“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
” ‘You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.’ … ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’ “ – Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28
” ‘Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.’ “ – Luke 6:41-42
One of the biggest places where Christians fail to live the revolutionary lifestyle is in their condemnation of sin in the world. It doesn’t take much experience to know what I’m talking about. If you have seen a street preacher screaming damnation towards homosexuals, a youth group turning its back on a pregnant teenager, or a Bible teacher deriding the evils of dancing, cinema, and women in the workplace, then you have seen a “Christian” who is not living in revolt against the teachings of the world. Don’t get me wrong, there are evils in homosexuality, fornication, and drunkenness, but there is also evil in pride, gossip, and self-righteousness.
If we reflect on what I will personally call “the doctrine of small sins” we see that many religious people, as well as “moral” citizens, are capable of picking out the big no-no’s. However, there are many little eh-maybe’s that they let slide. “Eh, maybe I shouldn’t be mean to my wife tonight.” “Eh, maybe I shouldn’t yell at the guy that cut me off in traffic.” “Eh, maybe I shouldn’t look at the girl on campus that way.” But, there is no conviction, no desire, and usually no visible ramification that will make us to decide to follow those rules.
However, God doesn’t see it that way. Christ is quoted above saying “everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment” and “everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Thus, it’s not just what you see, it’s not just that someone has sex with his secretary after work, but the fact that he thinks about it during his lunch break, that is in violation of God’s law. It is not just the man who murders a family, but also the man who desires to run a fellow motorist of the road that is worthy of separation from God. There does not have to be a physical action or a tangible sin to point at and say “See, that person is a sinner” for us to have sinned.
As well, it teaches that none are above sin and therefore there is no benefit in harping on certain sins of others while you have enough sin of your own to deal with. The place we see this the most is in the way religious people handle homosexuals. So often the cry of hellfire and gnashing of teeth is the only words that a gay person hears come from a “Christians” mouth and it never seems that the true mercies of God’s love are revealed to them. Yet when we look to the passage in John 8 where Jesus is confronted with a woman caught in the act of adultery, whom the scribes and Pharisees bring to him in order that they may see if he upholds the Mosaic law of stoning her to death. However, before Christ says anything to the woman, he admonishes the teachers who, in their zeal to see the woman punished, have failed to see that they too are as guilty as her before God. Then, once they all realize their own failings, Christ, the blameless one, grants mercy to the woman, as only he can, and commands her to leave and to not continue in her previous sins.
It is not the Christians job to convict of sins, that is the work of the Holy Spirit moving in the heart of the elect. No, instead it is for the believer speaking to an unbeliever to preach the gospel (Romans 1:15. 1 Corinthians 1:23, 1 Corinthians 9:16). And what is the gospel? It is the good news. Condemnation? That is the law. But the good news is that Christ fulfilled the law, that he laid down his life as a sacrifice, to pay the price for our sins, and then rose again from the grave so that we may have power to overcome sin, being justified in the eyes of God, that in the end we may be glorified and seated with him in heaven.
How do we live the revolutionary lifestyle in condemnation? Realize that we are all sinners, that God hates all sin and that all sin leads to eternal separation from God. And then preach the good news to all people, that through Christ some may be saved from hell (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).