Friday, March 28, 2008

7 Deadly Sins for the 21st Century

Forbes has just released an article on the most sinful cities in the U.S.

America's Most Sinful Cities

Interestingly enough, Oklahoma City showed up on two different lists. Oklahoma City ranked number 9 on the list of the top 10 most gluttonous cities. It also ranked number 8 on the most envious cities.

The results of this study are based on the editors equivalent categories. So the gluttony sin was measured by looking at obesity statistics and BMI (body mass index) to find that Oklahoma City has a population of 27.5% that is obese. Envy, on the other hand, was measured by looking at property crime rates such as burglary, larceny, and auto theft.

What I have to wonder is: why do this kind of study? Were the Forbes editors sitting around, thinking to themselves, "Hey, I wonder if your city is a greater place of sin than mine?"

And if you just have to know, that cesspool of lust, Denver, Colorado was number 1. (By the way, Washington D.C. did make the list - #6. But it was beat out by Salt Lake City, UT, home of the family value religion of Latter Day Saints, at the #5.)

Each of the 7 Deadly Sins were covered in this list. Which is kind of funny. The 7 Deadly Sins really have no connection to our modern culture. Gluttony, Avarice (the pursuit of stuff), Pride, Envy, Lust, Wrath, and Sloth are the outline for most of the new televisions shows that are produced. The "deadly" nature of these sins has been reduced to plot points for entertainment.

A few years back, I did a preaching series on the 7 Deadly Sins. But I came at it from a different angle. What would the 7 Deadly Sins look like in our culture today. This is what I came up with:

Pride's modern equivalent is Entitlement.
Envy manifests itself today as Debt.
Lust is known today as Pornography.
Anger has only changed its name to Bitterness.
Gluttony is seen in Consumerism.
Sloth has been replaced by Busyness.
And finally, Greed has reared its head in Gambling.

These are the costumes that the traditional 7 Sins wear today. Where the tradition of the 7 Deadly Sins was about destruction of the soul, the 7 Deadly Sins of the 21st Century are not just destructive to the soul but to the whole life of a person.

The church has been called to rally against the work of the Devil in lives. The question we must ask ourselves is what kind of defense have we made against these attacks in our lives, homes, churches, and communities?