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Quick Thoughts
A few things on this Tuesday morning:

First, my  daughter bought a ukelele yesterday, with the money that she makes from teaching piano. That's four instruments she has (not counting the piano that is mine): a keyboard, an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, and now a ukelele. She's really quite good at all of them. And it makes me so proud.

I need to brag just for a moment: for the first time, last Sunday she led worship in church from the piano. I missed it because I was speaking at a retreat, but my husband videotaped some of it for me. We've had her in music lessons since she was 4, and I always prayed that she would use music for God. And now she can. She leads her youth praise team, too. It's just so fun to watch them grow up.

As for the ukelele, immediately after she bought it she was playing it while we were walking down the street downtown in our small town. She figured out "I'll Fly Away" pretty fast, and Katie and I were singing harmony. It was pretty funny. Three part harmony while we're walking downtown with a ukelele. She figures a ukelele is a great way to meet people at youth conventions, because who can forget a ukelele? And it's portable. She has this imitating a geek thing down to an art.

Okay, next item. I figured out what was really bothering me about my post yesterday, about the woman who had an affair, married the guy, and is now back in ministry.

It's this: I have no problem with people being restored and peaceful and joyful DESPITE sin in their past. What I have a problem with is people feeling peaceful and joyful BECAUSE of the sin in their past. And she talks over and over again in the book about how happy her marriage is now, and how happy the kids are, as if she is happier than she would have been had she not done what she did.

That's what makes it seem as if she is an advertisement for having an affair, despite the steps at restoration that she took, and that's what makes me uneasy. Again, I'm not saying that she shouldn't have a ministry; she isn't involved in teaching per se, and she does have a gift. And God does forgive. So I haven't completely figured it out, and I probably never will. But that's what bothers me: the fact that she is happy because of the sin, and that doesn't seem like a good message to be giving, even if you're also saying that you did wrong.

One other thing: I appreciated all the comments yesterday, but Mary's really made me think. She said that the idea that all sins are equal is a modern theology. Jesus distinguished between sins, and the more I think about it, the more I think she's right. Jesus said teachers will be judged more harshly. He said towns in Israel would be judged worse than Sodom and Gomorrah because Sodom and Gomorrah did not have the Messiah with them. He said that those who cause a little one to sin are in worse shape than others.

I think there's a mistaken idea about sin, because we confuse two doctrines. There is no doubt that everyone is a sinner. We all sinned, and those who break one law are guilty of breaking the whole law. Absolutely. But that does not necessarily mean that all sins are the same. All sins, even what seems like minor ones, are enough to make us in need of salvation and unable to get into heaven on our own. But some are more serious. That does not mean that Jesus' blood is not enough for those big sins; it absolutely is. Yet there are some sins we are especially warned about, like sexual sin and divorce and hurting children. I just find that interesting. I'm not trying to draw any conclusions in this case; I'm just pondering it today.

So I guess I'm no closer to figuring out how to become a more gentle and less judgmental person! Sigh. Maybe I'll just concentrate on listening to Becca play the ukelele and try to forget all these moral dilemmas.

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9 Comments:

At 7:41 PM , Blogger Cara said…

It's sort of funny that you've brought up the topic of sins and whether some are greater than others, as I have been prayerfully thinking about this idea for quite some time.

My own personal belief is that all sin is equal. This being said, the consequences of sin are not always the same. God does, however, hate all sin. God's hate, just like His love, is all encompassing. Sin is what stands between man and God, therefore all sin is equal in the eyes of God the Father. The wages of every sin is death. In this world, there are also consequences (aside from eternal damnation) for sin and we are warned about that in the Bible.

However, all consequences, not of this world but of the next, are of course directed toward followers of Christ. Jesus saves us from the consequences of sin - death. We are now alive forever with God the Father. Then there are consequences for our lack of responsibility. Just as in the parable of the coins, we will be judged based on what we've done with our salvation and our knowledge of God's truth and love.

That being said, once we are saved from eternal death and brought into eternal life...how can anything after that be called a loss? Eternal life with God is the greatest reward! Anything more is simply a further blessing! It's my opinion that we will each have responsibilities in heaven and that the consequences/rewards of our choices on earth will determine the responsibilities that will be bestowed on us in heaven.

