Thursday, July 7, 2022

Are You “Cherry-Picking” Sins?

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?” – Luke 6:42

Over the years many people have asked me, “What kind of church is Impact Christian Church?” And I’m happy to answer that question. Impact Christian Church is a non-denominational Christian church that came out of the Restoration Movement of the early 1800s. The leaders of this movement wanted so badly to “restore” the New Testament church: No sects. No schisms. No denominations. Just simple Christianity.

Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. For starters, many of the churches described in the New Testament are terrible models to follow. We don’t want to model ourselves after the church at Ephesus. The Christians in that church had forsaken their first love. We don’t want to model ourselves after the church at Sardis. The Christians in that church had a reputation for being alive, but Jesus told them “You are dead.” And we definitely don’t want to model ourselves after the church at Laodicea. Jesus called the Christians in that church “lukewarm” and said if they didn’t repent, He was going to vomit them out of his mouth.

If you read the Book of 1 Corinthians, I think you’ll agree with me when I say: We don’t want to model ourselves after the Corinthian church either. The city of Corinth was filled with bars and temple prostitutes, and drunken orgies were common. And much of that wickedness had seeped into the church. The Church was not only IN Corinth, it was also OF Corinth. And we as Christians must make sure that our own church doesn’t make the same mistakes.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul lists 10 lifestyle sins that will keep people out of heaven: premarital sex; idolatry; adultery; effeminate or homosexual behavior; stealing; greed; drunkenness; slander; and cheating people. According to God’s word, these 10 sins will keep people out of heaven and send them to hell. But we as Christians tend to focus on some of these sins more than others. We cherry-pick certain sins and rail on those who commit them, while largely ignoring other sins on the list.

I would suggest that over the past 50 years or so, Christians have spent the most time and energy railing against homosexuals and drunkards. We’ve condemned homosexuality, because the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the Bible also condemns premarital sex. In fact, it’s Number One on Paul’s list. But many church-going, heterosexual Christian couples are having premarital sex, and the church largely turns a blind eye to it. The same goes for idolatry: putting something or someone ahead of God. Christians routinely put God on the back burner, and the church looks the other way.

And I believe the two sins on the list that we especially avoid calling out are the sins of greed and slander. Many churches actually encourage Christians to be greedy—to pray for a bigger house or a newer car. That’s materialism. It’s sin, and if left unchecked it will lead to hell. So will slander. Every day Christians across the country are slandering our President, our governor, our ex-spouses, our parents, and our neighbors. But the church handles slander and gossip with kid gloves.

Notice that the sins we harp on the most are the ones we don’t personally struggle with. Most people in the church don’t struggle with homosexuality or drunkenness, so those sins are easy targets. But we don’t harp on greed or slander, because those sins hit too close to home. It’s easy to talk about “those people’s” sin. It’s much harder for us to point out OUR sin. But if we don’t identify and eradicate our sin inside the church, we don’t have a chance of eradicating it outside the church.

I want to suggest three important action steps that you and I need to take as Christians:

Action Step #1: Stop fixating on others’ sin while ignoring your own. Be intolerant of your own sin. If I’m not mistaken, Jesus said something about taking the plank out of my own eye before I start harping on the speck of dust in your eye. Each of us has to look in the spiritual mirror of God’s word every day and identify sin in our own lives. We are living in a moral cesspool, and we’re never going to change the cesspool if you and I keep contributing to it.

Action Step #2: Mourn over ALL sin, both inside and outside the church, both in yourself and in others. When we identify sin in ourselves and in others, I believe we jump too quickly to our thoughts of God’s mercy and grace. We don’t like to mourn over sin, but God calls us to mourn over sin. We don’t like to get down on our knees, humble ourselves for God and tell Him how sorry we are. But we need to do it. Like David, we need to grieve over our own sin. Like Job, we need to grieve over the sins of our kids and family members. And like Jesus, we need to grieve over the sins of our city and nation.

Action Step #3: Shine your light in the darkness. Keep sharing the gospel, leading people to the only One who can transform both them and our culture: Jesus Christ. Jesus was Corinth’s only hope. And the same holds true here in America. Jesus is America’s only hope. Not the next president. Not the next governor. Not the next piece of legislation. Not the next Supreme Court decision. So, you and I HAVE to lead people to Jesus. Jesus Christ is America’s only hope.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church in Victorville. Join us at Impact for Sunday services: in person at 9 a.m., or online at 10 a.m. on YouTube or Facebook Live. For more information, visit

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