Untitled Document

Why is God against Sin?

by Dallas M. Roark

Why is God so strongly set against sin? Why should He be so prohibitive against what seems to be obvious pleasures so long as “no one is hurt‘?”

                God is against sin because it is essentially self-deceptive. In many cases sin, in its initial stages, has the halo of innocence. In others a particular deed can be isolated from its effects and give the impression of harmlessness.

                A single drink of liquor in itself seems harmless. It has no relationship seemingly to drunkenness, but sin is not so disconnected. A single drink can pave the way to drunkenness. It opens the door to potential alcoholism and the attendant
ruin of humanity.

                Sex often receives the same treatment. Viewed as a normal part of marriage it has its own halo of happiness. Distorted and sought as an end in itself it leaves one deceived and unfulfilled.

                                Sin is Deceptive

Whatever the sin involved there is usually a deceptive element in it. But the most shocking thing about one’s involvement in sin is to come later to the unhappy realization that I am the kind of person that does these things.

                God warns against sin because it is  self-destroying. While we speak of sin as an act against God it is at the same time a damaging act against our own nature.

                We sometime speak of God’s sending men to hell for sin. The bluntness of this overlooks what sin does in the life of man. In sinning, one chooses to use his God-given freedom to act against God.   In respect to man’s freedom God makes the continuation of this rebellion in sin possible. Hell is the logical extension of freedom to sin-freedom to isolate one-self away from God’s goodness.

                The self-destructiveness of sin is unusual. The so-called “sins of the flesh” such as adultery, lust, and passion for pleasure tend to “burn out” with age. As one becomes older such sins lose their charm and much of their power simply because the body functions change. These sins are often loudly condemned when little is said of sins of the spirit or intellect.

                 These sins intensify with their performance. The pessimist becomes the prophet of doom as time goes on. The grumbler becomes the chronic grouch. The sins of the flesh do not intensify in the way that sins of the spirit do. On the other hand, the pursuit of goodness tends
to set a pattern of thought that cultivates goodness.

                There is profound insight in the idea that one becomes what one thinks. The epistle of James speaks of a temptation coming to the mind.  With it there is the toying of the idea.

                 With the fermenting idea comes the next step: I’ll do it. Desire based upon passionate lust gives birth to sin. Sin brings death (James 1:14-15).

                                Think on Good

                It is all the more important to think on things that are honorable, just, pure, and lovely as suggested in Phil. 4:8. What do you want to be? Think on that. This is not to suggest a mere power of mind over matter or some form of self- improvement. But it does recognize the command of Scripture that it is a “shame even to speak of the things” that the heathen do (Eph. 5 : 12).

                Certainly this goes for thinking also. Thinking on meaningful things is simply recognizing the truth that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:1-2).

                 God has set himself against sin because sin is self-centered. The Christian message has always been proclaimed against pride.

                Pride is not to be understood as swellheadedness as the word usually implies. Instead, it speaks of creating a self-styled universe around one’s ego. Pride brings separation between people as well as between God and man.

C. S. Lewis points out that between drunkards there can be friendship and mutual appreciation. But friendship and fellowship are not possible in a group of proud men. Each wants the preeminence. Self-centeredness in sin cuts off one from all meaningful fellowship--between men and God.

                Herein lies part of the answer concerning heaven. There are no proud men in heaven. The proud man chooses to be the center of the universe and does not relate himself to the true center--God.

                It would be a terrible imposition on God’s part to place a man in heaven where he does not choose to be. Heaven is for the one who casts away pride and vanity to find fellowship in Jesus Christ. These are not the only reasons that God is against sin. Essentially sin creates a distorted picture of all of life. He is against everything that harms man himself which is what sin does.

                God is against anything that makes it impossible for man to see himself in true perspective. He is against anything that would destroy ourselves. God is not against real fun. But is there any meaningful fun without seeing through the veil of sin unto God Himself?

 Baptist Standard.1969

Dallas M. Roark is associate professor of philosophy and religion at
Kansas State Teachers College.