I hear this stammered phrase a lot in seminary. Usually it comes up when the topic turns to sex and sexual practices. The amount of circumnavigation around the subject constantly amazes me. Sometimes I wonder how something created to be so beautiful can be a subject of such intense discomfort. Mostly I end up laughing.
Today in intro to Ethics we discussed money, sex and power. It seems to me when we discuss sins, what we really end up discussing behaviors and not character. So in the Baptist church today, it seems like the love of money is ok. In my parents day the horrible behaviors that would send you to hell were smoking, drinking and dancing. Today I would say the hot button behaviors would be sexual activity, abortion and homosexuality. I guess in the end it is easier to talk about behaviors than sins because we can always point to some other behavior that is much worse than ours. That way we don't have to deal with actual sins or our need to change. Our behaviors are important because they are an indication of where we stand spiritually but to focus on them exclusively is to reduce glory of the gospel to mere score keeping. I am not much into score keeping religion. I guess that is why the people I truly admire are the ones who live with integrity. Their behaviors are indicators of the beliefs and their beliefs dictate their behaviors. They don't create what they believe, their beliefs create what they are becoming. That is truly beautiful.