The Problem With Sin…is SIN?

Comments taken from Old Adam’s Post ‘Free Will or Bound Will’

The problem behind those sins is SIN.” (Bror)

That’s it – that’s the answer huh? Sins’s problem is sin – duh. Don’t ever become a counsellor (word to the wise on that one).

That’s overly simplistic and doesn’t deal with the problems of sin – that we have to face in our daily lives. Jesus may have dealt with sin at the cross – but we still have to deal with sin in our daily lives (oddly enough). To forget that is to forget our responsibilities to become the best people we can be – for ourselves, our neighbor, and God.

What do we just forget that addiction to porn because Jesus died on the cross? Do we just forget that alcohol addiction because Jesus forgave me? Do we just forget that person we physically injured while trying to stop a fight? At what point do we not ‘deal’ with sin Bror? If we are so enveloped in sin that we have a lot of work to do man. From lust to anger to selfishness – lots of work…do we just forget those things because Jesus died on the cross?

Forgiveness does not require action it forgives them all of them even the ones you thing are good it forgives” (Bror)

Really? You married Bror? Let’s say – for giggles – your wife cheats on you tommorrow and then you have to go through a process of ‘forgiving’ her…if that relationship is going to be retained then don’t you want to know she won’t do it again? Or do you just forgive and throw caution into the wind? Forgiveness requires action – and some serious action – depending on how important that forgiveness/reconcilitaion is to us.

Get off it. You’re a sinner, in need of forgiveness and you will never be anything but that. You don’t get beyond the Cross in this life.” (Bror)

I never said I wasn’t a sinner – I sin – I have exclaimed that fairly clearly. Yes I need forgiveness – everyone does – when we do wrong with our actions – if we want to work these things out (if not – we do not seek anything really).

But I am not going to believe some of the things you do because you think – ‘oh, he’s a jerk – look at him – he’s not one of us’ – I am not following God because of peer pressure – but because He’s real. His teachings are real and I enjoy them. You also seem to think some things about me that come from left field for some reason – you type-cast me into some mold for some reason – say things about me that are not true.

then if you were honest you would expect hell.” (Bror)

If that’s what you think the worth of a human is – I pity your perspective on life. I am just stating a teaching of Jesus – which I am guessing God must also live by – ‘treat others how you want to be treated’. Why should I think God does not think like this? If I treat people kind – I will receive kindness. If I forgive people their sins – God can also forgive mine. If I repair relationships – God can repair mine. Now I expect to face a judge that has this as His main concern – humanity. Do they deserve hell? No. God loves all of them – so much so – guess what Bror…he let Jesus lay his life down for those people. Yeah, God hates us soooooo much.

Quite frankly I have no reason to believe God will treat me like I have treated others” (Bror)

Why not? This is a teaching of God – delivered from the very mouth of Jesus to us (written down)…or do you not believe this? Doesn’t God have to abide by His own teachings or is He some kind of hypocrite?

Maybe you never did or do things like that Society. You were perhaps pleasant to everyone. And God will reward you for that. Or perhaps your best bet is forgiveness” (Bror)

Of course I have done those things – and more – but I realize that the way I live my life is a form of atonement for those actions (in the Jewish faith – repentance is considered atonement). In specific cases when I am aware I hurt someone – I make sure to make that situation right again. Or do you not say ‘sorry’ to people?

Of course I am in need of forgiveness – I am a limited human that makes mistakes. But that does not mean those mistakes ‘rule me’. No. I am ruled by the power of God – to forgive, show mercy, have grace, love one another, care about the poor, develop meekness, etc. Most of what I am saying is that forgiveness is meaningless without ‘change’.

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25 thoughts on “The Problem With Sin…is SIN?

  1. Bror seems to hold to a notion of sin that I grew up with… that sin is this grossness that God cannot stand or tolerate. I don’t hold to that view anymore.

    Sin is a problem in God’s eyes because of what it does to us… not what it does to him… it does nothing to him.

    Hebrews says that “God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness”. God disciplines our sin for our betterment, not because he has anger management issues.

    If my daughter pops my son a good one in her anger, I want to correct that behavior for her benefit (and my son’s) not mine. My bonus is getting two kids who can play well together. Forgiveness is moving past it and letting it go.

