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Rethinking Sin Culture

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Isaiah 5:20a Woe to those who call evil good and good evil. NIV

There are some sins, that most everyone frowns upon. There are others that are embraced by our culture. That makes it challenging for Christians to relate in a constructive manner with the world in which we live. When we confront someone on sin, we are commonly accused of being unloving, intolerant, and judgmental. Sometimes just saying that sin is sin comes off as hateful.

This is a challenging matter, and I propose that we start by putting into words some real simple truths: 1) God is good. 2) Sin is bad. 3) Following God brings good. The theological validity of these statements may seem painfully obvious, but I think we wrestle with holding to them at a practical level.

Satan challenged these truths in the Garden of Eden. He told Eve that what God said was bad was actually good and he implied that God was withholding good from her by forbidding it. That made God look bad. And if God mislead them by telling them that what was good was actually bad, then they couldn’t trust that following him would bring good.

Does that sound convoluted? It is. But Adam and Eve fell for it. They ate the forbidden fruit. And we fall for a similar line of thinking every time we choose sin. We think our path is better than God’s, as if somehow his assessment of the harmfulness of sin is somehow less accurate than our own.

Lovingly and appropriately addressing sin is a challenging thing. It looks different in various situations and requires the leading of the Spirit. However, one thing is certain. We should not confuse the matter by calling evil good. Giving approval to sin is not loving. Rather it muddles lines—lines that God drew for us to bring us good.

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