Confessions of A Closet Sinner
The other day I found some extra time in my afternoon, so I decided to ride my bike to my favorite coffee shop. I wanted to enjoy the bright sun and delicious coffee that Florida has to offer. I typically find at least one time in the week where I have nothing on my agenda and I am afforded the opportunity to grab a cup of coffee and just allow my mind to wander.
As much as I enjoy this, I have come to realize that it is somewhat dangerous for me to spend time letting my mind wander. As I spend time thinking about things, I am forced to have opinions about them and that tends to spiral me into either appreciation or bitterness. Sometimes I find myself battling with which one it is.
This particular day I was haunted by a conversation that I had with a friend of mine the day before. We were talking about the Christian community and how the church as a whole handles the issue of sin. This conversation wasn’t launching me into a concept I had never thought of before. It more so took me to an abandoned thought process, one that I had left alone because I didn’t want to get my hands dirty.
I knew that this was a messy subject and I think the American church would agree. That’s why pastors choose against preaching about it and Christians choose to ignore the implications involved. The bottom line is that sin is dirty and messy and we don’t want to have to deal with something like that so we simply sweep it under the rug and sing songs about love and preach sermons about prosperity.
We are such prideful people and I think that makes us scared to let each other know that we sin and that we hurt and battle with things that aren’t pretty. We would much rather keep those things quiet so that we can act normal and come across as if we have it all together, when in reality we don’t. We are broken people saved by the grace of a loving, caring, compassionate God.
I believe that there are many things that cause us to disregard our sin and try to pretend that it isn’t there. One of those things is something that my friends and I have begun to call “Competitive Christianity” and it can be extremely dangerous. Competitive Christianity is when we allow our sin to creep into the depths of our hearts. It ends up convincing us that we have to be a better Christian than the people we go to church with or the other Christians that we are in community with.
When we find ourselves sinking into this mentality we tend to put degrees on sin and we start to live as if we are better than our brothers and sisters that are in Christ. This is very dangerous water to be treading in because it tricks us into thinking that we have it all together. It causes us to forget that we are dependent on the grace and blood of Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the alcoholics, rapists and homosexuals just as much as he is the Savior of the prideful, lustful and dishonest. It’s my sincere prayer that we begin to see that and understand that it was all of our sin that put Jesus on the cross. It was the powerful love of God through Jesus that conquered death.
Join with me in prayer for the churches that we are a part of. That we wouldn’t favor certain sins over others, and that we would see and understand that sin is sin. The only person who can save us from it is Jesus Christ. When we realize the truth in that we free ourselves from the chains of religion and open ourselves up to the love of Jesus Christ.