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Thinking about Sin

“...each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14, 15 NIV

Oswald Chambers says, “According to the Bible, sin is doing without God. Sin is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God....It is...’my claim to my right to myself.’”

This makes a lot of sense to me, though it is not the primary way I’ve thought of sin, nor has it been for most people, I suspect. But this explains why David could be called “a man after God’s own heart” despite all the wrong things he did. His disposition was one of dependence on God.

“...sin in its final analysis is not a defect but a defiance.” This is why the key to speaking to unbelievers is to introduce them to Jesus not to pounce on all their wrong behaviours. If Christianity is about relationship with God, then it makes perfect sense that sin is distance from and rebellion against God and the solution is to introduce them to Jesus, not tell them how terrible are the things they do and/or say.

I’ve always wondered how Jesus became sin for us on the cross. Now I understand. He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” On the cross, he was cut off from God, completely separated from God despite his lifelong dependence and interaction with his Father. He and the Father were one, and now they were not. They had been ripped apart, torn asunder, and the tearing of the fabric that held them together shook the world: the sun darkened, the curtain of the temple was torn, the earth quaked and opened, bringing many of the dead back to life. For the first time, Jesus was alone. He was made to be sin. He was separated from God, from his very life and being, so that we can be united and dependent on God in every aspect of our lives.

Jesus, thank you for being sin for me. Too many times I have risen in rebellion against you. I hear you say one thing and I choose to do another. Forgive me please! Change my will to be yours. I give up my right to myself so that you and you alone are Master of who I am. And not just Master but Ishi, Husband, Lover (Hosea 2:16). I love you, God!


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About the Author


I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …