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?