Sunday Post-Game (March 18, 2012)

In the book of Jeremiah, the message of God was described as the burden of the Lord. Approaching the topic of the fall, that's exactly how I felt—burdened. Having spent a good amount of time thinking and praying through the roots of our fallenness, a few thoughts occur...

If Sin Doesn't Break our Hearts, then our Hearts are Already Broken. That is, if we are not emotionally moved by what we encounter in Genesis 3, then there's something wrong with us. Everything we hate, every injustice, and every sad fact is rooted in the rebellion and curses of Genesis 3. If we don't feel the weight of that, then something has happened to our capacity to feel anything.

Modifying Behavior will Never, Ever Work. The religious response to sin will never succeed in dealing with it, because sin is deeper than our actions. Sin is rooted in our autonomy and foolishness.

SinAll Sin Begins with Autonomy Contrary to popular opinion, autonomy is not a virtue, but a damnable vice. Autonomy ("self-law") is the insistence that our own, individual capacity to reason is as authoritative as God's revelation. It's living life unhitched from God's lordship and leadership. This is the exact opposite of the way our minds should work. It's unreasonable to reason out from under the source of all reason (God). Yet, for us to sin, that's precisely what we must do: think independently from God. Eve did this when she saw that the fruit was desirable with her own eyes. Not God's eyes. Hers.

Autonomy Makes us Fools Once we've decided—even implicitly—to be our own masters (autonomous), then all our best wisdom will be foolishness. The Scriptures say that Christ is the wisdom of God by which the world was founded. True wisdom is found in the fear and reverance of the Lord. If we reject him, then what we think will make us wise really ends up making us fools. Eve thought the fruit would make her wise, but in the end she just became a fool, and we followed her.

Disobedience is the Visible Fruit of Autonomy and Foolishness On the surface, sin looks like all the bad things we do. Yet, we can't make it to bad behavior before we become autonomous fools. To change, something must be done about that deep, fibrous root of autonomy.

Jesus Rescues Autonomous, Foolish, Lawbreakers Jesus is better than Adam. He passed the test of temptation. Adam did not. He perfectly obeyed the law of God. Adam did not. He was not autonomous, but only did what his Father said. He lived his life submitted to God, full of wisdom, acting in obedience. If we trust him and ask him, all his perfection can be ours by faith.

The coming weeks hold great momentum and growth for all of us. But our growth will require faith and hard work. I can't wait until next week when we kick of two services at Aletheia!