Tuesday 19 July 2016

Repentance and the sexual revolution

My interpretation of this is from the perspective that repentance is something close-to being the core value of Christianity. The Liberals are correct that God does not (it would be ridiculous) expect perfect behave from us, and that lapses (including sexual lapses) are forgiven. 

But this absolutely requires repentance. 

So when we behave suboptimally we must repent that failure and must not defend the lapses - must not say that our failures are not-really failures. 

The trend for the past two or three generations has been to assert that sexual morality is not such a big things as all that - especially, it is not the core value of Christianity, and is sometimes over-emphasised. Other things are more important in and of themselves. Sexual sinners are not the worst kind of sinners. Sexual virtue is difficult, and nobody wholly achieves it (in the privacy of their own minds). Hypocrisy is rampant.

All this is true - but that merely means that failure in sexual morality is is frequent - it does not mean that failure in sexual morality is unimportant; and it certainly does not mean that failure is actually success!

If (or when) we do make this claim that sin is not sin - then that itself becomes a further sin which itself requires repentance. 

When I say any sin (including sexual sin) 'must' be repented I mean this as a personal principle. It is not a matter of God punishing us for failing to repent - it is that by failing to repent we choose to reject God; we choose to reject God's created order; the actual failure to repent is itself the rejection

We thereby damn ourselves. 

Failure to repent - even minor or sub-primary sins - simply is, in itself, our personal choice to reject salvation.

Since choice (free will/ agency) is a real fact of Life, then this represents self-damnation. In fact this is what damnation actually-is. 

The gates of heaven are open - that was the gift of Christ; but we have-to want-to go in under our own steam, we cannot be shoved-in. 

Failing to repent - that is, failing to acknowledge-the-reality-of our sins and other failures - is merely a roundabout way of rejecting divine order, of saying that we personally do not want what God has to offer - and preferring to 'go it alone'. 

And if that is what we want, that is what we will get.


William Wildblood said...

Failure to repent is a sort of pride and pride is the number one sin.

Hoyos said...

On hypocrisy, I think some clarification is in order because muddiness on this issue has proven an extraordinary snare as well as muddiness on what constitutes a sin.

A true hypocrite is not someone who says one thing and does another, but someone who pretends to believe something for personal gain. Think more of the fake faith healer or the man that uses the church for power or self enrichment, he doesn't actually believe any of it, but he knows if he can convince others he does, he stands to benefit. This is important because Jesus is hard on hypocrites, and many Christians have ironically been held back from doing much good by admonishing others or even themselves for fear of being a "hypocrite". I have seen this misunderstanding push people in to actual sin for fear of being "inconsistent" since that would be a greater sin in this misunderstanding!

Next we need to return to the clear distinction between temptation and sin. As a young man a poor distinction here convinced me that temptation to lust and lust were the same thing, and this led to a terrible despair of triumphing over temptation at all! I was far from alone in this. In fact most of the young Christian men I know ended up essentially "giving up" on this issue because we were borderline taught that any sexual instinct was in fact lust, which was just as bad as adultery itself, which was horrible. It was a despair factory.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Hoyos - See also https://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/for-secular-modernity-hypocrisy-is.html

G. said...

Failure to repent can sometimes be a sort of smug taking-God-for-granted: yeah, I'm doing wrong, but the Big Guy will fix it. That attitude diminishes one's love for and relationship with Him.