Rom 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? (2) May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
A friend who is pretty fed up with the predominance of a false gospel and counterfeit churches sent this to me recently. It was a sign she saw in a place where a “church” apparently met under a second sign that said “Coffee and Church, the Perfect Blend.” But here is the sign she pointed out to me – “Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people. A heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith in God.” [Insert vomit mojie here] In other words, always pray that God will strike you with blindness to evil. So apparently these people regard themselves as better Christians that Jesus?
Some years ago when a denominational leader and his wife were visiting us, I outlined the main thesis of my book, Unholy Charade to them, explaining how the domestic abuser so often hides among us in disguise. I told them that this was a particularly wicked form of evil, quite different in its nature and hardness that the typical sinner. Without hesitation, they replied, “But we are all sinners. How can you say one kind is worse than another?” (Note: Jesus Himself said it, for example, when he told the people of Capernaum, and other such cities, that their sin was greater than that of Sodom).
But you have heard this thing over and over again, right? Here, for example, is a husband who is an abuser and a counterfeit Christian and his wife/victim comes to the pastor or to a supposed Christian friend and tells them what is really going on in her home behind the scenes. What is she told? “You know, you aren’t perfect either. Look to your own sin and be forgiving. We are all sinners.” And so the wicked one skates.
John Calvin addressed this very thing centuries ago in a sermon preached on Galatians 6:2-5. He said that this excuse for evil – “We are all sinners” – is actually just that – a statement that excuses everyone for their ongoing, habitual sin. Why do people so often say “we all sin”? It is because this claim excuses their own sin. Here is Calvin:
If I say, ‘This is the thing all are doing – everyone else does it, I am seeking to exempt myself from judgment. I am searching for substitutes who can make good for me before God. But who are they? This ‘everyone who is doing it?’ Each person has enough encumbrances of their own; they are all more than guilty already. How then, can they bear my burden when I throw it upon their shoulders? Is it not therefore, great folly to produce such people as my guarantors when I stand before God? ‘Look at them, Lord, everyone is doing it – so I am not so bad.’ Yet I am seeking to satisfy God by saying that I merely followed the common path, and thus seeking to exempt myself on account of all the rest.
When we say, ‘but we are all sinners,’ we have made ‘everyone’ shields to protect US from God. We act as if the outcome of defying God is in doubt as to who will win. Customs, habits, even lawful (according to man’s laws) practices, ancient rites – where do all these things come from? They exist because men want to be wiser than God, though they are carried along by wicked lusts and though they seek only to give themselves free rein and a license to do evil.Sermons on Galatians, Banner of Truth Trust
Therefore, as Calvin points out, we cannot claim to have excuses through others who will, on the day when we all stand before God, step forward and in our supposed defense tell Him, “Oh yes, I did that too. We all did it. Don’t go so hard on this poor fellow. We are all sinners.”
Do you see how wicked this “But we are all sinners” business is? Let’s say it again – when someone recites this claim and tells the victim of abuse, for instance, that because “we are all sinners, you are a sinner just like your abuser,” the victim must forgive, be patient, stop judging – what they are really doing is excusing their own sin! They are, as Calvin observed, throwing sinful mankind in the face of God as their defense for their own sin. “God, this is the thing that is done in the world. We are all sinners. You know that. So cut me some slack. I am only human and human beings sin. It’s normal.”
This is why people cling to this horrible claim – “We are all sinners.” It is a facade by which they are trying to evade their own condemnation before God. If everyone is doing it, then it can’t really be that bad. “Go home,” they say to the victim, “and stop being so judgmental.”
This is a huge part of the reason why the visible church is filled with unregenerate people who are walking in sin without repentance, yet being assured that God loves them all no matter what. Preach that lie and you fill the pews. But the pews stink, and God sees it all.