For so many of us of the Gospel of Sin Management is really the Gospel we follow and practice. I was introduced to the idea of Sin Management in Dallas Willard’s book “Divine Conspiracy.” We have reduced our theology to rights and wrongs, do and don’t and how we deal with the sin in our life and the life of others.
“History has brought us to the point where the Christian message is thought to be essentially concerned only with how to deal with sin: with wrongdoing or wrong-being and its effects. Life, our actual existence, is not included in what is now presented as the heart of the Christian message, or it is included only marginally. That is where we find ourselves today.” –Dallas Willard.
What a shame, God is so much more than that, being a Christian should be a rich life changing encounter with the Son of God that so moves us that we can’t help but join God in his work. When we reduce the Gospel to rights and wrongs our children and most of the adults we know are going to be turned away and I don’t blame them.
So as we look at this topic through the lens of being parents, how do make sure we are not just teaching the Gospel of Sin Management? I think we start with the basics: Teaching of children that God is the Creator and God created all things beautifully and perfectly, we as humans used our freedom to mess things up, and thankful God is good and loving and redeems us from our mistakes. That is the large narrative of the Bible and the large narrative we are still a part of, it is the pattern in most of the smaller narratives throughout the Bible and when we take time to ponder it, that is our personal story as well. I am so thankful I have a God who loves me and is willing to make me new, to wipe away my sins and give me a clean start. God is so big, so powerful, and the author of love, and those are the things we should be teaching. When we teach about the depth of God’s love for us, teach about God being the great creator and redeemer, and teach about a God who was willing to send his Son for us, that is when we are on the right track. When we present a deep and rich theology like that to our kids they will be far more likely to be moved and motivated to join God is God’s redeeming work and want to work to become more like Jesus each and everyday.