Defining Sin

12 Jun

The line between what is sinful behavior and what is not has been greatly blurred over the years since the secular world has found ‘pushing the envelope’ to be a form of great entertainment to them.

Sadly, the church/Christians has meekly followed secular culture and has copied many of the actions of the secular world and ‘Christianize’ them in order to feel good about doing so.

At least for one issue one denomination has come out with a spiritual definition for the transgender issue:

Attendees at the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution on Tuesday affirming “God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception,” and disavowed “efforts to alter one’s bodily identity.”

The resolution, authored by Boyce College professor Denny Burk and Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Policy Director Andrew Walker, denounced any efforts to “refashion [one’s bodily identity] to conform with one’s perceived gender identity] such as “cross-sex hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.”

It also argues that God created distinct genders with distinct masculine and feminine roles and suggested that “the fall of man into sin and God’s subsequent curse” were responsible for transgenderism.

This is something that all true Christian churches need to do. We need to clearly define what is sin in God’s eyes in order for the unchurched world to know what is really right and wrong.

It cannot be done out of personal human preference but state God’s definition for what is really sin. This would also help our children out immensely. It would give them clear borders and guidelines to follow in their lives, helping them to see where God draws the line.

This is NOT legalism at work. Any organization or society needs rules to live by. That is a given fact for if there were no rules then anyone can do anything they want and it would not be wrong.

Rules are not bad. God has rules and it is those rules that need to be broadcast for all to hear and know about. We do not add human rules to God’s and seek to learn exactly what God meant by his words and obey them.

Here is a good article on obeying and disobeying God’s rules:

But to be able to obey them and in turn see where we have crossed the line into disobedience, we need to clearly define God’s rules for our modern times. The idea that this is the 21st century does not influence those definitions nor does the idea that God and his rules are archaic or ‘from the Bronze age’.

God’s rules apply no matter what century we are in and provide the believer with clear guidance on how they are to act in all situations. This means that switching genders is wrong and so is divorce without adultery. We have to be consistent with not only the definition of sin but with our application of those definitions.

We do not make weak excuses to violate them because we want to do something else. Of course, some people will argue about the difference between the OT rules given to the Israelites at the time of Moses and the NT rules given by Jesus and the disciples 2,000 years ago. The only thing I will say about that issue is ‘be careful’.

Some of the OT rules may still apply even in the age of the NT. Jesus and the disciples did not over-turn or ‘correct’ God’s rules. So you will need the help of the Holy Spirit to guide you through proper acceptance or rejection of some of those rules.  As I tell my students, doing things right the first time makes learning easier– for you do not have to go back and do it again.

Defining what is or isn’t sin in God’s eyes is not going to be easy and there will be those who will not accept those definitions and complain. Those complaints tell you where they stand spiritually and how you need to respond to them. We do not alter God’s definitions to appease or please humans who do not want to obey them.

Nor do we alter God’s definition because some people do not want to be listed in that category of sin. For example the following remarks from two people on an English discussion forum:

#1. All the Catholic Priests who have molested young boys have been gay. Would you employee a gay Catholic Priest to work at your academy?

#2. VERY odd for you to tie homosexuality and molestation together.

Most homosexuals do not want to be thought of as molesters yet the Bible does not define homosexuality by age group. It simply says:

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [r]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in [t]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Of course we could argue over the word ‘men’ as it is used here BUT Lev. simply says:

22 You shall not lie with a male as [b]one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (Lev. 18 NASB)

Thus male upon male, woman upon woman molestation is actually homosexuality whether the homosexual community agrees to this or not. The definitions do not change simply because one thinks their sin is better than someone else’s.

Defining sin is not easy especially today because so many people do not think sin even exists anymore. If you have noticed that in all the wars not only mentioned in the Bible but declared as religious wars in secular history, GOD gets all the blame for men acting sinfully and in evil.

Most of the world seems to have rejected the idea that satan exists and is to blame for the evil taking place in the world. They also refuse to take responsibility for their choice to follow satan and place all the blame on God.

The most important definition that needs to be made and broadcast is the differences between God and satan and how they work. The existence of satan must be taught so that people cannot blame God for things he did not do.

The movie, Usual Suspects, remarks on the strategy of a feared criminal saying the first thing he did was have people believe he did not exist. The character goes on to make the comparison with satan where satan has convinced much of the world that he does not exist.

What that means is he gets to deceive people by getting certain humans to blame God for the deeds he caused humans to do. To win the war on evil, you got to identify the enemy and place the correct blame where it belongs. Not at God’s feet but at satan’s. People have to know this and realize this fact.

Christians are not immune to temptation and deception. This means that the Crusades were not about Christianity v. Islam or Christians v. Muslims.  It means that deceived and misguided people used the name of God & Christianity to inflict evil upon the people of other nations, creating a huge stumbling block for the cause of Christ.

You have to put the blame where it really belongs to see the truth. It is too easy to allow emotions or religious differences to blind one’s eyes and falsely accuse someone of doing wrong. Too many innocent people have been penalized because of this common trait.

To define sin and apply those definitions, one must be honest, just, fair which are influenced by knowledge, wisdom and understanding then sprinkled with a little mercy when needed.

We do not always need a fire and brimstone presentation when a simple act of fairness will do. That is why we use God’s definitions for then they are free from false charges that the church is imposing its human will upon civilization (and so on).

In reality we do not do the defining because God has already done so. We just are the messengers who need to get the definitions correct so all will know what is right and what is wrong. The Southern Baptist church got the transgender definition correct, let’s pray they continue to do so on other issues involving all sins.

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Posted by on June 12, 2014 in Bible, General Life, homosexuality


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