Giving up on “sin”
It’s happened again. Another “Christian rock star” (so dubbed by The Christian Post) has come out and proclaimed to the world that she’s gay. This time, it’s Vicky Beeching, known for songs such as “Great Is Your Glory” and “Deliver”. She says she’s tried all sorts of means to rid her of unwanted same-sex attractions, but none have worked. Finally, she has decided to embrace it, saying, ” I feel certain God loves me just the way I am”, and she’s right, to a point.
As non-believers, Jesus loves everyone just as he is. In Romans 5:8, we see that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Not because He had nothing else to do, but because He loved us, even though we were sinners. The problem for Ms. Beeching, though, is that while God loves as we are at the point of salvation, He doesn’t want us to stay that way. The Christian is told to be holy for He is holy, to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Paul proclaimed the name of Jesus “so that [he] may present every man complete [fully mature] in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). As Christians, we come to Christ broken, but we’re then expected to grow in Christ, to deny ourselves, daily take up our cross and follow Him.
Let’s look at this from another angle. What if a pastor were to announce this one Sunday: “I have struggled with pornography for years. I’ve tried everything to stop, but I can’t. I’ve finally come to accept it: I’m a porn addict, but I feel certain God loves me just the way I am.” Or a husband announcing at a family meal, “I have struggled with alchoholism for years. I’ve tried everything to stop, but I can’t. I’ve finally come to accept it: I’m a drunk, but I feel certain God loves me just the way I am.” The parallels are almost endless, but in none of these would we celebrate the decision to give in to sin. The pastor would lose his job. The husband might lose his family (and possibly his job, too).
Sin is hard; it’s pernicious, tenacious. It refuses to go away with the flick of the wrist or some spoken “word of victory”. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “forgetting what lies behind and reaching toward what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward cal of God in Christ Jesus.” He reaches. He presses on. His goal doesn’t just fall in his lap. This “chief of sinners” has to work for it, and so do we.
Far too often today, from the public proclamations like Beeching’s to the quiet acquiescence in the local pew, we find holiness hard, so we move the goal posts. Let’s stop giving up on “sin” and redefining holiness to fit our desires, and let’s start giving sin up, and taking on the holiness we see defined in Jesus Christ.