September 2015

R.I.P. sin?

September 9 2015 by Scott Courtney, Forest City, N.C.

Many have tried to tackle the difficult issues facing churches today. We know there is a marked decline in baptisms among Southern Baptist churches, and various theories have inundated our inboxes explaining why, and most of us have read enough articles on it to fill several magazines. I am no expert in all things involving sociology, psychology and the church, but I did have a revelation recently while in study.
Sin is no more. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist, but it has left the popular conscience. Consider for a moment all the sins of yesterday that do not exist today. When I was young, we wouldn’t fish on Sunday, and we certainly would not consider anything as immoral as a game of cards.
Drinking, dancing, drugs and now homosexuality have been eliminated from our nation’s conscience. Churches have all but gone silent on any issue resembling sin for fear of being labeled intolerant, homophobic or narrow-minded.
What is our goal? The gospel message should be our call and conviction. Jesus has come to save us from our sins; therein is the problem. Without a concept of sin, there is no need for a message of salvation. The “Roman Road” begins with the admonition that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). With the demise of sin we have a lack of urgency for salvation.
We can’t simply return to preaching messages of condemnation. A defensive strategy of calling people to repentance is needed, but an offensive strategy of love is more compelling to those outside our walls. We must find a balance of calling people to accountability while welcoming them in the name of Christ.
We can never compromise the standards of the faith, even as we call people to consider their shortcomings in comparison to a Holy God. Jesus is still the answer, even if modern man doesn’t fully understand the question. My prayer is that we might hold high the name of Jesus amid the chaos of contemporary thinking and pray that people will still see that beacon of hope and meaning in the midst of the spiritual darkness that surrounds us. Perhaps then we can lead people from the depths of their sin to the acceptance of God’s forgiveness.
Scott Courtney, pastor
Mount Vernon Baptist Church
Forest City, N.C.

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9/9/2015 11:03:49 AM by Scott Courtney, Forest City, N.C. | with 1 comments