Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Just shoot the dog. I would like to talk about guilt today. When you think of Judas, Lady McBeth with "bloody hands un-washable, the woman who bought the abortion lie, the Prodigal son, cheating spouse, unscrupulous businessman, or King David himself, are you able to distance yourself from them and say - "wow, I sure am glad that wasn't me"? Or in your heart of hearts, can you relate? I'm satisfied that as you read this, you (in your quiet place) can recall something or somethings that you have done/said for which you feel guilt.
What do we do with it? What is its purpose? What is its source? Have you ever thought this out - or do you rather succumb to the world and just simply suppress the feeling "just shoot the dog"?
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch: Ever throw something away by mistake? When we talk about taking out the garbage, we aren't talking about Biblical Guilt. This guilt is a gift from God. The world will tell you that guilt is to be avoided at all costs. Not! The garbage is sin, and we as a people need desperately to quit throwing out the gift, thinking it is garbage.
The problem is that in today's culture, the Church has a terrible tendency to adopt worldly views and discard Biblical Views. Our culture has long been on a crusade to eradicate guilt. It is, after all, uncomfortable; and for good reason. Its purpose is to bring us to mourning and then to a restored relationship with God. "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit" - Psalm 34:18
One sociologist (James Hunter) said: "have you noticed that the word sin has been relegated to dessert menus in restaurants? Sinful Butterscotch Binge - or Sinful Fudge Fandango. Then when we lie, we say we 'fudged'".
In 1707 Isaac Watts wrote the song "At the Cross". In the first verse, he penned: "Alas and did my Savior bleed and did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?" In the Baptist hymnal of 1975, the word Worm was changed to sinners. In the new versions, the word sinners has been changed to someone. I see a pattern developing. The single most common complaint about going to Church is that the sermons make us feel guilty. Well, we can't have that.
Again, Biblical guilt is a gift from God, with a powerful mission. What does He say about it? "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah" Psalm 32: 1-5 Are you enjoying a healthy dose of guilt? "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Hebrews 12:6 Are you going to have a Biblical response to the Glory of God, and to your benefit? -- Or do you just shoot the dog? God Bless.