Television and screen writers have a favorite story line that has been played out hundreds of times in various forms. It elicits strong emotional responses from audiences every time. While Hollywood writers would be reluctant to admit it, their beloved plot comes directly from the Bible and parallels the stories of millions of men and women.
The tale goes something like this. In the opening scene, an apparently innocent woman or child is kidnaped and held for ransom by vicious and cold-blooded killers. Subsequent acts portray the determined efforts of police and family members to rescue the victim from her captors. Each plan fails and the kidnappers become increasingly more violent and impatient. Time is running out.
Finally, an unlikely Hero arises. He offers a bold and dangerous plan that presents great risk to himself and the victim. With every nail-biting moment that passes, it seems certain that this last gambit will end in disaster for all. Rescuers identify the fortified location of the captors. Through a carefully crafted attack strategy, the bunker is breached and a few of the enemy guards are neutralized. But wait! Something unexpected happens.
Suddenly, disappointment seems all but assured. Just then, the cowering victim is located. There has been deafening noise, danger and terror. But now the victim is safe and secure in the arms of her hero. All hearts can now begin to rest. The horrors of the story are in the past and the risks of death and destruction are nearly forgotten. The hideous and frustrating events have been rewarded with joy and a return to peace.
The story above describes the life of many Christians. We who were captivated by sin and subjected to threats of eternal death, destruction and total loss, were rescued by the Hero of the Ages, Jesus Christ. In our lives, however, we have not only been restored to life, but delivered from the specter of death forevermore.
Why then, are so many Christians defending sin, even “very grave sin,” in the lives of others? Is it not because they fail to recognize the ultimate and certain death that lies ahead for its victims? Is it because they are secretly working for the captors? Or, is it that with callous disregard, they are unwilling to storm the Enemy’s camp and free them?
A number of celebrated Christian pastors and teachers, especially those in California and other liberal states, are unwilling to speak the truth about the very grave sins that hold the souls of men and women in chains. They are not alone. Pastors and teachers in many mainline and evangelical churches avoid the very mention of sin or speak of it in vague and minimizing terms. “A sin is a sin is a sin” has become a popular deflection.
CBN’s Pat Robertson once declared, “I think we [Christians] are becoming too familiar with God.” Today, it seems, we’re becoming too familiar with sin, refusing to acknowledge its lethal and destructive power.
America wallows in the celebration of every conceivable sin and increasingly, many more that are inconceivable. Millions of our fellows and family members become the dupes of the abortion industry, the cult of LGBTQ deception or drugs or alcoholism only to suffer the devastating consequences of their sin in silent darkness.
When someone is bound by an addiction to drugs or alcohol to the point of suicide, friends and family members rush to intervene in order to save his temporal life. But when he or she pursues eternal spiritual suicide by embracing homosexuality, lesbianism or a trans-gender death style, the choice is defended by those who claim to “love” the victim. When a sister or daughter seeks an abortion as a twisted remedy for a pregnancy that results from moral laxity, she has defenders of her choice, but few protectors for her child and none to plead or intercede for her long-term mental and spiritual health.
Several years ago, I spoke with the pastor of a mainline church about our culture’s growing defense of homosexuality and the imminent threat that is poses to our nation. The response I received was a dismissive, “I prefer to approach people in love.” Satan never spoke more clearly. Love that turns its gaze away from self-destructive sin is not caring affection, but counterfeit disinterest and lack of concern—the moral equivalent of live-and-let-die, and that, the most virulent and stubborn form of hatred.
As someone rightly said long before me, “We are ‘loving’ people right into hell.” A broad segment of the Church in America is infected with a philosophical disease agent that entered through secular carriers. It introduced a weird and distorted definition of love that foolishly sacrifices truth in deference to the feelings of the sin sick. Nowhere else in our society, would such cruel and cowardly negligence be tolerated. Nowhere else would we allow callous disregard to be justified as kindness, tolerance or love.
Perhaps the reason that so many pastors and Christians defend sin is that they have forgotten how deadly is its power to condemn lost men and women. Perhaps they have never been set free from it themselves. Perhaps they do not speak the truth because they no longer believe that God can and will deliver people from sin to wholeness; from death to life. In any event, one who refuses to warn another of known danger under the guise of love makes himself a liar.
Ironically, Benjamin Franklin demonstrated that he understood the relationship between sin’s power and its prohibition better than many contemporary church members. Franklin said, “Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden; it is forbidden because it is hurtful.”
The United States has experienced historic economic prosperity, power and freedom but those who have been entrusted with the secrets of this success have abandoned their posts. If America is the last, best hope for the world, then the gospel of Christ is the last and only hope for America. Truth must always triumph over feelings.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.