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Old 01-21-2002, 11:40 AM   #16
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To respond to the question of "morality" of smoking yet again, I would see it being moral on the basis of why you smoke. I would say that 99.9%+ don't smoke with the purpose of angering God.

In Catholicism, at least, sin is the conscious choosing to do wrong; hence, if what you do is "officially" listed as sin and you didn't know it, then you cannot have sinned. Likewise, if your conscience doesn't believe that what you are doing is sinful--and, hence, you aren't trying to offend God--then you haven't sinned. Anyway, corroborate with your own denomination on what constitutes "sin." I just thought I'd give an alternate point of view.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 01-21-2002, 12:07 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
And, personally, my mom smokes. When confronted with the risks, she replies that God will "take her" when He wants to. That strikes me as a SERIOUS violation of Matthew 4:7 and its reference, Deuteronomy 6:16: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

In her case, even if the smoking itself is morally ambivalent, her attitude about her habit worries me greatly.
In defense of your mother, I don't think that is necessarily "tempting" God. It is more of the Christian attitude of letting God take control of your life. "My life is in God's hands." Or maybe it isn't. You know your mother best. Either way, does that make sense?

But I will admit it is a somewhat odd attitude to have, but no more odd than the beliefs of Christian Scientists regarding medicine--as irresponsible and misguided as I may believe such beliefs to be personally, I believe that, since their actions are formulated with the understanding that they are pleasing God, it is not necessarily morally wrong. But, if a Christian Scientist went to a hospital in a fit of anger against God (hence, going to the hospital is a "rebellious" act that they still believe to wrong in conscience), then it would be morally wrong of them to have gone for medical treatment.

Make any sense?

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 01-21-2002, 01:58 PM   #18
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Melon:

I will reply to your posts because you directly replied to mine. This does not mean that I will continue replying to your posts in the general case, and I hope that this exchange will not also degenerate.

It seems to me that, by your definition, an atheist cannot sin. The atheist doesn't believe in God, thus he cannot act out of anger towards God, thus he cannot sin.

I believe in a very different definition of sin. I believe sin is knowingly choosing "your way" over what is right, regardless of your feelings toward God, and regardless even of whether you acknowledge "what is right" as the will of God.

Specifically, look at how the Bible treats "horizontal sins", sins against man in which God is concerned almost tangentially.

Exodus 20:13 says, "Thou shalt not kill," or kill without cause (murder) as is commonly translated. In that case, anger at God doesn't seem to be an issue at all.

Matthew 5:21-22a adds to the Commandment:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.

Here, anger at your fellow man is the issue, but it is qualified anger ("without a cause"), and anger at God still doesn't seem to apply.

My point is, anger at God doesn't seem biblically necessary for a sin. Further, anger at God may not even be a sin in its own right. Look at Matthew 22:37-38:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

Love and anger can coexist. God has been occasionally angry with the Israelites, and yet it seems He always loved them, just as parents can (and sometimes should) be their children. The key is that it is righteous, and not selfish, anger.

At the same time, a man could (I believe) be angry with God and not sin. If he is dealt something he does not honestly believe he deserves, he can angrily ask God, "Why?". But as long as his anger passes, his love of God remains, and his faith in God is unmoved, it may not qualify as a sin. In fact, I believe that God prefers a man who gets angry and is honest before God about that anger - as indicated by some of the more bitter Psalms.

Returning to your example (the Christian Scientist who angrily goes to a hospital), the anger might not be a sin, even if the disobedience against God qualifies.

Either way, I still believe that the Christian Scientist is wrong for not going to the hospital, because it certainly falls under tempting God.

To paraphrase the section of Matthew 4 I referenced, Satan took Jesus to the top of the temple and said, "If you're the Son of God, jump and the angels will save you." Jesus replied, "I won't, because scripture says not to tempt God."

I fear that the Christian Scientists' reasoning too closely follows that of Satan: "we're Christians, and if we're sick and have enough faith, we will be healed; thus, we shouldn't go to the hospital."

The reply still holds: don't tempt God.

