Monday, April 10, 2006

The nature of sin for a Non-Christian

Having finally given up on Christianity as faith, something that seems to be leveled at me is 'How do you know what's right and wrong if you're not told?' OK, I've put it more simplistically than they put it but is one boils off the padding, flounces, frills and just plain weasel words that's what they ask... My answer: Common sense, really.

Nearly every major culture has had proscriptions against murder and theft. A few even had them against rape and molesting children... The ten commandments were neither the first nor the most exhaustive laws. So, why should being a non-Christian mean I don't know right from wrong? Hell, 'Thou shalt not kill' was commandment SIX! SIX!?!? The Egyptians had a higher regard for life than that and they were visited with plagues...

So, how does Old Grandpa Harley do it?

This from an e-mail exchange.

I've been discussing the nature of 'sin' with Lael and I outlined how I identify what they call 'sin'

1) It engenders atavistic horror - Murder, rape, cruelty
2) It would upset me if done to me - theft, abuse, neglect, greed
3) makes me feel slightly queasy - Sexual promiscuity (straight or gay, which is odd since I was wildly promiscuous in my youth... I grew out of it, but it was fun at the time)
If I'm confronted with something that doesn't fit then, well, I apply the "Would this bring me peace of mind in the long term"? If the answer is "No", or "I don't know" I tend not to do it. At least these days... So its less rules and more "guidelines"

Like all good advice, easy to give. But that's what this demon haunted apostate uses.


Blogger anne said...

I've found that the common sense method of asking "will this bring me peace" might also be related to age. When I was a young woman of no faith we operated under the "if it feels good, do it" premise. However, it took me awhile to figure out that, 1) sometimes it only felt good temporarily, followed by feeling like shit for about twice as long, or 2)I could do things that I thought felt good in the moment but actually took an emotional and spiritual toll. If I'd been a follower of Christ back then perhaps I wouldn't have had to learn things the hard way. But maybe I wouldn't have the same passion for my faith now, or perhaps I might have really gotten into being a holier-than-thou kind of person - I've tasted judging others before and it feels pretty good, so it's probably a good thing I have been humbled by how much I've screwed up in my past. :)

2:18 PM  
Blogger Harlequin said...

It's one of those things... experience is what you get just after you needed it. :)

2:34 PM  
Blogger Q said...

Yo Harley! Truly glad to see you blogging again old chap ;)

12:52 AM  
Blogger Harlequin said...

Q, dearest... you should know, nothing Evil ever stays buried ;)

12:58 AM  
Blogger nolesrock said...

harley, the way i see it, sin is nothing more than a state of being where you are separated from your divine source, hence opening the door to all kinds of problems

the way i see jesus fitting into this equation is that he busted down the barrier, bringing us wholeness, healing and peace of mind

so i see the good news as much more than just a "sin fix" every time we need it...we're being made whole/complete, kingdom people if you will

sin no longer rules over us like a slave master or holds us back from our divine source...just my 1.5 cents

3:16 PM  
Blogger Harlequin said...

Indeed CMT, but one of the problems I had was that was what Christianity seemed to be about to most folk... Being gay? SIN. I've got it written on a piece of paper... I don't need to think is this a sin cos a dead lapsed Jew tells me its a sin.

I liked Father Charles Moore's bit of poetry

Satan never had a fall,
He never really was
At all.
And if you'd care
To look within
You'd find there
Never was a Sin!
There never was
A Sin at all

An offended God
Is much too small

The Greek used commonly by Jesus for sin was an archery term for 'miss the mark' Not the word Paul used. but Paul was more about founding a church than Apocalyptic Judaism, which is really what Orthodox Christianity is. Just an heretical one.

I'd agree that when we 'miss the mark' it means we have a lesson to learn, since we have been deluded or just ignored our innate divinity

3:42 PM  

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