Monday, July 14, 2014

Everything is a sin!

Curious about sin? KS is, so he asked Billy Graham about it...
Q: What is your definition of sin? I do some things that I know some people might call sinful, but I personally don't consider them bad since they don't harm anyone. But how do I know if God considers them sin? -- K.S.
What's 'sin'? An empty term used to describe things that are eternally bad and  frowned on by some imaginary deity. Oh... He wanted Billy's opinion. Oh well, so much for getting an answer that's not sure to be terrible and nonsensical....
A: The Bible actually uses several words that we translate as "sin," but they all have the same meaning: A sin is anything that isn't pleasing to God. It may be something we do or say, or an evil thought or selfish motive -- but whatever it is, it isn't God's will.
Wait... anything that isn't pleasing to God? Sin is already a pretty damn broad term, but Billy just managed to make it even more massive. Say a hot dog without relish on it isn't pleasing to God. That would make an every day hot dog a sin. He probably likes his steaks very rare (what with the pleasing animal sacrifices and all), so that would make any steak that is actually cooked properly a sin.

Suppose God just doesn't like certain plants in his garden. You're garden or landscaping could be a sin. God might not like his shirt untucked, or perhaps the only ties he likes are bow ties. Your wardrobe is now a sin (well, it probably was anyway).

Billy has defined sin is the childish way of "If I don't like it, it's bad and no one else can like it either". It makes God sound not only juvenile and unreasonable, but like quite a control freak as well.
Have you ever asked yourself why God doesn't want us to sin? It isn't because He wants to take all the fun out of life and make us miserable -- not at all. Instead, God loves us, and He knows far better than we do what is best for us. He also knows what will hurt us or keep us from true happiness, and when we do those things, we only hurt ourselves. Sin always hurts us -- always.
Sin always hurts us? Really now? How does wearing a poly-cotton blend t-shirt hurt me? (Deuteronomy 22:11) How does not abhorring gay people hurt me? (Leviticus 20:13) What about eating shrimp? (Leviticus 11:9-12) What part of not forcing a daughter to marry her rapist hurts me? (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) How does it hurt me by not forcing my wife to always submit to me and stay silent? (1 Corithians, Colossians...) I could go on all day, but it is clear that there are plenty of things that are considered sins that hurt no-one. In fact, in some cases, doing the right thing is what would be considered a sin by God.
Some things are clearly not God's will; He has told us about them in the Bible, which is His Word.
Yes, important stuff like eating all insects is a no-no except for Locusts, Katydids, Crickets and Grasshoppers. Those crunchy guys have the God stamp of approval! (Leviticus 11:22)
Can't you just smell the evil?
But what about other situations, such as those you've allowed into your life? Let me ask you some questions. Have you prayed and asked God if these are pleasing to Him? Would you be ashamed or embarrassed if others knew about them? Would they lead a younger person astray? I recall the advice a godly man told me many years ago: "If in doubt -- don't!"
I agree with the last thought, but that's in no way advice that is believer exclusive by any stretch. But instead of asking questions like 'will it please God' how about asking if it will hurt anyone in any way? Will it be unfair and deceitful? What kind of example will I be setting? Suppose you preoccupy yourself with the 'what would please God' question. You may feel that God would be pleased if you stand in the way of equal rights for same sex couples. Whereas, I would opine that the right thing to do would to not be a dick who blindly follows a book, and ignores the hurt and unjustness that such a stance can spread.

-Brain Hulk

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