Sin: Problems with Playing Church Today

Written and presented by Shawn McCraney in Murray, UT.

Join Shawn McCraney on Heart of the Matter Full Circle as he explores the concept of “progressive realizations” in Christianity, discussing how new biblical insights have emerged over time to confront evolving human understanding. In this episode, Shawn delves into the nature of sin, the traditional and fulfilled views of salvation, and the impact of Yeshua’s sacrifice. He reflects on a recent podcast experience, introduces the Great News Network, and examines the implications of playing church. Finally, Shawn addresses the end of sin and hell, emphasizing the importance of faith and love in the Christian life today. Tune in for an enlightening and thought-provoking discussion.

Introduction

Live from Salt Lake City, Utah, this is Heart of the Matter Full CIRCLE. Thank you for tuning in. Let’s have a word of Prayer if you are interested.

Father, we seek you in Spirit and Truth. Delaney, Mags, and Mary. All of our viewers, secret and open, and for anyone seeking to know you and your dear Son, through the Spirit in YESHUA’S holy name, amen.

Progressive Realizations

Concept Introduction

HOTM FULL CIRCLE Show 4
PLAYING CHURCH SERIES
Sin
May 28th 2024
I want to hit you with a concept that is utterly appalling to some religionists today but something that we embrace wholeheartedly here at the Great News Network.com.

Definition and Examples

We call it “progressive realizations,” and what we mean by this is out of love for humankind whom He created in His image, God provides humanity, through His Spirit, with new realizations that are fully established in scripture – again, God provides humanity with new realizations that have forever been present in the scripture as a means to confront the evolving (or devolving spirit) of Man in the world.

We see progressive realizations in Ancient Israel which unfolded in the apostolic age. We see “progressive realizations” unfolding when the Messiah arrived in due time – but was rejected by the religious traditionalists of His day who did not have eyes to see nor ears to hear.

Progressive realizations might also account for the formation of the Trinity, which was created by men over a period of decades to meet the problems they had in their day and age with Arianism. We see progressive realizations of hell and eternal punishment unfolding with the welt-Geist of the age of Augustine, which has steadily been challenged by linguistics and context ever since.

We might see the same progressive realizations unfolding through the schism in Orthodoxy, in Protestantism, and even from insights from the minds of those in the Restorationist period. Are the promoters of new realizations or their denominational leanings “right in everything?” Never. But they do introduce overlooked or ignored realizations that former ages missed or ignored for the betterment of the faith at that time.

Joseph Smith and Modern Insights

For this reason, men like Joseph Smith, Jun. can be seen (along with his human failures and frankly his really poor exegesis of some scripture) as having some good insights into some biblically based tenets that were long overlooked or obscured by the Catholics and the Protestants. These include very biblically based ideas about the existence of many gods, the deification of believers who follow Christ, and a heavenly realm consisting of many mansions.

Again, this does not make Smith or anyone like him an object of adoration or trust, but it does show how God will reveal biblically based doctrines according to the spirit of the ages when they come forth. We maintain that in this day and age, in this age of failing religious institutions, hyper-time anachronistic end-time rhetoric, and crazed human notions about gender, open love, and liberty, that perhaps God is helping souls realize some biblical insights present but long misinterpreted, ignored, or covered by people clinging to former religious views.

Hang with us as we continue to show you things that we have come to realize – right and wrong – as we have tried to progress in this sacred faith.

Reflection on a Recent Podcast

Experience with Mormon Discussions

Last week I was a guest on a popular online podcast called Mormon Discussions with RFM and Bill Reel who host the show and are both ex-LDS – Reel appears to be an atheist and RFM appears to be agnostic. I’ve learned over the years that all engagements and interviews like this can be summarized as either “a lot being accomplished” or as “a lot being learned” . . . by me.

Lessons Learned

The results from this particular podcast? Lots of learning . . . and very little was accomplished in terms of promoting faith from my end. What I specifically learned (realized) that I come from a place of faith, and I come from a place that studies and uses the scripture to substantiate my faith. This devotion started when I personally had a roadside experience in 1997.

These things – faith built on a biblical view by a man who claims a subjective experience with God – meant nothing to the hosts or to that audience of ex-LDS souls. It did not take long for me to see I was like a Yamaka-wearing Jew that strolled in a café in downtown Dachau.

