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Our seven convenient sins

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

(Photo by Dan Edge/Unsplash photo)

By Dr. Bascom Ratliff

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

Like many of you, I continue to pray for our country and our communities. Like you, I believe that God hears our prayers and answers them. Unfortunately, I also believe that because we have free will, our prayers are sometimes in conflict with our actions. Sin has been re-defined and has moved beyond the 10 Commandments. I still believe that keeping God’s commandments is simple. However, I believe that many of us have developed a sense of apathy and neglect about doing God’s will. It seems that we have become so overwhelmed with life’s challenges and the horrific conflicts before us that our survival is best accomplished by simply ignoring, rationalizing, and justifying the trauma surrounding us.

There are seven convenient sins that we have embraced:

1. We have continued to ignore the great commandment to love God and to love others. Our love and relationship with God tends to be lukewarm and distorted. We focus too much on the details of the law and judge others using unrealistic non-Christian standards.

2. We exclude others from our worship and fellowship. We have a new class of lepers which includes lesbians, gays, and transsexuals. And, women.

3. We distort the truth of God’s word and we use the Bible as a convenient tool to minimize and condemn others.

4. We continue to be stingy with God in our giving. Our Lord Jesus cautioned us about storing up our treasures on earth where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal. We’re told to store our treasures in heaven because where our treasure is there our heart will be also.

5. Our service and worship is paltry and limited at best. For many, our faith practices consist of attending church one hour each week. And yes, there are those who attend church twice each week and attend weekly Bible study or Sunday school. However, for many of us our worship is usually limited to one or two hours each week. God wants more from us.

6. We accept violence as an ordinary outcome of our freedom to own guns.

7. We blame God, and use the word of God, to minimize, enslave, or exclude others from our midst. We deliberately select Bible passages that support our faith while deliberately excluding Bible passages that do not fit within our Christian practice.

After reading this message, I realized that some of my thoughts are vague and open to interpretation. I apologize for this and wish to challenge you, through prayer and study, to explore your relationship with a loving God and ask yourself “if your worship and your service” are in keeping with God’s commandment to love.

I absolutely believe in a loving and caring God who wants the best for all of us. I believe that God includes everyone in his kingdom. None of us are worthy of God’s love and grace without the blood of Jesus. However, through Jesus, God clearly gives us the benefit of his grace, mercy, and love. Loving God and loving others are the great commandments. If we look at our behavior in the light of what would Jesus do, we can begin making progress in achieving a Christ-centered life, ruled by love and mercy.

Service First.


If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and worship, please come and worship with us.

We will worship at the Parker United Methodist Church during July.

We will worship at the Beagle UMC during August.

We will worship at the Fontana UMC during September.

All services are at 10 a.m.

We serve communion on the first Sunday of each month. All are welcome.

Dr. Bascom Ratliff (913-710-5748)

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

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