My lovely wife, Valerie, has been going through containers of “keepsakes” and “treasures” which have been packed away for the last two years, or so. What was supposed to be a library in our house had turned into a “put it there until we figure out where to put it” storage facility.
Within one of the plastic totes full of seemingly random notes, old greeting cards, and priceless “I LOVE YOU” drawings made by our little girls were old sermon outlines. I don’t know why they were there, but I’m glad they were preserved.
One of the outlines is one I preached, but I don’t remember when or where. Honestly, I don’t even remember if it was original or borrowed. Therefore, I won’t take credit (at least not all of it) for what I’m going to share. Just know, whoever developed this outline, he was preaching the truth!
How to Love Sin in Seven Easy Steps
“Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good.” – Romans 12:9
To be clear, the following is an outline showing the progression one can make from that of hating (abhorring) sin, to that of loving it with equal passion.
At this stage, even the mention of sin is shocking. One might ask, “How could anyone even do that?” Unfortunately, even though it is a good thing that one abhors (hates; is totally repulsed by it) a particular sin, the danger – the crack in the foundation – is to understand that “God says that is sin; but I don’t know why.”
Folks, if you will remember, Eve took of the fruit when offered because her doctrine was off a bit. In other words, the message she’d been taught (by Adam) was that touching the fruit was deadly. In her mind she knew what God supposedly thought, but she didn’t know the “why.” That’s where legalism begins, and ultimately apostacy.
Step two on the path to loving sin is becoming more aware of the sin. You know it’s there, you’ve heard more about it, and it’s not quite so shocking the more you hear of it. Granted, it’s still HORRIBLE to you at this point, and you cannot for the life of you see how anyone could get involved in it.
This is one of the greatest dangers we face in modern times – the increase of knowledge. In centuries past, even up to the mid-20th century, many shameful sins were hidden from the general public (Ephesians 5:12). Back in those days it was shocking that someone you knew was caught smoking cigarettes in the school bathroom. Now the sky’s the limit with what children can get away with, even in the classroom!
Years ago, it wasn’t that we would have just been shocked by where the sin was committed; we would have shocked to even hear that such a sin existed!
The third step toward loving sin begins when some sort of contact with the sin is made. In other words, it’s no longer something you’ve heard about in sermons or gossip; it’s something with which you’ve had a run in.
Often what happens at this stage is that your belief about the sin isn’t affected, but the contact (i.e., association with someone who commits the sin) develops curiosity. Oh, you still think this sin is wrong, even abhorrent, but you’re beginning to become accustomed to it. Still disturbing, but not as shocking.
This is the stage where so many Christians are right now. They’ve watched so much television, movies, and social media that they are no longer shocked, but they’ve come to accept sin as a matter of choice.
As a matter of fact, it is during this stage toward loving sin when morals become relative. You assimilate into the thinking that there is “good and bad in all things.” Personally, you think the sin is wrong, but it’s not as big an issue anymore.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;1 Timothy 4:1-2
At this step you are not only well on your way to loving sin, but your feet are tripping over each other as you run down the slippery slope. This is the “Devil’s Advocate” stage.
After being around those who are regularly practicing a sin (not just on media, but in your associations), you start to believe that maybe the sin in question was not as bad as you first thought. Granted, you don’t actually get involve, per se, but you become defensive of those that are involved. You become an advocate, a fellow-traveler, and create “safe places” where the sin can be affirmed.
At this stage you have forgotten your original feelings, the ones you now see as “backward,” and focus on “redeeming values” that outweigh the bad.
Here we are at step 6, the point in your journey where you begin participating on some lower level. If nothing else, you would not say you’re fully into it; you’re just experimenting and having fun.
Regardless of your level of participation, the sin in question is no longer in question. You start saying things like, “God must have been talking about something different.” As a matter of fact, now you become more of a Bible and Theology expert than ever before! If anyone challenges your exegesis, you become terribly defensive, for this is now part of your life’s fabric.
What was evil is now good – what was good is now evil. You’ve done an about flip and now adore the thing you once abhorred.
Non-involvement becomes total involvement and is accompanied by championing praise for the sin and those who commit it. You’re proud of it, actually.
You’ve now become a lover of sin, and all it took were seven easy steps.
Wasn’t hard, was it?
Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, “Wherein have we wearied him?” When ye say, “Everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them;” or, “Where is the God of judgment?” – Malachi 2:17
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD. – Proverbs 17:15
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20