Conclusion and Hopes

Add in the fact that our view of the Great News through Christ means God loves believers and non-believers alike and gives all souls the right to live as they choose without afterlife punishment and that they don’t care less about this – and I found myself . . . well, learning, instead of accomplishing.

That said, I thank Bill and RFM, see them as my friends and fellow citizens in this world, and sincerely hope that they will someday choose faith and that they would try and encourage their audience, who are also ex-LDS without faith, to do the same.

Introduction to Great News Network

Overview of Resources

We have introduced to you the GreatNewsNetwork.com, which is host to seven other in-house expressions. The first is this show, Heart of the Matter Full Circle

New Educational Portal

Tonight, I want to introduce to you what we call our online educational portal (or our online College that has taken us years to fabricate). We call it “Christian Ultra-Liberarians for Truth” (or, in its purposefully more comical acronym, CULT.LOVE). Delaney, walk us through this resource where seekers can get access to literally hundreds of hours of content through courses that we have created for them.

Delaney?

The Concept of Playing Church

Introduction to Playing Church

A few weeks ago we embarked on discussing some of the problems with playing church. The first was when people assume that others in authority (who portray themselves as worthy or holy) lend to depredations and manipulations; that church playing lends to this.

Last week we described the existence of “Manufactured Love,” and how it does not live up to the Love Yeshua wants His children to possess and operate by.

Errant Doctrinal Views

Tonight, I am going to start to really get deeper into major fails found in the playing of church relative to errant doctrinal views. You are going to have your biases and prejudices challenged tonight folks – I really hope some of you can hear the case I am trying to make.

The standard approach most organized Christian religions (of every flavor) maintain is this: The world fell into sin because of Adam and Eve’s choice to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. God sent His Son into the world to pay for sin and death introduced by our first parents. If people believe in His Son’s life, death, and resurrection, from the heart, they will be saved because THEN His offering for sin has been accepted, and only then can it be effective in saving them from hell and to heaven.

The Revolving Door of Religion

In other words, from hell and to heaven, no matter how versions of these two places differ, in most Christian communities, it is dependent on every individual choosing to believe and receive what Yeshua did. Naturally, in most cases, to refuse to believe and receive what Yeshua did means not being saved from sin and therefore being able to enter heaven.

In accordance with this general model, all people – believers and non – have sin, to some degree or another, and so all people need to continually repent for the sins that they commit. The standard fare for most religions that look to Yeshua as the Messiah includes the constant need to repent for the sins that they commit. Almost all of these religious expressions also conclude that Satan is out in the world luring people (of faith and not) into sinful acts which will jeopardize their standing before God.

Because sin, while paid for by Yeshua, remains a constant, religion remains a constant because people have to come to hear how they might sin, be reminded that they have sinned, and/or be disciplined by the religious organization for sinning.

This is the revolving door of religion, there is a promoted way to be, the way to be is impossible, people go to the promoters of the way to be for absolution, the promoters grant absolution to the one who appears to be a contrite confessor, and they are welcomed back into the religious group, only to fail again.

This model is borrowed directly from the Old Testament where God called the Nation of Israel out from Egyptian bondage and gave them His Law which included going to the established and qualified priests and offering sacrifice for their sin. The entire Book of Leviticus describes the process God demanded in their offering food and animals up.

The Role of Sin in Religion

Now here is the deal – the sinful person offering up something to sacrifice for their sin would actually kill the animal offered, then the priests would wash it, cut it up, burn some of it, throw some of it away, and eat the rest of it themselves as the payment for being a priest. From this type we can see that “the existence of sin actually supported the priests’ healthy lifestyles by them consuming part of the offerings given. See, if sin didn’t exist then nobody would bring animals to be offered and therefore the priests would have nothing to eat!

Get it? And from this, we are able to see the value (not necessarily on purpose) of sin existing in the economy of religious organizations! Again, when “sin” exists, religion thrives on confronting it, managing it, and expiating it from among the people. Therefore, when or if sin can be seen as over, the need for religion will be over and

for this reason the idea of sin being over is completely dismissed. All religious institutions keep sin alive in the world – the Catholics, Protestants, the LDS, evangelicals and it is really, really easy to do because human beings are sinful.

Allow me to make a case from the fulfilled view of sin, which we submit is the contextual view. Ready?

