Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sin Identity

The more I interact with people online, especially those that for one reason or another have rejected Christianity, the more I discover a common thread.  Yes, many of them claim to have problems with the doctrine or the fantastic stories, or believing in miracles, or reconciling the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New, or that the Genesis account could possibly describe our origins.  But those are just arguments that typically stay on the periphery.  You can spend a great deal of time giving them good counter point and information and may even win a few over on a particular point or two.

But for some reason the removal of these objections does not motivate repentance and the sinners prayer asking Jesus Christ into their hearts and lives.  Why?  I can't say for 100% of those that reject the faith but the common thread I've begun to see is something I call the Sin Identity.  Our culture and the enemy of God seem to promote that we adopt labels into our identity.  Some are alcoholics.  Others are adulterers, gossips, liars, homosexuals, fornicators, or thieves.  Whatever a person's particular sin struggle may be isn't just behavior they engage in, it IS them.  It IS who they are and they believe it whole-heartedly.

Let's take the most controversial one in the list above for an example but turn it around on me.  Am I a heterosexual or do I practice heterosexual behaviors?  Both seem to be accurate statements yet most people that share this behavior in common with me do NOT identify themselves by the label even if it accurately describes an aspect of their life.  The distinction is a small one but its important.  They say the devil is in the details and I think this is fabulous example of how this statement is true. Once Satan has successfully convinced a person that their sin struggles and behaviors is who they are all then convincing them to reject God is child's play.

All one must do is read that God hates sin (of any kind) and they interpret it to mean: God hates me.  Of course nothing can be further from the truth!  He so loves you that he took on a human body of His own, took the burden of our sins, and paid the penalty we should have suffered for our rebellion against Him.  A God that doesn't care would hardly lift a finger to render aid to those that reject Him.  A God that doesn't care would not allow Himself to be beaten to the point of disfigurement, nailed to a cross, spit upon, insulted, run through with a spear, and put to death of the most shameful variety.  Understanding that He could have at any point stopped the process in a Matrix-style moment is key for me.  Because though he could...He didn't. 

And why suffer needlessly when your own record of deeds is a perfect one and you have no actual crimes or sins to pay for?  All I can figure is its the Ultimate expression of love.  You. Are. Not. Your. Sins!  Those are forgiven and paid for.  That is why its called The GOOD News.

Don't let the enemy continue to lie to you.  Your identity is so much more than a behavior you practice.


Neil said...

Great points. It is so easy to make up a god who is OK with our "sins," because we're so much better than average, right? But that's not the real God.