A Sin Christians Ignore

If you had to guess as to what sin Christians ignore what would you say it is?

There are lots of sins. Christians have often elevated some sins above others. In the 80′s divorce was the equivalent of having the bubonic plague. In the 2000′s homosexuality was the hot topic sin of the times.

There is a sin that I think has done way more damage than a divorced homosexual with a bunch of bubons on their face.

It’s a sin that seems to be ignored.

The Church is so concerned with major sins, correct theology, and the devil but seems to have ignored a major issue. I’m talking HUGE. Gigantor.

“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.” Titus 3:10-11

That’s not the only verse.

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” Philippians 2:14-15.

Or try this one on for size.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

In that list Christians would highlight sexual immorality, impurity, Harry Potter, orgies, and drunkenness, as major sins. You’ve probably heard many a sermons on it. And yet somehow the church ignores the other words in this verse. You know words like… DISCORD, DISSENSIONS, FACTIONS and the like.

A negative divisive person can do more harm in a church than any other major sin you can think of. Negativity breeds negativity. It’s a cancer.

In fact Satan goes on vacation when Christians allow the sin of negativity to live in the church. In other words Satan doesn’t have to do any work when Christians go negative. Negative Christians do his work for him.

One negative word turns to thousands of negative thoughts. Negative thoughts spread to more negative words.

It’s such a major issue that Paul told us to have nothing to do with divisive people. Negative people can’t shine for God. Christians are supposed to shine.

It’s so easy to focus on the BIG sins of others while having a blind eye to our own. When it comes to grumbling, complaining, and discord it’s as if most Christians have plucked out their eyes.

Discord is a sign of either not knowing Jesus or clear unrepentant sin.

Now this doesn’t mean that we can never offer constructive criticism. This doesn’t mean that we can’t challenge each other. That type of conversation can be healthy.

It’s the behind the back, behind the keyboard, behind the veil of pride that causes so much harm.

When it comes to negativity most people don’t really want an answer. If they did they would go to someone who could do something about the problem. The church negativity that I’ve seen over and over again has nothing to do with problem solving. It has to do with finding people who will agree with you.

It’s cancer.

It’s unholy.

It’s the sin that Christians ignore.

Have you seen negativity in the church? What’s the cure for being negative? What sin did you think this post was about?

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

24 Comments

  1. December 2, 2013

    I see this all of the time. The divisive people phrases like they are helping fight false teaching. They will say that since those they are taking to task are public they can too. What they don’t do is try to raise the standard of the fight they are fighting.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Larry, I’m with you on that. The negative blogs and tweets out there drive me crazy.

      Reply
  2. December 2, 2013

    It’s amazing to me how people will agree so readily with you about bringing negativity into the church, how they will wag their fingers at those who do this, but if you watch them or listen to them, they are just as much a source of negativity as so many others. As for me, it is a struggle for me to stay positive. Just like I judge people outside of the church to help make myself feel better at times, I do the same thing in church. It seems that everywhere I go, it is all about me. This is something that I have to work on every day

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Daniel, no doubt. That floors me. It goes right along with the people who complain to me about how bad their church is but when I suggest that they leave they look at me like I told them to discombobulate themselves.

      Reply
  3. DP
    December 2, 2013

    Yes, negativity is everywhere. Like cancer I don’t know that there is a cure, I think one has to be mindful of it in their own life and fight it as best one can.

    I didn’t really try to think of what it could be about, but your selection didn’t surprise me. I think Christians (myself included) ignore or address only superficially most sins. You could have said anything and I probably wouldn’t have disagreed. I wish I cared more about the less fortunate because addressing their physical needs is far closer to God’s heart and a bigger part of what it means to be a Christian than most acknowledge.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      DP, no doubt! I do think helping the poor is a thing that is grossly looked over. We as a church have a lot of work to do.

      Reply
  4. jebatthebeach
    December 2, 2013

    Negativity breeds negativity. It’s so easy to agree with someone and even add to it then to not say anything or even take it a step further and say something positive or say that you do to want to partake in a negative conversation. Unfortunately it’s all over the church. I didn’t have a fat clue what sin u were getting to.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Joan, we’ve got to make sure it’s not all over Next Level. We are trying to raise the bar on the church culture and this is a HUGE way that we need to do that. I appreciate you.

