The problems of the world begin here
By: Lt. Colonel Dean Hinson
The problem is sin! Whether you define it as disobedience, rebellion or falling short of what God has planned and designed, it is sin, and it lies at the foundation of today’s perplexing problems.
The root of our sin problem is our sin nature or what is called “original sin.” Our fifth doctrine says our first parents (Adam and Eve) were created innocent, but because of their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness. The result of their fall is that all men and women are sinners. Although everyone is created in the image of God, original sin has marred or broken that image, and everyone must be reconciled or brought back into a right relationship with God.
This belief, which comes from Scripture, is in direct opposition to the world’s belief that man is basically good, an idea called humanism. According to a humanistic view, children are born good and learn (from environment, example, etc.) to be bad. As wonderful as my children are (and were at birth), their first word was “mine,” and they had to be taught to share.
The Good News of Scripture is that God has provided a solution to our sin problem in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God has redeemed through the power of the Cross, and the road to reconciliation follows the path of acknowledging that we are sinners, confessing our sinfulness and asking God to forgive us of our sins. It is the grace of God, a gift, that is available to everyone who believes. As followers of Wesley, we also believe that through the Holy Spirit at work in us, sin nature can be removed by the power and work of God in our lives. The image of God that was marred by sin can be restored as we follow God’s command to be holy as He is holy. (Leviticus & 1 Peter)
George Yancey in his book “Beyond Racial Gridlock” takes this idea of our sin nature a step further when he says, “The same pattern of repentance and forgiveness that restores us to a right relationship with God also offers ways to heal our fallen race relations.” He continues in chapter 7, “Christians recognize that sin must be acknowledged and confronted before we can experience true racial reconciliation.” He says that the deep-rooted sin of racism is a spiritual problem that requires a spiritual solution – forgiveness given and received.
An aspect of Scripture that is often overlooked is that sin is corporate as well as personal. God calls the nation of Israel to repentance for breaking the covenant established by God through disobedience. Yancey says in chapter 6, “When Christians incorporate the pattern of recognizing sin and extending grace to each other, we will go a long way toward addressing our society’s racial issues.” May it be so as we continue in ministry to this lost and sinful world as Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation.