Friday, January 6, 2012

God's Take on Sin...




Sin and Sinners have been the topic of discussion in most religions around the globe today. Scholars have written volumes on the subject from an academic perspective, including dividing sin up into many sub-categories so as to create a sort of big, bigger and biggest kind of progression. Regardless of your religious viewpoint sin or transgression as it is more commonly used in the Old Testament is fundamentally a breaking of God's Law as passed down from Mosaic Law in the Old Testament and the use of that Law, by Jesus, in the New Testament. Either way we are talking about Judaic Law passed down from more than 6,000 years ago.

I have spent time researching sin academically beginning back in my days at Bob Jones University, where I started out majoring in Missions. I was planning to take my new found knowledge and belief system, and share it with others, long before I really knew what going global meant. Half way through I switched to the school of education and graduated a bone fide school teacher, certified in the states of Alaska and Ohio. I chose those two states, because at the time they paid the most money anywhere in our country. Despite my change in majors, my love for missionary work, although buried for many years, remained extremely important to me. In fact, one summer between years of college, I made my first missionary trip out of the country! Basically I spent three full months in the Cayman Islands on their smallest island called Cayman Brac. I lived in a house made of products from the island, ate what the native Caymanians ate, taught Sunday School, and lived in the water. Preaching on Sunday's was the hardest duty, but I managed to share myself with others for the very first time. When I was not ministering to people or repairing houses, I learned how to fish, snorkel, paddle a canoe and life off the land. You see there were no cell phones, computers, or TV's there in 1970. I wore shorts and sandals everyday while there, because it was to hot to even where a t-shirt most of the time.

So how does the city slicker from the USA talk to folks on the island about God and sin...Well, initially it's not easy, because I was and remain one of the "biggest" sinners referred to in my first paragraph. Talking to others about sin was like the proverbial, "pot calling the kettle black," if you get my drift. The moment you get up in front of others, somehow those speaking neurons from your brain get tangled up and what comes out of your mouth is more like speaking in tongues than understandable English. No matter how much you prepare, plan and practice, in order to do it right, you must involve God for several reasons.
    1. You can't be the biggest, unforgiven sinner in the bunch.
    2. Sincerity comes from your soul, and if it is black, you are in trouble.
    3. Trust comes from saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
After several inept teaching opportunities, while feeling quite embarrassed and incapable, a miracle happened. I got together with God, and then we got together with the people, showing me that unforgiven sin is a major roadblock with our Lord. Despite all accounts to the contrary around our globe, forgiveness rests only in God's hand, and He does not forget sin even if it has been forgiven. Sin hurts our God, and he carries with him, not only the memory of that sin, but a heart felt feeling of betrayal. In some ways His creation disappoints him and the pain felt is similar to that of a doting father for his son or daughter. 

Go back in your Bible and re-read I Kings 15. In this passage God does a lot of talking directly to the newly anointed King of Israel, Solomon. In two or three verses near the beginning God describes David, Solomon's father to him. Here is the text beginning in verse 3, so that you know I am not taking this out of context:
    1. And he (Jeroboam) walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his (Jeroboam's) heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as the heart of David his (Solomon's) father.
    2. Nevertheless for David's sake the Lord gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem.
    3. Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that he (God) commanded him all the days of his (David's) life, SAVE IN THE MATTER OF URIAH THE HITTITE.



According to God, King David lived almost a perfect life, except for one major failing. You see King David's royal balcony allowed him to see a beautiful women next door. She was married to Uriah and her name was Bathsheba. Like many men, it's hard to pass up a gander, just ask my wife; however, David was so taken with her, that he devised a way to have her for himself. You see Uriah was a commander in David's army, so he went over Uriah's head and had him sent to the front lines in the next battle. Suddenly Bathsheba was a widow, so he made her his wife. People have written about this from every point of view; however, I want to concentrate on God and His perspective concerning David's sin. Here is what I glean from this:
    1. David was a great King before and after this transgression.
    2. God forgave David for this sin, despite the fact that he had one of his own killed.
    3. God never forgot about this sin, as evidenced above.

Lately I have had several interesting interesting responses out of the 354 unique readers  on this blog through the first three weeks. Readers have been dominantly from the US, but it appears we have developed some international flavor. We have Russia, South America, Germany and the UK reading now with Russia far outpacing the rest of the pack. Eight blogs in less than a month has stirred some interesting responses from family and friends, but those responses from people whom I will never meet, I find extraordinarily gratifying and educational. One writer asked me, "who do you think you are writing as if you are someone special." Another asked me if I thought that I was "sinless and above reproach."

Both of these responses are valid and thank you for sharing your feelings with me. While I might get carried away with my emotions in my writing, my goal is to clearly state God's word. I am not interpreting, rationalizing or anything else, but I am not perfect in my communication any more than your are. The difference is that I believe God has given me insight that here to for was never available to me, or I simply was just not paying attention. If I had to guess, it's probably me not paying attention for many years...Sound familiar? Here is what I know:

    1. I am not special, and I am not anointed to be a prophet of God to my knowledge. 
    2. I am a believer in God, his Holy Trinity, Angels, and Heaven.
    3. I am a believer in Satan, Evil, Demons, and Hell. 
My gift and my "calling" is to let people know what God has to say in terms that anyone in the 21st century can understand. I am simple, direct and hopefully thorough in my examination of the Bible and my personal exposition of those findings. I have no axe to grind, no church to support and no religious history to uphold and/or justify. It's just me and the God who has inspired me to communicate. I take no credit, because without his guidance my thoughts would be worthless chatter in a world chuck full of useless communication. If truth be told, I should have been doing this in one format or another a long time ago in my life. I spent many years worshipping everything that this world has to offer, completely oblivious to the spiritual world around me.





So there you have it. I am ordinary in every worldly measure, and that's the pure beauty of God's grace, in that he can take an ordinary man, who admits his sin repeatedly and use him in a totally unexpected role as part of a larger plan. My role is minuscule in the grand scheme of things, but I am humbled each time the neurons in my brain fire up and motivate my hands to create this blog. I only hope that you can find something useful in what gets written...

God Bless,

The Digital Disciple

1 comment:

  1. You seem pretty humble to me. In every blog you write, you admit your own "falling shorts." Besides your humily and candor, I appreciate your insights, as in this blog: God forgives, but the results of wrongdoing may continue for many generations.

    ReplyDelete

Hearing from you is certainly not a requirement. Consideration of what is researched and written is all I ask of anyone who stumbles upon my writings. I believe that my God will take it from there. With His help I try to separate fact from fiction, sense from nonsense, and ultimately clarity from chaos.

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