At theology pub this week we talked about sin. And it was good.
I have a problem with sin being only equated with behavior. Yes there are some sinful behaviors, but I think that what makes them sinful is the injury that results from the behavior, injury to the one who committed the sin and injury to others as well. For instance, and I know a lot of people have a different opinion on this, but I do not believe sex outside of marriage is sinful on its own. I don't know that God really cares about sex, I think God cares about hurting ourselves and others and when this happens as a result of sexual behavior then it draws us further from being in harmony with our source, God, and thus is sinful. This can happen in or outside of marriage and by trying to eqate its sinfulness with behavior and not with harm, then we miss the mark. Is it possible to live in a manner so that no harm or injury come to yourself or others as a result of your actions? no. Even if I withdrew from society all together and lived as a hermitess (and there are days when this sounds absolutely delicious), I am still removing myself from community (in which I believe Christ is revealed), and thus am causing myself harm.
Props to Martin Luther for the whole "we are all simultaneously sinner and saint" thing. Brilliant. Holding these two in tension is the stuff of faith to me. Yes I sin and am oriented to self and not God (more often than not), however, I am made imago dei, in the image of God and am beloved of God. Both are true. To live as though I am all of one and not the other is simply fraudulent. The beauty in this is how the two natures are in relationship and not seperate from each other. Yes, I sin. My thoughts and behaviors cause harm to myself and others, but as one made in the image of God (as one who still is connected to the source from whence I came and to where I will go), I have available to me the gift of forgiveness and reconciliation. To not be a slave to sin is to admit when I am wrong, which then allows me to receive forgiveness from God (although this idea is shaky for me), myself and others. I don't believe in the cosmic gumball machine of forgiveness as it were, where IF I put a quarter in (confess my sin), THEN God releases the gumball of forgiveness. I just don't see myself as that powerful really, to cause God to forgive me. Instead, I think maybe that the flowing spring of forgiveness and reconciliation is ever flowing. We do not cause it to flow. It is always and already. But we cannot drink from it standing up. We have to do two things in order to maintain a posture to be able to recieve this healing water. 1. admit I fucking NEED it. 2. get down on my knees. By doing this I do not cause the spring to flow, I only allow it to feed me.
We do this for each other as well. Forgiveness and reconciliation is the stuff of the gospel. It's hard too. But the water of Life flows deep and strong and we all need a drink.