Today's Mental Image:
Caught Redfaced but Shameless
1 Corinthians 15:33-34, 56-58
You should be embarrassed that some people still don't know about God. [CEV]
Bad company corrupts good character. [NIV]
Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. [NIV]
Be sensible and stop sinning. [CEV]
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. [NIV]
It is the sin and shameful living happening among US [the church] that causes us, our children, our grandchildren, and new believers to suffer shameful levels of ignorance of the very key to life - God.
Are we like the Corinthians? Will it take an Apostle Paul, an outsider, to declare our shame! That in itself is a terrifying statement! A fellowship of believers so accomodating, so compassionate, so tolerant that no one among us dares name the sinning among us an embarrassment and a shame to the name of our fellowship, our Christ!
No! With great political and peer pressure, we consider our silence to be grace. We consider confronting the shame unkind. We judge it inappropriate to declare sinful behavior, even shameful living, shame!
We firmly declare what scripture elsewhere makes clear: "Ignorance of God results in a depraved mind, then sin and shameful living. These gross actions and lifestyles by people who claim the name of Christ defame the Name and defile both members of the Body and those outside.
In experience, in consitent polls and research, the members in our churchs display profound ignorance of the ways of God. Eighty year olds keep asking me, "Can you really hear from God? Can you really 'know' him like you know other people."
See what tolerance of sin and shameful living among us has grown! Exactly what Paul declared: ignorance of God!
Of course, Paul in Romans chapters 1 and 2 declares that no one is in fact ignorant of God. The ignorance that leads to sin really comes from "not thinking it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God." Having not considered it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God in our corporate conscience, our passed over behaviors, we have reaped at God's hand, members with depraved minds. Men and women given over to every kind of sin and shameful living that a darkened world embaraces.
May God forgive us! And grant us corporate repentance!