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Jul
6

Are Some Sins Worse than Others?

Are Some Sins Worse than Others? There is a popular belief among many people (including Christians) that all sins are equal to God and, therefore, should be viewed as equal to all of us as well. I often hear people say that, if you have any sin in your own life, you shouldn’t speak against sin in someone else’s life. The argument goes that if you have a problem with gossip, you can’t say anything about someone else’s murder habit. I even heard a lady the other day equate driving without a seat belt as being an equal sin to rape! So is it true that there is no hierarchy of sin, and that no sin is truly worse than another? I believe this view is probably subconsciously based primarily on this passage: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:8-13, ESV). The problem with taking this passage, in isolation to the rest of Scripture, is that God, in the Bible, DOES list some sins as being more reprehensible than others. Seven Abominable Sins that God Hates Proverbs 6:16-19: “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: Haughty eyes A lying tongue Hands that shed innocent blood A heart that devises wicked plans Feet that make haste to run to evil A false witness who breathes out lies One who sows discord among brothers The Death Penalty in the Old Testament Another argument that not all sins were deemed equal is the fact that some actions in the Old Testament were deemed worthy of the death penalty under civil law, but most were not. If all sins were equal in the eyes of God, they would certainly result in equal civil punishment by Him. Capital Crimes Included: Murder (Exodus 21:12-14; Leviticus 24:17, 21) Attacking or cursing a...
Jun
30

Should We Expect Non-Christians to be Moral?

Should We Expect Non-Christians to be Moral? I have been hearing a lot lately, “We shouldn’t expect non-Christians to live like Christians. They don’t know God, so they sin. That’s what sinners do. Stop expecting them to be moral.” Or even, “God’s laws apply to Christians, but they don’t apply to non-Christians.” Is this thinking Biblical? Should we refuse to mention to non-Christians that they are sinners and that they are violating God’s moral law? People also frequently say, “You can’t legislate morality!” That isn’t true. In fact, every time you make a restrictive law, it is an attempt to force someone to comply to a moral standard that he or she doesn’t want to abide by. You can’t avoid legislating morality (even if based on a faulty Humanistic standard). What you CAN’T legislate is holiness! Paul says that God didn’t give His moral law for good people, but for the people who are sinning. “We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.” (1 Timothy 1:8-10, NLT) Should we tell our non-Christian friends that they are sinning? Paul certainly did to the unbelieving Greeks in his day: “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31, NLT) A lady I know posted online the other day that we shouldn’t tell people they are sinners, instead, we should just tell them about Jesus. Really? Tell them what about Jesus? What is significant about Jesus? That He loves people? Heck, Barney the Dinosaur loves people! That’s not life-changing news. Jesus is only significant if He is the remedy to the sin that separates us from God (His claim). You can’t skip over the cross on your...
Mar
7

Was Jesus a Socialist?

Was Jesus a Socialist? I was asked to speak at a Christian conference in Ontario, Canada on the topic of “Biblical Economics.” The lecture was going along just fine until I mentioned that from a Biblical standpoint, the civil government was NOT to be involved in health care in any way. That’s when things got a bit hostile. People began yelling out objections in the middle of my presentation. We went back in forth for about five minutes in a kind of impromptu “open-forum” until I finally suggested we continue with the presentation and I’d stay after to answer questions. About 45 people crowded the stage afterward and in rapid succession endeavored to find any kind of defense whatsoever for my claim (that I had also made) that any form of Socialism (forced redistribution of wealth by the government), was immoral and contrary to Scripture. One lady exclaimed, “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t support universal government-funded healthcare. Everyone in my church supports it. Our pastors all support it! Heck, Jesus was a Socialist!” I often hear this claim that Jesus and the Apostles (and the rest of the early church) were all Socialists who supported living in a kind of Egalitarian Utopia where no one had private property, everything was held in common and all things were totally shared and equal. Thankfully, one of the great Economic experts in our day and age, Lawrence Reed, the President of the Foundation for Economic Education, has debunked this myth in a new FREE e-book / audiobook entitled, Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?. I am very pleased to be able to share this resource with you, and I strongly encourage you to read it and share it with others. This would make a great family discussion with your children. Our goal at ChristianWorldview.net is to encourage you to think and live Biblically, and we are grateful for this excellent new tool to help us to “take every thought captive” as it relates to Economics and so-called, “Christian Socialism.” For more resources, please check out our Economics page.   Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for...
Dec
7