The Fulfilled View of Sin

The Nature of Sin

From the example of the very first human couple, the ability or the propensity to sin, or missing the mark of God, existed – well before they ate of the forbidden fruit. In other words, Eve disobeyed God’s command before she disobeyed God’s command. In her mind. She acted counter to what God had said in her own wisdom, seeing that the fruit looked good, would be good for food, and would make her wise, and BEFORE EATING ONE BITE OF IT TO BRING ABOUT HER FALL SHE DECIDED TO EAT OF IT.

Human Propensity to Sin

Because of this very human propensity all people continue to choose to miss the mark of God, or to sin, BECAUSE that is what WE DO AS HUMANS. We miss the mark. Listen . . . please . . . closely – all the time – every one of us, if not purposefully, then accidentally, and in almost every realm of life – mental, physical, emotional, intellectual, our desires, our aims, our choices – we all constantly miss the mark.

We love to focus on the sins of the flesh with each other, right, its fun to find out that someone choose to have an affair, someone gets arrested, someone is addicted to porn or alcohol. My, how we love to see the mighty fall. But the reality is we are, have, and continue to fall too.

Sure, some people would never steal but they will spread gossip; Some who would never sleep around might hate. Our hormones, trials, flesh, and temptations prove that to be human is to miss the mark of God.

So we are never ever going to get rid of sin in the nature of mortal human beings – from those held up as best to those seen as the worst – sin exists – and this is really really important to remember when we get tempted to hold people up as sinless – they (we) are not.

The Role of Yeshua

The next thing to ask believers is, “Didn’t God so love the world that while we were yet sinners He sent His Son to pay the price for sin?”

That is a yes or no question, pastor. And the scriptural answer is, He did.

And the next question to ask is what does scripture say that the wages of sin is?

Death, right?

The response Bishops, either right or not right. But the answer is right.

A third question is, Didn’t Yeshua voluntarily suffer a substitutionary death for sin?

He did!

The Payment for Sin

So then we have to ask, Were the wages of sin paid for in and through His death?

They were!

And if something (a debt) has been paid for – paid in full – is there any debt remaining on the part of the debtor?

No! None. Either the debt was paid for sin or it was not. If it was, sin – introduced by the Fall of our first parents and committed by us, past, present, and future, has been erased.

What does this mean? It means that sin has been paid for once and for all by Christ.

Theological Disputes

Some people massage this around a bit at this point. The Reformed Calvinists say, “Well. Christ only paid for the sins of those whom God will elect to believe. His atonement was not for the world but only for the elect of God. Those who are not elected remain in their sin and are responsible for the unpaid debt which is their death and incomprehensible suffering.

Not even going to go there tonight.

Others massage His payment around the other way and say things like, “Well, no, no – Jesus paid for the sins of the whole wide world,” but then they throw the illogical idea in that says, “but individuals must now receive this gift,” not realizing that this view makes His payment conditional and the forgiveness for their sin is frankly up to them!!

Not even going to go there either tonight.

And because MOST religionists land on one or the other of these two perspectives, what we are trying to show you tonight is rejected.

You see, Yeshua’s freewill life of perfection lived out of pure love for His Father and for the world, and then the offering of this life up for the sins of the world was an unconditional gift to the world – past, present, and future, for believers and not.

Scriptural Support

Let’s consider the scripture, without massaging it as there we read:

John 1:29 The next day John sees Yeshua coming unto him, and saith, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Take away? The sin of the world?

OR 1st John 2:2 where we read,

“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Or, as Paul wrote,

Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; (Adam) even so by the righteousness of one (Yeshua) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Do you realize that this passage plainly states that all people have been justified by Yeshua’s free gift? FREE GIFT.

Is this too much for you to handle? Do you want to make this free gift conditional? That it has to be believed in to be effective?

Either Yeshua paid for the debt from sin for the world as scripture says or He did not. You choose then walk accordingly. But we side with scripture, not religion.

The writer of Hebrews wrote,

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Yeshua, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

All people sin. The wages of sin is death. He tasted death for every man.

Conclusion

What does this mean, folks? The wage for sin has been paid! In full! By Him! It was finished!

Sin past, present, and future, that is the result of our human condition, weakness, and failures, has been wiped out of the books and paid in full.

For who? ALL.
Not just believers? ALL
Unbelievers? ALL

Listen to this doozy, as Paul said,

1st Timothy 4:10 For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe.

