Many evangelical churches speak out against certain sins such as abortion, same-sex marriage, drinking, smoking, gambling, etc. Granted, some of these are specifically spoken of in Scripture, while some are more cultural and can be (can be) implied from Scripture.
I read through Romans 1:18-32 on Sunday morning during our Reading of the Word portion at the beginning of the service. It’s dealing with how, even though creation screams out God’s eternal power and divine attributes that leave the world without excuse as to whether God exists or not, the lack of honoring Him or giving thanks to Him sets us on a downward trajectory. They exchanged God’s glory for that which is created. Therefore, God gave them up to their passions (Romans 1:24-32). But look at the last paragraph:
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Paul begins to speak of ‘acceptable sins’–sins that we tolerate in our own lives and among the believers in a church. Sins such as:
- Disobedience to parents
- The malicious person who disrupts
And many times, we put this caveat in: “Oh, that’s just the way they are!”
And that’s the problem! If that’s the way they are, and yet they refuse to (1) have an awareness of this fact, and (2) do not see a need nor have a desire to repent of it, then what will happen.
“Those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them, but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). Acceptable sins! And even acceptable sins can kill you–and you can be an accomplice to the death of others by our acceptance of these matters.
In our churches, we need to spend just as much time on these acceptable sins as we do on those sins we find (and God finds) unacceptable as well.
Otherwise, blood will be on our hands!