Monday, December 19, 2011


Sin can usually be defined a separation from God and is thought to be “covered” by Grace. A few evenings past our graduate EFM (aka “Thirsty Thursday”) meeting’s TR was about sIn (original and otherwise), Evil, and Grace; with a healthy helping of politics thrown in for the topic was adapted from two Dennis Prager columns (read them here and here). I had hoped to keep politics out of the discussion but we’re a rather independent bunch and don’t follow anyone’s lead very well. Consequently, a part of our time together was spent on adultery and its relation to qualification for public office, though it won’t be here. However, and finally, we did get onto what I had hoped to consider; that being a differentiation between sin and evil and why the Bible speaks so often toward sin and so infrequently towards evil. A interesting concept, for isn’t evil just really bad sin? I’ve come to believe not.

It’s based on my conviction that the Bible is not history as understood by 21st Century thought processes, but rather an ongoing love story tracing the relationship between God and His creation and should be approached accordingly. Sin and love can, do, and possibly must co-exist. Evil and love don’t. And therein I believe we glean the answer to the question:
“Isn’t evil just really bad sin?”
No way, Jose!

My “ah-ha” moment from last evening came with the realization that to be in sin with God one must in fact know God, while people who are truly EVIL are incapable of recognizing His existence. Seems like a bit of a fine line: “When one recognizes God, one comes to recognize behaviors that are sinful and only then can they receive grace. Without that knowledge of God, they can’t be in sin. One can commit crimes both civil and criminal and be in violation of the laws of the land, just as they can obey or skirt around those laws and still be judged morally bankrupt. As decent human beings they can also rue their mistakes and seek to atone for their errors; however, without acknowledging their belief in God they are incapable of receiving or accepting His Grace. One can not take hold of that which they believe does not exist.

Another question then becomes: “Are all Atheists evil people?” Absolutely not! But all truly evil people are in probability Atheists, for they are devoid of the ability to enter into God’s love story. And in retrospect, that’s probably why the Bible doesn’t spend much time addressing evil per se. It does, however, constantly remind us of our failures to live up to God’s expectations and His desires for us.
Beginning with:
“Don’t eat that apple.” &
“But it really won’t hurt and it will make you like God.”
And even up until today:
“But I don’t want to.”
“I want to do it my way.”
“I know what’s best for me"
God’s people continually attempt to equate themselves with Him. It’s human nature; could that be what original sin really is? When we were given free will was original sin its adjunct? Is sin solely relational and subject only to forgiveness through love?

I’m not sure how I can justify God’s response or lack thereof toward those who refuse to acknowledge Him, but feel it must be contained somewhere within that gift to mankind of free will. We can’t be directed or forced to love Him, it’s a decision each must come to on their own terms. Withstanding a personally held affirmation to be in relation with Him, we are only obedient puppets, under subjection to God rather than being bound to Him by our love towards Him. Time after time the New Testament speaks to love, not obedience. Love God, love His creation and love all whom He peopled it with. Practice charity, treat others as you yourself would be treated, be kind to one another, forgive transgressions. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! And, that’s something that must be done only from personal conviction. If it’s done from obligation or due by law, it’s not freely given. If it’s not freely given, it’s not done with love.

In the next few days we will again be reminded of that most precious gift of love the world could ever know. God become man, that man might begin to understand the depth of love God holds for each of us. Watch, listen, accept, LOVE!

Merry Texas Christmas, y’all.


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