This past weekend I went to the CORPS Winter Conference. For those who are unfamiliar with Reformed Presbyterian events, this is a yearly conference where "young adults" get together for a weekend in January to fellowship, listen to a speaker and play hearts. It was formally known as CYA Winter Conference but they decided to change the name. This post will be on what the speaker spoke on.
Pastor James Faris was this year's speaker, giving four lectures. The theme was "The Seven Deadly Sins." He spoke on Sloth, Envy, Lust and Pride. I currently don't have my notes with me so I will be just making general observations. First, it is extremely hard to listen to an analysis of sin. To me, it felt like someone was taking sandpaper and scrapping sores on my body. We tend to want to look the other way when someone talks to us about sin because it is something we also struggle with or it is the opposite of who we are in Christ. Yet confession and discussion of sin is vital to our growth as Christians. Put lightly, it is like talking about how you messed up in a basketball game or thinking how you're going to avoid "messing up."
Also, it reveals our hypocrisy as Christians. We're supposed to be good, joyful and full of thanks to God. Almost always that is not the case. These four talks that James spoke on were applicable to me and it would not surprise me if all four were applicable to everyone in the room (all 100+ of us). That's not a very nice thought...
Another general thought about James' talks were two themes he made. The first, these sins are done in direct attack against God. Some sins are against other people but these in particular, even if they are done against others, are directly against God. Hence, the second point, they "will send you straight to the pit of hell." James kept saying this, that if you are in these sins, you are going to hell. I want to harp on this last point.
I thought that James was a bit unclear on this, especially on his talk on lust, because he did not distinguish between being in sin and struggling with sin. (at least I didn't catch a distinction...) All Christians struggle with sin, no Christian lives in sin. (Romans 6) James was speaking before a openly Christian audience. That being so, I thought it would have been helpful for myself if James spoke on how as Christians, we are fighting these sins being protected by Christ. (I often think of the picture of me hiding behind the body of Christ. Him standing, me crouching behind.) We're not headed to the pit of hell if we're having to deal with sin or fighting it. For me, that's what I'm dealing with, a spiritual battle with my flesh.
James did a great job of talking about these sins. You could tell he has done an incredible amount of research and has thought deeply about this subject. (And this is not a topic that is pleasant to think about, which makes his work even more commendable.) I really appreciated what he said, and it has helped me and convicted me. What I am saying here is a small point which was I not clear and saw that it was important for me to reach clarity. Plus, I thought that it might be a good blog post. So writing out what I thought on this point was helpful for me, and hopefully helpful to those who read this.
So, if you were unable to attend, listen to the podcasts on the CORPS website, and benefit from God used to help me. note: I do not think they are up yet, understandably.
-Thanks to the leaders of CORPS for putting the conference together, it was a great conference.