Some things never change.
Whatever Became Of Sin?
Such was the title of Dr. Karl Menninger’s book in 1972 that looked at various psychological and emotional illnesses—such as depression, gloom, discouragement, guilt, etc.—in light of Biblical teachings.
Founder of the Menninger Psychiatric Center in Topeka, Kansas, Dr. Menninger led the way in cutting-edge psychological techniques in 1930 with his book, The Human Mind. And, by the time he wrote the above-mentioned book, he was convinced that one’s mental/emotional condition was also intertwined with one’s spiritual condition.
Although his writings are now likely disdained by more modern, “enlightened” psychiatrists, we’d probably do well in examining and embracing them. In Genesis 2:7 we read how our Creator formed the first man (Adam) “out of the dust of the earth, breathed into him and he became a living soul.”
Taken from the Hebrew word “nephesh,” the word “soul” meant the entirety of one’s being (mind, will, emotions and body). And, even though later Greek influence separated one’s mind from one’s “soul/spirit,” there’s still talk of “psychosomatic illnesses,” which show how one’s psychological disorders can produce physical problems.
Thus, again, we’d do well to take another look at Dr. Menninger’s book on Whatever Became Of Sin?
Nowadays there’s less-and-less talk about “sin,” even in church pulpits. In an attempt to appear more “relevant” and “accepting” of the masses, more stress is put on one’s “potential,” while downplaying or completing disregarding one’s sin and its “wages.”
Likewise, God’s Love is greatly emphasized while seldom mentioning His Holiness or Wrath and Judgment on sin. But, in so doing, a large portion of Biblical truths are omitted, leaving a distorted picture of Who God is and the importance of repentance and turning to Him in Faith.
Even a cursory reading of the Bible will readily show how serious sin is in the Lord’s sight. And, when we realize it took Jesus’ going to the Cross so we could be forgiven and pardoned, it shows how much God hates sin and why we should, too.
Interestingly, He still gives us the freedom to choose, even as He did Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Even though the Old Testament describes how He dealt quite harshly with His People (the Israelites) when they sinned, we find Him seemingly responding somewhat differently in the New Testament.
In fact, in Romans 1:18-32 three different times we read how “God gave them up” to their sinful ways. He also “turned them over” to a “reprobate mind” (v.28), which basically means a “perverted, degenerate, demented, etc.” mind or way of thinking.
And, it doesn’t take long to realize that’s exactly what’s happening in our society and world, does it?
No, not at all.
Even this week at the annual Southern Baptist Convention there’s supposed to be a group of doctors, psychiatrists, sociologists, etc., picketing the meeting, trying to get messengers to take LGBT individuals off their “sin list.”
Thus, it should be interesting to see what happens; I just hope there aren’t any serious altercations between the two groups.
So, again, we’d do well to get a copy of Dr. Menninger’s book—written some 40+ years ago—for I would imagine it’s like reading this morning’s headlines. Hopefully, we as a nation will realize anew the meaning of Hebrews 10:31, which says “It’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
May God help us. God bless you.
NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.