RSS Feed

Tag Archives: sins of omission

When Right is Wrong, Wrong is Right and Everything Else Turns to Gray

Since public Bible readings and prayer was banned from public education during the 1960’s, it was only a matter of time before right and wrong would come under attack. Beginning in 1980, a group of Kentucky parents targeted the Ten Commandments.  These parents argued that the posting of copies of the Ten Commandments in each public school classroom violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. In the ensuing case Stone vs. Graham, the court ruled 5-2 in the parents’ favor declaring, “the Ten Commandments had no secular legislative purpose” and were “plainly religious in nature.”

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20

This is a far cry from what America’s founding fathers believed. While serving as the second president of the United States, John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (October 11, 1798). The freedom that our founding fathers aspired to achieve was a freedom in the context of moral standards based upon biblical principles. Yet, after all aspects of God was neutered from public education, atheists began to attack public displays of faith. Whether it’s nativity scenes, statues of the Ten Commandments or monuments in the shape of crosses, reminders of right and wrong have vanished from public squares throughout America.

So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin, James 4:17.

Gray areas refer to ill-defined situations, fields not readily conforming to a category or to an existing set of rules. One of the purposes of the Bible is to define boundaries designed to keep God near while shielding yourself from evil. Unfortunately, as right and wrong is no longer clearly defined for young people, absolutes have turned into expanding gray areas. Meanwhile, opinions expressed on talk shows are being elevated to the status of facts. Despite this growing trend, Jesus’ earthly brother clarifies the status of right and wrong. While the amoral do exist, if you know what’s right and don’t do it, sins of omission are equivalent to sins of action. Therefore, if you’re not sure which way to turn, open the Bible and find out for yourself, Romans 10:17.

by Jay Mankus

Living in a Shade of Gray

The term gray refers to a color intermediate between black and white.  This description highlights the distinction between right and wrong.  Some variations of gray may be closer to black with others leaning toward white.  However, when the sunsets and darkness emerges, determining one from the other becomes increasingly more difficult.  These conditions leave many today living in a shade of gray.

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin, James 4:17.

The earthly brother of Jesus introduces the concept of sins of omission in the passage above.  Likely taught to him by his big brother, James adds a new level to what it means to sin against God.  While the Old Testament points to the ten commandments, the New Testament stresses becoming a doer of the Word of God.  Knowing the Bible is one thing, but if you don’t apply Jesus’ teaching, the apostle Paul refers to you an annoying distraction.  Thus, if you know what is the right thing to do and fail to do it, you are just as guilty as a blatant sinner.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing, 1 Corinthians 13:1-2.

In her song Strangely Dim, Francesca Battistelli sings about how thoughts influence your perspective on life.  When you dwell on the negative, hope becomes strangely dim.  Yet, when you look to God by fixing your eyes upon Jesus, everything seems to fall into place.  Yet, temptation does not give up, using justification and rationalization to deceive you with shades of gray.  May this attached you tube and the words of my blog guide you through confusing times by clinging to God’s Word when you can’t distinguish between right and wrong.

by Jay Mankus

 

Conspiracy or Sin?

September 12th was the 17th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s famous quote, “it depends on what you mean the meaning of the what is is?”  While under direct examination during his impeachment hearing, president Clinton was trying to duck the question; whether or not he had an affair in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky.  There is a reason Clinton earned the nick name Slick Willy, able to overcome every scandal his critics uncovered.

With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet, Acts 5:2.

Conspiracy is nothing new as one could say it began in the Garden of Eden.  While Lucifer was having a seductive conversation with his wife Eve, Adam was right there with her.  Was Adam like the husband trying to tune his wife out, pretending to listen?  Or was original sin a joint effort, something Adam put his wife up to?  According to the author of Romans, Adam was to blame, failing to lead his wife away from sin.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, Genesis 3:6.

Today, the line between right and wrong has been erased in many cultures.  Even the government is struggling to define the proper use of marijuana; is it a pain killer or a drug?  As this debate continues, a liberal society is leaning towards a humanistic point of view, whatever feels good is right, whatever doesn’t is wrong.  Unfortunately, until leaders lead from a biblical worldview, this downward spiral will continue.  Thus, whether people conspire or sin, the same fate finds those who fail to stand up for what’s right, James 4:17.

by Jay Mankus

God Doesn’t Play that Game

As a high school teacher of 10 years, I was shocked how negatively students viewed a snitch.  Whether you are an informer, tattle tale or tell the truth when asked a question, most class mates will treat you like a Benedict Arnold.  In the March 4th airing of Amish Mafia, the episode entitled De Rott portrayed a similar message, referring to a rat or snitch.  This term is associated with anyone who tells authorities outside of the Amish community about activities by their members.  John was shown privately meeting with a police officer from Lancaster County to save himself from going to jail, sharing information about potential illegal activities.  Hollywood has a history of covering this topic.

