Sin is a virus, but Christ is the remedy

Human sin seems to rear its ugly head day-in and day-out—everyday! Somebody help rescue us from this virus that we can’t shake off! It’s in front of us, behind us, to our left and to our right. We can’t get away from it. It’s like a viral infection we can’t sem to shake off. It’s everywhere, and it seems to follow us wherever we go. We human beings also seem to attract all kinds of sins like a magnet, e.g., gossip, quarreling, jealousy, anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance, disorder, unforgiveness, sexual sins are just a few (2 Cor.12:20-21). We all contract this sin in the same way that Adam and Eve first contracted sin, and it leads to many other sins, and it spreads like a virus. We were born in sin no differently than the first man and woman were. We are born in sin and are naturally curved in on oneself.

The reformer, Philip Melanchthon (Luther’s sidekick), says in the Augsburg Confession that “all human beings who are born in the natural way are conceived and born in sin. This means that from birth they are full of evil lust and inclination and cannot by nature possess true fear of God and true faith in God.” As a result, our natural human inclinations, without the grace of God in our lives, are that: we do not love God, are ignorant of God, despise God, lack fear and trust in God, hate and want to avoid the judgment of God, are angry at God, and despair the grace of God. The only remedy is that God grants all of us grace and forgiveness so that we can be free from the consequences of our sin. Jesus Christ is this remedy.

Today’s Evangelicals: still "sold out" for Christ

I was surprised to hear the term “fundamentalist” used by some people to describe evangelicals. Most evangelicals do not even know what a fundamentalist is. It is actually a pejorative term that should not be used to describe evangelicals. Today’s evangelical churches have no resemblance in form and style with the evangelical churches of the 1960s or 1970s. Today’s Evangelicals have become “mainline” Christianity. The old mainline churches have lost their place of primacy to the evangelicals as the shapers of mainstream society.

In my experience of being a blend of pentecostal-evangelical-Lutheran, I kind of have my foot in both worlds and am familiar with both worlds. Post-modern evangelicals have a very acute understanding of what the post-modern world is about. They feel they are called to engage the world, e.g., social, political, financial. The New Evangelicals would repudiate separatism and anti-academia. The New Evangelicals do not want to return to the good ol’ days of Little House on the Prairie and Leave it to Beaver. In fact, they have no idea what it is. The new generation of evangelicals see themselves as post-modern, missional, prophetic, theologically-minded, and desire to make the practice of their faith and theology relevant to today’s post-modern age.

In today’s post-modern evangelical churches (or meeting places as some call it), their worship music, language, culture, and ways of speaking are so post-modern that one might even have to look twice to differentiate it from post-modern culture. I am not saying that the post-modern evangelicals condone a lax moral lifestyle. They definitely do not condone sinful lifestyles. Style must be differentiated from substance. Today’s evangelicals want to live out their lives “sold out” for Christ but they have the style of the post-modern culture. I think this is very Pauline, i.e., “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Cor.9:22, TNIV). As missional Christians, aren’t we all called to carry out the Great Commission?