Sin hammer

I’m convinced the “sin hammer” is a major distraction from the Kingdom of God.  Never heard of the sin hammer? Then let me explain: It’s the handy tool that’s often placed in the hands of fresh, young believers when they turn their faces towards Jesus; the alien idea that the essence of Christianity is the eradication of sin.

“Look here, son. Now that you’re a believer, there’s something you need to know:  Your focus now is to eradicate sin everywhere you find it.”

“See it around you in your community?  Then hammer away!!”

“In your neighbor?  Then whump it hard!  Your mission is to expose it, judge it, and stomp it out anywhere you find it because – make no mistake – it is EVERYWHERE!”

“See it in your own life?  Shame on you!  Grab that sin hammer, roll up your sleeves and go to work until it’s pulverized and dead.”

Now obviously we ought to hate sin. None of us who share in the life of Jesus should feel any tenderness towards the cosmic poison that cost the life of God’s Son on the cross.  But the problem with all this focus on sin is exactly that – that sin, (and finding freedom from it), has become the focus!  And soon we have a whole army of Evangelicals hammering away at everything around them, including themselves!  The glorious, liberating truth is that Jesus has already brought a death blow to sin so that we can focus on Him and his amazing Kingdom!  I believe He would tenderly ask us, “Son… what is that thing you’re swinging around like a flyswatter? Don’t you know that I have solved the sin problem so that you can get on with life!?  It’s no longer about sin.  It’s about me!  And if you’ll focus on me and my kingdom, I’ll do all the hammering that needs to be done.”

8 thoughts on “Sin hammer”

  1. Oh Don, this post of your is appalling! And I hope you do not modify my comment or ban me. I am so amazed that in such a short time you went so far away from our firm and history-proven, fool-proved, sin-hammered, Bible-centered and nevertheless do-it-yourself perfection doctrine! Brother, I feel compelled to hammer down your fabled theology by stating a simple truth from the Bible: you think that when Jesus went and ate with sinner he was simply there hanging out them allow Himself to have fellowship with drunkards and harlots and immoral. not in a zillion years!!! That’s what those drunkard and liberal scribes of Middle-Age wanted us to believe that’s why they intentionally took out important pieces of Scripture to rob us from the real truth of God. How else could it be – God shaking hands with sinner? No way. I am writing a PhD paper at the moment researching the fact that actually Jesus went from city to having a pocket size Torah scroll (some scholars say it’s KJV – the Kosher Jew Version) bashing it over those sinners head. You know WWJD if reading your post? Well He was a carpenter so He can handle a hammer very well!

    Don, I feel it’s my duty to tell you, brother stop wasting cows and holy things cause you’re desecrating the last vestiges of real Christianity. You are in a real danger to become one of those lush liberals speaking only pleasing things while driving our youths and olds alike on the dangerous path to a so called freedom. No Don, I’m sorry to tell you, there is no freedom in what you say, only the danger to allow yourself following this wicked saying: Love God and do anything else. Pleasing God is hammering do sin. Period!

    And by the way, I love you brother and miss you B I G time! 😉

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  2. Gabi! Thank you, my brother! Hold my feet to the fire! I read your comment first thing this morning, and I have to tell you, I had alarm bells going off in all sectors! (“Oh Father! Am I becoming a liberal? Please, God, NO!” And then I started thinking, “Wait a minute, Is Gabi wandering from grace? Something isn’t right here!”) I was beside myself in panic. In case you’ve never heard, satire and sarcasm often go right over the heads of us Americans. We just don’t “get it” as quickly as most people do.

    My panic should demonstrate that I take you VERY seriously, (in this case obviously too seriously), and if you ever DO see me twisting, perverting, diverting, or subverting the gospel, you have a special invitation to correct me and bring me back around to the Truth. And you can do it right here in public view like Paul did with Peter! I respect you that much.

    Thankfully the second time through I caught your tongue-in-cheek, and now I’m chuckling inside and confessing that this comment-on-your-comment is almost as much about introducing you to my friends as it is thanking you for throwing fresh cold water on my spirit this morning

    If any of my friends missed the “fun factor” here, let me introduce Gabi, my delightful, passionate and brilliant Romanian friend who laid down the sin hammer a long time ago and understands right down to the marrow of his bones that it’s about the Kingdom of God and His lovely king.

    Thanks, buddy! I do hope we’ll be able to connect sometime soon. It’s been WAY too long!

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  3. Gabi and Don,
    You don’t know me, but I spent time in YWAM long ago, and even waited in Venice for the FIRST ship, which never left there with YWAM. I think the church does use the hammer too often, and perhaps we need some of what you say to get us back to center. I recently had an experience that may have been too much hammer and not enough grace and mercy. A man working for me frequently did a kind of jitter every time he noticed an attractive woman. He always invited me to his lust party. I always refused. His antics were so bad that sometimes he would even follow the woman. The more the woman looked like a prostitute the more he jittered and ululated “Oh man, she’s hot.” I made my position known and asked for his respect of my views. He never ceased. Ultimately I dismissed him from my company because of his excessive drinking. We are in a dangerous occupation, and I felt his sin was interfering with our work. I disliked both these habits, and he refused to control either. I used the hammer. It had a negative impact on business because he was well liked, and good. I stand my ground. I will use the hammer only if necessary. He can come back to work (I doubt he wants this job) only if he controls his habits. I don’t mind drinking, but not excesssive. So, is my hammer too big? Should I lay it down all together? Or use it less frequently, and only when necessary?
    Rick Wallenda

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  4. Hey Rick,

    Thanks for the introduction. From what you’ve told me I don’t think you were wrong. As a businessman, warning your employee and then dismissing him for ongoing lack of respect and dangerous behavior is very proper. It’s not so much about hammering sin as enforcing proper consequences. God himself doesn’t normally suspend consequences, and when a thief, addict, or adulterer turns to Jesus he still has to face the broken trust, broken health, finances, family, etc., that his sin produced.

    The “sin hammer” is a more personal thing of judgment and condemnation. The fact that you would reinstate your employee, (presumably if his behavior changed), suggests that you’re probably not doing that.

    In my opinion a businessman cannot suspend the law of consequences for his employees. Your business would degenerate into chaos. Mercy can be extended, but performance is necessary in every successful business, and if your employees aren’t performing well, hard decisions must be made.

    Blessings,
    Don

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  5. Thanks, Don. Then perhaps I am using the hammer on myself, Romans 8:1, and all his friends have hands on the handle too.
    RW

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    1. I enjoyed wading through the satire, sarcasm and seriousness of all these. I would love to sit down and sharpen my wits with all three of you someday…

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