Aug 4, 2011

Is sin different today than in the past?

To some, this may seem like a rhetorical question, but from what I hear and read, I’m not sure even knowledgeable Christians think clearly on this point.  One thing I’m happy that God has helped me understand is that man has been sinful (not just having an old sin nature) since the fall of the first Adam.
Yet, as I read commentary on religious history or simply listen to people talk about how sinful man has become, I’m somewhat perplexed … especially when I hear people discuss this through the lens of the last 500 years of Western thought.

No reasonably informed Christian would find it surprising that man is sinful by nature and has been so since the fall in Eden.  But, that knowledge seems to escape many people when they view society as a whole and they lament its condition.

I suggest we take a very close look and examine the culture and practices of non-Jewish peoples throughout the biblical account  (Yes, the Hebrews were wayward, but that's a topic for a different post.)

I think what we will find is that man as a species isn’t any more or less sinful today than in 70 AD or in 1,000 BCE than he was at Adam and Eve’s disobedience.  Yes, there is a certain kind of societal entropy that occurs until the second advent (I hope not to digress into an eschatological debate here).  But, our standard is not one that compares man to man, or age to age.  Our standard is the one God gave us: a standard of righteousness.

With righteousness, there is no grey or degree.  A person is either righteous or not; he sins or he doesn’t sin.  The Bible clearly teaches us that all sin and fall short of the standard God set for us.  Thus, with that perspective, it should be easy to see that sin is sin, regardless of the era.  Instead of seeing the world around us as waxing or waneing in sinfulness, we should simply see our need for a solution to our unrighteousness -- Jesus Christ.

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