Salvation’s Fractured Story
Sin’s Mixed-up Economy
This is segment one of Salvation’s Fractured Story – Sin’s Mixed-Up Economy. Every nation, city, state, and country has an economy and so does sin. Just as a nation’s economy has key indicators, so does sin. The problem with sin’s economy or the economy of sin, it is seen and felt sometimes for years past the time it was committed. Consider David’s family tree as an example. David committed a sin with Bathsheba and it trickled down several generations later. The definition of the economy is the wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services(dictionary.com). According to Yuengert, sin’s economy is composed of sinful behaviors, internal conflicts, leading to social regulation. So, what we see in our world today is the fruit of sin’s economy that has taken years to come to fruition. Across the pages of the press, we read of people up in arms over “governmental regulation” and what is forgotten is that it was the people of the US who asked for it; sometimes by direct request and others by the consequences. Either way, the laws were written and once they were enacted, they are very difficult to get rid of.
The Devil controls the economy by pulling the strings of his puppets. If the economy is strong, people are more likely to spend; so, the money flows freely and people are happy. Conversely, to draw alliances with the people, the economy is made to appear sour so as to put the blame on the wrong person. This all ties into salvation’s fractured story because, prior to coming to the knowledge of salvation, we followed that path ignorant of its devices. After we came to salvation, the same pits that held us captive are the lures that try to bring us back again (James 1:14).
What we do not know about an economy is that we are responsible for our how we live our lives; no one can make the choices for us (Joshua 24:15). Once we commit ourselves to a course of action, we are responsible for anything that comes by proxy of that decision even if we walk into a trap. Now, an economy can be manufactured to induce confidence or to discredit another person’s work simply by playing with the numbers. In the same way, sin’s economy can also be adjusted to influence the human to react in the desired way. Consider Jesus’ kangaroo trial; the same people who were Jesus’ groupies were also the same ones chanting “crucify him” and “let’s see him get off of that cross” (Matthew 27:33-43).
As I present five points that I believe you should know about sin and its economy, my prayer is that you will see with clearer vision the war that is being fought over you. Father, please guide my words today so that the reader may know you more fully and that he and/or she will grow up in you.
Point 1 – Sin is Still Sin No Matter the Name
Today in our world, the Political Correctness (PC) movement is in full swing. The purpose of PC is to soften a term in order to avoid offending someone. For example, criminals are exonerated because they didn’t steal, they moved ___ to a more appropriate place. The person didn’t cheat, they modified the rules. Now, the notions of PC can be rather humorous because, depending on the person, the wording can turn a devastating word into a whimsical one like, “I didn’t’ fart, I changed the flow of air” or, “I didn’t overeat, I expanded my stomach’s capacity”. Does changing the term really quelle the problem? Unfortunately, no it does not. Because, no matter how we dress up a dilapidated structure, it is still dilapidated and will fall down eventually. Sin can be altered, renamed, or, hidden but, it is still sin, it is still a black mark, people still get hurt by it. It is not popular to call sin by its appropriate name because, people get offended by it. What is at issue is that sin does not go away because it is renamed, it continues to exist and mutates; murder is still murder, theft is still theft, and wrong is still wrong; we are just lulled into complacency with the false notion “everyone is doing it”.
The Devil does not want the human to be concerned with sin because, he is giving man enough rope to hang himself. In many of my writings, I have said “the Devil hates man with a passion” and will do anything, say anything to get man to follow his lead. While we are finding new PC names for sin, he is laughing in the background as he sees the play he started unfolding in ways we cannot possibly conceive. Only when it is too late do we see the error of the plans we conceived. In our world today, it is popular to parade our sins in front of the world like one would hold up a hard-won trophy. In the waning days of our life, the trophies of sin will pale in comparison to the emptiness of our life (Ecclesiastics 2:17).
Point 2 – Sin Will Backfire
All of our actions are driven by motive and guided by our integrity; if one or the other is out of whack, our actions will reflect it. Sin will always show its true color right when you least expect it. In the first seven chapters of Proverbs, the writer is recounting what his father had told him about living a righteous life and the pitfalls of sin. If David wrote the early parts of Proverbs, I would believe those words would be like cold water to a very hot, very dry pipe. We are told by the writer of Ecclesiastics to not forget the Lord our God in our youth before the days of trouble come (Ecclesiastics 12); meaning, serving God while you have the freedom to do so long before you are so cought up in the world and cannot decipher the truth from the lie.
