Whatever Happened To Sin?

[Image: 'I Want To Be A Clone' Front Cover]



A Christian counselor wrote, quote,
"It's the only humane choice ahead
If you can't support it
Why don't you abort it instead?"

You say you pray to the sky
Why? when you're afraid to take a stand down here
'Cause while the holy talk reads like a bad ad-lib
Silence screams you were robbing the crib

Say it ain't none of my business, huh?
A woman's got a right to choose
Now a grave-digger
Next you pull the trigger
What then?
Whatever happened to sin?

I heard the reverend say
"Gay is probably normal in the good Lord's sight
What's to be debated?
Jesus never stated what's right"

I'm no theology nut, but
The reverend may be a little confused
For if the Lord don't care
And he chooses to ignore-ah
Tell it to the people
Of Sodom and Gomorrah

Call it just an alternate lifestyle, huh?
Morality lies within
Consciences are restin'
Please repeat the question again
Whatever happened to sin?

When the closets are empty
And the clinics are full
When your eyes have been blinded
By society's wool

When the streets erupt
In your own backyard
You'll be on your knees
Praying for the national guard

If you don't care now
How the problems get solved
You can shake your head later
That you never got involved

'Cause the call came ringing
From the throne of gold
But you never got the message
'Cause your mind's on hold

A politician next door
Swore he'd set the Washington arena on fire
Thinks he'll gladiate them
But they're gonna make him a liar

Well he's a good ol' boy
Who was born and raised
In the buckle of the Bible Belt
But remember when you step
Into your voting booth
He'll never lie
He'll just embellish the truth

Promises were made to be broken, right?
You've gotta play the game to win
When you need supporting
Tell them that you're born again
Whatever happened to sin?

Recorded Appearances

About The Song

From Who Does Not Want To Be a Clone?, Campus Life, January 1987:

I remember as youth pastor going into my office one evening and working from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on just two lines of this song. The problem is getting words that say exactly what you want to say that also sing well. Certain words just don't sing. Try singing a word like "hosts." Too many consonants. And you don't want rhymes that are too obvious--"dreams and schemes" and things like that. The further you go in song writing the tougher it gets. Songwriters are discovering what Elvis Costello knew, that you can rhyme even three syllables. Cole Porter used to do it: take even longer words and play with the phrasing and rhyme. I'm getting a little better. It doesn't take quite as long as it used to.

From Now The Truth Can Be Told Liner Notes & Song-By-Song Essays, Now The Truth Can Be Told Insert Booklet, August 23rd, 1994:

I somehow managed to dig myself such a deep hole with the rhyme scheme of this lyric that it took me two months to climb out. I remember going nightly to my office at the church where I was a youth pastor and working 4-6 hours at a time just to get a single line.

Since the song was written in a church, it makes sense that it was directed to the church. The targets are familiar ones for those acquainted with the teachings of Jesus. Time and again He went after Jewish society's elite--religious leaders and teachers who misled an easily-duped public by using legalese and doubletalk to twist the scriptures to suit their own purposes.

Twelve years later, this lyric still feels like I got it right. I don't always expect outsiders to understand why abortion is wrong, or why a homosexual lifestyle is incompatible with Biblical Christianity, or even why we shouldn't shrug it off when politicians lie. But as the twentieth century draws to a close, the church and its leaders must remember that our mission is to make disciples of Jesus, not to "de-sinsitize" sin.