Fascination with wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
Wisdom of Solomon 4:12

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Something Is Wrong

From very early on in our human lives, we begin to develop a suspicion that all is not well. I have very early memories, perhaps from the age of 3 or 4, of the experience of fear. I can specifically remember the fear of being taken to school and being left alone there as a kindergartener. I remember having negative confrontations with others from my earliest of years; I can specifically remember a fight over a toy. All of these things and many more, made it clear that life was not as it should be. From my earliest years I knew that something was wrong with others, and I suspected that something might even be wrong with me.

The church has a name for this universal experience, and it is the term “sin”. However, at this point it is necessary that we extract the term “sin” from all of our fundamentalist western notions, and instead try to rethink of it anew. I find it helpful to try to see sin as a universal virus, a problem which the early church called a “distortion”. To distort a thing is to misshape it, and thus not allow the thing to remain in its original form, much like a virus does to our bodies when we catch it. This gets at the heart of the term sin, which literally means miss the mark, or perhaps, to miss the point of the design.

What is that point? The point or goal is a successful 3-fold relationship. It is a successful relationship with God, with others, and with our creation. Who can argue or deny that there is within us a force that distorts us so forcefully that we cannot have right relationships in these 3 areas? If we are to rediscover sin, then we must come to know it, but particularly as it is at work in ourselves.

To accomplish this we must be clued into the fact that sin is a power. It is a power that blocks our freedom to live in right relationship we know we should have; with God, with others, and with our creation. The teachings of Jesus, the apostles, and the ancient church instruct us to begin to deal with our distorting power by searching out its presence is in ourselves.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Mat 7: 3-5

The truth passed down to us by the church is that we must to learn to ask ourselves; how is my relationship to God, to others, and to the creation not right? It is at that point that we can begin to rethink “sin”.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Today is Suspended Upon The Tree

Today is suspended upon the Tree, He who suspended the land upon waters.
Today is suspended upon the Tree, He who suspended the land upon waters.
Today is suspended upon the Tree, He who suspended the land upon waters.

A crown of thorns crowns Him, who is the King of the angels.
He is wrapped in the purple robe of mockery, who wraps the heavens with clouds.
He receives smitings, who freed Adam in the Jordan.
He is tranfixed with nails, Who is the Son of the Virgin.

We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ.
Show us also Thy glorious resurrection!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rediscovering Sin

The next subject I would like tackle is the pressing need our in the contemporary west to revisit & rediscover the historic church’s view of sin.

This is obviously a highly unpopular subject, & for good reason. Much of the last several hundred years have heard sin defined by a set of truncated cultural mores. In our nation, sin has too often been forced into the shape of the mores of Victorian court, rather than the shape espoused by the undivided church. This has caused many to reject the concept of sin altogether. This rejection has lead to a free-for-all. Nevertheless, sin has not gone away, its painful consequences remain. It is still evil, it still destroys God’s beloved children, & by extension it destroys the whole creation over which we are caretakers.

Therefore, it is critically important that we rediscover what sin is, its presence, as well as its effect upon us. In this post I would simply like to offer a concise definition of sin that comes to us from the mind of the undivided church:

Sin is the seeking of one’s own will instead of the will of God, thus distorting our relationship with God, with other people, and with creation.

I will address each of these assertions in the postings to follow.