False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR) is a tool used by Satan to get man to do the impossible. Consider the Assyrian nation accepting Israel as a vassal kingdom. Israel got help defeating a nation and Assyria got a vassal – what’s wrong with that picture? It seems to be a win-win or was it? Israel lost its autonomy the very moment the foolish king asked for help from a thief. Israel’s center of worship was altered – something God would never condone (2ndKings 15:17-22). The letter sent by king of Israel to Assyria simply asked for a little help but ended up being dominated for about 95 years. In many verses through the Old Testament and New, we are admonished to “banish fear from our lives” (Isa 41, 43, Matthew 5). Why does God tell us to banish fear? Because, in fear we do the most rediculous things, say the most outlandish, and commit ourselves to plans we do not want to follow and later regret.
Commandment 1 – I am the Lord your God – you shall have no other gods before me nor, shall you make any idol in the form of things above, on the earth, or beneath the waters. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God (Exodus 20:1-5). In violating that commandment, we are saying “God we have no need for you”. God will say “away with you”! Wait a moment only 2 choices? What about my time in the temple singing the “hallelujah choir”? Listen, any time we turn our backs we will be held accountable and the results will be devastating, and our acts of piousness will not save us. Sin will take hold of us in ways we cannot fathom.
In the beginning we make a vow to live for God – sort of like Solomon’s vow (2ndChronicles 6). We even start off on the right path but, along the way we get off course. Nobody likes to be found out for their sin, so it is hidden. For a while, it all stays hidden until the walls collapse from sin’s multiplication – sin tries to hide the sin by committing others. One sin has a nasty way of bringing more sin to cover up the 1stsin and on repeatedly until the wall of pious behavior, smiles and “praise God” can no longer hold in the overflowing water and we drown in sin desperately seeking aid – David’s sinful cascade if you will. History is repleat with testimonies of men and women of God who have given way to sin and ended up with ring side seats watching their work go up in smoke.
Sin always begins with a small seed and then matures in whatever soil it is planted in. Initially, the seed requires very little water and takes up very little ground. In a process of time, the plant grows and is fed by the same environmental factors that all plants are fed on. Weeds, unlike food producing plants, are able to grow in dry soil. In the same way sin will have a harder time taking root when we are in the place where we are being watered by the Word of God, endowed with power from on high. Conversly, when we are in arrid places, sin can infiltrate our lives with great ease and greater efficiency. Remember, the fall of man did not take an enormouse battle to occur just a simple suggestion and the Devil left it in the hands of man to run with. Nothing has really changed since the infamous day in the garden; man is still gullible and will accept sin’s economy as the best thing since sliced bread.
Point 3 – Sin alters History’s course
In our sinful world, it is must be fully understood that each act of sin alters the course of a community and the world we live in. The world decries officer shootings of civilians yet, never comprehends that something predicated it like: pointing of guns, Facebook threats, and overt acts of violance. Peaceful communities become enraged when tragedy occurs which leads people being on high alert and some innocent person will eventually get hurt or friendships severed. In Sin’s economy, the violence is normal and the weak are beaten into silence by the strong. When you compare the beginning of Solomon’s reign with the end, it appears Solomon is two different people in two disseperate times; yet, he is the same person. At the onset of the temple’s construction, Solomon is promised that if he is faithful and obedient, God would live among the Israelites (1 King 6:11-13) something that had not been done since the waning days of Moses (Exodus 33:1-3). After seven years of construction, Solomon’s reign began to deteriorate under the weight of bad marriages. In the end, Solomon the wise was now Solomon the fool who lost his kingdom something God never intended to occur (1 King 11:1-13). As a direct result, the adversaries of Israel who had remained quiet all of the years of David and Solomon returned with a vengeance (1 Kings 11:14-22). Anytime we follow sin’s economy, the very problems we were delivered from will come back and we will be ensnared and beaten by them without hope of escape.
