Once I saw a bumper sticker on a car that said, “Just for the record, God is writing it all down.” Does it make you nervous that there is a record kept of our lives? How would you like to see a list published of all the internet sites you’ve ever visited, a compilation of all the thoughts you’ve had, or a recording of all the words you’ve ever spoken?
In this age of “correctness,” it is highly undesirable to be labeled as judgmental. Many people in today’s society seem to have adopted an attitude that says, “Live and let live,” and never judge another person’s behavior because “it’s none of your business!”
One author’s book title asks the important question, Whatever Became of Sin? (Karl Menninger, Hawthorn Books, 1973). Good question! I’ve heard of pastors who were wrestling with situations where church members were openly practicing sin with no interest in repentance, but the church boards would not consider removing them from membership. The pervasive attitude was, “I am not my brother’s keeper and what they do is none of my business.” The general opinion seems to be that as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody don’t do anything about it.
Is there not a time and place to call sin by its right name? As Ellen White says, “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” Education, p. 57. (1903). To speak to those who are dishonoring the name of God is the right thing for leaders to do.
Micah’s warning about judgment may not have made him very popular, but end-time judgment is a clear message of the Bible and we need to live our lives with the end in view.
Gordon Bietz, D.Min.
Southern Adventist University