Recommended Posts

If you are a believer, I think the standard definition of a sin is any act that violates a command, law, or rule found in the Bible. The Bible is assumed/believed to be the direct inerrant words spoken or written by God personally, at least by some believers who are commonly identified as fundamentalists.

It seems to be widely accepted, by some believers, that merely thinking about something that qualifies as sin also qualifies as having committed that sin. Matthew 5:28

Some groups add “examples” given in scripture as synonymous with being a direct command issued by God personally. So, failing to follow a Biblical example can be considered a sin by some believers. An example would be not observing communion the first day of every week.

There is also the sin of omission. Failing to take action could be interpreted as sin.

Some groups also have something they call silence of the scriptures.  Some situations or problems are simply not addressed in the Bible. The Bible is silent in such matters. In order to be “safe” one must assume permission is not granted by God. Any other alternative “could” qualify as a sin.

The punishment for sin, according to scripture, is death in the form of a literal death or eternal separation from God. Ultimately, scripture indicates ALL sinners will be cast into the Lake of Fire with the Devil and His Angels. Meaning that sinners will be burned alive forever, and suffer the agonizing pain of being burned alive while never being allowed to actually die so the torture will end. The torture is forever.  The Bible says God is love, but the vilest person on earth wouldn’t torture anyone like that. That makes me wonder why people think God is love.

Eternal torture is required, according to scripture, because God is a just God that must punish sin. And that supposedly has something to do with a concept called original sin. I’ll address that later.

Fortunately, for mankind, God is a just God and has a solution for man’s sin problem. God became flesh so that he might suffer and die a painful and cruel death on a cross to atone for mankind’s sins. But he only suffered for a few hours not for all eternity. Something doesn’t seem fair about that. Why are humans going to be punished for all eternity but God allows himself to suffer for just a few hours and his death and suffering wasn’t even unique? The Romans crucified thousands of people on the cross and they supposed suffered just as much as God did.

 Anyway, this crucifixion thing is the assumed solution for forgiving sin and it has been identified as Subsitutionary Atonement. God took the punishment intended for mankind so that He (God) could forgive mankind’s sins.

The big question for believers is how do they access this atonement and therefore receive God’s forgiveness for their sins? That is where scripture gets a little murky. Scripture offers several ways or alternatives to receive God’s forgiveness. Some believers are convinced nothing more than faith is required. Faith meaning that they believe this God in the scriptures is actually real and that this God will forgive any sin the believer commits by grace. Grace means unmerited favor. In other words the sinner didn’t deserve forgiveness but God, since God has already received the punishment on the cross for sin, will forgive all sinners their trespasses anyway even though they deserve death and eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.  Ephesians 2:8-9 is often referenced for this belief that faith alone saves.

Other believers are convinced professing believers must also be cleansed by immersing them in water. (Some believers think this baptism thing is just symbolic so they don’t immerse. They sprinkle and do other kinds of stuff that gets the person slightly damp.) Those that do immerse believe it is actually the water that literally washes away the believer’s sin. That puts the sprinkling crowd at odds with the dunking crowd.

Those that believe it’s the water that washes away sin often reference Acts 2:38.  Some believer’s are convinced the sinner must also confess their sins to God (Although it is believed God is all knowing so God would already know they committed the sin in question but protocol has to followed I guess). Others think this means they must confess Jesus (God’s alter ego) as Lord and Savior as a condition of receiving forgiveness.

And this entire sin problem originated in a place called the Garden of Eden. Believers are convinced this was a paradise on earth created by God just after he created the earth and all living things in six days. It seems the first two humans God created were flawed, because God told them specifically not to eat from the tree of life, but they did it anyway.  Does that remind anyone of their children when they were little? Anyway, the man claimed the woman deceived him, but God didn’t buy that. Even though Adam and Eve were innocent and knew no sin they still managed to sin. A defense lawyer might argue diminished capacity because they simply didn’t know right from wrong, and that makes sense. They were essentially infants whose brains were just beginning to develop, but God didn’t buy that argument either. So, mankind has Adam and Eve to thank for the sin mess we find ourselves in now, and the fact God is kind of a hard ass when it comes to this sin thing.