The next in line to the throne was Rehoboam whose mother was Naamah an Ammonite one of his father’s many foreign wives. The Ammonites were an idolatrous nation who descended from Lot (Genesis 19:38). So, the choice of Solomon to intermarry with the Ammonites led to the new king who grew up learning the practices of his mother. The nation took its cue from Rehoboam to learn the idolatrous practices. This led up to the downfall of a prosperous kingdom or what was left of one. In Rehoboam’s fifth year, the king of Egypt attacked Judah who was completely unprepared for the battle and took all of the treasures from the temple and palace; sort of a reverse fortune from the exile (Exodus 12:31). So, the once powerful nation whose guards carried large gold shields in the time of Solomon and had impressed the queen of Sheba was now broke and had to resort to bronze – a lower quality of material.
In our world today, the church once held respect in a community now, that is pretty much gone. In fact, the churches are trying to draw alliance with the world so as to remain relevant. Many have left the church because of the mess it is in. What’s so bad about that? When the church fails, so does the community. When the community fails, so does the city and state and nation. When the nation fails, the world is in deep trouble. Today, the church is told “do not tell us about righteousness or what God’s word says”. The prophet Jeremiah faced the same issue when the king ordered him not to prophesy in God’s name because, hearing that the nation would fall was not a popular message. The people gladly listened to the false prophets because they spoke of a great defeat of the Babylonians; which, never happened. In the US, our culture of religious freedom is being taken away because of sin. For a very short period of time, the nation will grow strong, but it will end. The Devil will push the economy of sin and will stop at nothing to see a nation who was known for walking before the Lord and enjoyed prosperity. The Devil knows the time he has to make a change is very short; because, man’s life is short. The person the Devil controls will pass away and another will come, just like Israel’s lineage of kings, and put his or her foot firmly on the Devil’s neck and will not let up until every once of breath is taken from him.
Point 4 – Sin Drowns out all Competition
Imagine, if you will, walking into a room with 800 people and you see the lips moving but you don’t hear the words so, the room is totally quiet. Everyone in the room is oblivious to this occurrence except you. At first you may think it is a joke but, you do not know who these people are, and they don’t know you. How disquieting this would be. So, you say something, and you can hear your voice. This is crazy yet, consider how sin in our life blocks out the word god from actually stirring the heart. In an online article, the writer points ouy how the heart does not respond to the word of God. The person might try a couple maneuvers to spice up the word: attending a praise and worship service, listening to a charismatic preacher, switching bible versions, etc.; yet, the scripture remains dead. The thought might cross the mind “maybe God thinks I have full command of this verse and God is glossing over it. So, you read the next one and nothing. The writer’s contention is that sin in our life makes us deaf to the word of God. Meaning, we can read the words yet never comprehend what is being said.
Sin is like a weed in that it will soak up all life of its host. In the early days when the sin is but a seed, it is manageable because it is not seen. Once the seed takes root and the stem comes to surface, it might appear as a valued plant. Once the sin matures, it infects other people and continues to grow until it destroys homes, churches, communities, and the nation. It will take up good space for growth and its roots grow deep and wide choking out other plants. When weeds take over a garden, the only hope is that the Gardner knows exactly what a weed is and what is not. Unfortunately, unless you see the fruit it can be a very daunting task. Jesus spoke about this problem in his parable on the “tares and the Wheat” (Matthew 13:24-30). The problem is, even weeds have beautiful flowers and produce fruit. So, how does one know the difference between the two? In gardening, there are books written on the subject complete with pictures. In our case, we have the word of God but, it is only as effective as the care that is taken to deploy it.
If sin is so destructive, why not just eradicate from the face of the earth? Certainly, it would be beneficial if we no longer had to deal with sin nor the Devil. The problem is that sin, like weeds, serves a purpose. If sin were eradicated, pride would set in; along with it, arrogance (Dueterony 31:20). According to an online article, weeds are like baby sitters that fill in vacant ground to keep the ground from eroding. Some of the produce plants we enjoy today were at one time considered weeds – think if they had been eradicated the things you would not enjoy today; like herbs and spices. After all, a weed is simply a plant that is growing where you do not want it to grow (dictionary.com). those who minister on the front lines know the battle with weeds of sin all too well. It is required of them by the word of God, to fight the good fight of faith and to daily tend the garden of their heart (Proverbs 4:23); because, if their heart is allowed to be infected by the seed, the sin will grow in their heart just as assuredly as it does in the hearts of those he or she serves. To the one who has not come to salvation, the sin is a valid plant and he or she is proud of the plant that is now growing in their life; like, rebellion, disordliness, and/or hate. Once the person comes to the Lord, those plants that were considered valid now become sin and a weed that needs to be removed (Romans 6:8-11).
