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The Concept Of Sin In Religious Belief.


mike666
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Hello from a new subscriber to this site following on from a reading of "The God Delusion" by Dawkins which got me really interested in reviewing my own beliefs as a 72 year old anglican agnostic.

I assume that Christianity is the only major religion today which views sin as a "state of being" as well as an act. This concept to me seems nonsensical. Am I being unfair to my own religion? :wacko:

 

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I think you are correct in your contention that the concept of Original Sin is an invention of Christianity. It certainly didn't come from Judaism. I am unaware of another faith expression that believes in such a thing.

 

No, I do not think it unfair to question one's faith. It is rather healthy, in my estimation.

 

It is a pleasure making your acquaintance, Mike.

 

NORM

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Mike,

 

I agree with Norm - I think it is healthy to question beliefs and certainly to question this one of being 'born unto sin'.

 

To me it seems nonsensical, that because I had the misfortune of being born that I am automatically doomed to eternal suffering, unless I 'believe' in Jesus. Conveniently, generally modern Christianity doesn't deal with children and infants who die before coming to 'believe' and I think that is because it doesn't seem rational to anybody that an innocent child could possible be born already evil and worthy of eternal damnation. I think it is convenient for religion to develop a 'rule' or rules which can provide so-called security for ones eternal being. It smacks of human fear rather than sense.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Born unto sin? I don't know but it also doesn't make sense to me. Having a sinful nature? Different question and possibly more apt as I consider the many times, past and present, when I do the very things I know I shouldn't or at least are not good for me and those around me. What to make of it all? Hence this forum. I certainly don't have a working thesis at the moment.

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Here is my take on the original sin:

Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever "--

Therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.

So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden.

 

Man was not thrown out Eden because he is in some way evil (commits evil acts, or is sinful) but because he learnt to differentiate between good and evil (parsing things into is and is not). To get back into the GoE we need to stop thinking in terms of evil (bad) and good. This is what the original sin means to me. It's almost the exact opposite of today's traditional Christian message.

 

To be fair this was Joseph Campbell's interpretation and I have taken it on. Where he got from I don't know.

Edited by romansh
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In my mind sin means missing the mark. I like this analogy that there is a light switch to turn on the light, but not a dark switch. When I turn on the light switch I am enlightened by the love and the energy surrounding and engulphing me. If I miss the light switch then I am missing out on the love and energy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As I understand it, there are certain expressions of the Christian Faith (for instance, the Eastern Orthodox) that teach what could be called "Original Blessing". This in as much as the "image of God" in which we are made was not totally destroyed/erased by the "sin of Adam". This in contrast to the idea and teaching of St Augustine, of the Western Tradition, who was the one who introduced the doctrine of "Original Sin".

 

It seems to be the case that a predisposition to either the one or the other will often dictate the interpretation of the Biblical text by each believer.

 

For me, it is healthier to have the faith that the "ground" of all reality, the Hidden Ground of Love, is eternally ours as pure gift. Rather than believing that we are totally estranged and divorced from such, and such will only be re-instituted/repaired when we "accept Christ".

 

In other words, salvation is more a recognition of that which IS, not a change of the Divines attitude towards us, i.e, from only the promise of love to love itself, or as more commonly understood among some, from wrath to love.

 

"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever"

Edited by tariki
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  • 2 weeks later...

 

 

In other words, salvation is more a recognition of that which IS, not a change of the Divines attitude towards us, i.e, from only the promise of love to love itself, or as more commonly understood among some, from wrath to love.

 

 

This is similar to Jewish tradition. In the Yom Kippur service, we are told that G-d will forgive our transgressions. It is a statement of fact rather than conditioned upon our belief or some "confession of faith."

 

According to my understanding of Judaism, G-d can only forgive corporate (community) sins and unintentional individual sins (against G-d). Sins committed against one another can only be forgiven by those we've offended. The weeks between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we are encouraged to seek forgiveness from those we've wronged in the past year.

 

NORM

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  • 5 months later...

Hello from a new subscriber to this site following on from a reading of "The God Delusion" by Dawkins which got me really interested in reviewing my own beliefs as a 72 year old anglican agnostic.

I assume that Christianity is the only major religion today which views sin as a "state of being" as well as an act. This concept to me seems nonsensical. Am I being unfair to my own religion? :wacko:

 

The cultural parameters of sin defines it as such. Stealing is wrong, is a sin. However, for a 19th century Nez Perce war party to steal horses from a Shoshone Indian camp was great honor. For an Israelite to burn incense on his own in any place he chose was an abomination to God. Burning incense in your house today is no big deal. Many Christians even belief that failure to do something one can and ought to do is a sin, the sin of omission. (Is not pulling over to help someone change a flat tire on the road a sin of omission or not giving money to a street-corner beggar?) The most horrific concept of sin is Original Sin.

 

Just my rambling thoughts probably off-topic.

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The more I think about the concept of sin the more bemused I get.

 

I suspect the concept of sin that is promulgated in western society by the more orthodox Christian denominations has mislead society more than any other aspect of its teachings.

 

The original sin, I think, was to think in terms of sin. OK I know there is a logic problem here, but I think most will get my drift. Genesis three shows us 'the' or a way, the Bible is peppered with references to not to judge. And yet our society remains judgemental.

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