That’s Not Sawdust

Yesterday I made the point that some of the things that we get worked up about in life are really not that important, and we should be careful to appropriately prioritize our time and effort accordingly. I feel it is important to also note, however, that just as we sometimes miss the wheelbarrows for the sawdust, sometimes we try to make the wheelbarrows into sawdust. In other words, there are some issues that are significant, but we find it easier to act as if they are not.

The issues that fall into this category are those issues on which the Bible is explicitly clear. On the issues that I mentioned yesterday–and many others–there are biblical principles that can and should be applied but that can at the same time leave equally sincere individuals with completely different convictions or opinions. That is fine, and I think that those issues fall within the realm of free will and Christian liberty. Those are sawdust matters that we must not fight over unnecessarily (Titus 3:9).

At the same time, there are issues on which the Bible is clear, and it is the responsibility of every believer to refuse to compromise on those issues. Because many of these issues are ones that the world finds offensive–sanctity of life, sanctity of marriage, homosexuality as a sin, only one way to salvation, for example–the world will argue that Christians who stand for the biblical position on such issues are intolerant. The world is making it increasingly difficult to take a biblical stand on such matters without facing ridicule and persecution, and I’m afraid it is only going to get worse. But when God, through His Word, is clear on an issue, there is not room for compromise. If God’s says something is wrong, it’s wrong, regardless of what the polls, the scientists, the politicians or the courts say about it.

Joel Belz addressed this very topic in his column in the most recent issue of WORLD Magazine. His column, titled “Sin is Sin,” was in response to a WORLD reader who was upset at what he sees as “gay-bashing” and “homophobia” in the pages of the magazine. Belz writes that the reader is correct about the absence of positive references within WORLD to the homosexual community, and goes on to point out that this does not make homosexuality unique because WORLD has also left out any positive references to “heterosexual adultery, to grand larceny on Wall Street, and to lying by public officials.” Belz writes, “Sin is sin; falling short of God’s glory means missing the mark. Period.”

Quite right. And a poignant reminder for us all. It may unpopular to do so, but let us not soften our stand for biblical truth. Let us never cower from calling sinful behavior exactly that–in whatever form it takes. Put differently, let us never see the wheelbarrow and pretend it is only sawdust.

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