Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Respectable Sins: 1,2,3

Well, Tuesday we got together again to discussed the first 3 chapters of Respectable sins. Here’s snippet of what we discussed:

The terribleness of sin and the depth of Gods Grace: How did you feel reading it? Most of us felt it was depressing to be reminded just how sinful we are and how terrible sin really is. It feels like we fight against those ‘acceptable sins’ all the time…. The cold hard truth. You can’t dress it up!

It definitely catches us up short when we realize that we do all at some time display ‘conduct unbecoming a saint’ as he discussed on page 15.

“Conduct unbecoming an officer” that expression covered anything from minor offenses resulting in a reprimand to major ones requiring a court martial… it was a statement that the conduct was inconsistent with that expected of a military officer. The officer so described had failed to live up to his responsibility to act as an officer should act.

Perhaps we might do well to adopt a similar expression for believers: “conduct unbecoming a saint” Such an expression would pull us up short, wouldn’t it? When we gossip, become impatient or get angry, we could remind ourselves that our conduct is unbecoming a saint. We are in principle, if not in degree, acting like the Corinthians. We are living inconsistently with our calling.’ Page 15-16

‘Sin is sin… It is unbecoming a saint.’ Page 16

Is our conduct inconsistent with that expected of a Christian? …Sadly I think we all know the answer.

But it is also beautiful in that in being shown the depth of our depravity, The horribleness and malignancy of Sin, we are truly reminded of the depth of Gods Grace and how amazing it truly is.

How can anyone truly understand the Gospel, without first understanding how terrible sin is. If sin is not that terrible, then we don’t really need a saviour.

The watering down of words: We found the statements about the watering down of the language of sin to be very true. Jerry concluded that… ‘the whole idea of sin has virtually disappeared from our culture’ page 18. How true this is. Once upon a time the names for sin sounded terrible and everyone new it was sin, but today we interchange the words, so they no longer have the negative connotations, and even sometimes seem positive.

Adultery has become ‘an affair’, Fornication has become ‘sleeping with someone’ or ‘living with someone’ a viable alternative to marriage, ‘Murder’ has become ‘termination’. And these are only the most obvious sins. Society has made industries out of Gossip and made greed a virtue.

But worst still it is clear the ‘church’ is also guilty of softening the blow.

It was interesting how sermons have changed since the puritan era (see list of titles on page 25), and how many now have difficulty communicating what sin is. “… the language frequently cushions the listeners from their impact as it employs a variety of softening rhetorical devices.” Page 18 “indeed, strong biblical words for sin have been excised from our vocabulary. People no longer commit adultery; instead they have an affair. Corporate executives do not steal; they commit fraud.” Page 19

Compare ourselves to the word not to each other: We thought it was good to be reminded not to compare ourselves with others around us, but rather to compare ourselves with the Word. As Jerry said on page 24 ‘We who are believers tend to evaluate our character and conduct relative to the moral culture in which we live. Since we usually live at a higher moral standard than society at large, it is easy for us to feel good about ourselves and to assume that God feels that way also. We fail to reckon with the reality of sin still dwelling within us.’

Well, now that we’ve been crushed by the weight of our sins. And seen how terrible, infectious, and deadly the disease of sin is… we look forward to the next chapters we’ll be reading…
‘The Remedy for Sin’, ‘The Power of the Holy Spirit’ and ‘Directions for Dealing with Sins’

Look forward to hearing your thoughts…

1 comment:

mary eglinto said...

Hi Amy and girls

I completely agree with your summary of the first three chapters. I just read them again this week. I was struck by the titles he mentions from the puritan authors too - the "exceeding sinfulness of sin". And it is sad how even the church has started to 'water down' sin.
The other point that struck me was: "Sin is a spiritual and moral malignancy. Left unchecked, it can spread throughout our entire inner being and contaminate every area of our lives. Even worse, it often will 'metastasize' from us into the lives of other believers around us. None of us lives on a spiritual or social island. Our attitudes, words and actions, and oftentimes even our private unspoken thoughts, tend to have an effect on those around us"
It reminds me of the danger of sin, and how sad to think how we can spread sinful attitudes and actions to those around us. When we do something that isn't right, we can make other Christians think it is ok. That's why, as you said, we shouldn't judge what is right by the actions of others, but by God's word.

I have read the next three chapters too - and let me just tell you, they are great, and give more good news, for sure. =)

I miss doing book club with you all.

xoxo mary