It is in the last ten years or so that we have been hearing more and more of the brethren speak of “our being sinners” just as those in sectarianism are sinners. But, the point being made, as has been demonstrated over and over again, is that we have no right to call anything error, no right to identify one as a false teacher, no right to point to any corruption of God’s order, because “we are sinners, and they are sinners, and sinners should not sit in judgment upon other sinners.” That very philosophy is right out of denominationalism, where all agreed that anything goes, and “none of us will criticize the other.”
“We’re all sinners” – the point is true, and the point is not true, and as noted above, some men use it in a deceitful fashion. Perhaps we can best see it laid out in this fashion:
- Some are sinners because they live a life of sin, reject all of the efforts made by God and Christ, spurn all pleadings of the righteous, and persist in a fleshly lifestyle, or a sectarian perversion of doctrine, or both. They’re part of that world lying in wickedness (1 John 5:19). They are in rebellion to God.
- Others, who belong to God through obedience to his will, and who are now living for him, would be ‘sinners’ only in the sense that they do not live absolutely perfect lives, as God is perfect. John points to our sins, and the need to confess such (1 John 1:8-10). But the child of God does not live in rebellion, does not pursue a life of disobedience, and puts forth great effort to please God. His are the sins of imperfection as he stumbles in always perfectly applying the Standard. Really, does the Bible speak of Christians as ‘sinners’? It speaks of their having sinned, having been lost, having been dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1), and then of their having turned from sin, and having, in obedience, received the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) – and it speaks of their need to confess their faults (Matthew 6:12). Never does the Bible speak of the child of God being “a sinner” in the same fashion as the Bible speaks of the disobedient and rebellious man of the flesh being “a sinner.”
It is a slam against God’s Plan, the blood of Christ, and the great promises of God for one to link God’s children with those of the world, lumping all in one group – “all sinners.”
THE SOUTHWESTERNER, June 7, 1989