Listen carefully to what Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 5:

2nd Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

That last line is not a reference to the world, but only to those who look to and believe in Him, and the promise is that “we MIGHT be made the righteousness of God in Him,” as a result. So there is a huge difference between His free gift and people choosing to walk in His Spirit – which is for another show.

But when Christ was made sin for the world, offering up His life as payment for the wages of sin, and died, sin (introduced to the world through Adam) ended.

The end of sin means the end of religion. And when religions refuse to accept His unconditional offering of unconditional love to reconcile the world to God, they allow themselves to remain in the “intermediary business,” using sin as a justification, not admitting to the biblical fact that sin has been paid for unconditionally for all whether people believe or not.

There is no unpaid sin on earth that thrives because of the failures of our first parents or the failures of every human being.

Past, present, future – all of this kind has been paid in full and God has been reconciled back to this world and because of this, is no longer angry and alienated by our sin and the “game of sin,” confession to men, needing to repent of the carnal sin, or other punishments and disciplines of Man are over.

The Role of Repentance

Understanding Sin and Repentance

“But, don’t we continue to sin (do wrong) even in the face of it being paid in full?”

The answer is nuanced because we all continue to miss the mark, and even though this has been paid in full, the Spirit in the lives of believers moves them to quickly feel guilt before God for failing. This is something every person experiences who is His, and the Spirit certainly moves us to repent.

True Repentance

But what are we really contextually repenting of? Here is where it gets difficult – in the hands of the Spirit, believers are repenting (changing their minds) about breaking His commandments which are faith and love.

Put it this way, before the Fall, Adam and Eve were equipped to have faith and to love God and each other. These two capacities are freely chosen or rejected by all

human beings, believers and not. When a believer repents, they are repenting of failing in faith and failing in their love – for God and Man – and not for the act or words that humble them.

The acts and words are forgiven. But failing in faith and failing in love are not – because those are traits and capacities all people possess.

Misappropriation of Repentance

To repent for stealing a cookie is misappropriation. Believers repent for failing to have faith in God’s Spirit that whispers, “Don’t do it.” We are repenting for failing to love the baker as Christ loved us.

While something that takes time to comprehend, it is consistent with the scriptural commands all believers admit – faith and love.

Religion relies upon addressing individual sinful acts existing so that they can oversee and control people and live off their allegiances.

Sin is over, paid in full, for all everywhere, with the only judgment looming in the future is whether someone chose faith and love, and lived according to those principles and NOT law.

God’s View on Sin

This is not to suggest that God justifies wrongdoing in any way. He so does not justify sin that He literally gave the world His only human Son to pay insufferably for it all. That act does not condone nor wink at sin in the least.

But because His Son carried the propitiation out on behalf of the world and the world has been reconciled to God, the world has ever since been spiritually returned back to the Garden of Eden state.

And all souls, like Adam and Eve before falling, are capable and responsible for whether they choose faith and love – or not. Because of His finished work, all people have Him in them and are responsible for the lives that they choose to lead.

Judgment and Salvation

Judgment Based on Faith and Love

It is on the two commandments of faith and love that all human beings are judged and not for the failures of their carnal flesh and minds.

For those who make the same choice as our first parents and eat of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil, refusing to place their faith in Him, they will be rewarded accordingly as the slate of their other sin has been wiped clear; and those who choose to look to Him in faith, to live by faith, and walk in faith, and who try and love as He loved, they will also be rewarded accordingly.

The End of Sin and Hell

All saved from sin and its wages, death, all saved from Satan and his realm, hell. All of that is over.

The only commands all people have to break since the finished work of Christ is the command to believe and love.

Every individual act, choice, and decision will be rewarded accordingly as no soul can escape reaping what we have chosen to sow.

No more blaming Adam – God used a second Adam to overcome his bleak contribution. No more blaming upbringing, genetics, being born this way – God so loved us He saved us of all fallouts of the Fall.

No more blaming Satan because He, along with death, the grave, hell, and afterlife torments for sin are frankly over.

Personal Responsibility

This leaves all people standing face to face with the life they have been given and how they have chosen to live it – according to Him and therefore in a relationship with Him, or not.

Conclusion

And with that, let’s open up the phone lines at 220 222-HOTM.

Heart Of The Matter

Heart Of The Matter

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