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Old 07-22-2007, 03:34 PM   #1
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What is sin?

I've been thinking about posting this thread for a few weeks now, and some of the recent comments in the "Christianity/Jamie Bakker thread" made think it was time.

The word "Sin" has become a really loaded word in our society today. . .referring to anyone as a "sinner" these days is tantamount to the worst kind of insult. I personally think that is because the word "sin" is misused a lot, ESPECIALLY by Christians. I'm not even sure most of us know what it means anymore.

Merriam Webster's defines sin as:

1 a: an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible <it's a sin to waste food> c: an often serious shortcoming : fault
2 a: transgression of the law of God b: a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God

But even this definition is insufficient, I think. Certainly the way many of us use the word sin is not reflected by the above definition.

At any rate, I'd like to ask FYM posters to respond with their own definition of sin. This is open to everybody including people who don't believe in God or even sin at all. I'd want to know what it is that you don't believe in.

I have my own ideas but I'd like to see what other people have to say first.
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:39 PM   #2
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I believe in karma and reincarnation and define "sin" as karma. We are born "with karma," rather than "in sin."
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:20 PM   #3
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To me the key to sin is that involves a choice. Do not kill, do not steal, do not take the Lord's name in vain - these are all choices to be made. If there is no choice to be made, and it is rather simply a core part of who you are (eg brown-eyed, brown haired, heterosexual), then it is not a sin. It is not who you are, it is the actions you take that make sin.
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:35 PM   #4
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The fun stuff.
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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I have to echo Diemen in the sense that I believe sin has to do with the choices we make that are contrary to what God tells us both through The Bible and through what He speaks to each of us personally. However, I look very differently at many Old Testament sins and New Testament sins. For example, we're told in the Old Testament that eating any kind of shellfish is wrong. My dad is a Believer, and he ate lobster when we were at dinner a few weeks ago. I'm pretty sure he's not doomed to hell. When Jesus died he fulfilled the law. What does that mean? It means that we can't. Jesus made it perfectly clear to all the Pharisees, who really represent those of us who are Christians, that since we can't possibly obey or measure up to all the standards of God's Law; His death and resurrection would accomplish it once and for all. I believe those actions did that. I've entered into a relationship with Jesus based on grace. I don't have to follow those rules to be holy anymore. I'm holy simply because I accepted what Jesus did for me. I don't have to hold onto a certain theology or belief system. When Jesus talked about sin, he directed it to the religious leaders interestingly. The sins he talked about were simply believing in a God other than him, judging others, walking in unforgiveness, treating the poor/oppressed/abused like shit (obviously paraphrased) etc. He said the entire law could be summed up by loving God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Obviously all the laws of the OT aren't completely made void, but as long as I have a relationship with Jesus, that doesn't matter. To me then, sin is simply going against what Jesus taught. He didn't teach me what stance I should have on gay marriage, abortion, etc.. He didn't tell me what I have to believe in terms of creationism vs. theistic evolution or any other matter of controversy. He told me to love God and love people. If I don't do that, I'm in sin. That's it and that's all.
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:41 PM   #6
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A very good question,
maycocksean.

As someone that is doing missionary work I think you have to live with the concept.


I have given a lot of thought to sin.

I reject the concept completely.
I think it is one of the most abused terms that is in existance. I think it should cease to be.
I believe it is a human construct to give the creators authority and control over anyone they can get to accept the concept.
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:00 PM   #7
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Oh man I remember I made a thread like this around a year ago (I think it was called "Do you believe in sin?" or something) and the discussion went on a long, long time. I wrote a short essay on it a while back, but I doubt I'll be able to track it down. I might type up the main points later.

Anyways, I certainly believe there is such a thing as sin, and I believe it's when you wilfully go against God's teachings from the Bible. Not a popular view around here.
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780
Not a popular view around here.
No idea what this means, I doubt you even do...


Sin is any choice you make that separates you from God. Killing someone or judging someone would obviously be a serparation from God. Loving someone would not...
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2isthebest
I don't have to follow those rules to be holy anymore. I'm holy simply because I accepted what Jesus did for me.
What, in your view, is the reason for being holy? Why aspire to it?
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


No idea what this means, I doubt you even do...


Sin is any choice you make that separates you from God. Killing someone or judging someone would obviously be a serparation from God. Loving someone would not...
I mean that believing the Bible is the one true source for deciding what is and what's not sin is an unpoplar opinion.

And I also don't believe any of us are holy. That's the reason we need a relationship with Jesus, because we'll never measure up. It's all about grace, babies!
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:13 PM   #11
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A. Tom Cruise, "We are all children of Xenu. "
B. Yusef Islam, "We are all one awakening from Allah's love, mercy and judgement."
C. Random FYM poster, "We are all born sinners."
D. deep, "We are all born basically good and decent people."


People can believe whatever they want or have been conditioned to believe.

Why not just go with the obvious?
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780




And I also don't believe any of us are holy.
If you are going to make me choose.

I believe people are more "holy" than "sinful".

You can eat your own poison
I not having any of it.
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780

Anyways, I certainly believe there is such a thing as sin, and I believe it's when you wilfully go against God's teachings from the Bible. Not a popular view around here.
Yup. Jesus said to follow two commandments:

1. Love your God.

2. Love your neighbor.

You follow these, and it's all good. The trick, however, is to figure out what that actually entails. Jesus came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, and, judging from the times he actually brought up certain common laws of the day (laws concerning divorce, murder, lust, etc...) he didn't make them void, but actually made them more challenging to follow (do not even look at someone in lust, do not be angry towards your brother) this tells me that "love thy neighbor" is pretty damn broad, and almost impossible to do perfectly. However, we are obliged to take it on.

Just a minute ago, it was asked "why aspire to holiness?" The answer is to get to know our maker better. As BVS said, sin separates us from God, so, logically, holiness brings us closer to him. If you don't believe in God, then you shouldn't care about all that, but it's for the good of all mankind if you did try to love your neighbor anyway. It's a practical commandment.
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep


If you are going to make me choose.

I believe people are more "holy" than "sinful".

You can eat your own poison
I not having any of it.
Why do you believe that? Just because I don't think humans inherently are pious and spiritually pure doesn't mean I look at everyone I see as a dirty worm.

You make it sound like I'm disgusted with myself and human beings in general. Why is it a poisonous idea to believe that us as human beings don't inherently deserving to enter God's presence? From my own experiences I can say I'm definitely not deserving of that, because I've done things I've been pretty disgusted with. I'm amazed God puts up with so much ugliness.
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:18 PM   #15
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I really like Diemen's post.

I'd add also that, while I don't have any neat and concise definition, I am really influenced by thinkers like Kant and Buber. So sin would bascially relate to treating others as objects, not subjects.
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