And, returning finally to the case of my mother, I still think her attitude is quite dangerous. It's one thing to say, "My life is in God's hands." It's quite another to say, "My life is in His hands; I think I'll play in traffic."
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Old 01-21-2002, 02:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
Melon:

I will reply to your posts because you directly replied to mine. This does not mean that I will continue replying to your posts in the general case, and I hope that this exchange will not also degenerate.
I am not writing this in the spirit of argument, so don't think of it that way. Must everything be politically motivated?

Quote:
It seems to me that, by your definition, an atheist cannot sin. The atheist doesn't believe in God, thus he cannot act out of anger towards God, thus he cannot sin.
My response was tailored with the assumption that the person was already Christian. If a Christian acts truly and honestly in love, he cannot sin. As for non-Christians, I refuse to pass judgment.

Quote:
I believe in a very different definition of sin. I believe sin is knowingly choosing "your way" over what is right, regardless of your feelings toward God, and regardless even of whether you acknowledge "what is right" as the will of God.
It is what you believe, and I will not argue with it. It is your conscience, and you should follow it. But I am simply clarifying what I have been taught and what I believe as an alternate point of view. With that in mind, I am hoping that it will make you, and perhaps others, think about the issue. And if, in thinking, one goes right back to where they started, then, at least, those beliefs should be stronger.

What I am going by is Catholic beliefs and tradition. Sin, by both definition and tradition in this school of thought, is the free and conscious choosing to go against God. Hence, one cannot sin by default or by ignorance.

Quote:
Specifically, look at how the Bible treats "horizontal sins", sins against man in which God is concerned almost tangentially.

Exodus 20:13 says, "Thou shalt not kill," or kill without cause (murder) as is commonly translated. In that case, anger at God doesn't seem to be an issue at all.
No, but it is an offense against love. To kill your neighbor maliciously is to hate your neighbor. To kill your neighbor in self-defense, as in your neighbor is attempting to kill you or someone you love, is to show that you are killing out of love of your family and desire to protect them.

I'm sure DebbieSG will laugh at me to quote this passage yet again ( ), but it is applicable in the context of this message:

"Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law." -- Romans 13:8-10.

I must admit I should have stated this perhaps in the other message, but sometimes I get my arguments mixed up.

Quote:
Love and anger can coexist. God has been occasionally angry with the Israelites, and yet it seems He always loved them, just as parents can (and sometimes should) be their children. The key is that it is righteous, and not selfish, anger.
Personally, I disagree with the contention that God is, or ever was, vengeful. It is simply a change in perception. When we look at September 11th, for instance, we don't see it as a sign of a vengeful God. If the same event happened to the Israelites, they would have seen it as a sign that God is somehow angry at them. And, if it were in the Bible, rather than stating that terrorists were to blame, they would have probably written that God struck down the towers in anger for the our sins. It's not that the Israelites were deceiving people. It is just that both education and theology is different than back then.

Regardless, assuming that God is angry, that is up to God, not us. While God has the power to judge and smite whomever He very well pleases, the same power is not reserved to us. Our challenge, as stated by Jesus and reaffirmed in Romans 13:8-10 is to live a life of love. Henceforth, if all of our actions are motivated out of love, a Christian cannot sin.

Quote:
Either way, I still believe that the Christian Scientist is wrong for not going to the hospital, because it certainly falls under tempting God.
I believe it is wrong for a Christian Scientist to not go to the hospital, because I believe that our ability to treat ourselves comes from God.

Regardless, if someone in the family dies of an illness, due to the fact that they were not given medical treatment, I do not necessarily believe that to be a sin on their part. Certainly, they should be possibly be liable for criminal penalties in the secular world, but, in regards to religion, I will not pass judgment onto them.

Regardless, you do post an interesting point that I will continue to ponder. I think your application of Matthew 4 is correct, but I am not a Christian Scientist, nor do I believe in them. But, as I stated earlier, I will not pass judgment on them for doing what they truly believe to be moral and upright, although I will continue to disagree vehemently with their contention.

And, in regards to your mother, I do not know her obviously, but perhaps you should tell her what you told me. Maybe it will drive her to quit smoking? Good luck...

