FIRST-PERSON: The far-reaching consequences of sin

Baptist Press
Posted: Aug 02, 2013 5:22 PM
ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- The reality of sin is fundamental in the Christian understanding of human nature. Falling short of God's standards is one of the ways the Bible describes sin's operation in a person's life.

The ways sin manifests itself in a life are manifold. An individual's sin produces everything from religious self-righteousness to senseless evil and all sorts of perversions in between.

It is no secret that modernity rejects the idea of sin as described in the Bible. "There is no sin except stupidity," said the Irish writer Oscar Wilde.

"Everything that used to be sin," observed comedian Bill Maher, "is now a disease." American modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham said, "The only sin is mediocrity."

Though the reality of sin is downplayed and even dismissed by many in contemporary society, its presence is self-evident and its consequences inescapable. Just consider the packaging of most any product these days.

Everything from a bottle of aspirin to underwear is hermetically sealed and ensconced in layers of plastic and protective wrapping. It requires a jaws-of-life tool just to extricate the product from its packaging.

Consumer products have to be protected because of sin. A person taints a bottle of medicine with poison, and tamper resistant packaging is a result. Someone rips into a box in order to steal an item, and a plastic Fort Knox is used to deter the thief.

Not only does the heightened security add to the cost of consumer products, it also introduces a frustration factor when trying to open the packaging. I recently purchased an item from a hardware store and almost resorted to a power tool to pry open the package.

When you consider the secure packaging of consumer products, it is evident that sin affects everyone. It only takes one or two people bent on evil to cause a chain reaction that touches many lives.

If a homosexual couple in England have their way, sin will affect the entirety of the United Kingdom. If their action inspires couples in other countries, they could well impact the world.

Barrie Drewitt-Barlow is one half of a British homosexual couple that is planning to sue the Church of England in an effort to force the church to perform "gay" nuptials, according to the Essex Chronicle.

"Britain finally legalized gay marriage when the Queen gave her royal stamp of approval on July 17 after the bill was introduced in January," the Chronicle said.

"But religious organizations will have to 'opt in' on performing gay marriages, and the Church of England and Catholic Church are not willing," the Chronicle reported.

"I want to go into my church and marry my husband," Barrie Drewitt-Barlow told the Chronicle. "As much as people are saying this is a good thing I am still not getting what I want."

"It upsets me because I want it so much -- a big lavish ceremony, the whole works ...," the Chronicle reported Drewitt-Barlow as saying. "The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church."

Drewitt-Barlow made history in 1999 when he and his partner Tony "became Britain's first gay surrogate parents and have now fathered five children through surrogacy," the Chronicle said.

Those who insist the Bible somehow sanctions homosexual behavior and, by extension, homosexual marriage are, at best, misguided and, at worst, just plain wrong.

Those who would seek to force a church to violate its fundamental tenets display just how self-centered they truly are. "I want what I want when I want it, and I will make you accommodate me," is their mantra. Sounds much like a 2-year-old, doesn't it?

Speaking of 2-year-olds, if ever there was irrefutable evidence for the reality of a sin nature it is in observing a toddler. There is no more selfish being on the planet than a 2-year-old.

You do not have to teach a toddler to be bad, they come fully equipped and ready to rebel. You have to teach a child to be good.

You have to teach a toddler to be kind, to share, to be honest, etc. They are quite accomplished at being bad because they enter the world with a sin nature intact and fully functioning.

I predict Drewitt-Barlow and his partner's actions will be copied in the United States.

Some homosexual couples in America will sue churches for the same reason the couple is suing in Britain. They are motivated by a desire to force every facet of society to bow down and accept homosexuality as natural, normal and healthy.

"All human sin seems so much worse in its consequences than in its intentions," observed theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. The intent of sin is always selfish, but the consequences are many times far-reaching. Think about that the next time you try to open a bottle of aspirin or ponder gay marriage.

Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press, director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention's office of public affairs, and editor of the Baptist Message,, newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook ( and in your email (

Copyright (c) 2013 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press