The main thoughts behind the quote can naturally stay similar, for there are several points that can appear useful, be picked up and be put to practice by almost any member of a church. However speaking only generally about pride, love or spirit can only hardly address a specific problem and be with ease applied in a certain area of a church life. When addressing by wide scope it can easily happen that no clear outcome originates, thereby I would like to go here a little bit more concrete.
In variety of all mistakes and sins Christian person can fall into there are some which would be categorized by many as the “serious ones” or the “really bad ones”. While slandering or lying often passes among us by nearly any arrest, stealing and overindulgence of alcohol is taken much more seriously. Still the top of the hierarchy of the “bad trespasses” is rounded off by sexual sins. Why is it that we almost completely overlook backbiting and then in same way almost completely condemn sexual sin? Are not all sins equal? One might argue that the sins are equal but the consequences of each one of them is different. Well this can be true, but does it bear any relevance regarding our discussed matter? John Chrysostom, an early church father, expressed his opinion in one of his speeches like this: “Slander is worse than cannibalism”. If we are to give it a second thought we should ask ourselves how much division, hostility and malice is caused just because of gossiping? Do we speak in our churches more words of edification or we rather go for the “hot news”? There are many people that deeply swim in waters of backbiting and there is only a very little attention given to it. It sadly became a widely accepted element of a common church culture even though its effects are dreadful. “If what I am about to say does not pass these tests,” says Alan Redpath ”I will keep my mouth shut!
T – Is it true?
H – Is it helpful?
I – Is it inspiring?
N – Is it necessary?
K – Is it kind?”
Is this also a standard we live up to today?
On the other hand I opened the topic of sexual sins which is taken often very seriously. If it becomes public that someone cheated on their spous
e or an engaged couple had fell for premarital sex, usually it seems like from that moment onwards, there has been an irreversible curse imposed on them which carries with them for many years if not until end of their lives in a form of an odd inferior church opinion. Frequently couple or a person needs to move to an entirely new location and to a different church to be again accepted in a fellowship of believers. All in all, is not this somewhat condemning treatment? Psalmist writes in chapter 79:8: “Do not remember against us our former iniquities…”
Saint Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo was a man who experienced a long-lasting sexual immorality as well as a tremendous walk with God in shape of a fruitful apologetic ministry. Now, if I am to say something, the only sure thing I can offer is humble, respectful and God’s will seeking attitude that must be present. For we never know what He has prepared in lives of each one of us.
I suggest we get into a habit of asking ourselves a question regarding our attitude towards these “different” sins, so we would not all of a sudden find ourselves in the midst of either complete acceptance or categorical resentment of our erring brothers and sisters.
Douglas, J. D., Comfort, P. W., & Mitchell, D. (1992). Who’s Who in Christian history. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.
Galli, M., & Olsen, T. (2000). 131 Christians everyone should know. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Newheiser, J. (2008). Opening up Proverbs. Leominster: Day One Publications.
Muck, T. C. (1989). Vol. 19: Sins of the body: Ministry in a sexual society. The Leadership library. Carol Stream, Ill.; Waco,
Tex.: Christianity Today; Word Books; Distributed by Word Books.