No Excuses

September 25, 2017

On Saturday, church history was made, and most people don't even know it. For the first time since 1333, a "formal filial correction" was issued to the pope. (You can read the details here and the full text of the correction here.) A filial  ("brotherly") correction is written and given to the pope when it becomes clear to Roman Catholic scholars and experts in church law that the pope, as earthly head of the church, has violated church law and made statements which run counter to the Bible and to official teaching. In this case, it mostly centers around divorced and remarried persons, something taken far more seriously by Catholics than Protestants, and a few things regarding homosexuality and cohabitation.

 

If there's something we can take away from the process as those outside of the Roman Catholic Church, it's that no one is above the law. No one, not even the pope, gets to make excuses as to why they've decided to go against the word of God as interpreted by the Church. If there's a process in place to correct the pope, a man supposedly infallible in matters of faith and morals, then you can rest assured there are rules for us, too.

 

I think, really, it speaks to how we view sin, among other things. Some people try to redefine sin as a deliberate violation of a known law of God. In short, if I do something and don't know it's wrong, it's not a sin and I can't be punished for it. I don't believe Scripture lets us get away with that. Even our civil law claims that ignorance of the law is no excuse; why should God, the source and basis for the principles behind our laws, be any different? We don't get to use that excuse. We don't even get to say, "Well, I thought about it a long time, and I decided it wasn't really wrong." What was sin in the beginning is sin today. What God has said still stands, and we are held to His perfect standard.

 

Today, then, I ask you to examine yourselves. Are you making excuses to justify the sin in your life? If so, remember: no excuse will stand before a perfectly holy, perfectly just God.

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