My pastor preached a kick-in-the-seat-of-the-pants message Sunday. He started with Malachi 2:17. It reads: "You have wearied the LORD with your words. ‘How have we wearied him?’ you ask. By saying, "All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them." Translation: "We are tiring God out by living as if He loves sinners and sin alike."
Be sure of this. God loves sinners. He hates sin. We should not become comfortable with it, but in general Christians are very comfortable with sin. The divorce rate of Christians vs. non-Christians is only two percentage points. The sexual activity rate of church-going teens vs. non-religiously active teens is only four percentage points. Shouldn’t there be a bigger difference? I think so, but instead we normalize sin and are afraid to call it what it is.
No one gets married and says, "I’d really love to go through a painful, ugly divorce one day. Yeah! A good divorce. That’s on my wish list for life!" It doesn’t work that way. We don’t usually anticipate and hope for sin. We FALL into it.
Why? I think because we become comfortable with it by being exposed to it, primarily through media. We watch divorce on TV. It becomes normal. We look at anorexic models on magazine covers. It becomes normal. We sing about sex—often unknowingly-jamming along to the most popular songs. Take for example, one of today’s most popular rap/pop songs by Black Eyed Peas’ "Boom Boom Pow!" It has eight cuss words in it, and at least one verse is devoted to the sexual prowess of the male vocalist. (I’m not sure that all of it isn’t about sex, frankly.) But I’ve heard a lot of Christian teens singing parts of it. Most of the ones I asked about the lyrics didn’t know the bad ones or perceive that the song was bad. They thought it might be "neutral." They just sing the "Boom Boom Pow" part, or so they say. Do you really think the message doesn’t sink in? It does. And it normalizes sin. In this case, it might normalize cussing (and oh, how Christian teens are cussing!) or sexuality.
Where is sin being normalized in your life? On Facebook? At the mall? On your iPod? In conversations with friends?
OK … this is the deal. My pastor called us to enter into a Media Fast. He asked us to examine our lives to see where we might be at risk of normalizing sin. I’d like to pass that challenge on to you. Where do you need to fast? Post about it here. Number one rule to posting: You can post anything you want in response to this but only if you first post an all-out confession about where YOU need to fast. If you think you have no area that needs worked on, read 1 Corinthians 10:12. Then, try again!
BTW: I do not listen to the Black Eyed Peas. But I do keep my eye on the culture and the Christian teens who are falling in to it. And I know that some of the girls reading this do listen to the Black Eyed Peas.