Sin and the Christian Life: A Response to Rachel Held Evans

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I'm not impressed by other viewpoints from Ms. Evans', which is similar to my own. It seems what these people want is a hebbin comprised only of people just like them. Wherever there are human beings there is sin. There are no exceptions, none whatsoever. Some say hebbin consists of no worries and no sins but I am extremely skeptical of such an assertion. Aye - no temporal worries like hunger and homelessness, but human beings are petty everywhere and the smug religious are certainly no exception.

George N. Shuler, LCSW more than 4 years ago

Go and Sin No More?

I appreciate the words of Dr. Watson, as he considers the article by Rachel Held Evans. However, I think there is a middle ground between what each of them is writing.

If we accept the Biblical assertion that "no one is without Sin except Jesus," then that means that no matter how hard we try to be faithful, to be like Jesus, no "go and sin no more," we will never be able to achieve those goals. No matter what else is said, none of us are Jesus. We cannot possibly, ever, be without sin.

In John's Gospel, Jesus told the woman about to be stoned to "go and sin no more." Given the hyperbole found in John's Gospel, at its most basic level, I would have to go with Ms. Evans that that was given as a goal, not a commandment. If Jesus expects all of us to be as perfect as he is, knowing that we cannot be so, than all I can say is that Jesus has his own little problems!

What we do have, though, that if we repent of our sin, we can be forgiven of the sin and given another chance to try to be better. John Wesley's ideal of the process of "sanctification" meant that we are all in a period when we are growing so that we will sin, less and less, simply because we can be forgiven and given a second chance to try to be better. Wesley posited that because Jesus was perfect in love, and he did this within a human form, it has to be possible for other humans to be as perfect in love as Christ was perfect in love. However, he quickly followed that assertion by the confession that he, himself, did not expect to achieve that state of grace in this lifetime.

The only ones I've ever met who seem to have come closer to being as perfect in love as Christ was perfect in love---even though they are not yet there---are persons who are of very advanced age, who don't have anything to prove anymore, and are free to love children, teenagers, other adults, and each other as frail but loveable expressions of those who are created in God's image.

Holiness is a state that comes with the process of sanctification; it is not a prerequisite thereto.

Thomas H. Griffith more than 4 years ago