Point 5 – Sin’s Bastardized Seed
The bigger part of symptoms mixed up economy is when this sin infiltrates good seed and what comes is the bastardized version of the truth. As a leadership changes hands, new ideas come to the surface. For example, the whole homosexual movement, two generations ago, it would not even be a topic for discussion. A generation ago, it was talked about and received a stern rebuke from the church. Today it is widely accepted in main line churches and many are ordained. Homosexuality is not new by any means as it has been a problem for mankind for countless centuries and the church was by no means exempt. The question is, why? Is it because of the need for numbers, to remain relevant or, is it to avoid litigation? Or, as I suspect, when a person or people do the same things as another, you do not have room to judge so, “Let’s be one of them so as to avoid judgement”. Jesus said, “Salt is good but, if it loses its saltiness (usefulness) it is only good for sidewalk Salt to keep people from slipping” (Luke 14:34). The problem is, the bastardized seed is passed to a new generation which is already grappling with gender confusion. Then, sin becomes more excepted and righteousness is rejected. Then on it goes.
Some say, “this nation has become Sodom and Gomorrah” as to say, “sin has reached its peak and things cannot get any worse”. The problem is, sins bastardize seed is exactly what it has always been, and it uses the same old tricks it has always used – nothing is different. Homosexuality, drunkenness, and disorderliness, idolatry, sexual promiscuity, etc. has always part of the human experience. What is at stake, is the heart of the children. The sin that infected the parent’s life is bred in the heart of the innocent child. This is been a problem all along, nothing is changed (Ecclesiastics 1:9).
In the 60s it was a changing time. The nation had been at war for over 20 years. Children of middle-class homes rejected suburban conformity and bonded to the hippie lifestyle. There were new attitudes about food, clothing styles, Community living, etc. Music and drugs all of which violated the parental values. People like Timothy Leary, a Harvard professor, introduced L.S.D. the slogan “turn on, tune in, and drop out” through the use of psychedelic drugs. Of course, sin is never free it always comes with a trapdoor that opens and causes the unsuspected person to fall into a very dark, very cold, and very deep pit that is next to impossible to get out of. The trapdoor of the culture was venereal disease, bad trips, and drug addiction. Ironically as big a deal that the press and supporters made counterculture out to be, it only mounted to about 10% of the population (U.S. History.org). The trap-door will sit open for years until the point that it is completely hidden under the cover of popular opinion; then one day, it springs, and its victim is brought down. Today, we are seeing the same problem playing out all over again.
There is a point that must be made and that is, just because the culture tells us how to live, does not imply we have to follow it. We hear a lot about “tolerance” but, nothing about what will happen when what we tolerate is just the tip of an iceberg of what the enemy is really after. I watched Jerry Springer show once, and it was the last time I watched it, where a young man wanted to profess his love to a girl he had admired; the girl, however, was a professing lesbian and the girl spurned the young man’s love and brought in her lover to which the two females started kissing very sensually as an open show. A so-called preacher in the audience stepped up and pronounced them man and wife while barely able to control his laughter. I thought how sad it was to see a so-called man of god willing to allow this atrocity.
Unfortunately seeing the sin in our life is by far harder than we are willing to admit; it is easy to see the sin in others and portray it across the pages of Facebook, Twitter, and others with great liberality. In sin’s economy, righteousness is made to look like sin and sin like righteousness; it even establishes its own moral laws by altering Godly laws to fit man’s edicts (a topic for another time). May your day be filled with all the best that God has in mind for you.
Yuengert, Andrew. Sin and the Economics of Sin. Econ Journal Watch 11(2) May 2014 pp 1.
Atkinson, P. Political Correctness
Harold Best. Dumbfounded by Sin. Wipf and Stock Publishers Eugene, OR (2011)
Tim Jennings. Sin Will Make You Deaf. Focus Magazine (2013). Accessed http://focusmagazine.org/sin-will-make-you-deaf.php
Darlene Ray. Why do Weeds Flourish? Produce Magazine (2011). Accessed http://producemagazine.com/2011/07/why-do-weeds-flourish/