why we aren’t used to calling spades
Before we jump in, let me say that- as always, if you have any questions on this or any of my other teachings, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can talk and pray together.
I know the idea of sin is unpopular, just like I know that there are a lot of people who call themselves followers that would strongly disagree with this article. There are, even still, those who do not call themselves followers that absolutely believe that I’ve lost my marbles for even suggesting that these things I’m calling out as sin aren’t just somehow the outmoded, unfavorably acclaimed funeral dirges of an otherwise non-existent culture that has become obsolete, just like the pretend god it serves. Most people, by now, have become so accustomed to sin that they really wouldn’t know it if they saw it. Most people, even the so-called Christians, have just been lulled to sleep for so long by a society so averse to anything that looks like intolerance to them that they have bought into the idea that sin is some abstract concept, or worse, that it no longer exists. Sin has died in favor of progressivism. It has become outdated and replaced with gross freedom of expression and new age concepts like the coexistence of ideology and multiculturalism. We are too educated for the ideas of sin we say, far too advanced.
The truth is that sin hasn’t changed. Neither has YHVH. They are both just as steadfast as they were in the days of Eden, the days of Mt. Hermon, the days of the Flood, and the days of Babel. They are both just as visible as they were in the days of The Holocaust, the days of The Civil Rights Movement, and the days of 9/11 and Columbine. Sin is very real. If it weren’t then we would not fear anything. But as it is, we do. We fear much, and we often have much to fear-but make no mistake, YHVH is an everlasting God! He is faithful, and He FORGIVES SIN.
Still, in order to follow closely behind our Messiah and to have the right to call ourselves Disciples, we must do a number of things, but most notable among them is having the ability to call out sin. Yes, you heard me correctly. As believers, we MUST CALL OUT SIN. It does not make us “judgy” nor does it make us self-righteous. It makes us HIS. Remember, we have been given His authority! We have been told to go and make fishers of men. We have been allowed to understand the heavenly realm, at least in part, and our eyes were opened to understand the scriptures. Let us not forget that we have been given the amazing and gracious gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth as well as to prepare us for the fight ahead. And there is not just a fight, there is all-out war. We are divinely guided if we abide in His word and in His presence to go out and not only fight in this war but to be victorious in it, just like King David. In truth, sin has never changed, and neither has YHVH.
In order to really look at sin and determine what we are called to look out for and ultimately stand against, let’s look at the scriptures. We will be looking at a few verses to determine what sin is, as we’ll also be using both Merriam Webster and Dictionary.com to define these terms, then we’ll get into a little discussion of them and see where we stand.
Galatians 5;19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, sedition, heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness, and revellings, and such like, all of the which I tell you…that those who do these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 6;9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not enter the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God.”
2 Timothy 3;1-5 “But understand this; that in the last days perilous times will come. Men will be lovers self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. From such turn away!”
Colossians 3;5-6 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your carnal nature, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.”
Time for our vocabulary lesson!
Adultery– Engaging in consensual sexual intercourse with a married person who is not your spouse. (we will not be discussing the biblical grounds for divorce or the Torah’s guidelines for it here.)
Fornication– Any sexual or idolatrous behavior, unlawful lust, those who commit adultery, incest, male and female harlots or prostitutes, the spiritually idolatrous, whoredom, improper. (It carries a meaning more akin to unlawful sexual unions, similar to adultery or incest. It also carries a meaning in line with those who commit unseemly or deviant sex acts such as pedophilia, homosexuality, bestiality, and rape.)
Uncleanness– Morally impure. Evil. Vile. Made impure according to the Laws of the Torah found in the Bible; especially dietary laws or ceremonial laws.
Lasciviousness– A manner or gesture suggesting sexual desire; overtly sexual in nature, or lewd. Also wanton, naughty, indecent, salacious, improper. (This is categorized as exotic dancing, pornographic material, immodest dress worn for the purpose of displaying your body lustfully, dance that mimics sexual behavior, or anything that can be deemed to be intentionally sexually charged outside of marriage.)
Idolatry– The worship of idols. The admiration of anything that takes a place of importance or precedence over God. (yes, anything.)
Witchcraft– (Although I’m pretty sure you all think you know what this one entails, I’m going through the entire list, just to be clear. You might be surprised.) Witchcraft is the use of spells, incantations, hexes or curses, crystals, powders, oils, roots, and herbs, yoga or other meditations, chakras, magic, voodoo, Santeria, Wicca, necromancy, reading tea leaves, palms, crystal balls, or runes, horoscopes, sorcery, astrology, zodiac signs, ouija boards, seances, mediumship, the use of psychics, chants, or divination, calling corners or invoking spirits, black magic, New Age, mysticism, and satanism.
