Time Magazine on Sin

Time magazine recently published an article on the Vatican’s new emphasis on sins, a sort of reworking of the old seven deadlies to incorporate the modern world and social issues. While I don’t necessarily disagree with some of these issues as “sins” theres a fundamental paradigm that I feel is lost nowadays when discussion sin. The article’s author and the quotes from the Vatican often discuss the notion of sin as these bad deeds committed by a person. I agree that yes “sins” are deeds of commission or omission that are evil (I’d add not just based on some “arbitrary” good and bad, but based on a failing to live up to the holy standard of our Lord God). The new list from the Vatican simply adds some more modern deeds to the list of sins.

My problem with this modern notion of sin is that it stops with the deeds. “Sin” is deeper than the deeds we commit or fail to commit. “Sin” is a condition, a disease, “sins” are the visible symptoms of said disease. What about “it’s the motive/or heart that matters”? – I’ll concede that, yes it is the heart that matters, and here’s what Scripture has to say about the heart and motives:

Genesis 8:21b (after the flood) – “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth…”

Jer. 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Mark 7:21-23 – “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality…”

We have to stop equating simply “doing bad things” with the totality and deep rooted nature of sin. Treating the visible signs of sin by simply promoting the confession and stopping of the acts is much akin to a physician simply treating the symptoms of a cancerous tumor without dealing with the deep rooted problem of the tumor swelling up within. We need a heart transplant. Here is where the gospel comes in to address our need, not to save us from the things we do, but to give us a new life with a new heart – that of Christ’s.

~ by veniatregnum on May 30, 2008.

One Response to “Time Magazine on Sin”

  1. But Bryan, what you are suggesting would cause me to think seriously about sin and make me feel poopy. No thanks…
    But seriously, amen.

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