Chasing Contentment

Wednesday, October 26

Is one sin worse than another? Does God have a chart listing all of the sins along with a rating for each sin?

This is an idea that has long haunted me (in fact I wrote about it in a post I removed in a rash moment), and it's one that we discussed briefly in our weekly Bible study recently.

Varying groups in our society have been the target of Christian disdain through the years, and homosexuals currently hold that target. I agree that homosexuality is not God's chosen path. I believe it is a sin. I do not, however, agree that it is a biggest sin going. It's just an easy sin to attack.

Our local newspaper ran a wire story on Sunday about a study done recently for PBS's "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly" program. The study - conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research - shows that 71 percent of Americans believe in the ideal of a lifelong marriage. By contrast, just 22 percent agreed that divorce is a sin.

I think that the church - on the whole - has given up saying that divorce is wrong, mainly because it's prevalent. Our churches, our leadership are leery of speaking out strongly against something as routine as divorce because they run the risk of offending the parishoners. So many leaders are worried more about offending than about truth-telling.

In the study, only 34 percent of evangelical Christians and 30 percent of traditional Catholics believe divorce is sinful. I wonder how that can possibly be. The Bible speaks as clearly about divorce as it does about homosexuality. How can our Christian culture accept one and condemn the other?

I read a series of articles in Christianity Today about church discipline, a concept I have been a bit unsure of in the past. The idea of a church disciplining a member as a part of a group service unsettles me. But after reading the articles - by such authors as John Ortberg and Ken Sande - made me reconsider my stance, especially in terms of things such as divorce. While I am still leery of discipline in a large group, I think I am in favor of accountability within small groups.

I think it is important to each of us have a group of people to whom we are accountable. Obviously, my friend group provides that for me. But we should also have that within groups in our churches. We should have people who are close to us who can see our marriages up close and who can speak with us honestly about sins or red flags that are leading us to sin.

If we do not have people in our lives (and if we are not willing to be those people in the lives of those around us) who will tell us the truth, we miss the opportunity to continue growing in the Lord. And when that begins, we begin to accept things like divorce simply because no one wants to speak out against it.

Is something only a sin if it's not done by a large group of people?

I think God cares about my sins, judges me based up my actions and my heart, whether or not they are sins committed by other people... one other person or lots of other people.

[  posted by Chel on Wednesday, October 26, 2005  ]


I just wanted to say Hi. I saw your comment on my blog and saw that you are in Pineville La I use to live in Natchitoches La, like 3 months ago! I enjoy your thoughts, Have a lovely day.

By Blogger ~JavaMama~, at 7:13 PM  

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