Samuel Bankman Fried and the Bible.
Many of us have heard of the fall of Samuel Bankman Fried. If you have not, in short, he is (or was) a very successful, and very young, entrepreneur. He founded FTX, which was something like a stock exchange for “crypto-currency”. And he was deeply involved with Alameda research, which invested in crypto currency. In short, he took money from these companies which caused them to collapse. He and other top executives have been arrested. (There are many articles and videos on the internet, search for them and you can read all you want.)
What is the point? Well, he is a sinful person who did wrong and got caught. We in the church like to point fingers at these kinds of people. We like to tell everyone how corrupt these people are and proclaim their immoral behavior.
The bible, however, describes this situation differently. Here is what it says about all of us:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God Romans 3:23-25
This passage describes all people perfectly, from the time of our birth until we pass on. The fact, and it is a fact, of our sin is inescapable. Many claim to be virtuous, but none are. Look at Samuel Fried. He claimed to be charitable, to work to create a better world, to help people and wipe out poverty. And our society proclaimed his greatness and heaped praise on him. In fact, the only poverty he wiped out was his own. This is a perfect illustration that all of us suffer under the weight of sin, our own and the sin of mankind in general. Later in Romans it says this: “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. ” Romans 8:22. All of creation groans under the weight of our sin. Where is there hope?
There is one way, and only one way, out of the mess we are in. That is “…the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”, Rom 8:24. God knows of our sin. It doesn’t scare Him away as we see in John 3:16. He offers us a way out, and we need to respond. We need to turn away from our sin, and not use the sin of others as an excuse to ignore our own. We need to live in repentance and humility.
God does not hide from our sin, and we shouldn’t either. We cannot say “love the sinner and hate the sin” unless we hate our own sin first. We cannot point to the sin of political corruption and greed in our nation while ignoring our own greed. We either must turn to Jesus in repentance or live under the groaning and travailing of the sin in and around us. It’s a simple choice.