In today’s post to his Jack’s Winning Words blog, jack introduced a word that was new to me – propitiation. In a somewhat teasing move, Jack did not define it in his post; but, rather, he just opined that the modern church needs to do a better job of defining and using the concept behind the word.
Naturally, I rushed immediately look the word up.
the action of propitiating or appeasing a god, spirit, or person.
“he lifted his hands in propitiation”
atonement, especially that of Jesus Christ.
Jack’s post used this quote as its main theme – “Don’t judge someone because they sin differently than you.” (Unknown)
So, Jack’s point was that Jesus died for all of us and to forgive all of our sins. His death on the cross was the act of propitiation to save us all. Unfortunately, too many so-called Christians have forgotten that or just don’t understand it. They persist in differentiating their sins from those of others who might be different from themselves and who have what they perceive as different, un-Godly sins. Apparently, they have decided that some sins are so egregious to their way of thinking that even Jesus’ death on the cross can’t atone for them. Can you imagine these so-called Christians being judges at the winter Olympics. If a gay ice skater performed a flawless program they would be holding up scores of 2 or 3 because they can’t get past their homophobia. Somehow, the concept of propitiation is eluding them.
In order to be true Christians we must accept that Christ died for the forgiveness all sinners and all sins, no matter how egregious they may seem to us. Are the sins of bigotry, racism, hate and prejudice any less than the sin that is perceived by some “Christians” in people who embrace a different sexual orientation? Remembering that Jesus reached out beyond the boundaries of the Jewish faith and lifestyle and welcomed all of the people, who are we to draw new boundaries that exclude some of those whom Jesus would have welcomed?
It saddens me when I encounter religious bigots, especially those who are thumping their Bibles as they proclaim the sins of others to be outside the power of Jesus to forgive. They have wandered away from the truth and the light and now dwell in the darkness with a new master. They spew forth hate and contempt for those that they see as different and preach the false message of an unforgiving God; a God who somehow has forgotten the act of propitiation that His Son Jesus performed as atonement for all of our sins.
Perhaps the real message that Jack’s post is trying to get across is that we should focus on asking forgiveness for our own sins and not spend time worrying about the sins of others. Who are we to judge anyone else or to judge their sins? We all sin and we are ALL forgiven by Jesus act of propitiation on the cross. Appreciate that.
Have a wonderful and forgiving rest of your week, now that you have an appreciation for Jesus’ propitiation.