Anyway, this sin thing seems to have no clear cut solution because scripture simply isn’t clear and precise when it comes to how a sinner receives forgiveness. One would think God would have made that process abundantly clear and in such a way that it could not possibly be misinterpreted or misunderstood, but God didn’t do that. Thanks ever so much for that God. Sometimes I get the impression you’re a joker God that loves messing with mankind.

Scripture has lots of ways to be “saved” or forgiven of sin but must a sinner do all of those things, some of those thing, or just one or anyone of those things or do none of those apply because all you have to do is believe and God’s grace will fix everything once and for all. That option really makes the most since because it’s so simply and according to Ephesians it kind of seems like that was the original plan. KISS, keep it simple stupid.

Considering the ramifications and consequences of getting the forgiveness process wrong one would think God would have been a lot more precise in the instructions he put in scripture. So, believers are pretty much left to roll the dice and hope for the best. Such is the plight of a believer.

Continued below.......

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Keeping this site online isn't free, so we need your support! Make a one-time donation or choose one of the recurrent patron options by clicking here.



Non-believers read the story of Adam and Eve and immediately recognize it’s a myth not an actual historical event. Non-believers realize myths are just stories. They may be stories with some moral or truth of life but they are still just stories.

So, for non-believers there isn’t a problem because sin never entered the world in the first place. People are both good and bad and science says that’s all due to our genetics, not from eating forbidden fruit.  Therefore, non-believers don’t have a sin problem and don’t need to be forgiven by a mythical deity that was created by an ancient culture. Non-believers realize that all ancient cultures created lots of mythical deities. They also realize the Christian Deity known as Yahweh, El Elyon, El Shaddai Jehovah, but most believers seem to favor Yahweh.

 A quick check of ancient history will reveal Yahweh was a mythical deity created by the ancient Canaanites. Well not exactly. They created his dad, a deity known as El, who was their God of War. Their mythical God El had many mythical children and one of them was his son the mythical Yahweh, who eventually was adapted by the Israelites and they claimed he was the one true God because there were lots of Gods that had been created by all of the many cultures that existed then.

Yahweh who the Israelites believed to be the one true God eventually became flesh and blood in the personal of Jesus of Nazareth. (Nazareth didn’t actually exists when Jesus supposedly walked the earth, but that is another issue.)

So, a mythical God named Yahweh, the son of a mythical God named El, became a literal human being know as Jesus of Nazareth, or so scripture says. A non-believer is a non-believer because they find this story impossible to believe. Therefore non-believers realize sin is just the breaking of a rule, law, or command that was established/created by various religious groups that are composed of real live human beings that are not in any way Devine. Essentially sin is nothing more than breaking a Church rule, law, command, or tradition. It’s kind of like a religious country club. Member who break the rules must be punished.

A non-believer realizes nobody is going to hell or heaven, because both of them are also mythical places created to control the faithful by threatening punishment or promising a reward for being good little boys and girls and not sinning….assuming such a thing is even possible. But forgiveness is available for those that do sin, which is everybody, if they can figure out how to be scripturally forgiven. It’s all pretty complicated, and that is one of the reason’s I gave up on being a believer.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a great quote from Joseph Campbell somewhere that outlines the church selling salvation from original sin. And then goes on to say that it's an imaginary cure for an imaginary disease. That really drives the point home. 

 

Since the earth wasn't created in 6 literal days, with days taking place independent of the existence of the sun, moon, or any stars (all of the other solar orbs out there), and with green grass growing one day before the existence of the sun, nor was man "literally" created on the six day of this extremely non-literal creation myth. That being the case, Adam & Eve were not literally created on the literal sixth day of a very non-literal creation myth - nor was there any literal serpent, literal people, nor ORIGINAL SIN taking place in any literal stretch of the imagination.

 

Having understood all of that, moving forward, the doctrine of the fall is just as non-literal as everything else described within this very non-literal creation myth. That being the case, there's also no reason to then assume a literal lineage of Patriarchs. Nor a literal flood, Exodus, or any of it. And more importantly, there's no literal sense to make of the need for Jesus to be the new adam (there was no old adam), nor to redeem mankind from original sin and a literal fall of nature, because none of it makes any literal sense in the first place. 

 

An imaginary cure for sale, for an imaginary condition....

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  If original sin does exist, isn't God an accessory to sin if not worse?

