If you haven’t heard about the Hillsong NYC – Naked Cowboy fiasco, you should go look into it (just don’t get too distracted and make sure you come back and finish reading this). This isn’t going to be a post bashing Hillsong for their decision (even though I do not support what happened, I am shocked that it happened, and wish I was shocked at their response to the uproar). The whole incident just paints a picture of where the church in America is. It is not in a good place. We have reached a place where we won’t claim that sin is sin and we have reached a place where we the church is divided and fighting against itself. I’m going to cover my first point in this post and my other one in the next.
You don’t hear sin talked about a lot in church these days. In fact, some churches are even preaching that Hell doesn’t exist. We live in a PC society that is afraid to tell anyone that what they are doing is sin. Hillsong’s response to what happened at their women’s conference was that it was a “silly joke.” Is that it? Just a harmless, silly joke? Labeling sin as sin does not mean you are condemning. It simply means we are being honest. The first step to dealing with sin is admitting we are in sin. Just about everyone knows what the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous is. You have to admit there is a problem before you can deal with it.
Jesus called sin what it was. In John 8, the Pharisees brought Jesus a woman who had been caught in adultery. In verses 10-11, “Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” Jesus showed the woman love, but he still told her to stop sinning. He didn’t tell her she wasn’t doing anything wrong and that was why he wasn’t condemning her. He didn’t tell her it was OK. He didn’t try to be hip, cool or relevant. He simply said stop sinning.
I hate being told when I am wrong. I don’t think I am alone in that. It is never fun to hear. But I know when I have accepted that my sin is sin it has helped me deal with it. It has made me a better person. It has brought me closer to God. It has given me more respect for the people who were willing to call me out. When I sin I am missing the mark for what God has for me. Why would I want to continually miss the mark and act like I am hitting it?
As a society we have to stop getting offended when sin is labeled as sin. We are so far off the mark for where God wants us to be that we have male pastors dancing in their underwear on stage at women’s conferences. Sin is sin and it is something we all need to deal with. We need to follow the example Jesus set. We need to tell each other, “I love you and I don’t condemn you but you need to stop sinning.”
until next time..