We live in world full of relative truth. What is right for you might be wrong for me and vice versa. Nothing surprising there. Relative truth, wanting to justify our wrong behavior, has always existed. What is different is that this is now becoming the norm among Christians as well.
I recently had a conversation with a friend in which I asked questions regarding her support of gay marriage. Nothing surprising there. Except this friend is a leader in her church. She has been a youth leader and now will be leading a small group of adults. When I asked how she could align her beliefs with scripture, her response was something to the effect of, “It is not up to me to judge or to decide what sin is. Sure, the Bible “alludes” to this subject, but it is unclear. And how do I know for sure that the Bible is God’s words or just the opinion of the guy who wrote it?”
Leader. In a Christian church.
Relativism. Fallacy of scripture. Watered down scripture.
This breaks my heart. This should not be. I have to admit that I was a bit taken aback by this conversation and had no persuasive arguments for her. Nor did I start the conversation with the goal of debating or of convincing her of “my way of thinking.” But that’s the thing. This is not my way of thinking. This is scripture.
I believe that there are some areas in which the Bible is silent, or at the very least a “gray” area. Homeschooling vs. public or private schooling. Work at home mom vs. stay at home mom. Mac vs. PC. Well, okay, maybe that’s taking it too far!
Seriously though, there are some things to which we must apply our own good judgment, decide what is best for us and our families and prayerfully consider our decisions. I believe that God is going to take me to task if I ignore what He is specifically asking of me in any of these areas, but at the same time I fully believe that my decision may not look the same as your decision. And neither one is right. And neither one is sin.
However, scripture is pretty clear on several things. There are certain decisions/behaviors that are called sin. We too should call them sin. Truthfully. And yes, cradled in a spirit of grace as well. But sin nonetheless. And we as Christians should not decide that we can live within a different set of truths. Read Galatians 1:6-10. It’s pretty clear.
I see a new trend amongst Christians and I think we need to be aware. The pendulum is starting to swing regarding our response to sin. We are no longer a culture of “burn them at the stake” (thank goodness!) but now the pendulum is swinging too far in the other direction. Rather than meeting sin with grace AND truth Christians are reticent to call sin what it is with a battle cry of, “Well we all sin.” I hear over and over from Christians whom I love and respect stories about how they are striving to be like Jesus, who hung out with sinners. And while yes, that is true, Jesus never told us to emulate sinners. Or accept sinful behavior. In fact, I remember Jesus telling a sinful woman to “Go and SIN NO MORE.”
And that is what breaks my heart. We are no longer a church of sinners who are also encouraging one another to go and sin no more. We conveniently ignore scriptures that call us to leave a life of sin and to stop living in the flesh and live in the spirit. (Go hang out in the book of Romans for awhile).
Our family has decided to take God’s Word seriously. All of it. We are choosing to surround ourselves with those who inspire us to strive for more Christlikeness, but not insulating ourselves either from those who need to hear the message of the gospel. Our greatest desire is that we would be a living testimony of God’s grace, as well as an inspiration to others of the joy that comes from living in the Spirit.