What is Sin?
Why hello my spiritual friend,
For quite some time now, we have been as voyeurs, episodically observing the epic as it unfolds poetically. It is time to address this issue, to appreciate much of what is played out in these various scenarios.
What is sin, for many of us; this is not an easy question, when confronted with a request for a defined response. This is because for many, the notion of sin, that is to err against God, which may or may not reflect an error against humanity. This is due, in part, because our knowledge, over time, has manipulated our understanding, which has dialed in our reasoning of this topic. One's perception is thus filtered through these factors: culture, time, social influences and other extraneous or ectopic contributing ingredients, which culminate into our belief of sin. Thus, to sin, as Pseudo Dionysius states: "is a turning away from God and moving in another direction for sin is all that is opposed to God." (See Divine Names)
For many of us, Vatican II remains the basis for much of our theology and views formulating our religious beliefs. An interesting fact is, according to Patrick McCormick, Vatican II made a shift of Moral Theology from an act, to an issue of moral character. This transition goes to the heart of the issue. From being an issue, that is being ectopic, to one of personal responsibility, thus one now must take the responsibility for one's actions and be accountable.
These same categories remain fixed upon two types of reason regarding sin, Deontological and Teleological. Deontological considers the nature of the act and its consequences, while the opposing view is Teleological, which considers the resultant and not the act itself. These both have their roots history in Greek Philosophy, which has since permeated into Christianity. Given these formulas, as proposed by McCormick, both stain and spiral are most likely the two strongest means of understanding. This is because both are the most personal in each camp.
Using both "Stain" and "Spiral" as the basis of this presentation, we have a sure footing in both a subjective and an experimental camp. The stain, as mentioned previously, makes us personally accountable, thus being responsible. This rational is in keeping with the teachings throughout both the Old and New Testaments. This is observed through the Ten Commandments and the services rendered by the Levitical Priesthood, while within the New Testament, the "Redemptive Act and Salvation" accomplished by Jesus Christ.
Within the New Testament, Paul in his letter to the Romans, rhetorically, addresses the dilemma quite often experienced by one as though drifting down, endlessly, through a spiral. In Chapter 7, of this epistle, from verses 1 thru 24. Paul hammers away at this issue, attempting to some how strike his mountain axe into the side of this abyss. He does this, with a singular strike, in verse 25; thereby, beginning his ascent with Chapter 8 of this same letter.
Quite readily, many of us, that is, those of us who have read the NT Scriptures, will cite Romans 14:23. Peter Ellis purports this as the basis of Paul's rational of sin. Augustine, also, puts this perspective forth in his view regarding sin, which permeates throughout many of his works, in particular Confessions and City of God. Augustine, according to T.H. Irwin, has a teleological perspective; all the while, Aquinas has an opposing perspective.
The praxis of the Church's Sacraments from the earliest beginnings have their intention of removing the stain from our soul, by grace: that we may be received and looked upon by God as being cleaned. Thereby we are able to be communion once again with God. Regarding the spiral effect, McCormick, presents many factors associated with the stigma often associated with the "Spiral" phenomena.
The spiral effect is because, as Paul articulated, it captivates humanity into a spiral, whereby many are unable to strike their hammer, of belief, into the side of this declension and stop their free-fall.
Now as Christians, we are to find solace in the words of Paul's remedy found in chapter eight of Romans. There, Paul readily expounds upon the Salvation achieved by Christ on our behalf, and thus, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the spirit by which we cry, "Abba, Father." (Rom 8:15)
Thus, these two perspectives stop us from, "a turning away from God."
This my sojourning friend, ever endeavoring to reach that place of rest, may I say to you, as we clearly see our friend make his journey to the "Chamber of Confessions", he is both of us; for I, like you, continue to beat upon the air with our sighs of remorse, and regrets, desiring to dismiss ourselves from the free-fall into the abyss of which Apostle Paul had found himself, as he recounts to the Romans. Yet, it is there, in the same epistle, exists the means to arise from with this abyss and enter.
Read and see the answer. (hint, that is the key to the C. of C.)
Until our spiritual eyes meet again,
Bro Smith SGS