by David Hart
Somewhere in the misty past, someone identified seven sins as most deadly. They were pride, covetousness, lust, envy, gluttony, anger and sloth. While I would not in any way diminish the wickedness and danger of those seven, I do think that Christians living in the 21st century are face with another seven sins, equally as dangerous and destructive.
I. There is the sin of Materialism. The materialist thinks that happiness is found in getting and accumulating material things such as money and the things money can purchase. God, church, family, people and noble causes are neglected as the materialist pursues his quest for material things. Materialism is deceptive because material wealth and things cannot satisfy man’s deepest needs nor bring him lasting happiness (Mark 8: 36). Scripture likens this sin to idolatry (Col. 3:5). Paul says the covetous soul will have no place in the kingdom of God (Eph. 5:5).
II. There is the sin of Hedonism. To hedonists pleasure is considered the ultimate good in life. They tend to resist any teaching or effort to circumscribe or limit their pursuit of and indulgence in pleasure. As used in contemporary English, hedonism involves indulging the flesh in anything that brings pleasure with little concern about the morality of the deed. Paul condemns those who are “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (II Tim. 3:4). Before they converted to Christ the Ephesians “lived in the lusts of (their ) flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Eph. 2:3). Those who pursue the lust of the flesh cannot have the love of the Father in them (I John 2:15-16).
III. There is Skepticism which manifests itself in atheism and agnosticism. The skeptic questions and challenges the existence of God, the legitimacy of Christ, his deeds, his resurrection, his authority. The skeptic rejects the Bible as a divine and authoritative standard for man. He sets himself against the church or else ignores it as meaningless. The skeptic often works to confound and undo the faith of others. By definition, a skeptic is not an humble, obedient believer in God and the Son. Without such faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto God (Heb. 11:6). Unbelievers shall have their part in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8).
IV. There is Humanism. While there is a Christian humanism that seeks man’s highest good and encourages his best efforts in creativity, we speak of secular humanism. The secular humanist sees man as the highest and final authority. He considers man as his own god. This was Satan’s deceptive promise to Eve (Gen. 3:5).The humanist has no concern for spiritual values. He sets his own moral and ethical values. His interest is in the here and now and he sees Christianity as an impediment in his path to self fulfilment and realization.
V. There is Darwinism. Charles Darwin’s name stands for the theory he devised that denied that God created man, insisting rather that he evolved from lower kinds of animal life by purely naturalistic means. This of course denies that man is made in God’s image and that God has the right to define what his conduct should be. It has resulted in a marked decline in moral values and conduct. People who consider themselves to be merely highly evolved animals have no appreciation for things moral and spiritual. Darwinian evolution has become the religion of the secular world as they try to understand and explain how things came to be without God. It denies the biblical record of creation (Gen. 1:1ff; John 1:1-3). It has spawn many of the great social evils of the past and present centuries such as the sexual revolution and abortion on demand.
VI. There is Post Modernism. This is the most recent of our deadly sins. It germinated during the last half of the 20th century and burst into full bloom with the opening of the present century. It is a philosophy of life, a world view at odds with Christianity as a world view. It denies absolutes and promotes relativism. It discounts all things old. It forbids passing judgment on things we view to be wrong. It see all religions and moral systems as of equal value and importance.. It denies that there is an objective standard by which man must live. Each man is said to be free to live and operate by his subjective intuitions. It is a vain and deceitful philosophy of human origin that will keep a man from pleasing Christ (Col. 2:8).
VII. There is Relativism. It teaches that all knowledge, especially in ethics, science, and religion are not absolute but depend upon culture or individual social perspectives. It is an ancient system, first taught by Heraclitus (d.486 BC). It denies the possibility of a universal standard of right and wrong, of a Bible from God for all generations of men. Jesus gave us but one gospel for all men and all age (Mark 16:15). In the end, relativism makes man to be the arbiter of right and wrong. Relativism is an important aspect of Post Modernism.
Beware these seven deadly sins. They are at war with God and His Word. They will wreck and destroy the Christian who embraces them. They will rob him of his eternal reward.