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Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 The sin of treating sin as normal


Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
[b]Is 5:20[/b]

I write this knowing that this may offend some people. Although this is not my intention, nor desire, I strongly feel that this them needs to be discussed. I have noticed a subtle error that has befallen the church which has the appearance of being good, although at the heart of it is great wickedness, veiled by good intention.

There is an old saying that goes something to the effect of "A good deed done is it's own reward." The idea behind it was that their is no point blowing your trumpet, so to speak, in order to receive praise for doing a good thing, because the satisfaction of assisting another should be reward enough. This principle is seen in Christ's description of his servants, who say "We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do." are doing all that is commanded of them.

Watchman Nee wrote a book entitled "The Normal Christian Life", which describes a life that many Christians would consider extreme, while Nee calls it normal. The implication is that anything less than this is substandard. Herein is my assertion: [b]Is the majority of the church guilty of considering sin to be normal, and obedience to be extreme?[/b]

The basis of my observation have come from some pms that I have received of late. As some of you might know, over the past few months, my family has been enduring an ordeal, of sorts, due to a sever case of depression, suffered by my wife. The condition has at times been so bad that she has been repeated suicide attempts. I have made an appeal for prayer, where I have given progress reports, from time to time, both positive, and negative. Anyway, these pms have been from people who have sought to encourage me that my family is in their prayers, of which I am truly grateful. However, often comments have been made complimenting me on stick by my wife. Perhaps I am taking this all a little far, but I can't help to wonder why a believer would consider this to be anything but normal.

I have raised my children to learn that obedience is normal. I try to avoid giving praise for obedience, but more for achievements, or general compliments regarding how special they are to me. From time to time I may comment that I appreciate how easy they make it for me to be their parent, which in a sense is praise for obedience, but it is for an expression of appreciation for my receiving the benefits of their obedience, than the obedience itself.

So, what do you think. Have we allowed ourselves to consider sin as normal, to the point that we overate obedience? I wonder if for some, the idea that their obedience is something special creates the idea that disobedience is a valid option. Regarding my earlier comments about the pms that I have received, the last time I received one, I replied back with comments about the normality of a husband's devotion to his wife, and they agreed with the sentiment. I add this to dissuade anyone from thinking that this is some kind of underhanded rebuke. I merely hope to open this up for consideration.

Thank you.

Aaron Ireland

 2007/3/31 9:52Profile

Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 797

 Re: The sin of treating sin as normal

Hi CJakfOrEst,

I think you're right, when it's a shock to people that you would stay with your wife something's wrong. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I will be praying for you and your family.



 2007/3/31 10:10Profile

 We don't take sin seriously!

Now why; why are some of us caught in just a mental assent kind of Christianity? Why is no true revival? For one great reason, there is one great reason that looms above all other reasons and explains why some of us are cerebral Christians not really Christians at all. Some of us are mental believers we are not really born of God, some of us are just kind of camp followers we have not experienced the work of regeneration in our hearts and our spirits one great reason looms above all others has loomed above all others, has loomed above all others throughout the centuries and looms further above all others in this society of ours today, and the reason is you don't take sin seriously that's it. You, we don't take sin seriously, and so we don't really see the need of our Savior that we receive by personal appropriation. We don't take sin seriously; we don't bother it. We just consider it normal for sin to be a part of our every day life.

 2007/3/31 10:35

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7463

 Re: The sin of treating sin as normal

Aaron, excellent post.

Your concerns remind me of Vance Havner's sermon "Getting Used to the Dark". Here is the link:

Bro. Havner's sermon is full of stand alone quotes - enough to keep you busy writing. One he makes early on is: [People ask] How much of the world can I incorporate into my program and still get to heaven?" Another: "You do not have to tell the world you are a Christian: they will catch on!"

Thanks for posting....


Sandra Miller

 2007/3/31 11:06Profile

Joined: 2006/1/19
Posts: 1406

 Re: The sin of treating sin as normal

Bro. Aaron,
I read “The Normal Christian Life” years ago, and yes the majority of the professed church does see sin as normal.
You are right in your observation and the divorce rate among so called Christians proves this out. To this day people ask why my wife stayed with me when I was going through my battle with PTSD. So many Christians think it normal to bail when ever there is a time of prolonged trouble. How soon we forget, for better or worse, for richer for poorer,
In sickness and in health, till death do us part.
I think it is a thing of convenience. Today it seems that if it is convenient one can obey the Lord, but if it becomes an inconvenience, then He can not really expect one to. I have literally heard the statement made that God cannot expect us to do His will all the time. How sad that this is a normal thought pattern in the church today. How can people who say they are His simply ignore these and other scriptures?

Philip. 2:4-5
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

John 13:16
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

2 Cor. 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Philip. 2:7-8
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Why can we not see that it is those who endure unto the end that are saved?

Mark 13:13
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Praying with and for, you and yours, that the Lord will strengthen, and establish unto that blessed day.

Hebrews 3:6
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Praying with and for you and yours, that the Lord will strengthen and establish unto that blessed day.

In His Love


 2007/3/31 17:10Profile

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