      I hope you feel better really soon. Sorry you are sick.

      Reply
  5. shepherdmim
    December 2, 2013

    Yes, discord and dissension create a lot of pain. I grew up with a family member who thrives on divisive behavior; I try to treat her with respect, but have had to separate from her. I thought you might be going for gluttony.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Mim, a few people have thought it was going to be gluttony. I do think that’s a problem but I don’t see that as one of the major themes of the New Testament.

      Reply
  6. December 2, 2013

    most definitely gotta agree with you Rob. Preachers are the worst, not only with ignoring it but also as a culprit.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Bill, no doubt. Pastors complain about other churches, tear down other pastors, and then wonder why so much negativity is in their church.

      Reply
  7. December 2, 2013

    What a wonderful post! I am pretty sure many preachers have a unified goal with the church body to actually “grow” in numbers. Unfortunately, the proof is in the pudding. The churches with highest attendance or bigger numbers tend to not focus on as many “looked over” sins identified in the bible as churches with smaller numbers. Nobody likes the complete raw truth so they go to whatever church that makes it easier for them to swallow, often by adding/subtracting their own flare to a dish that has been the same for many years.

    I thought you were gonna mention something about abortion for some reason but then i remembered that our tax dollars pay for it, so it must be okay. :)

    Yeah im still working on the “being negative” part…thanks for helping me with this today!

    Reply
  8. LindaE
    December 2, 2013

    So true. And I’m glad you mentioned, “If they did they would go to someone who could do something about the problem.” I’ve seen this happen at church, in the workplace, and even in families – “grumble, complain, moan and groan” to everyone but the but the people who they’re complaining about. I think that’s when it’s no longer “constructive criticism” and turns becomes negativity.

    I thought the sin was going to be idolatry.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Linda, no doubt. Complaining just to complain is unproductive and destructive.

      Reply
  9. Joshua Saunders
    December 2, 2013

    This is why I find it so hard to talk about the Church (as opposed to individual church’s) because I have yet to find a way to deliver what I believe without it being overtly negative.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Josh, I hear ya on that. With out knowing what you are thinking completely my response may not fit. I think one way to do it is to talk about what you want to see happen as opposed to what is not happening. What is not happening can be negative and can lead to frustration because we want something that is not happening to happen. Focusing on what you are going to do changes your perspective. For me it was starting a church that made a difference in the community. I wanted to see that happen because it wasn’t. Does that make sense? What are your thoughts?

      Reply
  10. Charlotte-Marie
    December 2, 2013

    Thanks Rob!
    I thought you were going to say, Gluttony. Yes, I have a piece on that one. Whew!

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Charlotte-Marie, that seems to be the winner. Gluttony is something that is hard to hide for sure. I wear mine around my gut.

      Reply
  11. kelly miller
    December 2, 2013

    I’ve personally changed out my friend closet 3 times in the last year due to negativity. I do try to be a good helper, a lifter and a giver. It hurts so bad when the time comes to let go but, you can only throw your pearls to swine for so long. I will admit to times when I was mad at God and myself because I couldn’t reach someone and change them for what I thought was the better. We may think we can change situations around us. When the solution comes, it’s when our desires change. I desire Jesus.

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Kelly, great word. Jesus does change things when we seek after Him.

      Reply
  12. December 2, 2013

    I wasn’t sure what you were going to say. I was thinking along the lines of greed, since it’s right after the gross display of material idolatry that is black Friday. Nevertheless, I think you nailed it, Rob. The cure to negativity can be found in some verses that are probably just as ignored as the sin to which you refer. Romans 14:19 says, “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Romans 15:2 says, “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” And then, Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Can you even imagine what the world would look like if just Christians lived by those commands??

    Reply
    • December 2, 2013

      Jeff, Christians would turn the world upside down if they lived like that. Radical.

      Reply

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