Almost 50 years ago famed psychologist Karl Menninger wrote his famous book Whatever Became of Sin. In that work, he wrote the following words:
The very word, ‘sin’. which seems to have disappeared, was once a proud word. It was a strong word, an aminous and serious word… But the Word went away. It has almost disappeared- the word, along with thenotion. Why? Doesn’t anyone sin anymore? Doesn’t anyone believe in sin? (Taken from Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges, pg. 17)
Today, it may be impossible for anyone to identify what sin is. Part of the reason that this word has disappeared from the dictionary or understanding of humans is that so many different groups are fighting against it.
The LGBTQ community thinks it is normal, healthy, acceptable, and so on to hold their preferences. With the help of many politicians and religious leaders, they are spreading that belief around the world.
They do it in a bullying manner so people will be afraid to call their preferences what it really is- sin. That group has buffaloed many church denominations and members into silence as they continue to campaign for world-wide acceptance.
Recently, the failed Prime Minister of Canada has proclaimed summer as Gay Pride season. Government officials, like church leaders, are afraid to make a stand anymore.
But Mr. Menninger is not the only one who has spoken out about this disappearing word. Starting on the same page in the same book quoted above, we have the following words:
In twentieth century England, C.S. Lewis noted that, “Thebarrier I have met is the almost total absence from the minds of my audience of any sense of sin.” And in 2001, New testament scholar D.A. Carson commented that the most frustrating aspect of doing evangelism in universities is the fact that students generally have no idea of sin. “They know how to sin well enopugh, but they have no idea of what constitutes sin” (Ibid, Pg 17-18, quoting ‘What Me a Sinner’ by Peter Barnes)
But believers should not be shocked or astounded this trend has taken place or is continuing. Not only did paul warn us that this would happen in 2 Tim. chapter 3 “But evil people and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” Jesus also told us that his coming will be in the time ‘as it was in the days of Noah…’ (Mt.24:37)
Those were the days where everyone thought nothing but evil and you can read the words at Genesis 6: 5 & 12-12. We should not be traumatized this is taking place. Instead, we should be taking the blame for this lack of knowledge of what sin is.
It is the church’s responsibility to preach God’s words to the people and sin is a great part of God’s word. In this post-WWJD world, we should still be finding out what Jesus would do in this situation and seek to emulate that.
In fact, we already know what Jesus would do as he already did it. He called the world to repentance and taught what sin was. That is what we should do. Jesus said in Mt. 4:17 the following “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
That is what we should be doing. Instead of being afraid of hurting people’s feelings, we need to stand up and say ‘REPENT!!! For the kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus was not afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Guess what, historical studies have shown that LGBTQ preferences were present in his time as well. But those are NOT the only sins one needs to repent of.
There are the sins of lying, cheating, gossiping and other respectable sins mentioned by Mr. Bridges in his book of the same name. All sins need to be repented of including harming the innocent, martyring, and persecuting the faithful, and on it goes.
People need to know what sin is. Unfortunately, in today’s ‘inclusive world’ no one knows what is or isn’t sin because they are all trying to be seen as normal and be accepted by the church as well as the secular world.
You will have unbelievers and former believers tell you there is no such thing as sin as there is no God. Yet, we see sin take place every day. Murders, rapes, kidnappings, abuse as well as stealing, lying, and fraud to just name a few.
There is a God and there is such a thing as sin and hell. Those unbelievers and former believers are lying to you, which is sin. What may be acceptable behavior and terminology on social media outlets is not acceptable to God.
God has made that clear in 1 Cor. 6:
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Keep in mind that God cannot lie and this list is accurate. God knows the hearts of everyone and he knows who is in each category. This is why God can judge everyone when this world comes to an end.
He has told everyone the truth and exactly what is or isn’t acceptable. These words did not appear yesterday or even in the last century. They have been around since the time of Adam. Even in Abraham’s time, God’s word was well known as we read in Hebrews 7:
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham (v.1)
Everyone knows where they stand because God’s word never changes. It is the same for everyone no matter their culture, civilization, or era. The church needs to break from following behind the world and send out God’s words loud and clear.
Sin is sin no matter how it is dressed up and no matter who declares otherwise. It is time for the church to be brave again and do what Jesus did and call the world to repentance and give up their sin.
This does not mean we preach to the choir the same message every Sunday. We still have to follow Jesus’ instruction to feed his sheep. It means we teach what sin is and let everyone know God’s definition and never change that message when unbelievers and former believers push back.
The world needs to know what is sin so they have the opportunity to change their ways before it is too late. They can’t change if they do not know there is a difference between right and wrong. The people needs to know the difference between righteous behavior and sinful ones.
That is one lesson God taught Jonah in Jonah 4:
10 Then the Lord said, “You had compassion on the plant, for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. 11 Should I not also have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 people, who do not know the difference between their right hand and their left
The world needs to know what sin is as they have forgotten after all these decades of permissive behavior.