Shock Value

I think part of the problem with our society today is that nothing truly impacts us emotionally anymore, especially if we've been through it before. Oh sure, we're offended by about everything under the sun, but no longer are we shocked or saddened. The first news story we heard about a school shooting, for example, horrified us, shook us to our core. Now we see the headline "Teen brings gun to class," and we don't even read the article; it's too commonplace, and we're too numbed. What once shocked us is now just the way the world works.

Christians have become largely the same way in regards to the sin of the world around us. We used to have homes for unwed mothers, caring for them while visibly reminding society pre-marital sex wasn't acceptable. According to a 2017 CDC study, 39.8% of all children in the U.S. are now born out of wedlock, and we don't even bat an eye. Living together was once "shacked up"; now it's "cohabitation," which sounds much more normal and morally sanitary. Pride parades, legalized drug use, sex change operations . . . nothing shocks us. We might frown quietly to ourselves, shake our heads, mumble something about how it's a cryin' shame, but sin no longer shocks us. It's just the way the world works -- and all-too-frequently how the individual lives of self-professed Christians work, too.

It's little wonder so few respond to a gospel requiring repentance. No one considers sin a serious issue, something beyond the pale. Our sin must first shock us, offend us, be a known wrong before we'll ever do something to make it right. It needs to regain its shock value, and we need to regain hearts which break for the sin around us. Maybe that will motivate us both to repent ourselves and to lead others to a God who forgives repentant sinners.

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