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[202] Top 10

I can remember the days during which stations and programs and publications would trumpet their weekly Top 10 pop music singles. Dick Clark’s weekly Top 10 was eagerly awaited.

The church has its own Top 10 when it comes to sin. For years it demonized homosexuality, rooting its condemnations in scriptural proof texts. As the years have passed it has looked the other way when it comes to divorce and “shacking.” Pushed against the spiritual wall, evangelical pastors will speak against these practices, but you will see a lot of birthdays pass between sermons on those misdeeds.

Drunkenness has been roundly condemned to the point of advocating teetotaling. Gossip, divisiveness, and inhospitable behavior, not so much. Foul language is out, but racism is still quite acceptable. A few weeks ago I heard my first sermon on “Racism in the Church” delivered by a white pastor.

If you think pastors are preaching the whole counsel of God, then you belong in the Flat Earth Society. And I am not simply going after pastors on this. Many of them realize the reaction they would get from their congregants, should they inveigh against pet sins, would remind one of the actions of those who resisted Christ two centuries ago.

Please understand, I am not advocating excising sin from the attention of the church, nor am I advocating that churches make sin its central focus. I am advocating a humble and sober effort at total discipleship, one that levels the playing field when it comes to the various types of sin, and leaves those Top 10 lists of transgressions back with the Dick Clark Top 10. DC

 

 

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