    I think though, that we often frame forgiveness in terms of what it will do for us. In that, we are not like God, who is other oriented.

    My wife and I are having some issues right now and it hurts me. However, I have realized that I have wanted the change to come about for my benefit… not hers. I want her to work through her situation so I can be at peace. Unconditional love still wants the change, but if my love were unconditional, like God’s, it would be for her sake not mine. But I am selfish, and it hurts, and it is a struggle.

    So there we are…. life is messy.

  2. A verse came to mind reading this post by you Jason. I was watching a movie tonight called “The Hammer” (loved it BTW, great comedy) and a quote from it hit me… “if you don’t love your brother you don’t love God, if you love God you must love your brother”. What a wonderfully simple way to sum up 1 John 4:19-21.

    “Forgiveness does not require action” – really? Wow. That kind of thinking leads down a dark path and you quickly lose sight of how important it is to make all efforts to treat everyone we encounter with as much love as we can muster.

    This Bror guy’s head has been all messed up by improper biblical teaching. There is no forgiveness where there is no real repentence. There is no real repentence where there is no recognition of what we have done. You have not recognized what you have done if you do not seriously commit to never do it again. Sounds like required action to me.

    Sometimes it is hard, sometimes impossible, but we must continue to do our best. When we fail we must repent. We must commit to never do it again. Otherwise you do not have the right to say you love God.

    Your sin should make you question if you even love God.

    I love you God. I start every day with the commitment to love your other children as you do… and not just put my faith in a false teaching of unconditional love.

  3. This Bror guy’s head has been all messed up by improper biblical teaching(brotherken)

    Now theres a loaded statement. Im curious, just what is “Proper Biblical Teaching”? Is it true that you know better than lets say your Catholic brother, Lutheran brother, Pentecostal brother and on and on. You should read a book called “The year of living Biblically” by AJ Jacobs. I think you might revise some of your ideas after that.

  4. I think Bror is right on it.

    Sin is THE PROBLEM when it comes to our relationships with God and our neighbor, family, co-workers, etc.

    It is the self-centered nature of man (sin) that is the root cause of all of our discord here on earth.

    Well, God cannot have thay kind of behavior or beings with that stench upon them in His realm. His realm demands perfection.

    So He sent His Son down to forgive us and we nailed Him to a cross. (further evidence of THE PROBLEM.

    So that was the bad news. But not really, that was the good news as well. He did forgive us. He did die for us to stone for our sinfulness. He does desire that we come to believe this and become His children to live with Him over at His house…forever.

  5. TitforTat – I have stated what I believe. There are many with more knowledge than I, but that does not make them right.

    tholdadam – it is self-centered nature of man that requires us to try to bind it. Our freedom in Christ is freedom from the bondage of sin, not freedom to sin. I don’t agree that “Freedom to sin is bondage of the will.” (from your other thread) is a terrific statement that can be supported by biblical teachings. That kind of thinking does lead down a destructive path, IMHO.

  6. Jason–Most of what I am saying is that forgiveness is meaningless without ‘change’.

    I’m not sure how you arrived there but you are absolutely correct. The old Samurai saying, “To know and not act is not to know” expresses the same truth. James 2:26 – “Faith without works is dead.” Same principle.

    However, I see your oppsotion to the statement, “The problem with sin is sin”, as not very profound. You can only mock that if you think there is nothing beyond that. If a guy says, “The problem with sin is sin” and walks out the door never to be seen again, I would laugh, too.

    But the first question begged is, What does he mean by sin? Sin is that which separates us from God; the blemishes and broken bones of our faulty thinking. Since we were made in God’s spiritual image, we are not without talent for discerning what is true and what isn’t. Yet we equivocate almost constantly.

    God does not have the attribute of sin, but loves us anyway. He has provided a way, through his Word and his Son, that we can follow a path away from sin. He knows that all sin is interconnected and lets us know it’s unacceptable to him.

    The only problem with the “problem with sin is sin” is that it’s redundant. A better statement would be “The problem with sin is that it’s ungodly” and to become closer in our relationship to God, we need to reject it categorically, no matter how painful that is. We can move forward by accepting Christ as Savior and making a growing knowledge of the Word [that results in action] a central part of our living. Christ promises an external power that will help us move forward to becoming more like him and away from the old mess of a human we once were.

