Sin has received a bad press!
The whole notion of sin is unpopular, often because of the church. Churches have been hypocritical... speaking of the sin of others while they hide child molesters and sexual predators. Indeed, churches have sometimes almost identified sin with sex. Or if not identifying sin with sex, they have relegated it to the personal realm. "One should not steal the milk from thy neighbour's doorstop, but it is alright to work for a supermarket which is putting the small dairies out of business." Our wider complicity in the shortcomings of our society has often been ignored. Our corporate sin as a nation is seen as a non issue... many completely agree the Prime Minister has no need to say "Sorry."
The church has linked sin with judgment and an archaic view of punishment related to a feudal culture's image of God as a despot. It has often ignored or downplayed the notions of grace and forgiveness, or at least, not explored their potential for re-understanding in the modern world.
I have called this section Complicity and Sin, because although for many of us Sin has lost some its usefulness because of its narrow definitions by churches, we are only too aware of our complicity in the failings of our society. As we seek to deal with and live with our complicity, re-exploring the notion of sin may help us draw a few more lines on the map.
November 11 2001
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