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5.15.2006    |    Experts on sin
One of my favorite stained glass bluegrass gospel songs has a line that goes something like this:
You're not too bad to come in, and you're not too good to stay out
That's come in, or stay out, of church.

It gets at one of the foundational purposes for our Christian church: a place where sinners learn about salvation. And, as we should all know by now, the first steps in salvation are knowing what is sin, and then knowing that we are sinners. This simple thought, that seems to escape many who attend church, always on their best behavior, is, as usual, best expressed in the Gospel. From Matthew: 9
10And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 12But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
A church, in different words, is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. Bible-based churches learn about sin, from the Fall in Genesis to the ultimate betrayal of the Son of God in the Gospels. Paul is also quite vocal about what constitutes a Christian life, and perhaps has led to the misconception shared by many that we must be pure as the driven snow to show our faces in the museum on Sunday morn.

Well, fellow sinners, if the Bible teaches us nothing else, we should become experts in knowing sin. With God's unwarranted grace, we may, just may, learn that there is One who has suffered, bled, and died a heinous death on the cross for our sins.

Those who are on the outside, or those who think themselves too good to need saving, may not know sin. But sin knows them. And will find them in the end.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.