  7. Jim, I like how you have responded here. I was kind of vague and out there. I guess it is a matter of how you view it. Is being committed to godly ways a restriction or a release from a way that you now abhor. Jesus did give us the two greatest commandments, and commandments are to be followed. They require action but that action should be desired and positive influences in our life.

  8. Thanks, Ken. Happy New Year. Desire is definitely key. Nothing is better than falling in love with Jesus Christ in my opinion. Nice to hear from you.

  9. “My wife and I are having some issues right now and it hurts me” (Andrew)

    Sorry to hear about that – I guess we might in the same boat there in some senses. I hope the best for your situation and that all things can be worked out for the best of all involved…I truly hope the best in your situation and that love wins out.

    “I think though, that we often frame forgiveness in terms of what it will do for us. In that, we are not like God, who is other oriented” (Andrew)

    I agree. I think forgiveness is important for us as relational people – par for the course in my opinion. Forgiveness actually does us some good – what it does for others or God is something we can speculate about – but we know how it effects us – and thats important also.

  10. “Well, God cannot have thay kind of behavior or beings with that stench upon them in His realm. His realm demands perfection.” (Steve)

    I wonder about this idea – maybe it is true – maybe it is not. If God demands perfection then I am not sure any of us will ever see God. Now if we say Christ removed that problem – then I get where we start…but we are not perfect anyways – so I am not sure how we get into heaven then? Some can say – Christ’s actions are imputed to us – well we still deal with sin though?

    That’s the problem with the theology – it is incomplete. You are not responsible for your actions by no stretch then – because you are made righteous by the actions of another – which seems irresponsible to me. I am not sure that is what Paul is saying – maybe he means ‘righteous’ by its easier term to use – being ‘just’ with God. Maybe Paul is simply saying the Christ made that possible – as a mediator with God – to allow us into that relationship…we are made ‘just’ with God via this mediation on our part. Are we made righteous morally – well – no…we have to work at that and the problem with sin in our lives. But we have an open ear in God – and the teachings to very well change the effects of sin in our lives and those around us.

    The whole point is – sin still exists – 2000 years after Jesus – in each and all of our lives – and we seek to change our actions and thoughts to minimize the bad impact those ideas will have in our lives (that’s faith in a nutshell – dealing with the problems of immorality and morality and seeking to enact good ideas). But sin exists – or immorality – or whatever we want to call it – and its still something to deal with. The cross did not remove this conundrum.

  11. “You are not responsible for your actions by no stretch then – because you are made righteous by the actions of another – which seems irresponsible to me.

    “But sin exists – or immorality – or whatever we want to call it – and its still something to deal with. The cross did not remove this conundrum.”

    Good points, Jason!

    It would be irresponsible if it were anyone but Christ who is the judge. Since the One who died for us is the judge, it is totally up to Him as to what to do with us. And He died for sinners. That’s us!

    We still have to pay a price for our sins in the here and now…the law will not be mocked.

    And life does go on here, so we must wait for the final resolution of sin at our death ro the last Day. But not really. For in our baptisms, the last judgement has already be held and we have been declared spotless…on His account…not because of anything we have done or not done.

    “The good we have done will not save us and the evil we have done will not condemn us.” (because of Christ Jesus) – Martin Luther

  12. The good we have done will not save us and the evil we have done will not condemn us.” (because of Christ Jesus) – Martin Luther

    With some of the Sheit Luther did, he better hope that statement is true. Why would you even want to quote a Man who would get another man slowly burned to death? Bad example of a Christian.

  13. Jason—I wonder about this idea – maybe it is true – maybe it is not. If God demands perfection then I am not sure any of us will ever see God.

    God doesn’t demand perfection, He IS perfection. When we meet God, we can only bow down and worship Him. Then we see our own sin for what it is and it leaves us. Our sin becomes academic, instructive yet a thing of the past.

    JT,
    Luther’s statement of Jesus is 100% valid because it is true despite what Luther did wrong. None of us are who our finest sayings say we are. Only Jesus was equal to what He said. That’s why they call Him the Word.

