Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

all have sinned

2/9/15

 

Whenever we attempt to justify, minimize, or otherwise redefine our own sins by comparing them to someone else's, we can be pretty sure that we are engaged in a shell game. This is especially so, if the sins in question are those perpetrated in the name of patriotism or religion. As comforting and self serving as the notion may be, the contention that my sinfulness is less than yours or that my evil is justified by your evil doesn't fly for those claiming Jesus. Nevertheless, many, many of us routinely claim moral superiority over a large portion of humanity.

 

Theologically, Christians have been conditioned to feel special in God's eyes, morally superior, and rightfully critical of others. Thus, the so called Good News has evolved into a message of religious triumphalism and a divine mandate to relentlessly condemn outsiders.

 

This emphasis on the sins of others is a direct denial of a most basic aspect of New Testament teaching. The Apostle Paul said all have sinned. There is none good, no not one. Jesus admonished his disciples to judge not less they be judged. Even more astounding are his words in redefining the law in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). By equating murder and anger, Jesus destroyed any sense of degrees of sinfulness, which is the traditional basis for anyone to claim moral superiority.

 

The stated reality of moral equivalency was the very essence of what the New Testament introduced to mankind for the first time. Absent this newness, there is nothing particularly unique about Christianity, nothing to distinguish it from Old Testament Judaism, for example. New rules, new institutions, new human leadership, new rituals, and new prophecy- none of that rises to the state of dramatic change described by the New Testament. But the idea of humanity wide moral equivalency is earth shaking and mindboggling. A more counter intuitive concept could not be imagined by mankind.

 

Yet, this New Testament revelation by Jesus have been effectively nullified by the doctrines and practices of institutional Christianity. Instead of recognizing humanity's absolute  equality in the brotherhood of sinfulness, the church preaches the righteous few in constant conflict with the God rejected many, promoting anger, pride, and pettiness as characteristics of the godly.

  

If moral superiority is an essential part of our personal identity and sense of self worth, then we needn't look to Jesus for confirmation. He was decidedly unimpressed with those who felt morally superior.

 

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