As a kid, I remember the shaking chandeliers in the movie Pollyanna when the preacher gave his roaring sermon on sin and sinners. Admittedly, I had never been to a church quite like that as a boy, but I did visit quite a few while attending Bible college. Some of the preachers I saw made the movie preacher appear quite tame. What a show: Bulging veins, red face, pulpit pounding, ranting and raving. And it all seemed so righteous. Nothing moves people like having their guilt and transgressions exposed and judged.
Now those in my college talked about sin and sinners in a more matter of fact way, for they didn’t have to scream and shout. However, when it came to sin, there was much agreement on the bottom line. For just about every sermon revolved around sinning and sinners. You were a sinner lost in sin before getting saved who upon believing became a <em>saved</em> sinner. A saved sinner? I have to admit, it made perfect sense to me at the time. But I slowly started to wonder if being set free from sin caused us to become something other than a conflicted version of our old self. After all, the Bible does say that if any man is in Christ he is a new creature, the old has passed away.