Those are just my thoughts on the matter. Everyone may choose to agree or disagree at will. :)

 

At 8:12 PM , Blogger Renee said…

Interesting to think about - that although any sin is enough to separate us from God, there are sins that are "worse". I think I can kind of see this . . . I'll be thinking of it as I read my Bible over the next while.

I think yesterday one of the things that was mentioned is that happiness is not the real goal for a Christian. So therefore, if "she" is happy and her kids are happy, maybe that doesn't really mean as much as we think it does.

 

At 8:32 PM , Blogger Kim said…

Hmmm, I see what you mean...will need to give it some thought.

 

At 8:42 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

Cara, I think I've always seen things sort of like you have: that our responsibilities and roles in heaven are partially determined by how well we handle things here! And I kind of like that.

Let me also explain that even if I think some sins are viewed as more serious by God, I think that's because their consequences are more serious.

I've heard sermons where pastors have said that God sees Hitler and us in the same way. But I don't believe that. I think that we are both in need of grace, and without Jesus we are equally lost, but that does not mean that we are seen in the same way. I think that's why Jesus issues more specific and serious warnings about some sins than others, and even says that "it will be worse for you" than for others, because He does sees things as worse, especially if they have broader consequences.

But I don't think that should lead to us thinking that "I'm a better person because I didn't do THAT sin", because sin is still sin. We are all still sinners, saved but by the grace of God. But I still think God gets more upset about some things. Does that make sense?

 

At 10:20 PM , Blogger Mary R. said…

Different kinds of sins had different kinds of punishments in the O.T. (stoning for some, not for others, for instance), and also in the N.T. there are some sins that get worse punishment (that of being a false teacher, for instance). Also, Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is a worse one, because it will not be forgiven in this world or the next. And they usually have worse consequences in this world, too, than some others. Some sins erode the faith and harm the soul worse than others, or are against your own body like sexual sin. We must be careful of even the less serious sins, though, because they can turn into more serious sins if left unchecked. All are sin.

Kind of like getting a parking ticket is breaking the law (the whole law; you've broken the law, period), as is murder. However, one is definitely more serious than the other and carries more serious consequences for others and has a harsher punishment. All lawbreaking is lawbreaking; it is not all equal.

So, no, all sin is not equal, although it is all sin. It is just as easy for God to forgive a serious sin as a less serious one, though, and if we repent, we are forgiven.

In the case of the musicians in ministry, we do have to remember that they are role models. I, too, have a problem with the adultery, the divorce, the remarriage with the one they had an affair with so soon afterward and then claiming to be happier than ever. Wow. This does give the impression that divorce is no big deal.

I saw in an interview where one of these singers (actually, I know of 2 who would fit this bill and maybe there are more) said that she was very sorry that she had hurt a lot of people. What bothered me was that she was never quoted as saying that she had sinned against God, the way King David did. Sad. Makes you wonder if there was true repentance when it seemed in the interview like there was never an admission of sin (not just "hurting people").

 

At 11:07 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

Mary, thanks for chiming in again! I was curious to see what you would say.

I just want to make it clear that this particular person did say that she had sinned against God. I truly believe that she was sincerely sorry, and that she was repentant. She said so, and I want to take her at her word.

I guess the main issue for me is that she is a role model, and her life seems to be a walking advertisement that "you can leave your marriage and end up even happier, and still right with God!". I know that's not what she intends, but that is what her life is saying.

Of course, it's also saying that God forgives, and that God chases down His children who wander and pursues them because He loves them. Her life has a lot of good things to teach. But I'm afraid that the advertisement for adultery leading to happiness is just too big in my view, and that's what I'm getting hung up on.

 

At 11:14 PM , Blogger Mary R. said…

I'm obviously thinking of a different person than you are. I just noticed that glaring omission in the interview that I read of the person I am thinking about. So, we're thinking of different people.

Anyway, yes, I'm hung up on the same thing. I know God forgives and restores and gives second (and third...) chances, but yes, sometimes our lives say something other than what we intend to say, like you can break your marriage vows and go on like nothing is wrong. Sends a wrong message. I think I'd probably feel better if people in this situation took a long break from ministry.

 

At 11:16 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

And by the way, no one has commented on the ukelele! Isn't the ukelele cool?

 

At 11:56 PM , Blogger Mary R. said…

Yes, the ukelale is cool and your daughter is lovely! I was going to say something about it but forgot!How nice that she is musical! Hope she learns to play it well.

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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