“…sin is not so much naughty actions or even egregious wrongdoing; it is an infectious disease.” — Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ
The American Church refuses to understand this. It’s the problem we won’t face. We keep bringing “sin” back to individual or group actions.
We are at a place where the exposure of sin in the past two years is overwhelming… and we are asleep. In a small Bible study the other day I mentioned the major stories of Church sexual abuse in the past two years. They, of course, easily recognized the Catholic Church stories (though they only tied them in to the Boston story from way back in 2002 and just naturally assumed it was still part of that story…). One guy was Southern Baptist, so he knew the recent stories coming out in the Houston Chronicle about sexual abuse in the SBC.
The other stories from major investigations and reports, like Willow Creek or the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists? They hadn’t even heard.
Even with new revelation of these major stories… blame started drifting toward sinful “acts” … of others…
Dear friends, we are asleep. What is more fearful: maybe we’re dead.
This isn’t about “naughty actions”. This isn’t about egregious wrongdoing. The solution isn’t going to be a policy change.
This is about an infectious disease and the “cure” is something beyond us. Yet, we CAN put ourselves in position to deal with this disease and allow Christ to do his work. It is called repentance.
It is not time to call for God to save “America”. It is not time to call out the “sin” (meaning: actions) of groups we like to normally pick on. It is time to fall to our knees and understand the main issue: the problem is us.
The story is not repeated enough, but I have mentioned it from time to time. We need the position of G.K. Chesterton (19th Century Catholic thinker in England) who wrote to a paper when the paper posed the question: “What is wrong with the world?” His reply was a letter to the editor:
Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely, G.K. Chesterton.
If we keep refusing to honestly deal with the issue of sin, and fail to recognize the work of Christ available to us, we are in huge trouble in the American Church. The results will be devastating. We will then, of course, blame the culture. But the fault with lie with us.