The Epidemic of Rationalization

Posted: March 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Christians across our great nation seem to be plagued by a sweeping epidemic. This epidemic can be characterized by one word: rationalization. Poor choices are often swept away with explanations that are meant to make a sinful choice look allowable.

I know several Christians that are sr. citizens that choose to live together. While they understand what the Bible says about avoiding the appearance of evil and the teachings it promotes in regards to marriage they have an answer. They excuse their sinful lifestyle choice by stating that if they should get married that they will lose social security money. Part of me gets bothered by this fact. I find it to be deplorable that a government would penalize people for marriage. Yet by using this as a rationalization, they are saying that their pocketbooks are more important than God’s standards.

At the end of the day, all I have is my integrity. Was I honest? Did I live by the standards that God set in place for me to live by? Or did I choose to do what I wanted and offer an explanation as to why my agenda was more important than Gods?

Unfortunately for most believers, they believe that sin is just a normal part of life for them. While this may be true, it is not how it is supposed to be for believers. Take Romans 3.23 as an example. It is often quoted by believers not as a fact about the world they live in but as an excuse to sin. After all, all have sinned. I fit in that category.

Here is where we seem to fall short as we exegete Romans 3.23. We offer the conclusion that based on Romans 3.23 that of us have sinned and will sin. However, when you study Romans 3.23 in the Greek, one will find that the phrase have sinned was originally written in the aorist tense. It is looking back at sin as something that took place historically in the past. The discussion of Romans 3.23 in regards to salvation isn’t to bring about whether or not someone is sinning now or will sin in the future but to say you have sinned in the past and therefore are guilty of God’s judgment. This verse does not give license to sin but establishes what condition we were living in before we acknowledged Christ as our Savior.

Time and time again the Apostle Paul compares the past lives of believers with their current lives. He also states in Romans 8.12 that we are no longer under obligation to the flesh. In other words, we do not have to sin. Rather in studying chapter 8 of Romans, one will be overcome with the realization that sin always is a result of ignoring the Spirit. Sin will forever be a choice. We do not need to sin. What we need to do is yield ourselves to the Spirit and live with integrity as believers. Let’ not confuse the world with what a Christian ought to look like. Let’s tell them with our lips and show them with our lives.

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Comments
  1. Robin Morse says:

    AMEN JON!

    Like

  2. Randy Smith says:

    I think you have hit the nail on the head. As a fellow pastor I know the burden of people not living up to the expectations that Christ would have for them. In 1 Corinthians it says to keep the marriage bed undefiled. The bible is constantly talking about adultery, fornication, and sexual sins and yet we allow ourselves to be caught up in them time and time again. We make excuses, they needed a place to stay, we are going to get married, and various others. I think it is a shame that you call yourself a Christian and fail to follow the guidelines and practices that are outline in the scriptures. I am not saying that you have to follow perfectly and that you will never mess up, I am saying that you don’t live in open rebellion and sin. The reason the church is failing to reach people is because of “Christians” that are really false prophets because they are leading people away from the true gospel. Even though we are sinners we have to start telling ourselves that we are now messangers of God’s grace and the world will look at us and base their idea on God off of that.

    Like

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