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 01-21-2002, 04:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by scatteroflight:
I think that "sin" is supposed to mean "missing the mark"--I have heard that that is the actual definition of the word as used in the Bible.
"Sin," supposedly, comes from the Hebrew word for "imperfection," which also explains the whole "missing the mark." But "imperfection" is part of our design, hence the obsession with original sin.

Different Christian religions obviously deal with the matter of sin differently, and have done so for centuries. Hence, I must restrain myself from doing the usual "melon" argument on this subject, because there are different answers to it. I highly suggest that those who question "what is sin?" to consult their own denomination on the official definition of it.

Quote:
I don't agree that you're not sinning if you don't do it consciously. I think we frequently sin without knowing it. I would agree that it's more seriously to do it deliberately and wilfully.
In Catholicism, it is referred to as "venial sin." But venial sin doesn't effect the state of your salvation.

But here comes the potential contradiction: if faith is the sole means of salvation, as stated by Protestantism and slyly insinuated by the current Pope (implying a doctrine change), then what does it matter if we sin?

As I've been told repeatedly, we're all sinners and all sins are equal in the eyes of God. If, supposedly, a person is saved upon accepting Christ as your Savior, then why would one's sins condemn them? But if they do, then it is faith and good works for salvation...but I've been duly dismissed for mentioning this before. Any clarification?

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 01-21-2002, 06:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:


But here comes the potential contradiction: if faith is the sole means of salvation, as stated by Protestantism and slyly insinuated by the current Pope (implying a doctrine change), then what does it matter if we sin?

Would you be showing faith if you were deliberately and unrepentantly sinning?? I'm not sure I understand you here.

This thread definitely changed from its original topic

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Old 01-21-2002, 06:51 PM   #22
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Sula:

Yeah, maybe this is turning into a theological discussion. I have no problem with that myself, especially if one of the thread's questions is inherently theological. That is, is smoking immoral?

Anyway...


Melon:

Yeah, you're right. There's no reason to think a non-political discussion between the two of us will decay into chaos. Thus, I now return to the discussion at hand.

My response was tailored with the assumption that the person was already Christian. If a Christian acts truly and honestly in love, he cannot sin. As for non-Christians, I refuse to pass judgment.

I agree that if a person acts solely out of love, he will not sin. It just seems to me that your posts imply that a certain amount of deliberate rebellion is necessary to sin against God.

If you didn't imply that, all apolgies.

That said, I don't think deliberate rebellion is absolutely necessary, at least "in the moment." God may be the last thing on his mind when a man commits adultery, but it's no less sinful.

Also, I believe that most people know the basics of morality: that killing, lying, and stealing are wrong. To the degree that they know these moral truth (even outside of knowing about the Bible or believing in God), I believe an atheist or animalist can also sin.

As far as "passing judgment" goes, we certainly can't pass judgment on a personal level, because we don't know a man's heart. But we can still read about, think about, and discuss the nature of sin.

What I am going by is Catholic beliefs and tradition. Sin, by both definition and tradition in this school of thought, is the free and conscious choosing to go against God. Hence, one cannot sin by default or by ignorance.

Here, I agree in the generalities, but probably not in the specifics. Certainly, we were not created to sin "by default", but the idea of original sin lingers. We may not be born sinners, but the desire to have our own way seems to be part of our nature, and it invariably results in our rebellion against God - with, of course, the One Great Exception.

Also, we cannot sin in ignorance, which is why I think infants and the seriously mentally handicapped cannot sin. But I believe that right and wrong is more-or-less universally known; that people in an unkown corner of the world know that murder is wrong before the first missionary ever arrives - and thus can sin.

Whether these people are also held accountable for their sins or can be redeemed without Christian intervention is one of those questions I have no clue about. One can only trust that the Lord will be just and merciful in His dealings with them.

(And, melon, if you want to know more about the universal nature of morality, or why I believe in it, read Lewis' The Abolition of Man, which I recommended in another thread.)

Personally, I disagree with the contention that God is, or ever was, vengeful. It is simply a change in perception. When we look at September 11th, for instance, we don't see it as a sign of a vengeful God. If the same event happened to the Israelites, they would have seen it as a sign that God is somehow angry at them. And, if it were in the Bible, rather than stating that terrorists were to blame, they would have probably written that God struck down the towers in anger for the our sins. It's not that the Israelites were deceiving people. It is just that both education and theology is different than back then.

