Saturday, October 4, 2014

Repenting of the cool sins as well. . .

It is nothing new to have cool sins.  There are always sins that are in style and therefore harder for us to confess.  It is not something new or strange to us or to our own time to have our favorite sins, the cool ones, the sins of which sinning with them marks you in a positive way before the world.

Part of the discernment of the times is the need to figure out which sins have been rendered cool and which have not and making sure that we deal honestly with the cool ones as well as those that are not so favored by the moment.

A cool sin is to devalue human life and to enhance the value of nature.  It is the premise of the green movement, of ecology, of global warming, etc...  In other words, it is not enough to be good stewards of God's creation but this cool sin treats mankind as if we were an enemy of God and His creation.  It would be better, in other words, if there were fewer of us, if our footprint on this earth were smaller, and we treated all life as equal (humans being nothing special).

A cool sin is to give into sexual desire as if this were some primeval instinct that cannot be controlled, denied, or restrained.  So, sex outside of marriage might be wrong but it is not as wrong as limiting your desire or denying your desire, or restraining your sexual desire.  It is you.  It is good.  Sometimes its yields bad consequences but that does not mean the desire is wrong.  Gay, straight, bi -- you name it -- all desires are equal and the suppression of desire is the worst sexual sin of all.

A cool sin is to make noble the choice to end the life of the unborn or the aged or the disabled.  A cool sin is to define a quality of life that justifies ending the life of the baby before birth as the more compassionate and charitable act that allowing the child to be born to people who neither want him or her nor are the equipped to be good parents.  A cool sin is to see any defect or congenital condition that might impinge upon the future and freedom of a child's life as good reason to kill the child before he or she is born.  A cool sin looks at the nursing homes and hospital rooms filled with old folks or disabled folks and saying "no one should have to live like that" and thinking euthanasia is the kinder more noble choice.

A cool sin is to allow reason to define what you believe or will accept from Scripture or tradition.  A cool sin says that science and truth are too great to be influenced or compromised by religious mythology -- no matter how well intended.  A cool sin is to see Scripture as a book of suggestions which each person must pick and choose to define what is meaningful, relevant, and authoritative for him or for her.  Such a cool sin understands that this moves you outside the mainstream of Christian tradition but justifies this by saying justice itself, the Gospel principle, education and sophistication, or modernity requires it of us (explaining away original sin or justifying such things as women's ordination or jumping off the Biblical definition of marriage to define gay or lesbian marriage as equal or the same).

We have a ton of cool sins we must deal with.  Every generation does.  The biggest problem with cool sins is that it forces you outside the mainstream of the world's opinions and makes you appear to be a radical.  About the only radicals our culture seems to stomach are those who threaten us (Islam which we try to justify, excuse, and understand as opposed to Christianity which we have defined as weak or impotent and therefore easy to denigrate).  But the call to faithfulness means acknowledging even the cools sins as sin and the cool sinners as sinners -- real and not imaginary!  There is no kindness in overlooking wrong because it happens to be "in" at the moment.  There is no Gospel in overlooking such sins.  There is only death.  The wages of sin is death -- even the popular and cool sins!  The Lord suffered and died to pay the price of all our sins -- the ones we abhor and the ones we secretly love.  I might make this analogy go one step further -- it took more blood of Jesus to wash us clean from the sins we like than it does from the sins we find awful.

1 comment:

Janis Williams said...

Add to the "cool" sins, the ignored ones like gossip, gluttony, and our horrible thoughts, and it pretty much covers all the Decalogue.

We are all sinners to the core, with nothing in our hearts but sin and cholesterol. If we don't blame someone else for our "mistakes," we turn them into psychoses, or even virtues.