A complicated scenario of sin, homosexuality, affairs, forgiveness, mercy, and grace

In light of recent current events and discussions about sin and the ELCA decision, I want to propose a hypothetical complex scenario and find out what people think.

The story is a about 2 couples Rothchild and Evelyn (Couple1) and Reuben and Sue (Couple 2).

Rothchild and Evelyn met in college as did Reuben and Sue.  Evelyn grew up a Christian and the other 3 maybe had some off and on faith discussions but nothing ongoing.

Reuben and Sue got married first and they joined a Church and grew in their faith… but things were not always perfect.  Reuben and Sue had a tough time connecting as husband and wife and eventually Reuban had an affair.  They made the decision to work on their marriage and Reuben sincerely turned and struggled against his flesh to remain faithful to Sue.  They worked things out to the point where things were better in their marriage than before the affair.  They marraige still ebbs up and down but they have a deep understanding of the human condition of sin that they did not have before.

Shortly before Rothchild and Evelyn met they had a friend that “came out” in his homosexuality.  Evelyn told their friend it was a sin but that she also loved him… but the idea of love was words… she really was a very self rigtheouss person in how she viewed sin.  Their gay friend also reminded Rothchild and Evelyn they were living in sin since they were having sex before marriage.  On top of all of this as people got to know Evelyn over the years she seemed to look down on people in sin in lots of different ways.  Evelyn had a pharasaical self righteoussness and had a singradation scale that was always on her mind. In other words, the sins out there were really bad…. but her religious, self righteouss sins were not nearly as bad. Her pharasaical, self righteuss way of going about herself split a very tight friend-network … not just the homosexual friend.  Even when islamic people would walk into a restaurant Evelyn would speek louder so they would over hear her as if this would make a difference to them…. her self righteouss continued to show up in small ways and consistently.

Like many Christians do Evelyn spent a lot of her interpretation of scripture mapping the old covenant on top of a the New Covenant and not living in the freedom of the New Covenant.  Evelyn at times in her life felt as if her salvation was not secure and as if God was not shining his love on her.  This self righteoussness Evelyn had came out in a number of small ways over the years that they knew Reuben and Sue always making Reuben and Sue wonder how close they wanted to be to Evelyn.

Several years into their marriage Evelyn found out her husband, Rothchild,  had an addiction to pornography.  Rothchild struggled against his flesh to remain faithful to Evelyn and repented daily.  Rothchilds struggle with pornography was very bad and hard, but complicating things just as much was Evelyns pharasaical self rigtheoussness… especially in light of pornography.

When Sue found out about Reubens affair she went to the most scripturally “Holy” friend she knew …. Evelyn for support.  A couple of years later or so when Evelyn found out about her husbands pornography addiction Evelyn did not allow Reuben to meet with Rothchild for an accountability lunch, pretty much ending the friendship.

Which sins are worse… the homosexuality, the affair, pornography, or the self righteoussness?

If Evelyn has finally seen her self righteossnes as sin should the couples reconcile?

How do you see this in your worldview and scriptural understanding?

In light of the ELCA discussion how would you respond to the couples and people like this?

Is this an uncommon scenario?

11 thoughts on “A complicated scenario of sin, homosexuality, affairs, forgiveness, mercy, and grace

  1. Sarah Robison

    To the question ‘which sins are worse’ I would have to say that they are all equally “bad”. I don’t believe in categorizing sin in a way that puts sinners on uneven ground. The truth of the matter is, we were all spiritually dead before Jesus died and was resurrected. The key term there is, dead. Not guilty or bad, dead. You can’t be more dead than another. It is a pretty absolute condition. So, if we were all once dead and Christ gave us life, that leads me to my assumption that no sin is worse than the other. I believe self-righteousness is a crippling sin that needs to be dealt with just as much as addiction, sexual immorality, and marital unfaithfulness. The worst thing any of these people could do would be to not recognize their need for a savior.

  2. centralityofthegospel Post author

    Sarah, the uneven ground idea is one I brough up a while back — good resurrecting point. Your spot-on Sarah on the dead part of it. 🙂 The good news is hebrews 9 where as we just read our sin is as far as the east is from the west:

    Heb 9:28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

    Key Words: Without reference to our sin

    Sin absolutely kills but Christ absolutely gives life.

  3. Sarah Robison

    I read the uneven ground post…it was very good. I’m not sure how I missed it when it was originally posted. The reference to total depravity is a great point that many Christians overlook. I don’t know if it’s just me or not, but rejecting pharisaic mentality and embracing one of equality among sinners encourages me so much. Does that makes sense? Meaning, It is more beneficial for me to rest in the assurance and complete freedom offered through Christ than to dwell on individual sins of mine or others. The Hebrews 9 verse just keeps coming to me. The without reference to sin aspect of it is amazing!

  4. centralityofthegospel Post author

    I think you actually posted under it under my previous BLOG name! 🙂

  5. centralityofthegospel Post author

    It makes so much sense to me Sarah…. especially in light of my own personal experiences. The problem I have at, especially in one specific circumstance, is reverse legalism… or I call it grace legalism. That is having an unloving heart toward unloving pharisees.

    The good news is I recognize it so if all else fails I can learn to hold my tongue when confronted by this… and then also learn to love them more over time.

    Martin Luther believed legalism was mans default mode of thinking…. I tend to agree…. thats why he would preach and re-preach the Gospel and the New Covenant of Christ again and again and again.

  6. Sarah Robison

    I’ve never given much thought to the concept of reverse legalism. To tell you the truth, I’ve never even realized it until you mentioned it. But, I agree, that is just as dangerous and harmful. I struggle with it as well.

    I also agree with the Martin Luther statement.

  7. centralityofthegospel Post author

    I actuaully hope more people post on this. Thsi complex scenario is timely in light of the ELCA thing going on.

    Its a good time to confess the depth of our/mans sin and that simultaneously Christ has declared me perfect due to HIs sacrifice because the ELCA wants to just say its socially acceptable and ignore sola scriptura.

  8. centralityofthegospel Post author

    One of the points I want to make is because all righteoussness comes from what Christ did for me, I cant really look down on other sinners because their brand of sin is just …. different from mine!

    Everything I have comes to me through Jesus Christ…. how can I look down on other people. How cant I have compassion for people struggling with sin…. if its only different from my own sin?

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