Friday, March 12, 2010

What is Sin? Part 3

Sin. It's both a noun and a verb: "It is a sin to..." and "I sinned when..."

To raise the issue of overcoming sin requires we define what a sin is, else how can we be sure we are dealing with sin? And what about actions people claim God commanded that are out and out vile? Are the murders and rapes committed by those who claim no God any different from the lies and manipulations of those who hold God is the reason they act?

Whose definition of sin shall we use?

How do we dertermine culpability?

What action do we take against perpetrators?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

When I began to wrap my heart around the above words as absolute Truth, the groundwork was laid to release me from drives within me that I identified as my homosexuality. I was able to finally realize there was nothing special about my behavior nor that made me worse than anyone else. More importantly, I was able--just able--to believe I was not significantly different.

So what is sin?

In the big picture, literally from the dawn of time until now, sin is what ails the world.

All the wrongs anyone cares to mention and all the ones we don't want to mention or face,

every act of discord between two,

every incidence of familial strife,

all exploitive acts of avarice,

the violence of the one or the gang,

each collective societal rape and plunder by a people group of the nearest other group

and the all-out wars of nations allied against nations,

every last insult,

and each expletive thought against God,

all are rooted in humanity's ingrained, natural inclination to be selfish.


postmodern redneck said...

Is there any particular reason why you have a part two and a part four, but no part three? I've heard there are three types of people, those who can count and those who can't....:)

Otherwise, this post covers the ground pretty well.

ded said...

Just making sure you're paying attention!

Actually there is a Part 3 in my draft folder. I had Part 4 already in the works and titled in the drafts, as well.

Part 4 finished first, not sure why, so I published but forgot to change the number.

Thanks for pointing it out, Phil.

postmodern redneck said...

Welcome to the human race!

There is a teaching out there that the Fall affected all of Adam's (and Eve's) posterity, not merely morally, but also physically, and yes, mentally. This means none of us, even at our best (including me), is always as smart as we think we are. Some of us actually remember this most of the time. Some remember it part of the time, and some don't have any clue (doctorates and other means of prominence, including status in government, seem to feed this last proclivity).

It's still a good post. Not sure why I'm in such a mood this morning, other than I was just reading the news online before I came here.

Josiah said...

The power to be godly, thank you for sharing.

Is violence sin, or only bloodlust?

ded said...


I think most violence is sin. Jesus did take a whip to the money-changers, however. Yet, He lifted no violent recourse in His own protection at the crucifixion.

I've pondered the meaning of the whip episode, and decided He was acting in an aggressively against the cheapening of the act of prayer and supplication unto God. If He was protecting the sanctity of His house, then symbolically He was acting to protect all believers from sacrilege, especially related to money.

I think woe on woe for some tele-evangelists and any other hirelings who view the Body of Christ as the source of large funds of money.

Seems odd to consider sexual immorality as sin and not violence generally. How does one determine that the violence felt is not blood lust? In the OT, the most mentioned false gods were Baal-sex, Molech-violence and Dagon-pride. The representations, of course, are an interpretation of the meanings of the false gods, but I think Baal and Molech are clearly gods the people sought after in answer to their desires for sex and power over death.

Though some violence may be righteous when compared to violence generally, as is sexual intimacy in marriage as compared to wanton sensuality, all that is not faith is sin. The violence of our world we see around us is not a function of faith, so I include it in an attempt to define the shape of sin in the post.

Great thoughts Josiah. Thanks for helping define the specifics. Generalizations such as my post always need that sharpening.

Post modern, we gotta be careful reading the news, don't we!

Josiah said...

Violence of the world around us is sin, I agree.

I am not a violent person. I have never really been in a fight. But lately, I have just been considering violence. Is not wealth a trusted fortress wherin people live in 'peace'. Seriously, an impoverished neighborhood is just not as safe. This is a violent world in every way. Someone is starving because the economic system by which we secure our food is failing.

Though we do not trust in mammon... broadly speaking, the gospel has never advanced into new regions of the world without the bloodshed of missionaries. These now cry out beneath the throne for vengeance. and Jesus will break forth upon the earth with a robe dipped in blood and laying waist the kingdoms of this world. Is this a recourse for the cross?

ded said...


Jesus came the first time condemning no one basically offering and providing total amnesty from the violence of judgment against sin. The second time He comes all the violence that has been done against God and His children will be answered with wrath.

It will be a violence of judgment against the rebellion.

Violence in the hands of God is a holy thing! Difficult for us to understand, perhaps, but I believe that to be a true statement.