SOFTENING THE SOUND OF SIN
Written by Roger D. Campbell
Thursday, 25 August 2016 05:17

SOFTENING THE SOUND OF SIN

 

     Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). In God’s plan, only His Son’s blood can provide a remedy and healing for man’s sin.

     Regardless of the words which humans might use to portray it, sin is destructive, divisive, and deadly (Romans 6:23). Sin is ugly. It has unpleasant consequences in this life, but most importantly, sin can separate sinners eternally from the Godhead.

When our Savior lived on the earth, He spoke plainly about sin and its consequences. He openly declared that an evil man brings forth evil things from the evil treasure of his heart (Luke 6:45). In similar language, He said that “evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:23). Jesus did not shy away from calling sin what it is – “sin.”

     It is not uncommon in our day for people to speak about matters that violate the teaching of the Bible in such a way that those transgressions do not sound so bad after all. The devil often uses this ploy. If he can cause people to tone down the rhetoric about evil, then maybe evildoers will remain comfortable in their sin and have no motivation to forsake it, resulting in their souls being lost eternally because their sins have not been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. Portraying wickedness in a way that softens the sound of it causes people to look at it as if it is not all that serious.

     If a Christian man constantly speaks and treats others in a harsh and uncompassionate manner, someone might say, “Well, that is just his character; he gets a little carried away.” Please, trying to justify his failure to show kindness and common courtesy (1 Peter 3:8) is not acceptable.

     A brother in the Lord goes nuts on the road screaming and yelling anytime that a driver cuts in front of him with his/her vehicle. Some would say, “Well, he kinda gets upset.” No, the man fails to bridle his tongue. How serious is that? It is sinful, and it causes one’s religion to be in vain (James 1:26).

     On a regular basis, a married woman sleeps with a man who is not her husband. The Bible calls such activity “adultery” and states that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). In modern times, some would say that this woman “has wandering eyes” or is “having an extramarital affair,” or “a mid-life crisis.” The truth? She is an adulteress.

     The Bible’s message is that Christians are not to forsake the assembling of the saints (Hebrews 10:25). Some church member might say, “Well, we just have a hard time making it to services because our family always seems to have something going on that day.” Softening the sound of what is taking place does not remove this reality: these folks are service-forsakers.

     The Bible teaches that “drunkards” will not inherit God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). If we say, “Well, he enjoys his liquor” or “He has a little drinking problem,” such language is not helping the drunkard. It actually might embolden him.

     God hates a lying tongue (Proverbs 6:16,17) and charges us to speak the truth (Ephesians 4:25). Enter the word “misspeak.” People use that word when they try to downplay their dishonesty. If a person has told a lie, he may say, “I misspoke.” That does not sound as bad as “lie,” does it? Here is a historical example. Twenty years ago, a world-famous person made a trip to a war-torn country in Europe. “Her initial version of events was that her plane landed under fire and she had to duck and run to her vehicle.” However, “television footage shows her disembarking with a smile, waving to the crowd and strolling across the tarmac to greet a little girl who read her a poem.” Uh, oh, she was caught in a lie. In reference to how she originally described what happened, a short time later she corrected herself: “I did misspeak the other day.” Madam, you lied. [quotes taken on 4 March 2016 from

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7314726.stm].

     In Bible language, if one who has bed relations with a human who is not his/her spouse, that is called “fornication,” and God tells us to abstain from such action (1 Thessalonians 4:3). We are exposed to case after case of fornication in TV shows, movies, music, and the lives of entertainers. Oh, they do not use the word “fornication.” That sounds too intolerant, too condemning, and too old-fashioned. Instead, they call it “living together,” “spending the night,” or “having a partner.” What is taking place? God-forbidden sex.

     Jehovah hates hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16,17), which is an accurate description of what happens when an unborn human is aborted on purpose. Today when an expecting female has an abortion performed, it is said that she “made a choice not to have the baby.” In truth, what did she do? She paid someone to murder the human inside her womb.

     God calls on Christians to present the truth in love, having our speech be with grace and seasoned with salt (Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 4:6). A preacher might spew forth venom as he declares the word. Someone might come to his defense and say, “That is just his way of getting the truth across.” Attempting to soften the sound of rudeness and reckless language does not minimize the wrong that is done.

     As we go about teaching the great news that salvation is available through Jesus, let us not try to water down or soften the gospel’s message about sin.

-- Roger D. Campbell