Sin is a fundamental part of the Christian gospel message.
According to the Bible humankind began sinning in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, the father and mother of the human race were created without sin. God gave them a command, a law. The command was simple….DON’T eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:16,17)
Now why did God (or the gods) not want Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.?
The Bible says in Genesis 3:22:
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
By eating of the tree of good and evil Adam and Eve became like the gods. That’s what the Bible says….the man is become as one of us. (plural, don’t read trinitarianism into this verse) Adam and Eve now had knowledge of good and evil. The Lord God (one of a number of gods?) put them out of the garden of Eden. Why? The gods feared that they would eat of the tree of life and live forever. In other words, it was necessary to put them out of the Garden of Eden to keep them from becoming gods.
Quite a story isn’t it?
From the story in Genesis 1-3 comes the Christian teaching on original sin.
Because Adam and Eve sinned (the Bible says sin is transgression of the Law, God’s law) their “sin nature” is passed on to every human being. The Bible is quite clear on this issue. Humans don’t become sinners by a willful act. Instead, they are born sinners. Every human being is born speaking lies, filled with iniquity, and a hater of God.
What is unclear is how this whole sin nature is passed on from human being to human being. Is it genetic? Is it in the “blood” of the male, as some Christians believe. (this explains why Jesus had to be born of a virgin) No one really knows.
Our family is expecting two grandchildren this year. According to the Bible my new grandchildren (and the three others I already have) are vile, wicked, sinful haters of God. Until they are “born again”they are under the control of the Prince of this earth, Satan.
Nice way to start life isn’t it?
What I have stated above is standard Evangelical doctrine. All except the bit about Genesis 3:22. I would love to hear any Christian exegete Genesis 3:22 and explain to me (or explain away) what this verse clearly teaches.
Anyway, back to the issue of sin.
The Bible says sin is transgression of the law.
Christians fight amongst themselves continually about the word law.
What does the word law mean? The ten commandments? Well actually nine commandments because Evangelicals are not Sabbath keepers. Maybe they are even eight commandment believers. Evangelicals seem to make an awful lot of graven images.
Of course, the Ten, nine, eight commandments are not enough to live by. Think of all the things that they don’t cover. Think of all the sins preachers preach against that are not addressed by the ten commandments.
Besides, Christians have to decide which set of ten commandments to go with. The Lord God gave two sets of them and they differ with one another.
Some Christians say the Law is the Bible in its entirety. Every thing God commands we are to obey, the gluttonous Baptist preacher bellows. But he doesn’t really believe that.
The truth is most Christians pick and choose from the Bible what laws they want to keep, what laws they think are the “important” ones.
Evangelicals scream about the evil of homosexuality. They quote Romans 1. Homosexuals are reprobates. I am not sure how a sinner can be any worse than a vile, wicked person with a deceitful heart that hates God. Maybe being a reprobate is a sinner on steroids. Seriously, the reprobate is beyond God’s grace. In God’s eyes they are already in hell. He is just waiting until they die. (which is interesting because God holds the keys to life and death. Why doesn’t God kill all the reprobates on the spot?)
Why do street preachers go to Gay Pride rallies and preach at the homosexuals? I used the word at on purpose. The homosexual is beyond God’s grace according to Romans1. The reprobate has a heart that can not receive the grace of God.
Back to my point. The Evangelical brashly proclaims that homosexuality is a sin. When pressed for what this means….many Evangelicals stumble and fumble around. What is it that makes a person heterosexual? They have sex with the opposite sex. Fornication is the sin of having sex before you are married. (I am being general here. I know there are many shades and crooks and crannies to the whole matter of fornication) Adultery is the sin of having sex with someone who is not your spouse. It is the sexual act that makes a person a fornicator or an adulterer.
A homosexual is a person who has sex with the same sex. The sin of homosexuality is when two people of the same sex engage in sexual activity.But what about a person who is a homosexual and they don’t engage in sex? Maybe they just masturbate on occasion like most every man in the universe. Are they still a reprobate? Does orientation alone make you a reprobate?
Back to my point. The Evangelical says the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. Since most homosexuals will indeed have sex they have broken God’s law.
Well…………let’s get serious about this God’s law thing.
Let’s stone to death all homosexuals. And adulterers. And fornicators. And rebellious children. And people who worship other Gods. Maybe the radical Muslims really are the TRUE people of God.
If Evangelical Christians really believe the Bible is the law of God then it is high time we start stoning the people mentioned above.
Well ,uh,I, uh, don’t believe that. What do you mean you don’t believe that? I thought the Bible was God’s law. I thought the Bible was God’s roadmap for life? I thought the Bible was God’s divine rulebook?
As I stated earlier most Evangelical Christians pick and choose from the Bible what laws they want to keep, what laws they think are the “important” ones.
In other words Evangelical Christians are hypocrites. They turn the Bible into a lie because they ignore the parts that are inconvenient or contrary to what they want to believe.
The Bible, especially the old testament, paints God as a wrathful, angry being that hates sin. In fact, he even hates the people who sin. God has no time for the Evangelical feel-good of “hate the sin but love the sinner.” Oh no, the real God hates sinners. Yet, at the same time the Bible says God loves sinners. Hmm……God needs to see my counselor.
Most Evangelicals have a sin list. It is the the things they consider sin,. Usually their sin list is an admixture of Bible, personal convictions and politics. Yes, politics. How many times have I heard a blowhard preacher say socialism is a sin against God. Really? Chapter and verse preacher man. Keep looking……you’ll find it. After all, you can always makes the Bible say anything you want it to.
Until Evangelical Christians get their “what is sin” house in order we have no reason to listen to them when they pontificate about their pet sins. (which as Ted Haggard proved seems to be sins they like too)
Personal experience and observation has made it very clear to me that most Evangelical Christians don’t really believe the Bible. Oh, they talk about it being the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God BUT they pick and choose what they want to believe and practice. I have come to the conclusion that most people, to some degree or another have made a god to worship that is in their own image. They then choose what Bible rules fit their god.
I recently was involved in a discussion about a Sam Harris (an atheist) quote posted on Facebook by a friend of mine. (this friend is not an atheist)
….even if we knew that one of our religions were perfectly true, even if we knew this was God’s multiple-choice exam… even if we knew one was *perfect*, given the bewildering profusion of doctrines on offer and given their mutual incompatibility, every believer should expect damnation purely as a matter of probability.
Harris raises the issues of the bewildering profusion of doctrines in religion. (for the sake of this post, Christianity) The fact is there are as many Christianities as there are Christians. No two Christians agree on what sin is. No two Christians can agree on what God’s law actually is.
When Evangelical Christians start to truly believe ALL of the Bible then I might take their moral and ethical pronouncements seriously. Of course I know this will never happen. It is IMPOSSIBLE to live by the Law of God. Right on Brother Bruce. That’s why God gave us grace. Jesus became our” we can still sin and it is covered” card. Grace covers it all.
While writing this post on sin I have sinned.
I am listening to classic 70’s rock via Pandora on my Squeezebox Boom. (please no Momma’s got a squeezebox and Daddy never sleeps at night jokes)
Every preacher I heard as a youth said that rock music is an abomination straight from the pit of hell. Playing songs backwards was even worse. Did you know that playing the Mr. Ed theme song backwards was a sin?
Sin. Sin. Sin.
Everyone has their own list of sins.
I do too.
It is wrong to roast children over an open fire and eat them.
Can all agree this is a bad idea even if God roasted quite a few people in the Bible?