What is the other Christian “S” word? Sin. There I said it. It’s the word nobody wants to talk about. Some pastors are still willing to mention the word, sin, but the number seems to be dwindling. What about our politicians?
The Word No Modern President Will Use
The first National Day of Prayer Proclamation was made by President Lincoln in 1863. In it he uses the word sin(s) and calls for national confession and repentance.
“…And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon…It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness…” [emphasis added]
See Lincoln’s proclamation in its’ entirety here:
In the book, “Whatever Became of Sin?” by Karl Menninger, the author quotes a couple of paragraphs from an article in “Theology Today”. Basically he says that in the first two years following the requirement for Presidents to proclaim a national day of prayer, Truman in 1952 and Eisenhower in 1953, did include the word “sin” in their proclamations. But for every year since then, no American President has followed suit, including Eisenhower, after his first time.
In an article by Keep Believing Ministries, that author asserts that since the writing of Karl Menninger’s book in 1973 until the publishing of his article in 1993, still no president had used the word “sin” in their call to national prayer. I checked President George W. Bush’s proclamations and he didn’t either. Of course President Obama hasn’t. The author concluded in this section that,”…no president actually has the courage to call Americans to repent of their sins.”
Keep Believing Ministries article:
President Bush’s Proclamations here:
National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer is only 2 1/2 weeks away. Let’s prepare ourselves to do what was originally intended for that day by President Lincoln. Let’s prepare ourselves to confess our sins in humble repentance.
Be sure to also make plans to attend a local event celebrating the National Day of Prayer. Check out resources here:
What is “repentance”?
Without getting into a deep theological argument, let’s simply look at one scripture that I believe gives us a clear mandate.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chr. 7:14 KJV [emphasis added]
There you have it. Repentance is turning from you wicked ways. If you don’t stop doing it, then you haven’t repented.
What is “sin”?
What are we supposed to confess and turn from? To define sin, it’s best to go directly to the source. Let’s look at what the Bible has to say. Disclaimer: This is in no way meant to be a complete treatise on the complete meaning of what sin means.
“…whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Rom. 14:23 KJV
One way to look at sin then is, that whatever a person thinks, says or does without a full persuasion of its lawfulness, is sin to that person. Another way to look at this is that we are not to go against our consciences. Conscience is not foolproof as our consciences can become seared, though, so let’s keep looking at scripture.
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Jam. 4: 17 KJV
Here, sin can be by omission. If we know to do good and don’t do it, we have sinned.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like…” Gal. 5:19-21 KJV
If you needed some specific things to look for to confess, there it is. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you if you have even thought these sins. (See Matt. 5:28 and 1 John 3:15)
What about you?
Are you willing to use the word “sin”? Are you willing to confess your sins and repent? Get ready to do just that on this years’ National Day of Prayer, May 5, 2011.W
What are the seven deadly sins? http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-are-the-seven-deadly-sins-and-their-meanings/
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