It would be easy for me, and us as a church, to become known primarily as the pastor or church that abhors homosexuality. Or drunkeness. Or… you fill in the blank.
I hope I don’t and we don’t. While we do not want to ignore moral issues of our day, Scripture warns that those who think they stand should take heed lest they fall (I Cor. 10:12). It’s easy to be loud & disgusted about certain sins and in our outrage be detracted from the foxes spoiling our own garden.
Below is an excerpt from a sermon preached back in 1890 by CH Spurgeon. He aims his axe at the root: pride must be put to death all the way to the grave.
Many men are violent against one sin; but the true saint abhors all sin. You are a teetotaler; I am very glad to hear it: you will not allow the sin of drunkenness to have dominion over you. But are you selfish and ungenerous? Have you learned habits of strict economy in regard to religious donations, so that you always give a penny where you ought to give a pound? What have you done? You have only changed your idols. You have dethroned one usurper to set up another.
If you were once profane and are now hypocritical, you have only changed iniquities. It is a very curious thing how one sin feeds on another: the death of profligacy may be the resurrection of greed; the flight of pride may be the advent of shameless folly. The man who was lewd, riotous, brawling and irreligious has killed those sins, and on their graves he has sown a handful of a poisonous weed called pride, and it flourishes amazingly.
It may be London pride, country pride, or English pride, or American pride; but it is rare stuff to grow, and to grow over the rotting carcasses of other sins. Unbelief may dethrone superstition, but its own reign may be no real improvement upon that of credulity [gullibility].
If you only throw down Baal to set up Ashteroth, what progress have you made towards God? Little does it signify [matter] which of the false gods is set up in the temple of Jehovah, for he hates them all. The right prayer is, “Let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”
Some sins are of respectable repute and other sins are disreputable among men; but to a child of God every sin is loathsome. Sins are all what Bunyan (in Pilgrim’s Progress) calls Diabolonians and not one of them must be suffered to live in the town of ManSoul. “Let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” I can see the throne set up within the heart of man. Who shall sit on it? It cannot be empty; who shall fill it? This sin, that sin, or the other? Nay, Lord, help me to keep every intruder out of it.
Whether he come as an angel of light, or in his true character as the devil, help me to treat everyone as an enemy that would seek to supplant thee in thy dominion over me. Oh, that God may reign over us from morn to eve, through every day of every week of every year!