Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I hadn't planned on writing on this particular subject for awhile but two different books that I am going through right now both talked about how important this issue was for a Christian to live the kind of life that we have been set apart to live.  The first run in I had with this topic was in a book that I am going through with a group of Senior High guys in a Bible study.  The second time that I ran into this subject was in the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan which I have alluded to in previous posts.  Both of these instances came yesterday.  The first with came at 6:30 in the morning at the Bible study and then the second instance was yesterday afternoon as I had gotten away from the office to work on tonight's message.  The title of this post is exactly what I want to discuss.  Most of us would say that hate is un-godly and I have told my students to hate someone in their heart is the same as killing them.  We speak against hate of people regardless of their race, creed, or any number of other issues and this is crucial.  But I think because of the fear of the word hate we, the Church, have not spoken about hate in a productive way.  The hate that I am talking about is the hatred of sin.

Many might say that there are plenty of people who are busy talking about hating sin and it's become this dividing line.  And true there are a number of people who talk about hating sin in the church.  I spent some time in Topeka and can think of a group right now but the problem with that is that they tie the sin and sinner together and end up hating the sinner as well as the sin as if they are the same thing.  When it is quite clear that they are not.  Scripture is clear about the fact that God hates sin.  It is the one thing that He truly hates.  He doesn't hate creation or even the enemy.  He created all and therefore loves all, but he hates what sin does and how it separates and destroy the very thing that He loves.  Here is where it gets tricky for us Christians.  What I am about to talk about is not certain issues that are sin.  I dont want to be accused of justifying something that some see as sin and others dont.  I dont want to condemn actions either as sin when others dont feel that they are.  My job is not to judge the difference of what sin is or is not.  That is God's.  My whole purpose of this post is to talk about the Christian's response needs to be to our own lives.

It is time that we as Christians start hating sin in our lives.  Stop making concessions that allows it to remain.  We want to see the Church be a powerful force again and not something that is seen as a joke or hypocritical or even powerless then we need to start living in such a way that we hate sin in our own lives.  To often we look at things that we are doing and try to line it up against others and say that we are doing better than them so its ok.  When in truth we are only being held up to one plum line, God's.  Sure we might be "better" than someone else by our book because we aren't doing such and such but we arent being graded on a curve here.  We are called to live up to God's standards not our own or those around us.  Imagine if we could start to hate the sin that we know that trips up our own lives and start living in such a way that eradicates it from our lives with the help from God then we could speak and have two legs to stand on.  It's hard to be called a hypocrite when what we say and how we live actually line up.  The thing about sin is that it keeps us from experiencing the fullness of God in our own lives.  It puts up this wall that separates us from the love of God.  For those who call themselves Christians but dont hate sin and allow some sort of sin to remain in our lives we can put ourselves in a very precarious place.  Revelation describes it as lukewarm and God is going to spew (spit, vomit, gag, wretch) out of His mouth.  Francis Chan gives a great set of ideas of what a lukewarm person is and he asks the reader to do a true self assessment of their life right now.  Not who they were or want to be but right this very minute if any part of their faith journey is described.  I dont want to ruin this for those of you who might be interested in this book so I will just say Go Get It and look at your life.  When I looked honestly at the core of who I was there are areas where I prefer to be lukewarm because it's easier than being on fire.  It doesnt cost me anything.  I have areas where I don't hate sin enough to rid my life of it and it has brought my spiritual temp down to the lukewarm level.  What scare me is that I am (0r was till made aware) comfortable with where I was at and considered myself ok.  What a wretched man I am.  Isaiah's words ring so loud in my ears.  Look at Isaiah 6 and his reaction to standing in front of the Holy of Holies and he knows that the sin in his life will doom him.  As yesterday went I struggled with this.  I want to be on fire.  I want to know that I would give it all for the sake of the cross.  I want to pay the ultimate price.  Whether I am viewed as off base, wrong, eccentric, or lose everything I want to keep my heart in the place where I dont make concessions that allow sin to remain in my life.  

I want to make one thing clear as far as "allowing sin to remain."  I dont mean those stumbles along life's journey.  I am not talking about losing it every once in awhile.  I do not want to ignore grace and what it does.  Nor do I want to cheapen grace by allowing sin to allow in my life that I feel comfortable with.  I am talking about those issues that you know are wrong.  Those things that dont seem that bad in your life compared to all this other stuff.  To allow that kind of sin to remain is the issue.  To not be completely sold out to Christ that is the issue. To no hate sin the same as God is what I am talking about.  I dont want to stand before God and have him call out some area in my life where I became comfortable with the sin that was there and I choose the rags of this earth to cover when He wanted to offer me the clothing of righteousness.  

Lord teach me to hate sin my life like you do.  Let me be concerned first about my heart and life and how to live in such a way that allows me to become more like you.  Father let my life be so refined that others look, see you and because of the fact that my walk and talk line up you are able to convict their hearts.  

I realize that I may have stepped on some toes.  Please dont ask me to lay out the sins that we should avoid or the things we should do to keep from sinning.  Again that is not my purpose in writing this.  I wanted share what God has spoken to me.  I am not going to get up and bash or judge issues.  I want to judge my life in accordance with God's standards and hate the sin that I have allowed to remain in me.  

"I want to yearn for You.  I want to burn with passion over You and only You." (Shane and Shane "Yearn")

I am outie 5000,


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