Do you ever wonder how you should respond to a moral dilemma or sin issues as a Christian?
We are constantly bombarded with sinful ads and commercials, and varying lifestyle choices are being taught to our children in public schools.
As we have recently seen in the media, the responses that some Christians have made are often heavily judged as intolerant, unloving, and hypocritical.
We know that times have changed, but thankfully God’s Word has not.
Here are four Biblical ways we can respond:
Romans 3:23 says,
For ALL have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.
No one is without sin, and because of sin, we all have a need for God’s grace and mercy.
With that said, it is important that we recognize our own sin struggles. It gives us a sense of humility as we challenge others.
1 John 1:8-9 says,
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When Christians can be honest about their sin, the world will find common ground with them and the message of the Gospel becomes more real to them. When Christians make the world feel judged and looked down upon because of their sin, this puts a bad name on God and on Christianity.
The reality is that our responsibility as Christians is to help the lost find God by showing them who He is. This is not done by judging them and making a huge deal about their lifestyles of sin. Rather, we need to connect with them and share how God can change them.
This connection cannot be made without building relationships. This is where things get messy.
The Bible has a lot to say about separation from “the world” and to be careful around sin. However, we also know that Jesus spent the majority of his time with “sinners”.
Where is the happy medium here?!
This is an age-old question that I honestly can’t say I have the perfect answer for. It appears to be a grey area that requires Christians to practice cautiousness in their lifestyles, but not to become separated from those that need God.
We are commanded, in fact, to reach out to the world and share the Gospel.
The “far left” side of this viewpoint has started to accept sin within the church body. This is NOT what the Bible is saying!
The “far right” side hatefully boycotts companies, protests at funerals, or completely secludes themselves from the world. This is also NOT what the Bible says to do!
The best way to share the Gospel in our culture is to build a relationship on a personal basis with your neighbor, co-worker, a high school friend, or whoever you have on your heart and then share the Gospel with them over time in word and in action!
Non-Christians need to see Christians living “real” life as an example to them. They need to see that we have GOD as our answer to our trials and problems in life, family, marriage, etc.
There IS a difference between Christians and the world and it is our responsibility to live it out!
Remember, there are so many avenues in our culture to do this. We have social media, e-mail, blogging, face-to-face interaction, and so much more that doesn’t even require a church building.
In fact, if Jesus were here today, he would probably use these tools for his ministry. God calls us to love the people of the world regardless of their sin.
So, what does this kind of “love” look like?
There is a difference between love and toleration.
This third step of showing love does not mean we must tolerate sin.
It is often said Christians are called to ‘love the sinner but hate the sin.’
Romans 12:9 – Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Matthew 5:43-44 – You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
None of these verses are requiring us to tolerate, accept, or even respect other opinions. In fact, they call us to stand firm on the truth of the Gospel, but in a loving and prayerful way.
How often do we really pray for homosexuals, abortion doctors, child molesters, and murderers?
This hit me hard personally because I can’t say I have sat around praying for these people and I certainly haven’t prayed enough for the people in my personal life that are deep in sin. The Bible is giving us a multi-step process here: speak, then pray. We must do both!
One very profound fact that has helped me to understand the sin of the world is that they don’t know God!
We can’t expect someone that doesn’t know God to be obedient to Him.
1 Corinthians 2:14 says,
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
We need to understand this reality, BUT this does not mean we are to tolerate their sin and enable them to continue in it.
Romans 6:1-2 says,
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
We must use the Scriptures as a test for sin and moral dilemmas. Our question should always be, “What does the Bible say?” rather than focusing on our personal opinions.
We need to take a stand for what the Bible teaches and take opportunities to speak the truth, but also be understanding that it’s not up to us to change people’s minds or hearts. Only God can do that, which is why He specifically commands us to PRAY after we reach out to people!
One of the best ways we can be sure we are handling sin correctly is found in the last step: be accountable.
Remaining accountable to God and to other Christian friends and family is essential in the Christian life (Proverbs 27:17).
Too many times Christians find themselves caught up in sin that they would never have imagined for themselves because they chose not to be accountable to others.
Becoming a Christian does not cancel temptation or sin in our lives. It merely allows for forgiveness from God for our sin and strength to say “no” to temptation.
We always need other Christians as our support system as we go through life.
There will be ups and downs, good times and bad, sin struggles, marriage issues, sickness, and much more because our world is full of sin!
Christians often get a bad name when it comes to dealing with these moral issues because we take the wrong approach.
This is especially true in our culture when it comes to the internet and social media. While these are excellent tools that can be used for good, they can, unfortunately, be used the wrong way as well.
Please be aware that you represent God as you speak and act when it comes to dealing with sin. Pray for wisdom and guidance as you evaluate your own life and seek to help others find and know God.
In conclusion, we have visited four ways Christians can respond to moral dilemmas and sin.
Next time you are faced with a dilemma, remember to practice humility and recognize your own sin, invest in others as you build relationships with them, speak the truth of the Gospel in love and constantly pray for God to change their hearts, and finally remain accountable to others as you are not exempt from temptation.
I have been challenged by these and I pray that you will be too.
Christians can make a difference in the world, and it happens one person at a time.
Amy Schaap is a stay-at-home mom, wife, and realistic homemaker. She and her husband, Derek have been married for seven years this June and have four kids, Kaeden, Kylee, Kendyl, and Kowen. Amy graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s in Women’s Ministry and a Master’s in Education Administration. She has a passion for non-traditional homeschooling and ministry to young women and moms of littles. At this phase in life, with four kids 5 and under, she enjoys lots of play dates and warm weather when the kids can swim and play outside.