Originally written in 2009. Edited for clarity and grammar.
According to the Bible sin is transgression of the law.
Let the debate begin.
Christianity teaches that sin separates us from God.
Sin is what sent Jesus to the cross.
We are all sinners.
Born that way.
We sin because we are sinners.
Sin will ultimately land us in hell unless we trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins.
Sin is the problem and Jesus is the solution.
Our hearts are black, but Jesus can make them white through his blood that he shed on the cross.
Without sin, I wonder if Christianity would exist?
For those of us who are not Christians, sin takes on a different meaning.
Since there is no God to offend, and no God to give an account to, sin does not carry the force that it does for the Christian.
The list of sins, according to the Bible, according to the pastor, according to each Christian, is quite long.
Every person has his or her own sin list.
No two sin lists are the same.
As an unbeliever, my “sin” list is quite short.
And it gets shorter every day.
Since I reject the Bible as an objective standard of right and wrong, how do I determine my morals and ethics?
Do I need a god, church, or pastor to tell me what my morals and ethics should be?
Do I need a Bible to tell me what is right or wrong?
According to the Bible, all the law can be summed up in two commands:
- Love God
- Love your fellow man
My morals and ethics are based on the premise that I should love my neighbor as myself.
I should treat people like I would want to be treated.
I should not do things that would harm other people.
I should value my relationships with my family and my fellow human beings to the degree that I live in such a way that my actions cause them no harm.
God does not enter the picture. My only concern is the relationships I have with others. When I live in a selfish, unloving, unkind, unjust manner then I am “sinning” against my fellow human beings.
My “sin” does not bring the judgment of God, but it does hurt the relationships I have with others.
My “sin” causes personal loss and pain.
If what I do does not hurt others or damage my relationships with them then it is not “sin.”
This makes life much simpler for me.
I am still a “sinner” but I am much less a “sinner” now that I have abandoned Christianity.
Losing God, the Bible, and the complex, never-ending, sin list has allowed me to realize, for the first time in many, many years, that it is okay to be human.
After living a lifetime of denying who I am, I am now free to be Bruce. In many ways, I am still finding out who I really am.
I suspect I will always have a Christian sin hangover. A lifetime of being beat over the head with an angry God, a dying Savior, and a rule book called the Bible, has left a lot of deep wounds. In the time, the wounds heal, but the scars remain.