Here are five sins that most pastors may avoid talking about.
This may be one of the most overlooked topics in churches today. Pastors may be afraid to say anything about couples living together without be married because they know that some would end up leaving the church, but living together is only for those who have been legally married. We are supposed to avoid even giving the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Think about what neighbors would say knowing they’re Christian and yet living together in sin. This destroys their testimony and makes others think that Christians are no different than the world.
This might be the most overlooked sin of all in the Bible. Gluttony is listed among the so-called “seven deadly sins,” but it’s also mentioned in the New Testament (Titus 1:12). This is not judging those who are overweight because they may have good reason for being overweight. There are many reasons a person might be overweight that has nothing to do with gluttony, but the gluttony I am speaking about is where someone constantly overindulges in eating when they are already having an issue with their weight.
Tobacco and Alcohol Abuse
Far too many Christians are dabbling in alcohol and smoking cigarettes, and in many cases this destroys their testimony for Christ. We are to respect our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit; but far too many pastors will avoid this subject because they don’t want to offend a large number of church members who possibly smoke and drink. Drinking alcohol is not a sin; rather, drunkenness is. But there is a fine line between a Christian drinking alcohol and having just a bit too much.
I remember reading about a man who came back from church and his mother-in-law asked what the sermon was about. He said, “Sin.” She asked, “What’d the pastor say about it?” He said, “He’s against it.” We often don’t hear sin being preached about by pastors because too many might be offended, but that should be all the more reason to preach about it, as we’re to grow in the grace and knowledge of God. Even though we’ll never be sinless this side of the kingdom, we should be sinning less than we did a year ago, five years ago, or even a decade ago.
What a painful subject for most preachers to preach about, yet Jesus says several times that we are to give without expecting back and to give to others so that God would bless the giver. Interestingly, Americans who earned less than $10,000 gave 2.3 percent of their income to religious organizations, while those who earned $70,000 or more gave only 1.2 percent. So those who have less give more than those who have more . Some come to church and give nothing, yet they and their children benefit from Sunday school, Bible studies, tracks, and other materials the church gives out freely.
These subjects are off limits to many preachers today, yet pastors are called to use the Word of God like a double-edged sword, which cuts both the one giving it out and the one hearing it (Hebrews 4:12) in order that they might be healed. And Christ will hold them (and me) responsible for not only what they preach on but also what they choose to not preach on. We need to fear only God and not what any man thinks.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
1. John L. Ronsvalle and Sylvia Ronsvalle, The State of Church Giving through 2000(Champaign, Ill.: Empty Tomb, 2002), 13