DayBreaks for 4/26/18: Why Sin Vanished from Our Vocabulary
From the DayBreaks archive, April 2008:
When is the last time that you heard the word “sin” actually spoken outside of a church – other than in a sneering derisive way? I don’t know if I can honestly recall. In fact, one wonders if perhaps the word is spoken very often inside churches these days. Why is that? No less than 50 years ago, the word could be heard at least every once in a while from politicians, businessmen, teachers, professors and certainly in churches. Why no more?
It has to do with the shift in our thinking from the realm of spiritual things being relegated to nothing more than personal belief without anything to recommend it to a serious thinker or scholar as being more than just superstition. When the Bible as God’s special revelation was thrown out, and when the real historical Jesus was made into a farce by the “Historical Jesus movement”, and when universities began teaching that anything the wasn’t scientifically provable should be thrown on the dust heap as so much gibberish, then there was to sin anymore, no mark that we would be missing. Because, you see, God can’t be scientifically proven, therefore He must not exist.
So, if you ask most people in our culture what, if anything, they think of sin, Don Everts in The Smell of Sin suggests it would be like asking them what they think of unicorns. (In fact, I suspect that some might give more credence to the existence of unicorns – perhaps even if only in the past – than they do to the existence of God, although there’s far more evidence for the latter!) Still, most people know that unicorns are a myth. As Everts says, “So the debate is: is it a cute myth or a silly myth or a destructive one? Sin really has joined the ranks of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny in our culture: something that you once believed in as a child but have since grown out of…So, what does sin smell like to most of our neighbors? Nothing. Air.”
Has sin vanished from your vocabulary? Have you relegated it to something other than what it is? Have you developed cute names for it (“goof-up”, “mistake”, “slip of the tongue”, “mis-step”, “an oops”)? God calls it sin. And He reminds us very clearly: (Ezekiel 18:4, NIV) – For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son–both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.
PRAYER: Father, keep us from believing fairy tales and give us the wisdom to believe You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.