Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Fixing sin with sentiment. . .

Over and over it would seem that some have decided the problem of sin is how it makes you feel.  The curse of sin is not death or disordered relationships with God or others.  No, the fruit of Eden is guilt and shame.  Therefore, do away with guilt and shame and you do away with sin -- at least the problem of sin, anyway.  The best way to do away with guilt and shame is to ignore sin, to judge sin normal and good, and to put the feelings of the moment in the driver's seat of life.

Added to this is the current psychobabble about wholeness and the perception of safety and security (for our feelings) and you have a recipe for a therapeutic deism that couches its words in the vocabulary of the sacred but means nothing of the kind.  The fruits of original sin can be handled on the psychiatrist's couch or with sentiment or with the redefinition of sin, the morality of desire, and gender.  This is exactly what has been done but the effect has not been to fix anything.

There was a news report of some 27 transgendered who were court ordered to be housed in a women's prison -- this resulted in at least two pregnancies (on the part of those not transgendered, one would assume).  There is the foolishness of pronouns that now belong to the person and not to the language itself.  There is the crazy idea that the school should somehow introduce doubt or curiosity about gender to children third grade and below.  There is the inequity of a woman in a man's body who competes against women in women's bodies.  There is the rejection of a binary world in which everything except a few narrow exceptions are, well, binary.  There is the spectacle of a candidate for the Supreme Court who should be expected to weigh in authoritatively on the most confounding conflicts of law and wisdom but who cannot define what a woman is.  I could go on but I will not.  My point here being that the fix for all our problems lies in dealing with feelings???  Really?

When someone claims, for example, “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body,” that is an irrational and empty claim.  No matter what the person saying it feels, there is no rational basis for its proof except feeling and there are every rational basis for questions based on the solid and objective stuff of reproductive organs, DNA, and chromosomes.  It is empty except that we have chosen to fill such a statement with power drawn from the simple fact and legitimacy afforded by our uniquely Western notions of individual freedom and individual self-determination. The fix given to the problem of sin has effectively destroyed every notion of what it means to be an embodied person, turning something objective into a puzzle to be put together in the way that satisfies the individual and then making this path the singularly most important quest and determination a person must make in life -- except, of course, that they might end up making it over and over again so that it ends up being the totality of that life.  For the fix of treating the effects of sin with the resolution of feelings is upset by the fact that feelings by nature change and they do not represent any solid reality other than a snapshot of the moment.  Worse, any question of those feelings, and therefore the fix, is considered the most reprehensible assault on the individual that can ever be made -- even worse than disgendering somebody!

Sin can only be fixed by an objective atonement -- the work to end all works.  Such can only by done by the One whose claim to righteousness is backed up by the Law itself.  The blood that must be shed is the blood of man but the blood of the only righteous man -- this alone cleanses us from all our sin.  The fruit of this atoning work does not manifest itself in a better quality of life today but eternal life that death cannot overcome and with the new flesh and blood of Christ's own glory.  The repair of feelings comes not from our personal quest for identity but from the gift of a new identity and a new heart within the baptismal womb that delivers to us this new and everlasting life.  Until we get this back, all the Christian efforts to play the game of fixing sin with sentiment will only add to the darkness and obscure the Light of Christ.

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