I am no theological expert, and I'm not even that great at memorizing scripture. I'm a sinner like everybody else, but I've been saved by grace through faith in Jesus' precious atoning blood shed on the cross for my sins.
That said, as I desire to grow closer to God, I am constantly looking to be more and more biblical in my life- the things I think, say, and do. On more than one occasion that has led me to awareness of flaws in the modern Church and the way we do things in Christianity as a whole.
One of the things I've noticed is how we are moving toward more post-modern and emergent language in churches. It's like we've become too afraid of offending people to just call disobedience to God "sin". The popular word to use now is "brokenness" and I just don't think it accurately portrays how devastating our transgressions are to a perfect and Holy God.
Jesus is not merely a cosmic Mr. Fix-It character who comes and tweaks some loose screws to make us better. He is God come in flesh, condescended to manhood, crucified on a cross to blot out the stains we could never cleanse ourselves. We don't need "tweaking", we need salvation!
In language, words have meaning, and an accurate portrayal of those words makes all the difference in how we perceive what is being said. If you do a word search of the Bible, you'll find that the term "broken" is most used in reference to having a broken or contrite spirit, people being brokenhearted over sin, or in God breaking and punishing His enemies. We don't see sin portrayed as us being broken, but instead bluntly stated as a grave offense against God.
"But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. "
Why then, do we substitute "sin" with "brokenness"? People have understood sin in that three-letter word for thousands of years, but we somehow have decided that it just doesn't work for us anymore, that we know better than the inspired words from God? I wonder if it's more an issue of the church being too afraid to boldly proclaim God's law, and the Gospel. When we do so properly, we cannot avoid the issue of sin; it must be addressed directly, and explained so people understand what it means.
"For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it--he righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
I believe substituting "sin" with "brokenness" does not allow for people to understand the full gravity of their transgression against God. It is dishonest to only give people part of the picture, and cowardly to care more about appeasing others than the state of their souls for eternity. How can we properly repent without knowing the full weight of our sins, and how can we truly appreciate the extent of Jesus' sacrifice and the gift of forgiveness and grace if we don't understand what we have been saved from?
So I hereby call for a moratorium on the terms "broken" and "brokenness" in churches. I pray that pastors would be bold enough and love others enough to give them the full biblical picture, that they would desire their flocks have meat and not only milk. I pray that in our evangelism efforts we would be completely honest and not gloss over things that may be offensive and risk that the person may never understand and come to true repentance.
I would like to clarify that I am not saying you can never use another term besides "sin". The Bible uses other words as well. What I am saying is that we should rely on scripture first, and take to heart that, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17) It is beneficial to expound on "sin" and make known to people the law so they may see what sin truly is before they hear the good news of the Gospel. May we never be so arrogant as to think that we have found a new and more relevant way of doing things than God gave us in His Word.
"If you really long to save men’s souls, you must tell them a great deal of disagreeable