A few days ago, the Bible in a Year highlighted Eleazar’s martyrdom in 2 Maccabees. Eleazar was unwilling even to pretend to eat pork because what kind of message would that send to the next generation about God’s law?
This is the “sin of scandal”— something I’ve heard about my whole life, but in that moment, in the midst of the election cycle where a whole bunch of politicians were courting Christian voters by telling flat out lies about stolen elections, I realized: We, as a Christian community, have a pretty big double standard about what constitutes the sin of scandal.
We’re very cognizant of it where the sin of scandal involves sex.
But there are a lot of other areas where it doesn’t even register, and if I name them, hackles will be raised. As I am sure they were in that second paragraph.
There are other issues, too. Environment, gluttony, and greed, to name a few. The issues I talked about last week.
And as for elections, after January 6, 2021, I wrote to my Senator who claims to be Catholic while loudly and stubbornly proclaiming clear falsehoods about stolen elections.
That is a sin of scandal, too. (And I told him so. Though I doubt his handlers even let him see the note. At least I tried.)
I hadn’t considered the sin of scandal for years, but having it highlighted resonated—and annoyed. Resonated because of course! I know for certain that there are people being driven away from God at this very moment by the sin of scandal in the political realm.
And annoyed, because when people talk about the sin of scandal, I suspect—in fact, in my jadedness I am certain (though I’d love to be humbled and proven wrong, truly)—that they are only thinking about sexual issues, while giving greed and dishonesty and selfishness at the expense of the future of humanity a total pass.
The call here is for us all to better examine our lives and recognize the disconnect between what we BELIEVE (in God terms) and what we believe (in world view terms). We’d all like to think those two are in lock step, but they aren’t. For any of us.
I have thoughts about that, too. I’m sure you’re shocked to hear. 🙂 But I’ll save that for next week.