Pastor's Blog

Pastor's Note - February 18

In the garden, after Adam and Eve sinned, God confronted Adam about the eating of the forbidden fruit. Adam’s response is classic in its obvious sinfulness. We know it well. Adam responds by blaming Eve, and ultimately blaming God. “The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Eve’s response is hardly better. “The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” In modern parlance we call it blame-shifting. We recognize that this is clearly an inadequate response. Adam does not appropriately own up to his sin, and confess his fault. Instead, he shifts the blame to the woman. We recognize this sinful strategy when we see it in our children. When they are fighting and pointing fingers at one another, we parents are wise enough not to give into them when they point the finger at one another and pass blame to their sibling. We expect our children to own up to their mistakes and confess sin, especially that we may teach them the sweetness of forgiveness, restoration, and reconciliation. But we don’t allow our children to say, “What about them!?” We recognize the sinfulness in this what-about-ism. This is why it is all the more confusing to me that so much of the modern public discourse, even among professing Christians, is filled with this “what-about-ism.” Even among Christians, there seems to be a propensity to shift blame to others, or point the finger at others, when criticism may rightly be squared at us. “I know we did this wrong thing, but what about them!” That kind of thinking and response should have no place among Christians who believe the Gospel. The Gospel tells us that we are sinners in need of grace, and that God has forgiven us in Christ. So we should be willing to admit fault when the criticism is fair. And we should not engage in this “what-about-ism.” Let us be restored in Christ, and not self-justifying by pointing the finger at others.

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