This week, the National Football League decided to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice two games for punching his fiancé and knocking her unconscious.
While Rice’s action was illegal and terrible, the reaction of his coach, John Harbaugh, is worthy of our notice. Thursday, Harbaugh told reporters Rice was a “nice guy” who has done everything right since the event. “He makes a mistake, alright?” the coach said.
The coach views assault not as a violation of the law and a moral wrong. He sees it as a mistake, like 3+3=7 is a mistake. Oops. He knocked out his fiancé and dragged her unconscious body out of an elevator. According to Harbaugh, that’s a mistake. It’s not a moral wrong. Not a question of bad morals or of inappropriate behavior by Rice at all. It’s just a mistake.
According to the coach, finding Rice responsible for wrong doing is, as he put it, “There are consequences when you make a mistake like that. I stand behind Ray.” Evidently, for Rice the consequences for something that would have landed you and me in jail with a trip before a judge is just a “mistake,” and the consequences are just a “process.”
All of this proves how much the world wants to minimize sin and its true consequences. What happens when sin is minimized and dismissed?
More sin is committed. When people dismiss the serious nature of sin, any sin, then more sin is committed. The Jews during the divided kingdom hid behind what they thought was the protection of Egypt so they could continue to sin (Isaiah 30:1-2). They had long ago taught themselves to minimize their sins so they could continue. The same thing is happening in this country now that people are learning that minimizing sin makes it easy to live in it.
The truth is obfuscated. When sin is minimized and dismissed, the laws of the Bible regarding transgression is obscured and muddled. All Coach Harbaugh had done was repeat humanistic doctrine. What Rice had done was not sin; it was a mistake. God does not minimize sin. “Though your sins be as scarlet,” the prophet wrote, (Isaiah 1:18). There is no mistaking the color red. Sins can’t be diminished. The truth cannot be obfuscated. The apostle Paul wrote, “But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile,” (Romans 2:8-9).
Men learn to call evil good. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20 KJV). What Rice did was simply a mistake. Someone wrote a comment on the news story on NBC.com that said, “Come on, people. Rice’s fiancé has already apologized for letting her face get in the way of Rice’s fist.” That absurdity is, oddly enough, a good explanation for the way people often learn to call evil good.
There is only one solution for the humanistic, simplistic, and senseless way people view sin. Repent of it. Get rid of it. Let the word of God fill your heart and mind and see the truth as it really is: it is the word of God!