Hatred– This is laid out very clearly in the Bible as being quite close to or even the same as murder in intent.
Variance– Dissent, disagreement, or dispute without the intent of any reconciliation, contrariness. (See also: anger or rebelliousness.)
Emulations– Someone who is overambitious or who pridefully endeavors to excel above others in an effort to be first in achievement.
Wrath– Rage or overt anger with a general refusal to calm down. Fury, hot-tempered.
Strife– Angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues. (See Variance)
Sedition– Any conduct or speech that is made for the purpose of inciting people to rebel against the authority of the State or Monarchy. Troublemaking, provocation, inflaming. (Sedition is still a crime punishable by death in some parts of the world. What are you saying about politicians you don’t like? Are you taking part in protests? Are you involved in publishing hate speech against the government and trying to rally people to either protest or display civil disobedience? Please note that there is a distinct difference between standing up for the rights of the unborn- which is actually enumerated in the constitution, and starting a riot because you hate abortion. Yeshua was accused of this and had it been true the Pharisees would have had proper grounds to enact the death penalty.)
Heresies– Any teaching or ideology that profoundly disagrees with the teachings clearly found in the Bible and that are drastically contrary to the word of God. False doctrine, blasphemy, apostasy, heterodoxy, dissidence, etc.
Envy– Feelings of resentment toward your own life and/or personal belongings in favor of someone else’s life or personal belongings. (see Coveting.)
Murder– The intentional destruction of another person. To take another’s life on purpose. (Abortion falls in this category.)
Drunkenness– Being in a regular state of insobriety. (Not to be confused with drinking, which is not a sin if done responsibly. It is being an alcoholic.)
Revellings– To be riotous, spastic, or disorderly, to take too much pleasure in a thing, to lack self-control.
Effeminate– Lacking manly characteristics. Marked by an unbecoming delicacy or overrefinement. (In a nutshell Drag Queens, male crossdressers, and even overtly feminine men even if heterosexual. Also of note, women are instructed in the Torah not to dress like a man. I understand that women wear pants. In Yeshua’s day, men wore tunics-which today are called dresses. The point here is to keep men masculine and keep women feminine. This is how YHVH made us, and for clarity, gender fluidity and transgenderism fall under the umbrella of this topic as well.)
Thieves– Someone who steals.
Covetous– To be jealous of someone else’s belongings. (see Envy)
Revile– To condemn, attack, lambaste, or criticize in an angrily insulting or abusive manner. Stigmatize or denounce. (Think carefully about this one. It can be easy to do if we don’t watch our tongues.)
Extortioners– Those who obtain money through threats or intimidation. Blackmail.
We really have no excuse to act like we don’t know what sin is. These are even from secular sources and if we don’t call out sin, then who will?
The Bible tells us to love our neighbor. Telling someone else that they are in sin by remaining true to your convictions and speaking the truth in love is HOW we love them. That’s what we are called to do. That’s what Yeshua did. How can we claim to follow Yeshua who preached against sin if we tolerate it? We can’t. We can love those around us by telling them what sin is, by showing patience, and by standing our ground. We can show them that there is a difference between choosing sin and having no remorse, and struggling with sin and working out repentance in a dark night of the soul. We are all sinners. Every one of us. But we have found the gift of grace, and now it is our charge to help others find it as well. [Just for the sake of transparency, there are other sins that are defined and talked about within the canon of scripture, such as stealing, lying, bearing false witness, greed or gluttony, laziness, not keeping the Sabbath Day holy, etc. but for the purpose of this article, we are only discussing the ones found in the aforementioned parts of the word. This is not a complete list of sins and sinful behavior.]
When we stand against sin, we show others that we are walking out a faith that we are convicted in. We are being blessed by YHVH because we are storing up heavenly treasures, and we are making it known that we are one of YHVH’s children!
Abba Father, I pray that you will fill up Your servants with Your Holy Spirit, and teach them how to walk boldly in their faith, no matter what. I know we will have trials in this life, and I know that truly walking in the faith we have will be difficult at times, but I pray My LORD, that You will help us and give us the strength to stand against sin. Both our own sin and the sin of the world. Help us maintain the right attitude of peace and patience, and be our words when we speak to others. Help us to abide in your word and in love, so that our neighbors may see our good works and glorify your name. And in the mighty name of Yeshua, I pray these things, Amien!