Ken Connor

The Bible is a book of bad news and good news.

First the bad news: Human beings are sinners. Our sin separates us from a holy and righteous God, provokes his wrath, and causes us to ultimately suffer death and eternal separation from Him. (Rom. 3:23, Rom.1:18, Col.3:6). More bad news: We are without excuse. As a result of our wickedness, we have suppressed the truth about God made known to us and are deserving of his righteous wrath. (Rom. 1:16-32)

That's a bitter pill to swallow, but it's not the end of the story. There is good news.

The good news: We don't have to pay the high price of our sin ourselves. Jesus paid it for us. Although he lived a sinless life, because of God's great love for us (John 3:16), he sacrificed his Son to atone for our sins. We can be redeemed from our sin by accepting the free gift of eternal life that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. And if that weren't enough, God even supplies the faith for us. "For by grace have you been saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves—it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast." (Eph. 2:8-9)

None of us like bad news, and it's natural to avoid it. However, it's surprising to see a church edit the news as reported in the Bible and rewrite it so that it will be more palatable to its congregants. Case in point: The Committee on Congregational Song of The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) recently voted to exclude the popular modern hymn "In Christ Alone" from their hymnal because it included the line "Till on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied." Apparently recognizing the popularity of the song, the Committee asked the hymn's authors for permission to change the end of that line to "the love of God was magnified" in order to be included in their hymnal. The authors refused to make the change. The Committee, it appears, couldn't abide the idea of God's wrath, so the song was left out of the hymnal.


Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.
 


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