Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Sin and Hidden Sin
That people who struggled with temptation to a particular sin felt the need to hide it from the community of faith did not help them deal with their particular “thorn in the flesh.” In fact, to hide a temptation frequently enables acting on the temptation. To reveal the proclivity helps the community work with the person to avoid the temptation.Excellent point! But to which I must add the question, what do we do when those that are now in the open insist that sin is not sin and they are not sinners?
Too often the church community would be “shocked” to discover Bob was tempted by homosexual desire, but not at all shocked by Bob’s abusive temper. He would be fired for the first from any church job (especially if he faltered), but not for repeated examples of brow beating.
We judge the sin as sin and the sinner as a sinner. We don’t stop there.
We pray for mercy as we have received mercy. The closet, hidden sin, is wrong. The Lord Jesus points out that every hidden thing will be revealed. The future of the Church is not a return to the closet, but a blessed release from that bad, un-Christian system to real holiness.
There is a step further the church must take - it must discuss sin both hidden and unhidden and it must discuss it frankly as sin. I cannot tell you how many times I have had co-habitation and divorce thrown in my face when discussing homosexuality.
The closet is wrong, but so is picking and choosing which sin to condemn and which to tolerate. Not marrying same-sex couples is a public statement. Marrying couples have have co-habitated, should also require a public acknowledgement of the sin and of the repentance.
Inconsistency is its own form of mercilessness.