Monday, March 31, 2008

Sin Against Who?

The Bible is very clear on the issue of sin. At times, sin is an offense toward another person, but sin is always and primarily an offense against God. The relationship with God is primary and with other people is secondary. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is, "Love the Lord with all your heart..." The second commandment is like it, "love your neighbor as yourself." But, what happens when sin is defined only in horizontal relationships and not through the vertical relationship?

The answer to that question can be seen in large part in our society today. Homosexuality, abortion, gambling, and substance abuse are seen less and less as sinful activities because they are viewed as "victimless crimes." In the case of homosexuality, it is often celebrated because to speak against it is to speak against another human being. When sin is defined only in person to person relationships, then we have to accept homosexuality and a whole host of other activities as OK because the only offense that is possible is the offense of another person.

When God is taken out of the equation, the only relationships that can be damaged are peer relationships, thus an attitude of political correctness dominates society as a moral compass. It is in this culture, void of the concept of a Creator, that global warming, for instance, can be seen as the great evil of our world. If man-made global warming is a reality (which I have questions about), then the path to salvation is to do all we can to repair human relationships and protect one-another. Sin is anything that damages relationships, and global warming has the potential to affect every human being on the it is the great evil.

On the other hand, if the vertical relationship between man and God is the primary relationship and we believe what the Bible says to be true; namely that sin separates us from God, then we have a whole different view on salvation. Salvation is no longer proper relationships between people, but rather proper relationship in the vertical realm between God and man. Christ, then, and not science, is the Savior for only he can repair the broken relationship between God and man. He accomplished this through his death on the cross.

As Christians, we must fight for the truth of the cross and of Christ. He came to save sinners, and sin is primarily an offence against God, not against another person.

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