Critical Questions

Racial Sin

There are two basic forms of racial or ethnic sin that we can find in the Scriptures. One is when a person’s membership in a particular tribe is used as a foundation for justifying malice or enmity toward members of a different group. The second is when it is used as a foundation for a false pride or sense of inflated superiority. The two sins are therefore racial enmity and racial vainglory, and they are both hated by a holy God. But they are not more radically evil than any other forms of enmity or vainglory, grounded on other baseless trumperies. The sin is always the same kind of blind folly, and Christ died for all of it.

Sexual Justice

In a time when we have largely abandoned God’s published standards for our sexual behavior, and because pornography is so widespread, it is not surprising that sexual injustices are often perpetrated, including within the church. When such criminal behavior is discovered by church leaders, all the appropriate authorities should be informed immediately, and every effort made to support the victim or victims. When such behavior is alleged and denied, then it is the responsibility of church leaders to conduct or support an impartial investigation that will discover the truth, and deal with it accordingly.

Justification by Faith Alone

The ground of our justification before God is necessarily the obedience of Jesus Christ, the perfect man. This obedience is imputed to the individual believer, and the sole instrument for receiving this imputation is the faith that God grants to the believer in question. The righteousness of Christ that is imputed by sheer grace can be considered from two perspectives. The first is the obedience of Christ throughout the course of His life. The second is the obedience of Christ in His suffering on the cross. The former satisfies our need to have lived perfectly before God, and the second satisfies our need to pay the just penalty for having lived so imperfectly.