August 11, 2007

Willful Rebellion

Pastor David Petersen has an insightful post on naming sin. He speaks about homosexuality as just one type of sexual sin - which is really just a broader category of selfishness. Here's an excerpt:

The problem in naming sin is when we don't, when we name instead addiction or victimization or circumstances beyond my control. If we recognize that our real problem is not simply a genetic predisposed toward homosexuality (or alcoholism or kleptomania) but is a willful rebellion against God, seeking to force from God's hand what He has not given, when we confess that have been selfish and cruel and hurt God, self, and neighbor in our actions, then we are on to something. In this way, the naming of sins (lust, greed, gossip, pettiness, anger, etc.) and the commandment that has been violated in prayer is helpful to the soul in turmoil. It identifies the enemy. This is also what we do in private confession.
Psychology can be helpful - but there is a real problem in identifying such sins as diseases or psychological problems to be overcome, rather than sins. I entirely agree with his divulging the "secret" that sexual sins are "big, sweeping, nearly universal problems." Patience is often required when dealing with such sins - yet the time must come when the persistent sin is identified as Petersen identifies it: "willful rebellion against God."

1 comment:

VirginiaLutherans said...

Unfortunately, the ELCA seems bent on ignoring this very fact. I hope the LC-MS doesn't suffer the same amnesia and calls any sin a sin, regardless of who, what, or when.