“What is sin?” – Church Set Free Attracted some wonderful thoughts:
“So, we start seeking, reading, pondering, and if we’re seeking in truth, we find. What we do with what we find remains to be seen for each person.” … “I wonder what the consequence if we taught Love rather than Sin.” … “I believe, until one has truly accepted our Lord and Savior, we still live under sin. I believe we are saved through Jesus Christ.” … “And I wonder more and more whether we are all defending-attacking our fear of our chosen belief structure being wrong rather than much else.” … “But, whatever you magnify gets bigger.” … “More and more Love magnifies – no transaction required.” … “Anything other than love is sin.” … “Perhaps “we” might lose control.” … “It is why two people so much in love marry, then divorce over something others think of a petty; it’s hard to ignore that “flaw” over and over again.” … “You should write (hugs))”
Thank you all for joining in – because one thing I do believe:
“I have no idea if I am right or wrong in what I write. Other than Love seems to be a uniting word where religion is not.”
What I have discovered over the years is that “Sin” is FAR MORE uniting than “Love” to those who are “religious”: We know where we are with sin: we can’t help it – the bible says. We have to – the bible says. We will – the bible says. And we are forgiven – the bible says. Just as we can all recite “The Greatest of These” without reference to a bible: “Love God, your neighbour and self. Amen.”
Except we can”t love everyone because the bible says –
(NB: loving the sinner but not the sin is not Love – it’s conditional) …
Have sex with the wrong gender – sorry. Have a belief in a different God – sorry. Choose to say we are wrong – sorry. Choose to say this religious “belief structure” is the same as the Pharisees did – sorry. But choose to live an un-Christian life Monday–Saturday – no probs (if you rock up on Sunday). Choose to tithe big and link that with “I love this church – don’t change it” – no probs with that either. Because we wrap ALL of that up with “We are all broken sinners saved only by Grace – of COURSE we are not perfect!”
But Love is not about being perfect.
Perfect is about being right. About fitting-in. Is about believing “because the bible says” is WAY MORE important than “love”. And our reason for that belief … ? Sin (because the bible says).
We CAN “help” whether we Love or not – but we CAN’T “help” whether we Sin or not (the bible says).
And I hear this response even as I type these words not yet posted …
“Ah, but Paul – there are many good people in church – many good Christians – you are (again) tarring us all with one (incorrect) brush!”
And these good people?
They love first and the bible second. They love first and religion very much down the list. They love first and regard “sin” (very much) down the list. They are The Greatest of These.
But – hold on a second …
I ALSO meet those who love and never go to church, never call themselves saved (or unsaved). I meet those of different faiths who are love and see love way before faith of this brand or another.
AND I meet those who are “love” (but only to their own kind) – who DO tar others with different brushes … black people … gay people … weak people … foreigners … poor people … fat people … stupid people … rich people … estate agents … bankers … politicians … disabled … who vote differently … who live differently …
(and “we” would call labelling and discriminating a “sin” – yet label the World as Lost AND those who aren’t sitting beside us today un-churched)
The Modern Theologian said this:
“I think it’s fear. We’re afraid to open ourselves up, to bare ourselves to the possibility of rejection, ridicule. People want to be part of the crowd, the majority, it takes a lot of effort to break with the norm. We stand with the bully out of fear that we will become a target, we look for reasons why the current target deserves the attacks.
It’s also because love invades our personal space, and we are afraid of that. Hate does not require us to get close (metaphorically) to the other person. We can hate Hitler even decades later for what he was, but we just give a passing thought to Gandhi, “Oh, yeah, the peace guy.”, we aren’t automatically filled with love when we think of him.
Love is tough, it requires opening up and letting the other in. Hate is easy, it is keeping the other person away. We just need to find one thing about the other person that we don’t like and hate can grow. To love we have to ignore that flaw, day in and day out. It is why two people so much in love marry, then divorce over something others think of a petty; it’s hard to ignore that “flaw” over and over again.”