Modern Christians and the Dumbing Down of Sin

Kristi Burton Brown
Kristi Burton Brown is a pro-life attorney, volunteering for Life Legal Defense Foundation and also as an allied attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom.

It can be disappointing to hang out with modern Christians today. For all the emphasis on love, grace, and happiness, we seem to have forgotten that sin is real.

Sin doesn't change because our culture changes. Sin doesn't change because our friends do it or because we struggle with it. Sin is always sin, and it's really that simple.

• Having sex before marriage is a sin.

• A gay sexual relationship is a sin.

• Refusing to work on your marriage, simply because you "aren't compatible anymore" is a sin.

• Looking at porn or having lustful thoughts is a sin.

• Getting drunk is a sin.

Modern Christians don't seem to have trouble calling gossip or pride a sin. We don't seem to worry about calling out the "unfriendly" Christian or the conservative Christian who may have a few legalistic standards.

But when it comes to serious sin that's directly called out in the Bible, we'd rather avoid it and talk about grace. About everyone's right to make their own decisions. About everyone's ability to do what they want. Yet there's something seriously wrong when Christians advocate for people living their lives how they want.

"Sure," they say, "I might not live that way, but who am I to tell them what to do?"

Who are you? You're the salt and light of the world. You're the body – and yes, this incudes the mouth – of Christ. If you're talking about a fellow Christian in sin, you're iron that sharpens iron. You're a friend who's willing to wound instead of giving the kisses an enemy would give.

We modern American Christians need to stop worrying about stepping on toes. Of course our words ought to be seasoned with salt; we must be both wise and gentle. But no part of mercy and grace negates our duty to speak the truth.

We need to remember that God's grace came alongside the truth that men are sinners. By ourselves, we sin. And sin and sin and sin. It's wrong. Bad. Horrible. But how are people to think they have a need for Christ if they don't first realize what causes the need?

Sin is what creates that need for Christ. If we are good and okay and all right, and how we live doesn't matter, then really, why do we need Christ? We need Him because we sin. We need Him because sin isn't an equal option to righteousness. It's a horrible monster that wrecks ours lives – often only after we're deep inside.

If we modern Christians truly care about our neighbors, our friends, and our families, we will start speaking up with truth on our lips. We will recognize that grace can only be explained alongside a realization of sin. Without sin, what is grace? And why does anyone need it?

When we dumb down sin, pretending it's just another valid choice; we lead those we love down a dangerous path of destruction. If we want Christ for those we love, we must first help them see sin for what it truly is.

Kristi Burton Brown is a pro-life attorney, volunteering for Life Legal Defense Foundation and also as an allied attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom. She enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, and is married to the amazing David Brown. Together, they have the cutest two kiddos in the world! Kristi loves her Savior, Jesus Christ, politics, and cooking. She also writes for Live Action News & Opinion (

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