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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Contrast in Approach to Sinners (Modernism Part 83)

July 4, 2024

Today’s gospel:

Matthew 9:1-8

   

      Jesus says to the paralytic, “your sins are forgiven.” (v.2b). A modernist pastor would say to a sinner, “you are accepted, you will be accompanied, you will not be judged.” Quite a contrast.     

First, Jesus sees the person as a sinner. But what sin could a paralytic be guilty of? On the other hand, a modernist does not see even the vilest sinner as a sinner, but just one who is in need. The reality though is that we are all sinners. Jesus recognizes the truth, while modernists deny it, or regard it as an inconvenient truth that is to be overlooked.     

Second, Jesus addresses the more important need of a person, which is his spiritual state. On the other hand, modernists address the human status of a person, which is important, but is not the higher priority. Jesus provides true liberation, which is from sin. Modernists provide false mercy and false freedom, looking to human acceptance but possibly incurring condemnation from God.

       In fact, physical healing is dependent on spiritual healing. If one is right with God, then every good thing follows. Jesus is after holistic well-being, of body and spirit. And so after saying “your sins are forgiven,” Jesus can say, “rise and walk.”       

Notice that people brought the paralytic to Jesus to be healed. They were not looking for forgiveness of sin, and in fact, the scribes were scandalized that that is what Jesus did. This is the way of the world today, where modernists and everyone else look to the physical and emotional well-being of others. But we ought to recognize what is more important. In looking to the good of people, we are first to look to helping them overcome sin.

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