as snow and can enter God’s presence and spend eternity with him.

Yet, we do sin, (though we are not sinners) and sin is something that crouches at the door. It is something to be mastered (Gen. 4:7), and not the other way around.

This tension epitomises what it is to be a son or daughter of God in the waiting room to heaven. One day, we will no longer sin, but this training ground that we are based in for this short time in eternity is for us to contemplate and focus on a world without sin and what it means to live like that now. It is not beneficial to go around with the millstone of sin around our neck proclaiming that we are sinners, feeling guilty and condemned when Romans 6:14 clearly states, “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”

And I think on an end note – sin cannot be eradicated in this life. Jesus already knows this and we need to get a handle on it too. Yes, we want to lead sinless lives, but that isn’t going to happen yet. It’s inevitable that we’re going to sin. And that is something we have to live with. Yet when we do sin, we must recognise that a choice is before us- to accept it, ask forgiveness and move on, or to accept it, ask forgiveness and move backwards dwelling on sin, not living in our forgiveness but in our guilt and shame. Oh, and a very last thing…

 

In the Christian world, people are very obsessed with sexual sin. It is elevated to a sin that’s second to “the unforgivable sin” in many instances. This shouldn’t be so. Sin is sin to God. And to be honest, if people were going to be so lamentable about sin and not live in victory, I wish they would grieve for sins such as getting more excited about the rugby last weekend than they did about Jesus. That is not a judgement on anyone, just a demonstration.

We all come to Jesus with baggage. But we can’t fully come to Jesus without trusting that he has the power to deal with it. It’s like when a little boy or girl wants to help you with carrying a heavy object. You will never let go of that bag of bricks so that the child would take all the weight. You know he or she isn’t strong enough. But Jesus is more than strong enough and we can be rest assured that we can let go of the baggage that we carry, knowing that he won’t struggle with it.

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Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about