Several years ago MTV did a special series on the “Theology of Sin.” I didn’t see it. But John MacArthur tells about it. The series was built around the Medieval list of “The Seven Deadly Sins.” Pride. Covetousness. Lust. Anger. Envy. Gluttony. Sloth.
MacArthur writes that it was ‘an entirely humanistic rationalization that portrayed sin as something that wasn’t evil.” They used “sound bites” from cartoon characters, quotes from interviews with celebrities and clips from movies to make their point. Here’s some of their responses.
“Pride is a sin? I wasn’t aware of that!” Questioned Queen Latifah.
Actress Kirstie Alley agreed, “ I don’t think pride is a sin…I think some idiot made that up.”
“Lust is what I live for.” proclaimed a rocker from the group Areosmith. “”It’s what I got into the band for…”
Rapper “Ice-T” opined that anger is necessary. “You have to release this tension, because life brings tension.”
The Michael Douglas character, Gordon Gekko, in the movie “Wall Street” said, “Greed is good.”
The MTV narrator, Kurt Loader asserted, “That we are dealing with compulsions. The Seven Deadly Sins are not evil acts, but rather universal human compulsions that can be troubling and highly enjoyable.”
According to MTV sin is not based on an absolute moral standard. It’s a matter of personal preference. Individual taste. Everything is relative. Today ’s tolerate culture says, “What’s sin for you, may not be sin for me.”
This post and the next two are in response to a reader who asked me to write about sin. He had a specific question I will address later.
What is Sin?
I believe in God. I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And I believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. Therefore, I do not believe sin is subjective. There is an objective standard by which we can determine right and wrong. Good and Bad. Wickedness and Righteousness. Here’s what sin is.
(1) Transgression of the law is sin. The Bible ”Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (I John 3:4). The rule of law is fundamental to any society. It provides stability. Insures Orderliness. Sets standards. Spiritually this is true as well.
Christ has a law (Gal. 6:2). Paul affirms we are under the law of Christ (1 Cor 9:21). Jesus in fact, condemned those who practice lawlessness. (Matt. 7:21-23). The law of Christ is the doctrine of Christ. When we violate it, we sin (2 John 9-10) Sin is bad because it disrespects Christ. And disregards His law.
(2) Unrighteousness is sin. This refers to things that are morally wrong. Immoral thoughts. Immoral actions. Immoral lifestyles. The Bible says, “All unrighteousness is sin (I John 5:17). How do we know what is morally right? God has revealed it in the gospel (Romans 1:16-18).
The Bible makes it clear that unrighteousness is a work of the flesh. (Gal. 5:17-23). Christians are warned against engaging in unrighteous behavior (Rom. 1:20-32; 6:13; 1 Cor 6:9-11). Fornication. Adultery. Homosexuality. Lasciviousness. Lewdness. All of these are sin. They are an affront to a holy, righteous God. They are incompatible with His nature. And inconsistent with our profession of godliness.
(3) Failure to do good is sin. “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17). It’s not enough to just obey the law and stay pure. God created us in Christ to do good works. When we know to do good, have an opportunity to do good, and refuse to do it, we sin.
(4) Violation of your conscience is sin. (Rom. 14:23). The conscience is an internal, moral regulator. It may condemn or excuse. When it is properly taught by God’s Word, it convict us. Correct us. Or censure us. It’s bad to violate our conscience because we undermine our integrity. Our honor. Our virtue.
MTV is wrong. Hollywood is off course. The world’s reasoning is fallacious. There is such a thing as sin. And as we will discuss in the next two posts. Sin is bad. Sin hurts. Sin destroys.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman