Calling It Something Else

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The Bible instructs us on how we are to live together. When we do not follow those instructions, there are two kinds of disobedience. One is flagrant, and knows that it is disobedient. When professing Christians give way to these sorts of temptations, the results are called theft, adultery, fornication, sodomy, false witness and so on. These are sins which men commit, knowing them to be sins.

But the second kind of disobedience is a stealth disobedience. This results when we have managed to convince ourselves that our own ways are God’s ways, and that He wants whatever it is that we want. We baptize our pious vices and call them virtues. The end result of this is that we can find sins committed in the broad light of day, and the Christians committing them don’t even blink—even though the Scriptures expressly say not to do what they are doing. Sometimes this is the result of rationalization, other times it is the consequence of scriptural ignorance, and sometimes both.

Gossip is disguised as prayer requests, officious meddling is described as helping out, and lifestyle bossiness is called worldview thinking. But it doesn’t matter what we call it—because it remains objectively sin, as characterized by God’s Word, it remains destructive, and it puts an ungodly strain on relationships between believers.

John describes sin as lawlessness, and the Bible says love is treating someone lawfully from the heart. And this is why those who would love must be scripturally literate.