Brenden Fraser, Chris O’Donnell, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck starred in the 1992 film School Ties, a drama illustrating the strong ties one makes in a boarding school setting.  Brenden Fraser plays David Greene, a ringer quarterback who is recruited to bring a championship his season year.  As long as no one knew he was a Jew in an all boys Catholic school, he was one of the guys.  When the secret slipped out, his life changed, shunned by those who celebrated with him on the football field.  Considered a traitor, classmates accuse David of cheating on a mid-term exam, despite his own roommate seeing the real cheater.  When school ties form against David, only a miracle will save him from being expelled.

James 4:17 addresses a broad aspect of stitching and telling the truth.  The essential message brought forth in this passage urges followers of Jesus to do the right thing.  Whether its speaking out against an injustice or reaching out to someone in need, if you sit back without acting, you’re just as guilty as someone who blatantly sins.  Despite what our culture may think about snitching or telling the truth, God doesn’t play that game!  The Lord is waiting for people to stand in the gap on His behalf, Ezekiel 22:30.  In the end, strive to please God by putting your faith into action, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2.

Is there ever a time when you should not snitch or tell the truth?  Please share your comment below.

by Jay Mankus

 

Conventional Thinking

A convent is a facility where woman seek refuge from the ways of the world.  This building serves as a refuge, a place where individuals attempt to devote their lives to prayer, reading the Bible and service.  While Hollywood has their own ideas from films such as Sister Act and the Sound of Music, convents provide a setting which goes against conventional thinking.

Unfortunately, worldly thinking has infiltrated the church, causing believers to have selfish thoughts.  When members of a congregation expect pastors, priests and teachers to do this or that because this is what they are paid to do, they are missing the point.  The apostle Paul reminds followers that the church is one body with many parts, 1 Corinthians 12:1-6.  The Bible clearly goes against the flow, suggesting you might be the only Jesus someone might ever encounter, Matthew 5:13-16.

Thus, after experiencing joy earlier in the week, I have found myself in a battle between complacency and conventional thinking.  Tired of leading this and that, I indulged in laziness, sitting along the sidelines this weekend.  Although pop culture may applaud me for taking a break, my heart was convicted by sins of omission.  Whenever idleness lulls you into a false sense of security, guard your heart and protect your mind, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8.  When you arm yourself with Scripture, conventional thinking will be a thing of the past, replaced by a Mother Teresa like faith.

by Jay Mankus

You Can’t Handle The Truth

As I awoke early this morning, God convicted me of a painful reality.  Though I try to put on a good act, my daily priorities tell another story.  When I can’t even muster a few moments with God on the Sabbath, its a sign my heart is not in the right place.  In fact, my actions resemble King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:10-16, making things up as I go without following the Lord’s commands.

God didn’t send me a prophet like Samuel to reject me.  Rather, God used a nightmare to unveil the masquerade which is my pitiful display of Christianity.  The Holy Spirit drilled in me the danger of comparison, an at least you’re not like them mentality.  C.S. Lewis suggests that if you eliminate competition, pride can be eradicated in Book 3 of Mere Christianity.  However, the moment you start keeping score, 1 Corinthians 13:5, pride rears its ugly head.

The Roman Church became susceptible to this temptation according to the apostle Paul.  Like most societies, Roman citizens began to rate specific sins, similar to a top 10 list used my numerous media outlets to enhance their weekly programming.  According to Romans 1:18-32, acts like wickedness, idolatry, homosexuality and sexual immorality made the top 5.  Yet, Paul pulls a fast one on these Roman Christians with one additional verse, Romans 2:1.  With a simple line, Paul knocks off all of these hypocrites from their pedestals.

This same logic resides in modern churches today, recently penetrating my own soul.  As people try to make themselves feel better through  a comparison of lesser individuals, they are entering grave danger.  Paul made sure he exposed the spiritual condition of these Roman believers with hard hitting facts from Romans 3:12.  What’s the truth about sin?  All sins are equal, except for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, Mark 3:28-29.  Whether you failing to obey God’s commands or not upholding the truth of the Bible through inaction, both are sins, crystal clear in James 4:17.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: