Things Are True
by Pastor Dan Coburn
Just Shoot the Dog.
A Sociologist named James Hunter recently wrote: “Have you noticed that the word ‘sin’ has been relegated to desert menus in restaurants? Sinful Butterscotch Bing – or – Sinful Fudge Fandango. But when we lie, we say we ‘Fudged’”. In 1707, Isaac Watts wrote a Hymn entitled “At the Cross”. In the first line he asks the question: “would He devote that sacred head for a worm such as I?” Some time later, the word (worm) was replaced with (Sinners), and in more recent versions, sinners has been replaced by (someone).
You see our culture is on a crusade to remove guilt. It’s uncomfortable; and for good reason. The role of Biblical Guilt is to bring us to mourning about our sin, cause us to recognize our Spiritual Depravity before a Holy God, and thus to realize our need of a Savior. If we eradicate guilt, we need not a Savior, but we are still doomed to the consequences of Sin. You see Guilt is not the garbage. Sin is the Garbage.
The cultural replacement for guilt, is Self Esteem. The theory is that there are no bad people, only people who feel bad. If we can get people to feel better about themselves, there will be less crime, better behavior, less emotional problems, and we will achieve more –Right? Wrong. A recent article in (Psychological Review) which was targeted at crime in society, started out like this. “What do Neo-Nazis, Wife Beaters, and KKK members have in common? If you guessed High but misplaced self esteem, you’re right. Studies now suggest that to much self esteem is worse than to little”. Morals are at an all time low, but self esteem is up.
I wish I could stand in the sanctuary and point outside and piously shake my head, but the fact is that the Church has a horrible tendency to adopt worldly views, abandoning biblical ones. Romans 12:2. A popular TV preacher who I won’t name (his church is primarily glass) said: “Sin is psychological self abuse. Sin is any act or thought which robs myself or any other human being of his or her self esteem”. In the last 15 years, over half of the best Sellers have been “self help” books.
Let’s turn the spiritual switch. What does God say about it? We were “dead in trespasses and sins”; we “walked according to the prince of the power of the air”; we “were by nature the children of wrath”, and “having no hope, and without God in the world” - Eph ch 2, vs 1,2,3 and 12. The blood of Jesus is Sufficient for the Whole World - 1st John 2:2, but is Efficient for only those who believe. Charles Spurgeon said: “He was a fool who killed the watchdog, because it alarmed him when thieves were breaking into his house. If conscience upbraids you, feel it’s upbraiding and heed it’s rebuke, it is your best friend”. Or, you can just shoot the dog.