Regardless, assuming that God is angry, that is up to God, not us. While God has the power to judge and smite whomever He very well pleases, the same power is not reserved to us. Our challenge, as stated by Jesus and reaffirmed in Romans 13:8-10 is to live a life of love. Henceforth, if all of our actions are motivated out of love, a Christian cannot sin.


You're right, the Old Testament is full of instances in which God was angry at the Isrealites. Even if the Old Testament isn't entirely factually true (a suggestion that a Christian must find suspicious, particularly the further one gets past the Flood in Genesis), most Christians hold that the Bible contains Truth. In this case, it seems clear that one Old Testament truth is this: God gets angry.

To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence. Deueteronomy 32:35a

But if you question the Old Testament on the validity of this truth, you then question the New Testament, which is built upon its truths in three key ways:

1. The New Testament believes and quotes it; Romans 12:19 references and reaffirms the Old Testament verse above.

2. Christ himself quotes the Old Testament, confirming its authority.

3. Christ himself lived out the Biblical truths.

Let's return to the example of anger, acting on anger, and the special instance of vengeance to see an example of my third point.

In Matthew 21:12-13, we see Christ go to the temple, kick out the moneychangers and those selling sacrificial animals and overturned their tables, saying "ye have made [the temple] a den of thieves."

He was clearly pissed off, and He did act on it. If Christ was fully man and fully God (I believe He was), than we can draw three conclusions:

1. God can get angry and will act on it.

2. Man can get angry and act on it without sinning.

3. Acting on anger is not necessarily vengeance, which is Biblically the domain of God alone, as demonstrated by Romans 12:19 (mentioned above):

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

I think the difference between acting in anger and vengeance is a tenuous one - one in which probably involves pride (which God can certainly have but we are foolish to feign) - but the difference is there.

And anger itself can be good. It just comes down to the idea of "righteous anger", anger because an evil is being done and not because one's ego is being bruised.

I will of course grant that anger is a very dangerous thing - that it's very easy for anger to be selfishly motivated, and easy for justified acts of righteous anger to become revenge. But it's like fire: just because it's dangerous doesn't mean it's bad or not useful.

And, in regards to your mother, I do not know her obviously, but perhaps you should tell her what you told me. Maybe it will drive her to quit smoking? Good luck...

Thanks for the suggestion, but I already have, and she seemed unmoved. That's one of the main reasons I suspect that she's being merely stubborn and not just a woman of remarkable faith.

But here comes the potential contradiction: if faith is the sole means of salvation, as stated by Protestantism and slyly insinuated by the current Pope (implying a doctrine change), then what does it matter if we sin?

As I've been told repeatedly, we're all sinners and all sins are equal in the eyes of God. If, supposedly, a person is saved upon accepting Christ as your Savior, then why would one's sins condemn them? But if they do, then it is faith and good works for salvation...but I've been duly dismissed for mentioning this before. Any clarification?


Actually, your first question (what does it matter if we sin?) is a very important one. Fortunately, it was covered quite well in Romans 6, which begins thus (verses 1-2):

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Since the theology becomes occasionally lost in the King James Version, I will switch for a moment to the New Living Translation for the answer (verses 20-22):

In those days, when you were slaves of sin, you weren't concerned with doing what was right. And what was the result? It was not good, since now you are ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.

As far as most Protestants believe, I think I am safe in saying, Christians are justified by faith alone, but good works are the natural result of genuine faith. You're saved by your faith, you judge your own faith by your works. If you're not striving to do God's will, you may need to re-examine your faith in Him.

Of course, that last issue is worth much more than a paragraph, but I should close this rambling exposition. I hope my thoughts at least helps.
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Old 01-21-2002, 07:03 PM   #23
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Bubba, I wasn't indicating that a discussion on theology was a bad thing...I guess I'm just waiting for it to turn into a typical bubba/melon back and forth thing. Debates in which most of us retreat to the sidelines while the discussion spins further and further away from the original topic/question.

