The Prophet Jeremiah made a profound statement and asked a sobering question that fits the popular culture today:
“An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end? Jeremiah 5:30-31 (NKJV)
Sin was simple when I was a kid. The forbidden territory was comprised of obvious things like lying, talking back, disobeying a direct command, and saying any of those words that Grandma said she’d better not ever hear come out of my mouth. Later I learned that there was more serious stuff to add to the list, stuff that folks would definitely go to hell for, like smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. More years passed and it became clear that the deadly sin category was much more expansive than I ever imagined. I gave up trying to identify and enumerate them all, since the ultimate conclusion was obvious. The sin category included anything and everything that I had ever done or wanted to do that was fun, probably including things that hadn’t even been invented yet.
Expressing Opinions ~
My growing enlightenment regarding sin’s scope and impact led to other important discoveries. It became apparent that some sins seemed to be worse than others, but opinions varied about which sins were the worst. Making comparative judgments about which ones are worse than others is a cherished human pastime. If I had any doubts about that, the national reaction to the recent behavior of Virginia’s political leadership would have erased them all.
Most of America knows by now that at least three issues involving the political leadership in my home state of Virginia have risen to national prominence. First, liberal democrat Governor Ralph Northam described, and appeared to openly advocate, the premeditated killing of a newborn infant if the mother decides that for whatever reason, she doesn’t really want it. On the heels of that, evidence emerged indicating a decades old exhibition of alleged behavior by the same Governor, a transgression that prompted cries of racism. Finally, there were allegations of sexual abuse, perhaps even rape, that were directed toward the Lt. Governor, who would be next in line for the Governor’s job if Northam resigned. What a quandary for those constantly claiming moral superiority. Which sin should be the target of all the outrage? Where should all the negative attention be directed?
No Big Deal ~
The “progressive” Democrat political system, mainstream news outlets, and the trolls patrolling social media made it clear that to them that a decades old exhibition of “alleged” racist behavior is far worse than advocating the premeditated killing of a newborn baby. Virtually all avenues of mainstream news media reflected the same cold-hearted attitude of Virginia’s Governor. While flaunting his creds as a “pediatrician,” he proudly displayed the attitude that to him, killing a baby is no big deal. His calm, even “cavalier” description of how the process would work revealed no regret, no remorse, and no hesitation. He ensured that the child would be made “comfortable” while the mother discussed the pros and cons of the potential murder with the “doctors” who would carry it out–again, no big deal. By the way, there’s a legal term for that kind of “conference” in association with the taking of a human life … It’s called “premeditation.”.
For what it’s worth, some sins really are worse than others. Jesus made that clear during His trial before Pilate.
Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” John 19:10-11 (NKJV)
Conspiring with corrupt religious leaders to kill a man who is guilty of nothing but offering love, life, and hope to all who would believe and follow Him is a sin of enormous magnitude, of course. But there was a bigger picture, and there were other issues involved. Another sin was committed in secret that the crowd knew nothing about, and another sinner involved who escaped public scrutiny. Judas’ undisclosed betrayal was “the greater sin.”
A Place to Begin ~
Let’s be clear. Every sin is grievous to God and redemption from any of them requires the same sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, but all sins are not the same. It is always “the greater sin” that is most egregious to God, and that is where our primary responses should be targeted. Any thinking person knows that when it comes to a choice between killing a newborn child vs. a racist act, there is no question which is the greater sin. But there’s something else to consider before engaging anyone else’s sin issue, public figure or not. Jesus gave us a process that will enable us to be much more effective in our responses. He said:
…how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye. Luke 6:42 (NKJV)
There’s a kind of sin comparison going on here as well, isn’t there? We have some sins that are “specks” and some sins that are “planks.” The admonition from the Lord is not to engage in a research project to determine which sins fall under the “speck” heading and which ones are “planks.” But neither are we to choose the easy path of ignoring the situation altogether because we don’t want to be “judgmental”. There’s a procedure here that has Divine approval and that promises to be productive in a way that can’t be had with other approaches, and Jesus showed us where to begin.
Jesus’ use of the word “first” is intentional and vital . . .
- Maybe we’d be more effective in stopping the killing of babies if we first stopped supporting the schools conducting liberal indoctrination under the guise of “education.”
- Maybe we’d see more victories if we first stopped applauding and emulating the icons of lifestyles promoting the sexual liberties that lead to the pregnancies that fuel the abortion slaughterhouses.
- Maybe our outrage would be more effective if we were first more careful to ensure that our homes and families are protected from all forms of sexually explicit material.
The process of getting the sin out of our culture doesn’t begin with volcanic outrage over the premeditated murder of innocent babies, as automatic as that feels. It begins by pulling the planks from our own eyes so that we can see clearly how and where to direct that outrage so that it does the most good.
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly back to this article through Twitter.
- “Governor Northam’s calm, even “cavalier” description of how the process (of killing a newborn infant) would work revealed no regret, no remorse, and no hesitation.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Every sin is grievous to God and redemption from any of them requires the same sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, but all sins are not the same. It is always “the greater sin” that is most egregious to God.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Maybe we’d be more effective in stopping the killing of babies if we first stopped supporting the schools conducting liberal indoctrination under the guise of “education”. @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “The process of getting the sin (that promotes premeditated murder of innocent babies) out of our culture … begins by pulling the planks from our own eyes so we can see clearly how and where to direct that outrage so it does the most good.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
Check out Ron’s book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth.”
Click HERE for details …
© 2019 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S. All rights reserved.
To follow this blog, sign up just below the Search box in the upper right sidebar for regular email notifications of new posts.
Great points, Ron! Thank you for saying what most are afraid to say. The church needs to wake up. Does it really take the death of 61 million babies to bring us from our passivity?
You’re so right, Backie. The awful mess we see unfolding around us isn’t the fault of poor political choices. The foolish policies pouring out of a corrupt governmental system are the direct result of tolerating the watered down the message we (the Church) were sent to deliver and bailing out on our responsibilities, lest we “offend” somebody. Like it or not, forgiveness is conditional and if there is no repentance, there is no salvation. We side-stepped all that when we decided that there was nothing to repent of anymore. Thanks for continuing to be such a strong warrior in the fight, and for inspiring so many young followers of Jesus. The most effective recruiters for anything are never the moderates, but always those who deeply believe the core tenets of whatever they’re trying to promote. Thanks for being such a compelling radical.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Wonderful and wise words here, Ron. We do need to look in the mirror before we judge another, that’s for sure and certain.
Thanks, Martha– It’s clear that you’re one of those spiritual warriors who checks out the status of her own armor before wading into battle. Obviously, all of us have struggles with some kind of sin issue at some level and at some points in our lives, because the devil hates us and wants to disarm us or load us down with so much personal baggage that we become ineffective in confronting his attacks. I’m always strengthened and encouraged by knowing that you’re out there and that the light shines a bit brighter because of your faithful stand.
Thanks again for letting us know that you’re out there, Barbara. There are times when it is vital that we let one another know that we are not in this battle for truth and righteousness alone, and this is one of those times. God bless you for letting your faithfulness and commitment shine brightly.