Thursday, September 06, 2012

Questions on Sin...

First things first...

I know that there are a number of regular readers that never comment. That's okay, but I would really like for your feedback on this post. If you don't want your comments posted, just say so and I won't post them or you can send me a private message via Facebook or e-mail.

I also know that my readership has dropped off quite a bit in the past year. (Obviously there are a number of former readers that have decided that they no longer care to read my drivel. Not a big surprise.)
But since I'm interested to know how people of all different backgrounds and faith view sin, I'd ask you to share this post in hopes that I might receive a little bit more feedback.

Here are my questions:

What is sin?
     According to your own philosophy or belief, what is sin? How do you define it?

Are there different degrees of sin?
     Are some sins worse than others and who determines this?

How are sins punished and who administers the punishment?

How is sin reconciled?

And how do these beliefs guide you in the daily decisions of life?

I expect to have answers that describe sins against others, against society, against God (or some other supreme being). There may be responses dealing with karma or hell or reincarnation. I expect most answers to be some variant on Christianity's perspective.
I do not expect anybody to attack another's comments. It's not that kind of forum. I am asking for information to better understand how people of various backgrounds view this part of our world. Please participate and feel free to share your thoughts without fear of any push-back or disparaging remarks.

John <><

4 comments:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Sin is acquiescing to do or tolerate evil, whether it's against other people, God, or oneself.

Patrick Hill said...

John,

I don't care if you publish with or without my name. Here you go...

What is sin?

It is the nature of humans to rebel against God and do things our own way. The word "sin" comes from an old archery term meaning "to miss the mark." We often miss the mark when we choose to go against God's standards and will.

Are there different degrees of sin? In the eyes of man, yes. Is it worse to drop and "f-bomb" or commit adultry? In the eyes of God, no. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." When you're lost, you don't know if you're a mile from home or a 1000.

How are sins punished and who administers the punishment? "The wages of sin is death." Pretty self-explanatory. Who administers? If Jesus is the Judge, then I guess Him.

How is sin reconciled?
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved."

How do these beliefs guide you?

I thank Him for His sacrifice for me and try to live in such a way that I can honor that sacrifice. When I "miss the mark," I seek His forgiveness and continue on.

Pat

Anonymous said...

1. Honestly, I never think of sin.

2. Well, the answer to 1 kind of leaves me with not much to say on this one. Who determines it? Certainly, it's not me.
2a. Saying "fuck" is a sin?

3-5. Okay, back to answer to 1. But even when I considered the concept of sin and grace, I was influenced by the intercourse-- (what's a four-letter word for intercourse that end in "k"? talk)-- between the priest and the grieving widow at the end of Graham Greene's "The Heart of the Matter."

I try to live to a high standard of compassion, justice, tolerance, community. I try not to be overly concerned with your "sin," whatever that may be. I would for like for you to not vandalize my house or lie to keep the LIBOR low or create a special system where people with Hispanic surnames have to pay higher interest rates on their mortgages. And I'd like it if you treated yourself and others with respect.

Pastor Greg Yount said...

John, I'll take a shot here, certain that my lowly Baptist Theology will miss the mark by some (does that make it sin, Patrick? LOL)

What is sin. Sin is defined by God. It is impossible to understand sin without Him. It is "falling short of the glory of God." Now, whole books have been written about this topic. However, I like to summarize it as, "thinking, saying, or doing something that is against the will of God." Our nature is to do everything with little to no concern for what God wants in that situation. Jesus ONLY did the will of God; thus He was/is sinless.

Are there different degrees of sin? Yes - but there is only one penalty: spiritual death. The degrees serve to instruct mankind on what his debt to society should be. The eternal consequences, however, are standard for all sin - for it separates us from God (and that is the "second death").

How is sin reconciled?
It was reconciled by Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." Jesus, the One who knew no sin, has become sin for us. Trusting that His work (death, burial, and resurrection) has satisfied God as payment for our sin (past, present, future; once for all and for all time), we find our account clean in God's sight. No longer do our sins condemn us. He has cast them all away. We are no longer guilty; not merely acquitted. No man comes to the Father but by Jesus Christ.

How do these beliefs guide me?
First, they are NOT license to sin further. Rather, I am now free to do the will of God fully. That means I can, like Jesus, obey Him moment by moment. Next, it means that I agree with God as to His will. What God calls righteous, I also call righteous. What God calls unholy or evil, I call unholy or evil. That guides me in my personal actions; and it guides me in my social policy decisions. My vote reflects that in that I vote for those who support or will work to enact social policies that rejects what God calls evil (sin). God values every life He creates - we shouldn't murder them before they have a chance. God instituted marriage as between a man and a woman ONLY - we should not embrace homosexuality as a legitimate practice, beneficial to our society. That is paramount to declaring evil to be acceptable for America. I cannot embrace policy makers who struggle to even acknowledge God in public - that is a denial of Truth. Likewise, I cannot do jobs that require me to be silent about my Savior, for His will is clear that I should preach Jesus and His Salvation. I am not ashamed of it, either. Neither can I work for an employer that requires me to lie to get by. Dishonesty is NOT the will of God. Neither can I work for an employer who requires me to sell or dispense things the Lord has said is evil because it contributes to sin (drugs, alcohol, lottery, porn, and the like).

You see, everything revolves around God and Jesus. The good news for me is, when I DO mess up, His work has already covered it, and I can stay in close relationship to Jesus by confessing to Him my sin, and repenting (seeking His forgiveness accompanied by my unwillingess to continue that sin in my life) - See 1John 1:9. Am I perfect? NO! But I WANT what God wants, even if I don't fully embody that. I do more of it now than I used to; and I hope to do better in the future than I do now.

Thanks for the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus. I hope someone will read this and consider their personal need for Jesus to be THEIR Savior - and give their life to Him now. May the Lord add His power to His message by adding His people to His family!