But do carry on.
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Old 01-22-2002, 03:00 AM   #24
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aikarama! Is this going to turn into a theological debate? I think the original question has been answered quite succinctly with many different opinions and points of view.

As always the thin line between grace and law...it's a hard thing to call, no?

-sula
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Old 01-22-2002, 03:20 AM   #25
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I think that "sin" is supposed to mean "missing the mark"--I have heard that that is the actual definition of the word as used in the Bible.

I don't agree that you're not sinning if you don't do it consciously. I think we frequently sin without knowing it. I would agree that it's more seriously to do it deliberately and wilfully.



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Old 01-22-2002, 08:25 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Quit smoking because it is bad for your health, but don't think that smoking somehow makes you a lesser Christian.

I totally agree. Aren't we all supposed to be God's children and EQUAL in his eyes? He loves all his children and isn't going to think any less of any of us for smoking
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Old 01-22-2002, 01:20 PM   #27
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Okay...because I don't want to drive everyone to the sidelines, I want to try and make this the last reply I make to this. And it isn't a reflection on this conversation, because it has been very well behaved. I think our religion discussions are far more productive than our political ones.

Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
I agree that if a person acts solely out of love, he will not sin. It just seems to me that your posts imply that a certain amount of deliberate rebellion is necessary to sin against God.
A lot of my problems lately are semantical ones, as in trying to find the right words for the right implications. "Rebellion" wasn't what I meant, although, by what I wrote, that's likely what it implied. Romans 13:8-10 pretty much sums up what I meant; that when a Christian acts out of love, regardless of what "law" states, he/she cannot sin. Obviously, why we sin is that not all of our actions are motivated out of love. It could be hate. It could be greed. It could be power. In a way, I almost think that Romans 13:8-10 gives us *more* of a burden than previously, as the Old Testament preached revenge against one's enemies.

Quote:
That said, I don't think deliberate rebellion is absolutely necessary, at least "in the moment." God may be the last thing on his mind when a man commits adultery, but it's no less sinful.
Adultery is an offense against love. The act is hurtful to your spouse. Hence, it fails the Romans 13 test.

Quote:
Also, I believe that most people know the basics of morality: that killing, lying, and stealing are wrong. To the degree that they know these moral truth (even outside of knowing about the Bible or believing in God), I believe an atheist or animalist can also sin.
I don't disagree here.

Quote:
Here, I agree in the generalities, but probably not in the specifics. Certainly, we were not created to sin "by default", but the idea of original sin lingers. We may not be born sinners, but the desire to have our own way seems to be part of our nature, and it invariably results in our rebellion against God - with, of course, the One Great Exception.
Catholicism would agree with you on this aspect I'm sure, but I don't necessarily agree myself. Sin, to me, is more of a consequence of God's gift of free will. If we are given the gift to change the world, with that gift comes the ability to destroy it. If we only had the capability to change the world in goodness, not to destroy it, then we would not have free will. If God regularly interceded, smiting those who did evil, then we would not have free will.

Original sin simply takes our human nature, that same nature that God created us to be, and decides it to be evil. Since I believe that mankind is inherently good, not evil (not to mention that original sin hedges on Adam and Eve, which I don't believe in), I don't believe in original sin.

However, many Christian religions have taken your side over mine, and you are certainly free to believe as you wish.

Quote:
Also, we cannot sin in ignorance, which is why I think infants and the seriously mentally handicapped cannot sin. But I believe that right and wrong is more-or-less universally known; that people in an unkown corner of the world know that murder is wrong before the first missionary ever arrives - and thus can sin.
Well, once again, it depends on conscience. For these cultures, past and present, would human sacrifice have been sinful, since they did it with the belief that human sacrifice pleased their gods? Is polygamy sinful if it has, and always has been, culturally acceptable? Is the practice of "acceptable" adultery, whereas the tribe members, both male and female, regularly and knowingly have sex with multiple partners, while still having a concept of marriage, sinful (no objection, no rivalry, no jealousy, no deception, etc.)?

