Corporate Sin: Fact or Fiction?

I was just now reading a review of the movie ‘Blue Like Jazz‘ (I know I’m late to the party). There are a lot of things I could say about it, but one line specifically caught my attention.

The writer said, “Clearly, the church doesn’t condone adulterous affairs, which are an individual’s own sin, not the church’s.”

This is a piss-poor attitude and probably why the author felt justified in critiquing an autobiographical movie like it was a Sunday sermon.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12 that just like a body is one thing and has many ‘members’ (arms, legs, eyes, ears, etc.), so the Church is ‘one Spirit’ and many members. He writes specifically, “If the foot would say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.”

Which means we cannot dissociate ourselves or cut ourselves off from other people who claim to be a part of the Christian body, even if we want to. We are bound to those who confess Jesus in thought, word, deed, and action because we are the same body.

Paul continues, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you…”

Which means we can’t cut THEM out of our lives either!

We can’t remove ourselves and we can’t remove them.

If you don’t think this is fair, let me remind you that in Jesus’ final prayer in Gethsemene he asked that God make all of us “one, as [God and Jesus] are one.”

Jesus prays that all of us Christian brothers and sisters share the same kind of relationship that He has with God the Creator. If you don’t know what that relationship looks like, the author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the “reflection of God’s glory” and the “exact imprint of God’s very being.”

Jesus WAS God. We ARE each other.

If my tongue sins, my mind and heart are still guilty. When my hand sins, my foot is guilty. When my eyes sin, my ears are guilty. When my father, mother, brothers, or sisters sin, I am guilty.

Still not convinced?

James tells us that if we have broken just ONE POINT of the law, then we have broken all of it.

That means if I am a liar, then I am also an adulterer, a thief, and a murderer. The sin that you are committing now, I have already committed. The law that you break now, I will break tomorrow.

There is no such thing as individual sin. Not if we believe Paul and respond to Jesus’ request. Not if we believe what James (the very brother of Christ) taught about keeping the commandments.

Nope. All sin is corporate because it never affects only ourselves. Every single member is guilty…


1 Comment

Filed under Theology/Spirituality, Uncategorized

One response to “Corporate Sin: Fact or Fiction?

  1. Pingback: Corporate Sin: Responding | lukewarmdisciple

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