Church Talk not in the Bible

Church Talk not in the Bible Have you ever stopped to consider how many “church words” we use that aren’t found anywhere in the Bible? I’m going to share with you a partial list of terms that Christians say all the time, that you will NOT find in the Word of God. I concede that SOME of these principles are rooted in the teachings of the Bible, the terms, however, are not. MANY of the concepts are not at all supported by the teachings of Scripture, but are, in fact, simply man-made traditions. Man-made tradition isn’t always bad, but when it is elevated to the same level as the teachings of God’s Word, it will inevitably lead to Phariseeism, formalism and pious dogmatism. I understand that asking us to question some of these terms and concepts (to see if they are, in fact, rooted in Biblical commands) will be unsettling to some. I think it is important, at times, to make us uncomfortable as we examine our practices to ensure that they we are not just living out a man-made religion, in the name of Christ. For your consideration, I humbly suggest that the following terms (or phrases) are NOT found anywhere in the Bible (this may surprise you): Pew Hymnbook Steeple Sacrament Pope, Monk, Cardinal, Friar, Nun Pastor (okay, it appears once in the NT)  ______ Senior Pastor Associate Pastor Worship Pastor Reverend Youth Group Sunday School Special Music Worship Team / Praise Band Trinity Rapture Purgatory Eternal Security Accepting Jesus as personal savior Sinner’s Prayer Creed Mass Lent Spiritual Retreat Statement of Faith Candidating Missionary Secretary Offering Plate Choir Robes Church (as a building) Theology Small Group Life Group Seminary Slain in the Spirit Church Board Altar Call Legalism Building Fund Spare the rod, spoil the child God helps those who help themselves Cleanliness is next to godliness Closing eyes to pray Church Service or Worship Service Children’s Church Carry-in-Dinner (Potluck) Fellowship Meal Easter Ash Wednesday Christmas Praying a Hedge of Protection Seed Faith Prayer Warrior / Prayer Partner Accountability Partner Prayer Chain Prayer Request Traveling Mercies Baptismal Clerical Collar Vestments Prayer Covering Spiritual Covering Catechism Session (of Elders) Denomination Millennium Omniscient Omnipresent Devotions Quiet Time Family Altar Social Justice Eschatology Calvinism Arminianism Pentecostal Charismatic Protestant Evangelical Catholic Incarnation Immaculate Conception Worldview Once Saved, Always Saved Ask Jesus into Your Heart Backsliding Confirmation Name it and Claim It Prosperity Gospel Fundamentalist Re-dedication Revival Bible Christianity       …do we have anything left to...
Aug
12

He’s Sick, Not Sinful

He’s Sick, Not Sinful Consider this: Why is it that people only excuse their bad behavior on mental illness, but never their good. Whenever they help a little old lady across the street, or give money to a poor neighbor to help with rent, that always gets chalked up to their own moral goodness.It’s only when they kill, or steal, or lie, or commit suicide that people start talking about it being something quite apart from their nature, over which they had absolutely no control, that MADE them do such a thing (against their will of course!).Do you see what that reveals about our presuppositions about human nature? It demonstrates that most people believe (quite contrary to what the Scripture teaches) that humans are innately good, and that their moral badness is best explained by forces that are far beyond their control.I am NOT saying that there is no such thing as a genuine mental illness, or that a genuine mental illness cannot impact and affect behavior. It can and does. However, we are so averse to ever blaming, or judging, or condemning, that we resort to excusing, even when the logic doesn’t really work. We just don’t like to think that people we love are truly selfish at the core of their being. Some would always rather view them as sick. Anna Russell wrote these poignant words: I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed To find out why I killed the cat and blackened my husband’s eyes. He laid me on a downy couch to see what he could find, And here is what he dredged up from my subconscious mind: When I was one, my mommy hid my dolly in a trunk, And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk. When I was two, I saw my father kiss the maid one day, And that is why I suffer now from kleptomania. At three, I had the feeling of ambivalence towards my brothers, And so it follows naturally I poison all my lovers. But I am happy; now I’ve learned the lesson this has taught; That everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and the Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net. Photo credit: TheGiantVermin /Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND...

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© Israel Wayne.