Tag: sin


Sin and Stupidity

Belief in God, says a new Harris Poll, is down in America, and the godless are crowing about it. They have less to say (as in zero) about an increased belief in pseudo-science and superstition that Harris also turned up. Yet the positive correlation of disbelief in God and belief in utter claptrap is well documented. –The Christians

Or, to put it more succinctly: Sin makes you stupid.

Sin, by definition, is a denial of reality as it exists.

God, in his nature, created people to love one another, rather than murder one another. In murdering someone, you are denying fundamental realities of the universe (the image of God, in essence), and therefore you are stupid. Can we bear this out in real life? Are most murderers less intelligent than the general population? I think we can safely say they are (murder mysteries are the only realm inhabited by intelligent, suave murderers).

God, in the Scriptures, says that people are fundamentally evil. Look around the world and tell me: which societies, and which social structures, are actually the most successful at producing the most good for the world?

Is it communism, which assumes man can be molded to fit what the “wise men,” believe to be good? Stalin, Mao, Che, and Castro are proof positive that communism kills people, and destroys more than it builds.

Is it socialism, which assumes men are fundamentally good? Modern Europe, and largely modern America, are proof positive that socialism destroys more than it builds.

Is it Islam, which believes man has simply forgotten how to worship Allah, and must be coerced into doing so? Look across the destruction that is the Middle East, and tell me how you can believe Islam is able to order a society that is just.

So which religions have actually built successful social structures where people from every religion are accepted (including those of no religion), have supported the investigation and discovery of many things, and are based in the rule of law? Which religions have been at the fountainhead of every society where hospitals and schools are built, children are treated with importance and care, and women are treated as real people, rather than objects to be used?

Judaism and Christianity.

“Oh, but we know those two religions are actually oppressive of women and minorities, of strangers and…” You get your own opinions, but you don’t get your own facts. It isn’t Christians who are calling for ever more lewd public behavior which treats women as sex objects. It isn’t Christians who are calling for massive surveillance in the name of “nudging” people to “do the right thing.”

No, to the contrary, Christianity and Judaism believe in the essential evil nature of man, and therefore in the importance of the rule of law, because no man (or men) can be trusted with the reigns of power absolutely. Christianity and Judaism believe in the essential dignity of man, created in the image of God, to the point that no-one man be coerced into doing that which is bad for them, or even what is good for them, beyond the level needed to make a society function.

Given the pragmatic evidence of history, then, Christianity and Judaism are closer to the truth than any other worldview or system — because they actually work in the real world.

It’s not so much that the founders of America were smarter than anyone else. It’s just that they weren’t stupid. They accepted the reality of the world as God made it, and hence, built a system around what God said was true. In accepting reality, they were wise, just as we are stupid in rejecting it.


The Sin of Achan

And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” -Joshua 7:20-21

The story of Israel before Ai, with it’s initial defeat, repentance from sin, purging of sin, and finally taking the stronghold, is one of the most fascinating in the entire tale of the conquest —even more so than the falling of the walls of Jericho, or the many lists of kings defeated and cities taken. Here we have a tale of desire followed by taking which impacted the entire nation of Israel.

The words Achan uses when he admits his sin before the Lord are exactly the ones Adam and Eve used in the Garden. They saw, they desires, they took, and then they hid. But the similarity doesn’t just end there; it stretches into our current world, with implications for our own spiritual lives.

What was it about the few simple items Achan took that were so important? It’s not the value of the objects that are emphasized in the Scriptures, but rather their status. These items were under the ban of destruction; the robe should have been burned, and the silver and gold given to the treasury of the House of the Lord. Why did Achan take them for himself?

I believe it’s because he didn’t have faith.

Israel is entering a new land, a new place. Here they will settle, and make their lives, and the lives of their children. But what if God isn’t good to me? What if I don’t get the best piece of land? What if I don’t have enough to build a farm in the first few years? We left Egypt with gold and silver, and over time we’ve lost that gold and silver through various sins. We have the shoes on our feet, and the clothes on our back, and the blessing of God, but what if these aren’t good enough?

So, look, there, there’s a chunk of gold, and some silver, and a nice new set of clothes. Those would certainly be enough to get my family’s feet on the ground. Those would certainly be a good guard against the future for my wife and children, for my aging parents and my sisters. No-one is looking, so I’ll just wrap it up and take it back to camp. I’ll bury it, and no-one will ever know…

Achan’s sin cost 36 men their lives at the first battle of Ai, and his entire family their lives in the ensuing days. Achan reached out for security from this world, “just a little, in case God doesn’t come through,” and he found death.

The lesson for today? We should not be afraid of honest gain to make a life for our families into the future. We should not be afraid to work hard and make something of ourselves. But we should be on our guard, for it’s all too easy to reach one step too far, to reach beyond faith, and to take that which God hasn’t given.

To count on the world, rather than God.


Banishing Sin

We’ve banished sin. Or at least we’ve tried to.

There is no hell. There is no such thing as evil. God doesn’t exist. Satan doesn’t exist even if God does exist. We’ve fallen in love with religions that tell us what to do, rather than what to think, or what sort of people we should be.

But still, there’s this nagging feeling that we’ve gone wrong someplace. We’re not really certain where, but somewhere, somehow, we’ve done what we always wanted to do —banished God, and with him all evil— and yet…

The gagging of God, so far as courts, professors and advanced theologians can accomplish it, gets slightly in the way of attempts to puzzle out the Tucson massacre. God with a gag over His metaphorical mouth was a less usual concept back when people talked more routinely than now about evil, not to mention the devil and all his works. A particular word would come up regularly in those old conversations — sin, defined as stubborn, self-focused detachment from God, accompanied by defiance of His purposes. Sin was supposed to be bad: the more so because all were involved in it. Because all were involved, no one could tell what would happen next. Some nut might sidle into a political gathering, pull out a gun, and … –Patriot Post

It seems like banishing God to our “personal lives,” and squashing all traces of “religious belief” from the public square isn’t working out quite the way we thought, is it? Maybe, just maybe, the problem runs deeper than we think. I know we hate the thought of hell, all those people “burning in flames” for all of eternity. I know we hate to think of a God who would send someone there for a simple thing like not believing.

But maybe, just maybe, God knows what’s best for us. Like a parent spanking a child over taking that little piece of candy. Spanking seems all out of proportion to the crime, doesn’t it? Oh, that’s right, we don’t spank any longer, either. But maybe a little negative persuasion is just what we need to get the job done —maybe the threat of not getting what we want, or being punished, really is the best route to changing what’s inside. Maybe prisons as punishment really are better than prisons as psychotherapy rehabilitation camps.

But we’ve been digging this hole for a long time, and it’s going nowhere but deeper for a while longer.

Maybe getting rid of hell wasn’t such a good idea. Maybe the problem of evil is best explained with a God, rather than without. Maybe, just maybe, the “problem of evil,” that one tool we’ve used so effectively to banish God from our lives, will come roaring back to haunt us in ways we can’t being to imagine.

Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. -Deuteronomy 8:5


Narrative 006: Consequences of the Fall

The topic this time is the first set of consequences of the Fall, focusing on the interaction between God, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent. We also examine the judgments and the immediate results of this first sin. The next set of slides will deal with the development of total depravity and the transmission of sin, since these two doctrines are related to the immediate consequences of this first sin.

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