Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sin by any other name

"sin dwells in me"
Romans 7:17

I haven't watched a lot of news lately.  We've had family in town so we've been over at my folks' house a lot, hanging out with them.  And when we are at home, we're doing school or housework, and rushing to get stuff done so we can go be with our family.

So though I normally keep an eye on the news on a fairly regular basis, I haven't been doing that as much this week.  I only knew the government opened again because someone who owns a smartphone (which is pretty much every adult in the house except me) happened to mention it. 

But before I took a sabbatical from my TV for a week, the news was shutdown, shutdown, and more shutdown.  Ad nauseum. 

Of course, a lot of what comes from Capitol Hill has to do with nauseum...

But frankly, news originating from Washington, DC is my favorite kind.  I rarely watch local news, and even national news, if it has to do with crimes, I'm generally not interested.  Or more accurately, I can't take it.  People causing other people pain is just so hard to understand.  I know it exists; I'm not burying my head in the sand.  But I'm not going to listen to them repeat the details on the 4, 5, 6 and 11 o'clock news. 

A few months ago there was a particularly gruesome trial going on ~ the Kermit Gosnell trial in Philadelphia.  Every day on the "current events and politics" show I watch, there would be an update, but before giving it, the anchorman would warn the viewers that the upcoming content "would be graphic or disturbing".

Then they'd finish the story, and move on to the next thing, which at the time was most likely an update on the investigation into the deaths of four Americans at the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.  But that story is just as disturbing.  Perhaps, in its own way, more.  Those babies were helpless.  Their lives taken from them in a horrific manner before they had a chance to live.  The Americans in Benghazi, on the other hand, while they at least could defend themselves, were not able to do so successfully.  And while I can't speak to the feelings or emotions of a pre-born baby, I feel comfortable saying that Christopher Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty and Sean Smith experienced a great deal of fear in the hours or minutes before they died that night.  And yet they never warned the viewers before those updates, that the topic was going to be hard to hear.

This is not a political post.  After all, this is not a political blog.  But I honestly don't know why they don't start every story on every newscast with the warning: "The following material is depressing and discouraging and will violate your innocence." 

We get desensitized to it all, don't we?  Violence and death and commandment-violation galore.  And maybe we feel the same way about our own sins... desensitized.  I recently read the following quote by CS Lewis:  "I have heard others, and I have heard myself, recounting cruelties and falsehoods committed in boyhood as if they were no concern of the present speaker's, and even with laughter.  But mere time does nothing either to the fact or to the guilt of a sin." 

Isn't that so true?  We often think back on sins not with shame, but with the attitude of "no big deal".  Is that just because everything is relative?  The sins we committed in childhood ~ snatching pennies off of dad's dresser, sneaking sweets before dinner ~ pale in comparison to what we now know exists in the world. 

For that matter, we think the same way about our present sins.  Five miles above the speed limit, a couple of pens taken home from the office... those certainly aren't stories that would be reported on the evening news.

But it's not our standards that matter.  He has laid down the Law ~ literally ~ and He laid down His Son's life because He knows we cannot successfully live by the law.  And He's right.  We can't even go a day without sinning.  And each of those sins is abhorrent to Him.  It's not relative.  It's just sin.

~ "There is therefore now no condemnation 
to those who are in Christ Jesus...
for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
has made me free from the law of sin and death" ~
Romans 8:1

No comments:

Post a Comment