Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Human Capacity for Sin

Bob here. You may know me as Mr. Standfast, although now I'm holding forth over at gratitude and hoopla. In case you missed his announcement, Milton has asked me to guest-blog here at Transforming Sermons. Whatever fit of foolhardiness seems to have come over him, I don't know, but I promise to do my best to follow in his footsteps for the next three days, posting once or twice each day, pointing out a couple of outstanding blogposts that I have lately found. As I mentioned on my own blog, the honor is all mine!

Okay, on with it. I decided to use Milton's blogroll as a guide, checking out some of the bloggers that I don't visit often (so little time, so many good blogs). Well, it didn't take me long to find something outstanding:

Buzz Trexler of The Pastor's Buzz, whose words are definitely right on time. Buzz is talking about the human capacity for sin, and of how we all, most of the time, vastly underestimate that capacity in ourselves. We may watch some of the terrible things going on in New Orleans, and confidantly assure ourselves, "I would never do those things. I would never act that way. Not me."

The post is called But we're not like that . . . are we? Buzz is touching on profoundly important matters here, and applying a Scriptural understanding of human nature. I have heard much talk of Katrina being a punishment of God on New Orleans. But Buzz is looking at the essentially Pharisaic core of that understanding. He says:
If life is a story about me, then all things that would better my situation are acceptable -- even if it means that your life is degraded in order for mine to be upgraded. (Corporate greed is a prime example of such an attitude; after all, it's all about the bottom line, not about the people who produced the bottom line.)

In short, the lowest common denominator is ... sin.

As Don would say, "... the problem in the universe lives within me."
It's important stuff, to be read, really, in fear and trembling. I urge you to check it out.


Blogger Lyn said...

For me, the reason "I'm not like that" is that I'm self-decieved. On a line from top to bottom, I'm tops. Or on a scale from nice to nasty, of course I'm nice. But God's standard isn't the extreme end of a continuum. It is measured with a completely different rule called holiness - a standard that is a "cut above" and separate from all other comparisons. When we are looking up and down the line, we'll always find someone nastier than us. Only by revelation do we realize that we're all in the same line, marching away from God. Lyn (Also posted at The Pastor's Buzz)

11:24 PM, September 03, 2005  
Blogger Bob Spencer said...

I really like what you've offered here, Lyn. "Perspective" is all-important.

5:33 AM, September 04, 2005  
Blogger Lyn said...

Oops, Sorry Bob, Forgot to change the name from Buzz to you when I cutted and pasted! lgp

PS Our pastor offered a one liner today that speaks to this issue - "At least I'm a better looking sinner than the other guy." Hmm

1:47 PM, September 04, 2005  

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