Why All the Feeling-Centered Feelings in Christendom? Part 2

January 22, 2015 at 1:39 PM

corinthiansLast time we discussed some of the problems facing the Corinthian believers. I noted that the apostle Paul was fairly harsh with the folks there because of their “live and let live” attitude that had washed over that particular local body of believers. To be fair, Corinth was probably the capital of pagan worship in that part of the world with a worship temple dedicated to this god or that one. There was a great deal of money involved and invested in keeping the “gods” alive. This is what the Corinthian believers were faced with and certainly to some degree – since the entire Word of God had not yet been written – it was a distraction they faced daily since many had come out of those pagan worship situations.

But my concern – and maybe this is just for me alone – is how our feelings or emotions push us to make decisions that wind up not being biblical. I cannot help but wonder if there is too much reliance on feelings? Again, this is not to say that Christians are to be devoid of emotions and feelings, but nowhere are we taught to use them as barometers of where we stand with God. For example, I previously wrote of a young woman who seemed to be a rising star in the political realm on several social network sites. She says she is conservative and a Christian. Yet, she also admits that she committed adultery with the same man on three separate occasions. When she finally did admit to this, she stated that she essentially has no regrets of what occurred. I’m hopeful that she doesn’t really mean that. But this is the problem with our emotions because they can convince us of things that are not biblical.

What I mean by that is that once a Christian confesses sin in her/his life, there is forgiveness from God. In fact, I believe that once I became a Christian, all of my sins – past, present, and future – are forgiven by Him at that moment. However, (and this is very important), I cannot go through life with a flippant attitude toward sin and when I realize when I sin, I must sincerely confess it, appropriate His grace, and then move on in the knowledge that His forgiveness has been applied to my life because of His grace. However, none of this removes potential consequences at all.

For instance, let’s say someone claiming to be a Christian and in a moment of severe weakness committed adultery (or even worse, by human standards, like murder). A truly repentant heart extended to God is the means by which faith is activated so that we draw on the forgiveness made possible because of Jesus’ death on the cross. But, consequences remain and we discussed this last time. Consequences do not evaporate in this realm because we are forgiven.God doesn’t keep natural consequences of our sin from occurring, normally. He has no obligation to do so. Things naturally work themselves out and while God can and does move into those situations to change things from time to time, more often than not, the Christian is left to deal with circumstances created by their own sin. Unfortunately, like King David, many of us Christians don’t want to deal with the consequences that we have created.

I’m sorry that the woman I’ve referred to went through the circumstances she went through. I’m glad that God has forgiven her and I’m glad that she has appropriated His forgiveness. I’m glad that her husband found it in his heart to forgive her and I truly hope their marriage is stronger because of the forgiveness and grace, not the sin that occurred. She really needs to rethink her view  that she has no regrets about anything. She should have regrets that would hopefully keep her from falling in the future.

All of us who call ourselves Christians need to take a close look at the problems/consequences King David faced when he slept with Bathsheba (cf. 2 Samuel 11). There were several things he did wrong that would have kept him from falling as he did. First, he – as king of Israel – did not lead his troops into battle as he should have. Instead, he stayed home and he got bored. One night, he was out on the palace and noticed a young woman bathing on top of her roof (normal for those days). Instead of immediately ignoring it and returning inside the palace, he decided to watch. Then, he started toying with lust until it became full-grown and drew him to send for the woman. He slept with her. As if that wasn’t bad enough – her husband Uriah was out fighting, which is where David should have been – David tried everything to get Uriah to sleep with his wife when he returned so that the child she carried would be attributed to Uriah.

Unfortunately, Uriah was a very tough sell and his loyalty to King David outweighed his need to be with his wife. Finally, in desperation, King David concocted a plan to have Uriah killed in battle. He had other soldiers fighting around Uriah draw back so that Uriah would be outnumbered and he was killed. Imagine what Uriah must have thought when he saw what was happening. Imagine what the other soldiers were thinking when they understood what they were told to do, which eventually caused Uriah’s death.

Sin is terrible. It ruined God’s Creation and continues to do so. It can only destroy. It has no capacity to heal. We need to bear this in mind always and sometimes, we need to be radical in our approach to it. While we can experience the joy that comes from knowing we are forgiven, we should never minimize our sin for the damage and destruction it causes. This doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that our sin was/is so horrible that the only resolution to it was for Jesus – God very God – to take on the form of humanity, live a life of perfection, and offer Himself for our sin in an excruciatingly painful death.

While we are experiencing joy for the forgiveness that is always extended to us, shouldn’t we also come to understand the terrible price that was paid for that forgiveness? I’m convinced if I had more understanding of that, I might allow less sin in my life. I don’t need to sin to become a better, more loving Christian. I need only have a growing understanding of just how terrible my sin is that prompted Jesus to offer Himself as the only propitiation for my sin…and yours.

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - Prophecy.

Why All the Feeling-Centered Feelings in Christendom? Part 1 Christianity or Politics? Can It Be Both?

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