What Used to Be Called Sin

All talk about sin, say the self-expressionists, is utterly foolish, leading to self-repression, which is, they aver, the only sin. What used to be called sin is just expression of self, the greatest and the most vital possession that man has, they say. Not to sin, according to the old meaning of the term, is to do violence to the greatest gift he possesses. They plead, therefore, for the abolition of the word sin in its earlier associations. They deplore what they term the tragic spectacle of mankind shackled against its highest good by adherence to the warnings of the Bible, the Church, and the saints.

We can best consider this human view of life, and show its complete fallacy, by contrasting it with God’s view as stated in the Bible. The teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, are outspoken against sin. He said, “Wherefore if they hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire” (Matthew 18:8-9).

Now there we are reminded of the way in which every conceivable view of life and of men is invariably dealt with somewhere or another in the Scriptures. Modern man is constantly flattering himself and suggesting to himself that certain of his ideas are quite new. But here again we find an illustration of a view that prides itself on its modernity dealt with completely and exhaustively in the Bible.

— Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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  • Anonymous

    The first two sentences of this post hit hard as I have recently heard those thoughts coming from someone I hold dear. Christianity is being questioned as a dogma that an individual applies on top of their own conscious. It's painful to be in a relationship and see someone question Christianity and begin to believe in their own goodness. They begin to feel freedom as they follow the expression of self. In doing so a gap widens in the ability to communicate. I'd love to hear of any thoughts on how to establish an environment that helps someone navigate these waters.