Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Time-Dilation Effects of Sin

While Gene Roddenberry is best known for creating Star Trek, he was also involved in another science fiction series called Andromeda. The premise of Andromeda was that during the last battle of a great intergalactic republic against its enemies, the last battleship from that republic got caught in the time dilation effect of a black hole, emerging hundreds of years later when the republic was nothing but a memory. The ship never actually got sucked into the black hole, it was just too close to the black hole and had to deal with the consequences of being too close.

In a similar fashion, the author of Proverbs understood that a person doesn't actually have to get caught in sin to suffer for it. Speaking about avoiding the immoral woman, the author warned, Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house! If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved (Proverbs 5:8-9, NLT).  Notice, the author didn't say, "Don't go inside her house or you will suffer." He said, don't go near the door or you will suffer. Think about that for a moment. I'm sure my wife would be glad I didn't go into the immoral woman's house, but wouldn't she still be hurt that I went to her door?

Sin may very well be about crossings lines we should never cross, but most of the time we don't suddenly appear next to that line. We slowly wander towards it. And just like straying near a black hole has consequences, even if you never get caught completely,  straying too close to sin bears consequences as well.  We can betray a spouse's trust without ever crossing the "line" of infidelity. We can deceive without ever actually lying. We can harm someone's faith by looking like we're doing something wrong, even if we never technically do anything wrong.

We should never be concerned about not crossing the line. We should be concerned with maintaining our purity, which means staying as far from the line as possible. If it looks bad, if someone would misunderstand if they saw us and be hurt by it, if it would detract from building the kingdom, even if it isn't technically wrong, we should stay away from it. Don't just stay outside the house of sin. Don't go near the door.

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