The Problem Is Sin

Every problem in this world can be traced back to sin.  Specifically, it’s sin against God.

In other words, every problem in this creation can be traced back to sin against its Creator.

This is the Bible’s message.

In identifying the problem, the Bible also identifies the solution:  Jesus Christ.

The reason most people don’t want to hear about Jesus Christ is that they don’t want to think about what the mention of His name implies: the problem of our sins.  The reason they don’t want to hear about sin is that 1) they are afraid they might be accountable for their past sins, and 2) they don’t want don’t want their future decision-making autonomy to be curtailed.  For these reasons people are constantly putting cotton in their ears so that might not learn anything about Jesus.  They do anything to avoid the subject.

You, however, are not “most people.”  You are willing to hear about sin and about Jesus Christ because, first of all, you embrace the idea of being forgiven of your sins.  As it says in the Psalms:

But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
–  Psalm 130:4

Receiving forgiveness for your sins is the way you begin your day, for in the Lord’s Prayer we are taught to say “Forgive us our debts…”  Therefore, you’re not afraid to let the topic of sin arise in your mind.  You know there’s a solution for it.

And as for your autonomy, you’ve learned that autonomy is not all it’s cracked up to be.  As Paul puts it:

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.  But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.  I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.
–  Romans 7:18-21

Because you have tried to stop sinning…and failed, repeatedly, you embrace the idea of someone to help you in your resistance to sin.  Therefore, you’re all ears when the subject of Jesus arises.  You welcome the help!

You accept that sin is always the problem and that Jesus Christ is always the answer – every…single…day.  That you think sin is the problem makes you different from a lot of people, and that you look to Jesus daily to help you overcome this problem makes you different from even more of them.  In their eyes, you are weird; but in God’s eyes, you are normal and they are weird.

Therefore, know for sure that your receptivity to Jesus Christ is what puts your feet firmly on the right path in life: the path that leads away from sin…and toward righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17).

You look at life the way David did, with trust in God’s solution to the problem of sin:

He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
–  Psalm 23:3

As long as you do this, you will have ceased being a part of the world’s problem and become a part of its solution.

Let Social Justice Start at Home

On the day after the 2016 presidential election, celebrated Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin wrote a letter to his 15-year-old daughter railing against the outcome – a letter which almost immediately went viral.

In the letter, Sorkin specifies what he views as wrong about the election’s outcome and what should be done in response by all right-thinking people.  The letter has been widely heralded, and praised as “moving.”  Sorkin writes as an impassioned father, resolutely focused on protecting his daughter from the toxic effects of a very bad president.

What’s sadly ironic – and nowhere mentioned in the letter – is that Sorkin divorced his wife when his daughter was five months old, leaving her to spend the last 15 years being raised in a broken home.  Sorkin claims to have one of those “successful” divorces that people tend to brag about these days – but what can be successful about breaking the very bond that forms a child’s identity?

My point is not to pick on Sorkin.  Nor am I taking issue with his political views.  In fact, for discussion’s sake, let’s assume that his political views are correct in every respect.  My point is that if a man is determined to fix a broken world should he not start with his own house?  And I am attempting to make this point not so much to Sorkin but to the many men of whom he is but one example.  Alas, Sorkin’s ability to write stimulating prose may be rare, but his self-righteousness and hypocrisy are all too commonplace.  He sees the speck that is in everyone else’s eye but not the log that is protruding from his own.  And because such an attitude is widely held, the moral fiber of our nation continues to degenerate.  People are running to and fro frantically trying to fix the symptoms of our national decline while ignoring the disease itself.

People who think that they can get our nation back on the right track with a good president when 40% and more of our children are being raised in single-parent households are deceiving themselves.  Divorce is a cancer that is killing the body of America.  The best health regimen in the world is not going to save the patient if the cancer is not stopped.

Men, if you want to fix America, fix your home.  Love the mother of your children and never leave her.  And don’t just stay with her – really love her by serving her best interests instead of your own.  That will matter far more to your children than who the president is.  And that will do far more for the rest of us than hearing your opinions about who is a good or bad president.  Let the social justice warriors begin with their own families.

Ezekiel Had Our Number

Long ago, the prophet Ezekiel had our number.  He described the essence of what would be happening in thousands upon thousands of American Christian churches this morning.

“But as for you, son of man, your fellow citizens who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak to one another, each to his brother, saying, ‘Come now and hear what the message is which comes forth from the Lord.’  They come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain.  Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them.  So when it comes to pass–as surely it will–then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst.”
–  Ezekiel 33:30-33

Jesus is the prophet in our midst.  It is to Him that we should give heed.  But what good does it do us to listen to His word if we don’t obey it?