Monday, August 4, 2008

Wretches And Worms

Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon I stopped the singing in the middle of a hymn during our worship service at the old folks’ home (I know, “old folks' home” is politically incorrect but, so what, it is what it is).

Anyway, the hymn was “At The Cross” and as we were singing through it we came upon a phrase that tripped up some of the residents. I could hear some of them trying to sing the new words, “for someone such as I,” that had replaced the old, familiar phrase. Others paid no attention to the printed page but simply sang out the words they all knew from memory, “…for such a worm as I.”

I couldn’t let that go by without comment. Have you noticed that, in our self-absorbed, feel good about ourselves, culture, we don’t like to admit our true sin nature? Even the hymn book publishers feel the need to "tone it down" in order to sell more books. In fact, I know some people in my own church who are discomforted when anyone uses offensive words like “sin,” or "hell," or "judgment."

Rick Warren has developed a series of church growth and discipleship materials that thousands of churches are using to teach error and guide ignorant masses into the happy heresy of easy believism. In his first CLASS seminar, he offers a dumbed down definition of sin as an "attitude" of wanting to be in charge.

We like to obscure the reality in more palatable terms like “missing the mark,” “shortcomings,” “failures,” or “errors.” Errors? Sin is not an error. An error is forgetting to carry a digit when you add a column of numbers.

I remember the days when most Christians would insist that, before a person could be saved, he needed to be lost; he needed to know his sorry, pitiful, ugly, offensive, helpless, hell-bound, condition. Sin is a foul, outrageous, disgusting offense against a holy God. Our sin is what caused God the Father to pour out His wrath on His Son and crush Him on the cross. We have a huge SIN problem; it's not just a little mistake. In our natural, unregenerate state, we are destined for eternal torment in hell and rightfully so. When we really understand our sin, we have no hope but to repent of our sin, beg for God’s mercy, and hope for His grace.

After all my bloviating, we agreed that we should put the “worm” back in “At The Cross,” and while we were at it, we put the “wretch” back and sang with thankful hearts;
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a WRETCH like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

AMEN!! This has become a serious issue in witnessing. I'm utterly amazed at how many folks think they are "good". We can thank Sesame Street, public schools, Oprah, and plenty of others for that philosophy.