What get's my goat is the prevalence of sophisticated sin in Christian peoples and environments. It seems to be the general consensus that as long as sin is not overt or 'vulgar' then it is permissible. This to me is hypocrisy. It reminds me of the old adage of high brow 'White collar crime' and common 'Blue collar' crime. For those of you who are not aware of these social terms, White collar refers to middle- class and blue collar refers to working- class. Blue collar crime alludes to working class petty crimes such as burglary, assault and alcohol/ drug related crimes. White collar crimes are normally sophisticated crimes involving people in middle and upper classes committing crimes such as fraud and embezzlement.
What strikes me, and many social studies disciplines, is that although the White collar crimes involve a MUCH larger amount of money and calculated deviance, it is Blue collar crime that disgusts society! Why is this?? And why is it that the middle aged accountant who embezzles hundreds of thousands- even millions out of the very company he works for is regarded as a man behaving a bit naughty who got caught , while the middle aged working class man who burgles a house and makes of with a tv set and a stereo is a vile offender, the recipient of social disdain? What is even more curious is how the former man who has craftily robbed his company of life- changing proportions of money will only get a year or two in prison at most. However, the man who robs a home of maybe a couple hundred pounds of goods will get seven or eight years! So the thesis is this: There are classes of crime, and these are not dependent on the severity of the crime- it's the class of criminal!! Does this not sound like the moral situation of our society? Does it not present a curious parallel of the state of the Church today?
I put it to you bluntly, and hope to cause discomfort when I do so. If the White collar criminal is the sophisticated criminal of our society, while the Blue collar criminal is the common, dispiccable offender, then the modern Christian is the sophisticated sinner and the non- believing sinner is the vile perpetrator of gross immorality. It seems to me that the modern day Christian has become adept at sinning in a sophisticated manner. Most concerningly this is not something that such Christians (and at some point we all are) are even aware of. It is almost as though the intellectual consideration of our actions and agendas coupled with 'airs and graces' changes our transgressions from crimson sin to unblemished snow- and all this without Christ! However the man on the street, that is the unbeliever, is a common sinner. Deliberate in wrong- doing, inconsiderate of the victims of their sin or the demise of this wretched society.
The White collar sinner then will be the respectable Church- goer. They may admit on a superficial level that they commit vile sins but how criminal do they truly deem their behavior to be? For instance take idolatry. Do we love the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds? No. The Christian loves themselves with all their heart and all their soul and all their mind. We will chase after anything that pleases our senses or glorifies ourselves. Now the Blue collar unbelieving sinner does not love the Lord, not with heart, soul or mind. They abide at best by state laws and social standards. They will not adhere to Biblical values. But then why would they? They do not have the inner voice of conviction, the Holy Spirit.
Lets examin the hierarchy of sin we like to secretly support. To do so we could take any one commandment but as far as sin goes, idolatry is the most prevailant in our culture. The average- no, every Christian- laments the lost, the morally depraved. We are grieved at the emptiness the unrepentant know without God at the center of their lives- and yet God scarcely finds himself nominated for the center stage in Christians focus. The goals and ambitions of the Christian claims they're infatuation at any given time. Money and materialism is our self- appointed God and we willingly worship it. However, the White collar Christian is ever the sophisticated sinner and their idolatry is often rationalised as the enjoyment of the blessings God has provided. This is a far cry from the picture of the unbeliever who is deliberately self- seeking and thankless.
A conclusion that comes to mind for me is that the White collar sinner and the White collar criminal share a startling reality in common- a sentence that is far too gracious for reason. While Blue collar criminals and Blue collar sinners are unsophisticated offenders. In society and spiritually they are morally impoverished with an outlook to an even grimmer future. The question that plagues me is this: If we Christians can only ever be Spiritual Paupers but for the unfailing goodness and mercy of the Lord can we cling to this hierarchy any longer or should we turn around and face ourselves?
We the Church must forsake human rationalisation of sin. We must become so inadept at sinning that sophisticated evil is beyond our grasp, let alone our habit.
A solace when we find ourselves in the peaceful eye of the storm where all stands still and we can only see our vile, black and decaying sinful nature and in that omment know that God in His unnabounding grace has brought us face to face with ourselves:
The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
:) More Testimonies and Confessions of a Young Christian :)
- Confessions of a Chrisian-The case of the Spirit proof earmuffs
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