None of the above would violate Romans 13 for these cultures, since it is done out of love. Or, at least, it is done not out of selfishness, greed, hate, etc. So, while I do believe that there are certain values that all cultures share, there is a lot of gray area.

So what constitutes "sin"? A lot of it has to to with the motivation behind the action. Hence, that is why many of us would say that killing someone in cold blood is morally wrong, while killing someone in self-defense is not.

And why I bring up Romans 13 is because a lot of Christians think they can get away with a lot of spiteful and hateful activity, because the Bible might condone their activity or not specifically condemn it. That, to me, is still sinful, if only because their actions are not out of love.

Do I make sense at all? (I'm hoping so.)

Quote:
Whether these people are also held accountable for their sins or can be redeemed without Christian intervention is one of those questions I have no clue about. One can only trust that the Lord will be just and merciful in His dealings with them.
I do agree with this as well.

Quote:
(And, melon, if you want to know more about the universal nature of morality, or why I believe in it, read Lewis' The Abolition of Man, which I recommended in another thread.)
I will have to pick it up sometime. I really do enjoy pondering religion, even if I do end up disagreeing with what I've read.

Quote:
You're right, the Old Testament is full of instances in which God was angry at the Isrealites. Even if the Old Testament isn't entirely factually true (a suggestion that a Christian must find suspicious, particularly the further one gets past the Flood in Genesis), most Christians hold that the Bible contains Truth. In this case, it seems clear that one Old Testament truth is this: God gets angry.
"The Bible contains Truth." That I do agree with. My belief that the Bible is not 100% literally correct doesn't mean that I don't think it contains Truth. However, I do not think of it as an accurate history or science book, nor that it is 100% correct in all circumstances. Does that change the fundamental morality to be found within the Bible? Not at all.

Quote:
1. God can get angry and will act on it.

2. Man can get angry and act on it without sinning.

3. Acting on anger is not necessarily vengeance, which is Biblically the domain of God alone, as demonstrated by Romans 12:19 (mentioned above):

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
#1 I agree with. #2 depends on the intention, and, even at that, it treads a thin line. I believe that "pacified anger" is the best approach on this. If that makes any sense. Either way, I disagree that man should bring their anger to violence, especially in a modern context, considering we have the right to protest, the right to assembly, the right to petition courts, etc. Essentially, just because one may be angered at abortion doesn't mean they should feel free to blow up abortion clinics and kill the doctors.

#3 is part of my issue with St. Paul. His writings are almost bi-polar. On one hand, he speaks of inclusionism and love, and the next, he speaks of vengeance, the required subordinance of women, the support of slavery, etc. As such, I believe that St. Paul must be taken cautiously and it takes great care to discern "truth" out of his writings and separate that from his own human prejudices and failings.

Quote:
Thanks for the suggestion, but I already have, and she seemed unmoved. That's one of the main reasons I suspect that she's being merely stubborn and not just a woman of remarkable faith.
Well, smoking is certainly a hard habit to kick, especially if she still enjoys it. What will be, will be, I guess.

Quote:
As far as most Protestants believe, I think I am safe in saying, Christians are justified by faith alone, but good works are the natural result of genuine faith. You're saved by your faith, you judge your own faith by your works. If you're not striving to do God's will, you may need to re-examine your faith in Him.
That's what I thought. Essentially, Catholicism and Protestantism are on the same page now, aside from traditional semantics. The selling of indulgences that angered Martin Luther into making that "faith only" pronouncement doesn't exist anymore.

And, yes, your thoughts have helped me think. Much thanks...

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 01-22-2002, 02:53 PM   #28
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Yeah, maybe this is turning into a theological discussion. I have no problem with that myself, especially if one of the thread's questions is inherently theological. That is, is smoking immoral?

Morality is the poor man's spirituality. My two cents. Carry on.

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Old 01-22-2002, 09:07 PM   #29
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is this a fucking joke??? (not you Bebe, just the ensuing debacle that has occured in this thread)
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Old 01-22-2002, 10:10 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl:
Morality is the poor man's spirituality. My two cents. Carry on.
Pardon me for not carrying on, but I have no idea what that glib little comment means.

If you don't mind, please expound.

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 01-22-2002).]
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