Getting into the nuts and bolts of the Christian religion (and most others to some degree), the one thing that creates feelings of unworthiness is “sin”.
Most Christian are taught that we are nothing more than imperfect sinners. But what exactly does that mean?
We are told that because of “original sin” – think Adam and Eve living in paradise – that we are burdened by that sin from the get go. Somehow I cannot picture a loving God holding a grudge for that long, even if time was on a different scale. Maybe someone should tell Him to get over it already. (Yes, that was a joke.)
Beyond the “original sin” thing, our very presence on this earthly plane is viewed by others as sinful, because of all the temptations and shiny geegaws that can pull us away from the worship of the Almighty. But He is the one who put us here so it would seem like we had been set-up in sinning from the start. And that doesn’t seem to ring true either.
Religions, Christianity included, have codified different actions that they consider “sins” and they are arranged in hierarchies from venial (minor) to mortal (major).
But this listing has changed over time as differing regimes have moved to the leadership in whichever church you are using, and “tweaked” their interpretation based on what the current beliefs were at the time.
It is an interesting study to see the evolution of these johnny-come-latelies, but I doubt that was what it was in former times.
So, let’s go back to what the concept was from the very earliest times:
A sin was anything that kept you apart from God.
It is really such a simple concept. And the catch to this thing is the who that initiates the separation.
Is it God who causes it? Not likely. Is it Satan or one of his minions? Hell, no! It is you.
When you do something you don’t want another to see, it creates a rift between you and them; some secret part of you that is now “hidden” from them. A lot of marriages and other partnerships fall apart through this action. It creates separation – mentally, at first, then physically – and it started from… nothing.
So when you do anything you would not want God to be a part of, that’s a sin. And you are the one not only doing the action but making it a sin as well.
This is not to say you can carte blanche do anything you want in life and get off “sin-free” because there are laws and other people to take into consideration and they may require you to make some sort of payment or restitution for your actions. But it does not have to be something you will answer to God for. Believe me, He knows a little more about what’s going on down here than you might imagine.
One comedian lived by the line “the Devil made me do it” and a lot of people use that excuse for some missteps. One could as easily say “God made me do it” as He’s the one who is really in charge, not that fictitious guy with the horns. But in actual fact, God did not “make” you do anything, but He “let” you do it.
If God is so large and in charge that He knows all, sees all, wouldn’t He already know whether you were going to have sinned or not? Or if you will be saved or not or whether you will suffer the eternal damnation… yada, yada, yada.
Church leaders seem to want it both ways. They tell you He knows the future but that you have some choice over what path you take in life. Why not just sit back and relax because that must be the path God had foreseen for you?
No, it doesn’t work like that, no matter what the Church may tell you.
But then, historically speaking, the Church leaders have been masters of the mixed message. They were very big on “thou shalt not kill” but then proceeded to do a bit more of that than their fair share.
Popular fiction has the effect of taking another’s life be extremely detrimental to the killer. But it is not something that is new to fiction. Nor is it new to reality. Soldiers have often displayed the after-effects of their killing many years after the fact. Many of them being haunted until their death by what they have done. Yes, even in such a supposed “noble cause” perpetrated by the ineptness (or greed) of their political leaders.
The effect to the killer causes a separation from God. It is, by every definition of the word, a sin. But the separation is caused by the person feeling somehow unworthy now because of what they have done.
If the Almighty is really in charge of the universe – and everyone knows He is the giver as well as taker of lives – wouldn’t you imagine that He already has some knowledge of you being put into such a position? Perhaps He is wanting to see how you come out on the other end? Will you turn it into a sin and let it come between you and the Almighty or will you be able to keep moving along on the path which He is guiding you?
Many religious think this world is and of itself sinful. I don’t really think the Almighty was busy creating sins for us, either in His creation or in His actions. He has always given us choice and that is the one gifted power we can always use.
Allowing yourself to become separated from God is the only sin there is. Whether it is the result of gluttony or envy or greed or any of the other ascribed “causes”, the separation from the Creator is the only sin on the books.
And it is all up to you to keep the “line” open to the Big Boss upstairs.