We live in a society where everyone is innocent. Justice is relative. Some will say, if you could understand the culprit's situation, you would see that he is the victim. In A Theology For The Church, Dr. R. Stanton Norman wrote in his chapter on Human Sinfulness, "we live in an age that strives to ease or eradicate moral and spiritual culpability; to confess our sinfulness will painfully confront us with our shortcomings and accentuate our guilt." If no one is guilty then we are subject to no condemnation. It's easier to claim innocence than defend our guilt. The pious among us are screaming 'AMEN!' from the frontmost pew while nodding their heads like a Babe Ruth bobble toy. What they are missing is this is not a disease to which the church is immune. This epidemic is sweeping through the universal church and is spreading unnoticed. Look at our terminology: I am struggling, I am in bondage, I messed up, Satan tempted me, never coming out and confessing our real problem, sin.
Where is the heart of David literally crying out to God, "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment." (Psalm 51:3-4)
I love that last phrase, He is blameless in His judgment; we live in a society where everyone is innocent, God's judgment, according to them, is undeserved. Tragedies occur and without fail, the masses cry, unjust! They say, if God is omnipotent then why did He allow this to happen? The irony is, when that same soul is presented with the greatest tragedy, the death of the most innocent, they scoff.
A prosecution would never proceed in a case where the defendant was the judge's son. They would call it a conflict of interest: meaning, they do not believe that the judge will be able to carry on a fair trial or decree a just sentence on their child. They fear the judge's emotions would likely cloud their ability to separate fact from opinion and compromise any sense of impartiality in the verdict. There is no greater conflict of interest than the fallen man judging himself innocent.
When I was a child I had a theory that if I can't see you, then you can't see me. For instance, during a game of hide and seek, I would sometimes hide in a closet. Because my visibility was limited to the closet door and the contents of my mother's depository, I correctly assumed that no one could see me. I falsely began to apply this property to immediate, unobstructed visibility; if I close my eyes, then you cannot see me. I was naive, uninformed, and five; I didn't know any better. As an adult, it is easy to see the folly in my logic, my question is, how have we missed this obvious err in judgement that is infecting the church? Dr. Norman said, "Redefinitions or misunderstandings about sin do not lessen our accountability. We should also admit that such evasive efforts are themselves manifestations of sin." Just because you don't call it sin, doesn't mean it's not.