The language of brokenness and shame is passive language. It is describing something that has happened to you. The language of “sin” is active language. It is something you do. If the language of our singing, counselling and preaching primarily uses passive language, or uses the passive language to explain active language – well we are no longer being biblical, and have started to inhabit a world view where, “it is not my fault”.
There is an old joke that goes something like this, “After being in counselling and therapy, I now know that nothing is my fault.” We chuckle at this and think of the people we know who think or act like this. The problem is, that a great deal of modern Christian singing, writing and preaching accepts this joke as truth.
At the heart of the joke is the recognition that there are in fact “therapies” which emphasize that we are passive, and that forces outside of us and beyond our control act on us. These “forces” force me to act in certain destructive ways. Since I am “passive” in these areas of my life, then it is really not my fault that I did these things. It is the “forces” fault.
Usually, evangelical Christians will disagree with what I have just said. When the position is put baldly and clearly, we recognize that the Bible teaches real human freedom and responsibility – not god-like total freedom – but real, actual and substantive freedom and therefore real responsibility for many, if not all of our actions.
However, it is increasingly common to hear the Christians faith described in terms like these. “We are all broken.” “The Lord comes to us in our brokenness.” “He came to deliver us from our brokenness and shame”. “On the cross, Jesus came into our brokenness and shame and took it upon Himself to redeem it.”