Ten Hundred Word Sin

SinGod is very concerned about what we do, and wants to make sure that we do some things that he likes, and especially that we don’t do things he doesn’t like. When we don’t do what God wants, it’s called ‘sin‘. Sometimes, these are things that almost everyone agrees that people shouldn’t do, and sometimes they’re things that most people don’t see a problem with. But God says they’re bad anyway, and that’s all that matters.

When the first people were made, they never did bad things, so everything was fine. Then one day, they did a bad thing by eating from a tree, which meant that they were always going to do bad things and so were all the rest of us. That doesn’t make sense to me, but they were told to do it by a talking ground-animal, so maybe that explains it.

Some things that God doesn’t like are done all the time and no one seems to care. People keep and even eat animals that aren’t clean, and they wear clothes that are made of different things. Some things, like killing people, are done quite a lot and everyone agrees that they’re bad things except when they’re not. When people call something ‘sin‘, it usually means they don’t like it and don’t want to think about it. God might not even have said that it’s definitely bad.

When you do things that are bad, the Big Book of God says that it’s like being dead, and that it makes us a long way away from God. The Big Book also says that we’re all as bad as each other, and a long way from God. But we should try to do what God wants, even though we can’t manage it and we still get in trouble for having the wrong thoughts. The important thing is to try. Then it’s okay as long as we say sorry and mean it.

Image courtesy of intruso4, used with permission

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About Recovering Agnostic

I'm Christian by upbringing, agnostic by belief, cynical by temperament, broadly scientific in approach, and looking for answers. My main interest at the moment is in turning my current disengaged shrug into at least a working hypothesis.

3 responses to “Ten Hundred Word Sin”

  1. Karin says :

    That’s one interpretation. As the Bible is a collection of various strands of thought there are other ways of looking at it.

  2. Karin says :

    What if sin is something that spoils our relationships with each other, with God and with the world around us. Would that make it more important in your eyes?

    Of course the Old Testament talks about all sorts of things being sinful we can’t see any harm in, but perhaps that’s because they were referring to a cultural code, which the ancient Jews employed to keep themselves separate from the people around them. At least some of the dietary laws may have been about staying healthy in a hot climate and so based on common sense.

    There are some people who call themselves Christians who like to concentrate on the Old Testament and their understanding of God’s judgement there.

    However, the original meaning of Christian is follower of Christ, so I would argue that a genuine Christian looks to Jesus first and foremost for guidance on how to live.

    It is widely known that God’s peace is a translation of the word Shalom, which means wholeness & completeness, health, prosperity and complete well-being in mind & body etc. Even some Evangelical Christians acknowledge that.

    I’m reading a very interesting book at present, Noel Moules’ Fingerprints of Fire, Footprints of Peace, in which he claims that God’s judgement is about restoration and reconciliation, the purification of evil, not the eternal destruction of people who have done evil things.

    Much theological understanding today is resting on the shoulders of older theologies, in which the original intentions of God have been distorted either through poor understanding or through deliberate attempts to control and even exploit ordinary people. I expect this happened to some extent quite early on when different groups wanted to adopt Christianity but make it fit their way of thinking a bit more and this would have been the case especially when people with no understanding of Jewish thinking became Christians.

    I’m sure Noel Moules has his own way of looking at things, but his book does seem to be based on serious scholarship, so I would think it is factually correct, even if you disagree with the conclusions he draws.

    Several years ago when I felt I could not continue going to church, one of the books, which gave me a portrait of Jesus I could recognise far more than many of those painted by some Christians was Thich Nhat Hanh’s living Buddha, Living Christ.

    I’m heartened to see that some well-known Evangelicals are moving away from much that I did not like about Evangelicalism. In my opinion, anyone who really questions those ideas and reads books other than those written by approved Evangelical authors cannot fail to do so.

    God may expect a lot from us, but there is always a good reason, based on his desire for our well-being as individuals and as a wider society, as is always the case with a truly loving parent. As such she will not sentence any of her children to an eternity of torment and separation.

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