We are not born in sin; we are each born with powerful tendencies to both good and evil and the drama of human character is in the struggle and balance between the two. The corrective mechanism is teshuva, repentance.
War is contrary to the will of God. That is a foundational belief of mine. Any time force is used it must be seen as a failure of the human imagination to develop the just peace needed to free the world from on-going conflicts.
The Catholic Church probably won't start marrying gay couples anytime soon, but Francis' olive branch shows the evolution of a church whose leadership just 25 years ago issued a letter to bishops calling homosexuality an "intrinsic moral evil" and "an objective disorder."
The original meaning of the word "sin" is to fall short of an ideal or to "miss the mark." That's all of us. Every day. But these days, we're more likely to equate sin with evil and immorality. We imbue the word with a dark and loathsome intent.
What are the sociological implications behind the notion of "sin," religious or otherwise? The claims that humans are intrinsically evil are highly problematic not solely do to the fact that the claim resides on a false-dichotomy. It only sees one-side of the story.
If we believe what the Bible says about God's concern for the poor; if we believe what the Bible says about justice; then we must denounce the gross inequality of opportunity and income in our country today as blatantly sinful.
During this Lenten season as I reflect on all of the pious and self-righteous fingers of accusation that were pointing at Jesus, I realize how frequently I point my finger at the faults of other people even though Jesus points not at them or at me but to the dust of our common humanity.
Perhaps my pondering on repentance during September led me to think of the sins that I've committed during the past year. I started wondering, could the Seven Deadly Sins could be reframed into something more positive?
Grace is God as heart surgeon, cracking open your chest, removing your heart -- poisoned as it is with pride and pain -- and replacing it with his own. Rather than tell you to change, he creates the change.
There is a prayer of confession of sin that asks for forgiveness for "those things that we have done that we ought not to have done and for those things that we have not done that we ought to have done." There are glaring examples of both in the news.
Problems in popular penal substitution theology might be a reflection of the "juvenilization" of American evangelical Christianity. When church becomes youth group for adults, explanations that speak on a teenage level become the norm for everybody.
I believe you have been promoting bigotry and helping to perpetrate a fraud. During both of your interviews with Pastor Joel Osteen, you let the religious leader tell your audience that Scripture calls homosexuality a sin. But you didn't ask him where the Bible says that.
Sin is not about breaking rules. Rather, it is resistance to the creative power of God. Those who thought that they were on the side of God are revealed to be profoundly wrong. We might even call them hypocrites.
As a husband, he failed. As a father, he failed. Yet these seem to be issues best left to be resolved between Edwards and God, not a court of law. There is every reason to believe the case against Edwards is overreach.
For some people, every day is already a painful reminder that they are made of dust. For these people, sin is not so much about pride, but rather the failure to have a healthy sense of self-esteem and love for oneself.