If God made angels gave them free will and one third rebelled.  Yet He didn't learn,

He then made an even less trustworthy creature, mankind, gave him free will, put a temptation in his dwelling place, and then told him not to eat of it.  But God is all knowing and ever present and all powerful, so the minute or instant, if you will, before Eve ate and Adam ate, God KNEW!  So not stopping them is a sin of omission, is it not?

 

Anyway, the above is predicated on Adam and Eve being real as well as the God of the Bible being real. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ExTeknon said:

 

 

Anyway, the above is predicated on Adam and Eve being real as well as the God of the Bible being real. 

 

But there is no evidence any of those you've listed are real. They only exist in the minds of believers. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s hilarious that there are liberal Christians that believe that the story of Adam and Eve is allegory for humanity becoming sentient. If that’s the case then Christianity becomes more philosophy than religion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Borticus said:

I think it’s hilarious that there are liberal Christians that believe that the story of Adam and Eve is allegory for humanity becoming sentient. If that’s the case then Christianity becomes more philosophy than religion.

 

Correct. You are very perceptive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Playing in a theist's sandbox is hard work.  I become confused when I assume their premises, frustrated when I follow their arguments and embarrassed when I see their results.

 

I have had better success with emotional and intellectual endeavors that have nothing to so with religion.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Geezer said:

 

Correct. You are very perceptive. 

You gotta be when it comes to their craftiness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sin is nothing more than an idea aimed at social control and conformity.  The breadth of possible interpretations is actually part of its' usefulness.  Member of X church do Y because anything else is sin - the belief make them cohesive, and the exclusivity give them a sense of identity which is tribal in nature (with all due respect to tribal societies that have more sense than to belief this nonsense).  Each church establishes its' own identity and binds itself together.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sin is basically immoral/bad/improper action and behavior ("Bad Stuff") as defined by a human speaker/writer.  That human speaker/writer projects the creation of the definition of Bad Stuff upon a certain god or gods of the human speaker's/writer's choosing.  They do this to insulate criticism or skepticism of the defined Bad Stuff by pretending the Bad Stuff comes from supernatural sources.

 

Of course, the actual evidence reveals human societies are solely responsible for the definitions and identifications of Bad Stuff.  Human civilizations promulgate laws and ethical standards to address Bad Stuff.  The word "sin" is not used in such laws and standards.  Instead, clear definitions of Bad Stuff is provided, along with penalties and consequences for doing Bad Stuff.  Easy Peasy.

 

All that being said, many "sins" overlap or are identical to the laws and ethical standards human societies have put in place.  This becomes even more integrated/confusing when the particular society is a theocracy, like in many Islamic countries.  Still, the evidence is the evidence.  Both (i) gods and (ii) laws and ethical standards covering human behavior are humans inventions and constructs.  Claiming a certain human action or behavior is a "sin" contains an extra and unnecessary step.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have heard a definition of sin as "missing the mark"  but I think that sin according to the Bible and many types of Christianity is much more than that.  It seems to be some kind of overwhelming supernatural force. It seems to be something that even God is powerless to simply forgive without a blood sacrifice. Actually, it seems to be more powerful than God.  Of course all of it is nonsense.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was always surprised by the attitude that Pentecostal believers have that devils are so powerful (much like sin). It makes their all-powerful god seem like one of the pantheon instead of unparalleled controller of everything.

Christianity takes the Jewish simple disobedience and turned it into a living invisible cancer that plagues all mankind, and now for the low low price of only your unending groveling and the miracle ingredient "bloodshed", you, yes YOU can be freed from this terrible thing! Glory! Freed, but still under its control until you die, but THEN... a new body, yes NEW! Free from sin, until you do something stupid and start the whole cycle all over again.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Fuego said:

I was always surprised by the attitude that Pentecostal believers have that devils are so powerful (much like sin). It makes their all-powerful god seem like one of the pantheon instead of unparalleled controller of everything.

Christianity takes the Jewish simple disobedience and turned it into a living invisible cancer that plagues all mankind, and now for the low low price of only your unending groveling and the miracle ingredient "bloodshed", you, yes YOU can be freed from this terrible thing! Glory! Freed, but still under its control until you die, but THEN... a new body, yes NEW! Free from sin, until you do something stupid and start the whole cycle all over again.

 

You're a hoot, yeah that's what you are Fuego. A hoot. :woohoo: (If you're a fan of Boston Legal you'll understand)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now