As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sin Line

This was written in response to a post by the Anglican Philosopher regarding Sin Lines:

I was raised on a sin line mentality. Often, pastors (especially youth pastors) would portray the line in a comic manner leaning over the line in order to breath in as much of the sin on the other side as possible and (oops!) stumbling into sin. They would also speak of "black and white" regarding sin. There is no gray, just white and then black.

I think it is exactly that kind of phariseeism (sp?) that prompted Jesus to say that the one who hates in his heart has murdered and the one who lusts in his heart has fornicated. He tells us to be perfect as His Father is perfect. Anything less than perfection is sin. In that sense, EVERYTHING is gray! This more corresponds to the Orthodox definition of sin as "missing the mark." The straight and narrow isn't about belief, but about obedience.

I've recently heard another concept which rings true as well. All sin is in the heart. Sin is not something you do, it is a condition of impurity. SInful actions are merely symptoms of the disease. In the West we focus on minimizing symptoms rather than curing the disease. So it is with sin. As long as we're not presenting, all is well. But the fornicator and adulterer has merely acted on the sin which is in his heart. Which is in my heart. Until that sin is eradicated, I am no more holy than they.

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