The topic of the previous article started me on a line of thought which basically goes like this: “what is the fatal flaw of those people who profess salvation and what not, and secretly manifest all signs of spiritual fall, and how to avoid it”.
I think they assume that they must appear to be outwardly perfect, which creates a dichotomy of a perfect outward façade meant for the public, and their normal private condition, which they well know to be far from the ideal. As this dichotomy persists, they basically give themselves license to go incrementally more beyond the pale, because, from their perspective, it hardly matters – they are far from the ideal façade anyways, so it doesn’t matter whether they are off by an inch or by a mile. They are either doomed regardless, or saved regardless, depending on God’s point of view. Basically, they masturbate in secrecy anyways, which neither their Church nor scripture approve of, so they might as well have someone else do it for them.
From the perspective of their religion, that makes some kind of sense. From my perspective, the problem starts with separation of one’s consciousness from God, with the result of spiritual emptiness, which then manifests as many things – from desire for material things and pleasures, to actually sinful actions, such as treating other souls poorly, as if they were mere things. As you can see, my definition of sin is more abstract than the Christian one – I don’t see sin as something that is on a list of forbidden actions. I see sin as a state where your consciousness is not in God and of God, and this condition doesn’t make you experience agony. I see sin as willful defiance of God, and contempt/hatred for both God, and beings who love him. Basically, I see atheism and anti-theism as sin, and I see murder, rape, robbery, deception and other evil physical actions as manifestations of this inner spiritual state of sin. Sin is the state of apostasy from God.
The problem with those Christians is therefore that their religion has such impractically harsh definition of sin, that they basically can’t function as normal human beings without feeling that their religion condemns their actions, and they also feel that they have to keep up the outwardly charade for the sake of others, whose faith, they feel, will crumble if they knew how weak their leader actually is. And the more they outwardly condemn all sin, inwardly they drown in the feeling that they are fundamentally and irredeemably sinful, and even if God could somehow understand and forgive, their followers can’t and won’t, because the position of scripture is clear in condemnation of their actions.
The solution is that sin needs to be understood in a more abstract, fundamental way, so that people can focus on what matters, which is their personal relationship with God, and less on things that don’t matter, which is whether you allowed yourself to experience some innocent pleasure that didn’t hurt anyone. This doesn’t mean “tolerance for sin”, as some Christians would say. No, it means you need to stop being such bloody Pharisees, “who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel”. Focus on the important things, such as treating others the way you would treat God himself, and being forever in God. Stop annoying both yourselves and others with silly nonsense. If that made any sense, the early Church would not cease with the practice of imposing all those Jewish “laws” on the pagan-to-Christian converts. As St. Peter wisely stated, “Now then, why do you test God by placing on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe it is through the grace of the Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
What I want to say is, that by widening the spectrum of what is considered a sin, you think you are being moral and obedient to God, and what you are actually doing is falling into the trap of the Pharisees who even chastised Jesus and his disciples, thinking themselves more pure and lawful. Also, by broadening the definition of sin, you make it all but inevitable for one to consider oneself sinful, and from that point it’s a slippery slope, where it’s easy to cross the line into actions that are sin proper. Stop making both your lives and the lives of others more difficult without good reason, and instead focus your attention on that which is most important, and that is the presence of God within your soul.
There is another thing that I think is important; one of the reason why people fall into sin. You see, they see themselves as irrelevant and worthless, and they think their actions don’t matter one way or another. They think they are weak, powerless, worthless, small and inconsequential. As a result, they act like a child who takes his father’s gun, thinking it a toy, and kills his sibling. If a child truly understood the actual power it has in its hands, that would not have happened. It is only because they don’t understand what they wield, that makes it truly dangerous. In a similar manner, I’ve seen people condemn both themselves and others, thinking that their words and actions don’t matter, that seducing others away from salvation is merely an intellectual game. It’s like throwing rocks on a live land mine, or picking up a cobra thinking it’s a piece of rope. If people only knew how powerful their actions can be, and how much everything they do matters, they would tread very lightly through life.