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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Where does sin come from?

I certainly admit that all human beings struggle with questions of right and wrong. I certainly admit that for all of us by the time we become adults, we have acquired insecurities and fears that paint us into moral corners whereby we feel as though we absolutely MUST do, or must indulge in, or must have things we at another level recognize are wrong. This is the problem we often refer to as "sin."

But when we start to make up stories about how people are "born sinners" we are acting and thinking out of an ongoing fear and insecurity. We are not being honest about the role we play. It is a fearful and risky thing for us as caregivers of the next generation to admit that in spite of how deeply we love and adore our offspring, we also at times rob them of security, we also at times teach them to fear what we fear. We have modeled for them our own lack of figuring it out as we unwittingly justify our immaturity before their faces.

Now I do not blame any of us for doing this. I do not see a way out that stops every cycle suddenly and completely. I admit that this is the human condition that I also participate in. This is the human condition that each generation can only dilute by ever more embracing the love of God. We cannot break every cycle of human insecurity and fear completely but we can dilute it by living loved. Some aspects of our cultural heritage is a cycle we sometimes can only spin out of. We cannot always simply rise above it immediately and thoroughly.

But let us be done with this unbiblical notion that the reason we all grow up to be "sinners" is because we are born that way. We are not being honest or owning our responsibility in admitting that even in ways we had not anticipated, we raised the next generation to be this way. Even those of us who have done a commendable and spectacular job raising the next generation still lacked full and complete wisdom. Part of living loved is to accept our own role in this cycle and to embrace living loved for the sake of the next generation so that each successive generation might excel at living loved even more than our generation.

This is one of the strategies God had in mind when he designed us to live indwelt by His presence. Self control is a fruit of the spirit, it grows naturally when we abide in the love of God.

Doing the right thing will always be an option. Falling short of "the mark" is an inevitable part of a developmental process both individually and systemically as a people. But we only make it worse when we teach the next generation this false and unbiblical idea that they were somehow born this way. We are sidestepping and failing to be honest about our contribution to the ongoing problems of the world. We are also teaching them to disown their responsibility towards the next generation.

Learn to live loved, learn to be honest. Get rid of all that foolish theology that degrades us and accuses God of great evil. God made you lovely. He has no problem with you. He desires to redeem and restore all things.

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