This post continues an investigation. In the first post, WHY CAN’T WE BE APATHETIC ABOUT SIN? — PART 1, we considered why it is wrong to have an apathetic attitude towards sin. In this post we will look at the consequences of an apathetic attitude towards sin.
Aside: After I posted Part 1 of this series, thoughtful bloggers commented. Where appropriate, I hoped I addressed their concerns here. Nevertheless, I strongly suggest visiting Part 1 and reading the comments. If you have something to add, please do.
The Political Consequences Of Apathy Towards Sin
In Part 1, we considered the fact that the Bible strongly condemns the sin of pride. Pride is not necessarily evil, but we must be wary of being haughty or arrogant. We must remember that God is God, and He deserves our obedience. On the other hand, we have no right to enslave our neighbors to our own will or beliefs.
What Did God Tell Us To Do About Sin?
Jesus gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20 and Mark 16:14-18). He told us to teach others what He commanded, to make disciples and to baptize new Christians in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. For the sake of our souls, James urged us to turn sinning Christians from the error of their ways (James 5:19-20). Even in the Old Testament, God warned Ezekiel he could not remain silent.
Ezekiel 3:17-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”
Who was the wicked man? Who was the righteous man? Because it was not Ezekiel’s place to judge the man as opposed to the deed, for the sake of his own soul he warned both the wicked and the righteous.
When We Warn Others Of Sin, What Is The Political Consequence?
Because we are social creatures, we do not sin in isolation. Thus, our sins — and the example they set — affect others. In fact, our sins often become difficult political issues.
Consider these examples.
Covetousness: When we lust for the property of others, in our arrogance we can convince ourselves that what belongs to someone else should belong to us. Because of the sin of covetousness, we passed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. When our leaders passed that amendment, they promised to use the power it granted them just to tax the rich. They lied. So now the Federal Government lays heavy taxes upon the working man.
Abortion: Because of our lustfulness, we may choose to have sex when we should not. Because of our selfishness, instead of repenting of our lustfulness, we may choose to dispose of the evidence and murder the unborn. What is the political consequence? To justify their own misconduct, those who have chosen or would choose to abort the birth of an unborn child want the rest of us as accomplices in their sin. So they infect the public education system with their philosophy, they insist our government pay for abortions, and they insist that all employers purchase insurance that provides contraceptive coverage.
Homosexuality: Fornication, whether with someone of the opposite sex or the same, is a sin. Why? If we are willing to consider the matter objectively, we know sex outside of marriage risksthe spread of disease and plays havoc with our emotions. Nonetheless, when we want something, we can arrogantly deny what we know to be true. We can even insist that others adopt our beliefs. Thus, we have those who absurdly insist that two people of the same sex can marry each other, and they insist we that believe the same lie.
Laziness: When we don’t want to work, we will scheme to find ways to avoid it. Moreover, we will vote for politicians who tell us we “deserve” all kinds of public assistance in work avoidance. Thus, so we can avoid the work of caring for our own health, paying for the education of our own children, and providing charity for the poor; our leaders have created innumerable health, education, and welfare programs. Even the various constituencies that leach off these programs now think they “deserve” other people’s money just so they can have a “good” job or stay at home and not work.
Illegal Immigration: How many people employ illegal immigrants? We can only guess. What we do know is how highly these employers think of themselves. They think the rest of us should subsidize their crime. They believe the employees they have illegally hired deserve public assistance, even to have their children educated for free in public schools. These employers think their lawbreaking is so special we should ignore it. In fact, to further encourage illegal immigration — so that these special employers can exploit even more illegal immigrants — we need to give the illegal immigrants already in the country amnesty.
Self-Esteem: When we have excessively high self-esteem, doesn’t that mean we are prideful? Isn’t that is a sin? Yet instead of providing a rigorous education that teaches the joy of service to others, our public school system too often emphasizes self-esteem. So it is that when we should be praising and adoring God, we too often feel deflated. We wonder why others esteem themselves instead praising and adoring us.
We cannot point to one single answer that might solve all of our society’s ills. Even when some of us try to love our neighbors, some of us will complain that sort of love is not what we want. Whenever some of us actually care enough to point to our neighbor’s sins, some of us will react angrily in a display of haughty disdain. That is just how imperfect we are. Even when we know what we want to do is wrong, we will try to justify ourselves. If we become sufficiently evil, we will blind ourselves to our sins. To gain what we want, we will put others in the chains of slavery and then call ourselves good Christians.
To save our neighbors, we first recognize our own sinfulness. To receive honest love, we must love others as Christ Jesus loves us.