- "A Musing Pastor"
Changing the name doesn't change the content.
I walked into the local discount store yesterday and immediately scrunched my nose. Phew! What the heck is that smell?? I literally paused and looked around. I'm sure the person behind me was wondering what I was doing. I grew up on a farm and have an exceptional intestinal constitution. But man, the smell was strong and in your face (well, actually your nose). Then I looked ahead of me and down on the floor and there it was.....processed cow poop. Fertilizer, lawn food, growth facilitator, plant food, and any other fancy name you want to apply to it doesn't make it smell any better. It is still manure, dung, poop, excrement, crap, feces, and that which comes out of the south end of a northbound animal, etc.
Naturally, I had to walk closer to see the bags and get a better whiff. Upon checking out the label, I chuckled when I saw the name. Lawn food!!!! Ha. Ha. Ha. Yes, of course it is. Lawns have to eat and get healthy! Ba ha ha ha ha....!!!!! It is manure! Call it what it is. IT'S MANURE!
"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry." (2 Timothy 4:2-5, NIV)
We certainly have a tough time dealing with sin. It isn't that sin can't be dealt with. Jesus came to defeat the curse of our sin and conquer the power of death and He did so magnificently! The problem lies with our ignoring the danger of sin and in some cases renaming our actions with a more flowery descriptor. If we call our sins (things that create separation between God and us) an alternative lifestyle or claim God made us with said sin already in place is to defame and undermine God's original design for us. What God designed in Genesis 1-2 was good; dare I say holy or at the very least godly. Humanity chose to wander away from God's plan to do our own thing. With choice came responsibility and with that came our willingness to shirk the responsibility to obey.
With new names for sin, we plunge forward blindly and move away from God who so desires to have close relationship with us. We deny the holiness of God and believe the sins we cling to are no longer an afront to God. We reason that God is gracious and would never judge us for our choices. Right and wrong! It is right to say God is gracious because that is God's nature. But it is also incorrect to say God would not judge us for our choices. God does judge with righteousness and holiness. The last qualifier lays humanity wide open to consider two things. Sin is bad and separates us from God. Calling sin something other than what it is is not helping us one bit. It is sort of like the US government calling an ordinary hammer an 'elongated force-filled fastener enhancer'. It's a hammer; call it what it is. It's a HAMMER!
Our sins are gap inducing, relationship eroding, back stabbing, life sapping, hope robbing, peace grabbing, holy reducing curses sent from the devil to kill us. The next time you hear someone call sin something fancy and flowery, pause and swallow hard. Ponder the distance that just occurred between the one who said it and the God who created them. Calling manure "lawn food" doesn't change the cold hard fact that manure is still manure. Friends, sin is still sin.