My Thoughts: Tolerance/Rating Sins

Okay, so I wrote this post last Saturday on my date with Jesus.  I ask that you not be turned off by what’s in the beginning and read it through.  This is just some of the things on my mind lately.

“You may be gay, but that’s okay!  This is America, where we accept you for who you are!”

“He had an affair with a married woman?  Ooh.  Let’s just not interact with him anymore.”

Tolerant.  That is what I feel America has become.  And America rates sins one worse than another.  I’m not okay with this.  This is a post about why I am bothered by it.

1. Tolerance.  Jesus does NOT tolerate ANY sort of sin.  John Scott states in The Radical Disciple that “if we claim to be Christian, we must be like Christ.”  Again and again, the Bible refers to being tolerant as a bad thing.  In Habakkuk, the prophet Habakkuk says in chapter one, verse thirteen, “Lord, your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (emphasis mine).  In the letter to the Church of Thyatira in the book of Revelation, the Son of God tells them, “I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet” (emphasis mine).  The next paragraph is closely related:

2. Rating Sin.  My first two sentences are in reference to what is not acceptable as a sin, while little white lies and procrastination are more “acceptable sins” that most everyone is guilty of.  (More on that in a sec.)  In Matthew 5, Jesus is giving his sermon on the mount to his disciples.  We have all broken the Ten Commandments.  He says, “Anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment,” as one who murders.  James 2:10 states, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”  So basically, a little white lie is on the same field as murder.  Uff da!

So we accept that we ALL sin.  In Grace Walk, Steve McVey states that

“Most Christians seem to have a spiritual inferiority complex….Their perception of their identity is that they have been forgiven for their sins and saved by God’s grace, but that they are still basically just sinners who are trying with God’s help to live the kind of lifestyle He wants them to live….But that description of the Christian falls far short of God’s perception of those who have come to him through Christ” (44).

Do you feel like a sinner, saved by grace?  Well, you’re not.  Pastor Steve Hickey in church on February 5th touched on “cheap grace”…perceived by some as “license to sin.”  But Paul touches on this, too, in his letter to the Romans.  “Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—‘Let us do evil that good may result’? Their condemnation is just!”  I have a lot to say about this, but I’ll save that for another post.  In the very next chapter of Grace Walk, Steve McVey speaks of our new un-sinful nature, the one that was born again in Christ.  Our old, sinful nature died on the cross with Christ.  So why are you still acting not of your nature?

How then, are we supposed to treat those whose sins we have always deemed “unacceptable?”  LOVE THEM.  Jesus states that the first and greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  But the second commandment, of all the ten commandments and everything, is to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  I think it is human nature to love ourselves pretty much a lot.  We all are kind of egocentric.  I mean, a lot of my worries stem from what other people think of me—but I am guessing I probably think about what others think about me more than they do.  So, I think about me a lot.  But Jesus says to love everyone else the same as that—which is a lot.  Don’t judge others, no matter the sin, because we’re all just as bad.  I mean, in Matthew 7, Jesus asks, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”  I am through this post, by no means pointing out any sawdust here.  As many of my posts are, this is as much for me as any of you.  Jesus speaks through my pen and tells me what I need to hear.  But I also believe that he speaks through my pen to tell you what you need to hear, as well.  Perhaps it isn’t in this post, but if only one post on this entire blog, then it is worth it.  I write for God’s glory alone.  I thought I should also just mention that while I am adding these things at the end.

Smiling always, Anna =)^2

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