A sin is a black mark on your theological slate. It’s a chip on the wrong side of the scales; a smudge on a white cloth; a crack in the glass. Sins come in many forms, and while most modern people don’t concern themselves with whether an action is sinful or not, religious people disagree. A sin is specifically something (a thought or action) which goes against what God wants. There’s lots of different biblical analogies that match this – an archer missing his mark is the most common. Sin is black and white in that something either is or isn’t a sin, there’s no gray area.
Can you be sinful and good?
Ah, the modern conundrum. To me, the answer is yes. If you’re specifically following all 600+ biblical commandments then I commend you, but you’re probably not reading this because I’m assuming you’re Amish. The modern world makes most of these redundant and outdated so we simply choose to ignore them. That doesn’t make us bad people. Am I sinful because I cut my hair? According to the strictest rules of the bible – yes. But I don’t think that makes me a bad person. I could be a very good person who donates to charity, volunteers, eats right, goes to church and more, but because I cut my hair I’m sinful.
What exactly is Sin? A sin by definition (1 John 3:4) is something that transgresses the law of god.
Are all Sins Equal?
Romans 6:23 implies that all sins will count the same when judgment comes. So by this logic my cutting my hair is as bad as murdering my children or stealing from a bank. It seems painfully obvious that this isn’t true to anyone with a working moral compass. This question has puzzled theologians for centuries and even since man began to understand the concept of right and wrong. There are passages in the bible that specify that the moment of judgment will pass easier for some than others, so it’s likely that this relates to the type and nature of your sins. However, according to strict theologians, you’re still going to hell because you sinned.
Do You Care?
The wonderful thing about theology is you can choose what you believe because frankly no one knows. Not to mention the fact that most Christians believe that as long as you accept their belief system before you die you’ll be forgiven and still get to heaven. I think the best example of this I’ve seen was that even Hitler would go to heaven if he apologized to “God” before dying and accepted Christianity. Now, I don’t know about you, but if that’s the type of people they’re willing to let in just because they apologize I’m not sure that’s a party I want to join in with.
Here’s my thoughts – if you’re a good person, morally, then you shouldn’t be punished. I think the idea of “sin” is much more fluid and connected to a person’s moral compass. If you’re morally a good person, you do what you should and what you need to to get by then that’s what you’re supposed to do. If you had to steal a loaf of bread or your family would starve I don’t think you should be punished for trying to feed your family just because being pious to some higher authority is more important. I think it makes you a bad person if you’re willing to watch a child starve because God has some higher and unknown purpose.
The fault with this thinking is that it’s prioritizing the “now” rather than “later”. It’s saying that what’s going on in the here and now is more important than what happens after we die. To add another wrench into things, being compassionate is literally causing you to lose your “sinless” nature. Frankly, that’s bulls$#@.