Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Pouting God

Sin is not and has never been about RULES; it is always about RELATIONSHIP.  God did not gather his heavenly crew around the dinner table over some Swedish Meatballs and Potato Dumplings and say, "Here's what I'm thinking: We make a list of things that I don't like and see if these humanlings can tote the line."  And then when you and I do one of the "no-no's," God gets furious because, "How dare we defy his authority."  So he pouts, "I'm not going to be your friend (God) anymore."  This "rule" understanding of sin creates a works-righteousness Christianity, a legalistic mindset.  It creates a competitive Christianity, a Christianity in which we take pride in our effort!  It removes the focus from God and love of others.

But sin is not about rules; it is about relationship.  When Jesus sums up the law in the prophets he uses relational language, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength.  And, love your neighbor as yourself."  Even The Ten Commandments are poorly translated; they are more accurately translated "The Ten Words."  God hates sin, not because it defies his authority but because it destroys the Shalom of his creation.  Shalom being the harmony, wholeness and health of His creation.
Sin destroys, tears down, and annihilates all relationships: human/human, human/Nature, human/God.  God does not punish us for our sins by sending us out of his presence.  Sin, by its nature, destroys our relationship with God.  I have preached much on sin, but this is not a sermon manuscript.  I'm typing from personal experience.  I have seen first hand how my sin destroys relationships, hurts people, shatters esteem, fosters doubts, abuses the innocent, raises relational barriers, hinders life, breaks hearts... My sin always affects others.  Your sin always affects others.  That is the problem with the world:  6 billion peoples' sin stacked on top of each other - an unsolvable exponential problem.  You get the world in its current state and a God whose heart breaks.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God, who delivers me, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 7:24-25

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