  14. God doesn’t demand perfection, He IS perfection.(JJ)

    But your view of God shows that he DEMANDS acknowledgement or youre going to Hell. How insecure and insignificant of a Creator if he needs to allow horrific punishment of his Creation if it doesnt do what he wants. As far as Luther goes, I wonder if youd be barking about the truth he spoke if it was your daughter that was put on the slow cooker. I think any Christian who knows about Luthers past and still uses him as a “Christian” example is just freaking nuts.

  15. JT
    Who’s using him as an example of Christian behavior?

    Hell = Life w/o God
    Bummer He didn’t create a nice place for all those folks who hate Him. I think eternity in a casino with only a finite amount of money would’ve been better…

    Cheers

  16. Who’s using him as an example of Christian behavior? (JJ)

    No hes being used to talk about your idea of God. I think their are better examples of people talking about the Christian God that dont bring that kind of baggage. There definately are differences in levels of Sin.

  17. “For in our baptisms, the last judgement has already be held and we have been declared spotless…on His account…not because of anything we have done or not done.” (Steve)

    Interesting – so you are making the claim you cannot ‘lose’ your assurance of salvation – basically once baptized then the job is finished. So no matter what happens after that point one is always saved? If actions are of no concern in the matter – then they are not important?

    This is problematic because this gives the Christian a free pass on their actions – since they are not saved by them nor condemned by them…which is not a good way to run a society/kingdom. Someone could be well meaning in their faith – get baptized and serve God for many years – then one day – go to some Christian school or church and murder a few people and still be ‘saved’…correct? They are not condemned by their actions…thats irresponsible and promotes a society not based on justness.

    I think one can lose any and everything – baptism is no assurance whatsoever of someone’s salvation – nor is confession – nor is anything – only a person can know where their heart is truly at (no religious symbolism will verify that). We are not ‘saved’ in some Christian sense – in that we are not in heaven nor hell (unless they exist now and we are recieving them?). No assurance can exist to be totally honest…only following God is the best we get.

  18. “Why would you even want to quote a Man who would get another man slowly burned to death? Bad example of a Christian.” (John)

    Actually, that was John Calvin that did that – Luther – as far as I know – did not. However Luther wrote some very anti-semitic polemic that still bothers Jewish people to this day…his rhetoric was horrible and was used by later generations as excuse for anti-semitism.

    Luther also did some good things though – like the 95 theses and challenging the standards of the Catholic church of the time (which needed to change). Luther is strange to me – not my role model that’s for sure – but I see some of the good he did accomplish in his time…and some of the ‘not so good’ he helped lay out in his polemic. Luther serves as a reminder IMO – to (a) review what it is I believe and to be responsible for what I teach/put out there and (b) to challenge what I think needs change in theology.

  19. Well I think Luther would have been decent enough to invite me to the conversation. Not that I mind you talking about me, or my views. But if you wanted to change the venue for this conversation the decent thing to do would have been to invite me.

  20. Sorry Bror – I did leave a link on Steve’s blog for anyone to come and comment – sorry that I was not more direct about the invlte (I thought most people knew what those links were about).

  21. How insecure and insignificant of a Creator if he needs to allow horrific punishment of his Creation if it doesnt do what he wants. (TitforTat)

    What if “hell” was not eternal torture? The Adventists believe (I used to be one but now only hold on to a subset of their theology) that there is going to be a short time of, well basically war, and then all the unsaved will be, umm… terminated. Eternal non-existance not eternal torture.

    I can see how they draw that conclusion from the “end time” prophecies, and I like it because it seems more like what a just and loving God would do. After all, would it not be disconserting if you were living eternally with God and a loved one is being eternally tortured?

  22. JT–No hes being used to talk about your idea of God.

    Luther was brought up because what he said in that statement is true, at least to us Christians. It’s ad hominem to deny a truthful statement because of something he did.

  23. JJ

    Well, I learned something today, I didnt really know what ad hominem was. Thank God for online Dictionary 😉

    Now as far as Luther goes, thats a pretty big assumption you make by saying his statement is true. Can you actually prove that? You know, the kind of proof they would allow you to use in a court of law.

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