What is “sin”?

AdamF Mormon 64 Comments

In my apparently never ending need to define absolutely everything, (e.g. what “bless the food” means or “what is the church?”) I am continuing my “What is…. ?” series, with a topic that I have had a hard time defining in the past.

What, really, is sin? Not so much “what are some examples of sin…” because we all know there are endless ways and means TO sin. What IS it?

How do you define it?

I have often read from those who have left the church about the very idea of sin being silly. I can’t blame them, because for a long time I didn’t really know what it meant either. Missionaries trying to convince people of their sins, in order to help them see they needed a savior seemed a little strange.

My paradigm shifted when I began to think of what was most important to me in my faith (right after charity of course!): personal growth. From that point onward, “sin” became anything that thwarts, disrupts, or otherwise damages my progress.

In addition, while I believe there may be many universal “sins,” there may be some things that stunt my growth that do not harm others. We all have to figure that out on our own.

Looking at the LDS.org definition, I don’t really see a conflict with my definition either, perhaps just a different angle:

“To commit sin is to willfully disobey God’s commandments or to fail to act righteously despite a knowledge of the truth.”

God’s basic commandments? Love others. Love God. Be perfect. We are all “sinners” in the sense that we all do things that stunt our growth from time to time. That is NORMAL. We are here to learn from our mistakes, our sins, and to grow. To me, progression is the most important key, not being “worthy” vs. “unworthy.” We are all somewhere on the worthiness (read: progression) spectrum.

What does sin mean to you? How do you define it?

Comments

comments

Comments 64

  1. Another possible definition from Hugh Nibley is ‘Sin is Waste’ Which I think fits in with your defintion.

    However, I think the problem with your definiton is that it focusses on self-aggrandizement and could perhaps lead t the detriment of others.

    Therefore sin needs to incorporate explicitly (I am sure it was implicitly intended) to include other people.

    “perhaps the most debilitating sin is a refusal to love.” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1315.) I like this because I see your idea of personal growth linked with it.

    I see any action that damages ennobling relationships as a sin. However, I also believe that if we do anything that is contrary to what we believe to be right, this is also a sin. The problem here is that these two do not necessarily also align perfectly. This is why I think the adam and eve story has the contradictory commandments in it, to highlight that sometimes we have to choose our sins, and forced into the need for redemption.

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    Thanks Rico – I agree, adding others to this is an important piece. Sin is not something that just hurts our growth, but even more importantly, that of others.

  3. The one definition of sinning that I heard that I really liked was: sin is turning away from God. (Repentance, then, is turning toward.)

    The real question is…what does it mean to turn toward God and what does it mean to turn away from God? If you’re not a believer, that might seem pretty silly. I think that insofar as God wants us to be like him, then of course, sin would be, like you say, Adam, “anything that thwarts, disrupts, or otherwise damages my progress.” I could see how Hugh Nibley could say “Sin is Waste” and fit in with the overall theme…but I don’t know whether sin must include other people (although I guess the question could be something like…can *personal* growth be achieved in a vacuum? Or do we, alone, hit a plateau?)

  4. Because I see personal growth as tied to other people, I accept the idea of moving toward one-ness with God and others as the process of personal progress, I cannot leave other people out of it. Atonement, Godhood, exaltation (whatever we call it) is for me a type of relationship.

  5. I like the comments so far and think they are right on. At the core, sin is turning away from God, not loving our fellowman, interfering with our progress, etc. I think most religions, if lived how they are intended, would be the same at this level.

    I think a bigger problem, at least in my context of the LDS religion, is how many things have been added to this basic concept and how these “superficial” things are held with such gravitas. As a simple example: Why is drinking a glass of wine with dinner such a “sin” now, when billions of other people think it’s not? This even includes people like Christ, Nephites, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, etc. who all drank wine. Having a glass of wine has nothing to do with “turning away from God”, not loving our fellowman, etc. So why is this construed a “sin”?

    There are always the arguments using alcoholism, etc., and how that is “hurting our growth”, but that’s taking it to excess. Food is good for you. Too much food is bad for you. Sleep is good for you. Too much or too little sleep is bad for you. Leisure is necessary. Too much leisure is bad for you. Seen in the same context, a glass of wine is good for you. Too much wine is bad for you.

    So, given this, my biggest issue (unresolved) is who gets to define “sin” – not in the abstract terms given above, but in our day-to-day decisions.

  6. I tend to define sin as anything that 1) distances me from God spiritually or 2) has the potential to negatively impact myself or anyone else. I defined the second because the first is so very subjective, and I personally need a more objective way of determining what sin is.

    In addition, I define a “sin of omission” as anything I have done that I could have done a little better.

    As a general rule, I try not to define sin as a negative (since I don’t spend my life actively rebelling against God), but as an opportunity for change and growth. Its less depressing and helps me be more action-focused.

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    Mike S. – While I actually have never had a drop, I don’t consider having a glass of wine to be that big of a sin, compared to most things. In my life, much of keeping the WoW has more to do with not having a problem with actions that potentially could become bigger problems… i.e. if I don’t have a problem with drinking wine, and I never have, I believe in keeping my promise not to. It’s almost more about my own integrity and not making even more problems for myself… if that makes sense.

    As for who gets to define sin, I think that is ultimately between the individual and God. I think prophets provide guidance on this, but ultimately we all work out our own salvation, so to speak. I’ve been thinking about writing a post about how a leader speaking against something can potentially cause MORE sin than it prevents (i.e. there is, imho, nothing about multiple earrings that hurts growth, but having a leader suggest it will cause some to obey and some to rebel. Those who rebel then may have a negative attitude, which may be a sin. All this could be avoided by not making the suggestion in the first place. I don’t know if that’s a good example yet, but I hope you get the idea…)

    Madam Curie – I like that–sin as NOT negative, but part of change.

  8. I like simple definitions, so here’s mine:

    To sin is to act contrary to the commandments and will of God as it has been made known unto us.

  9. AdamF: I agree. I follow the WofW, mostly because I value being able to go the temple as opposed to any supposed health benefits. There are many people who technically follow the current interpretation of the WofW, yet are extremely unhealthy because of lifesytle choices.

    I agree very much with your comment that leaders should speak LESS rather than more, and let “sin” be between an individual and God. Granted, there should be the big proscriptions that have been around for centuries and longer – murder, adultery, honesty, etc. I would really like to see the Church formally express this opinion, focusing on the core of the gospel and less on the details. Why couldn’t someone have multiple earrings as you mentioned, or have a glass of wine, or many other similar things and still go to the temple? Why not leave many of these choices up to the people? The Church can still give an opinion, but when someone interprets that choice as between them and God, it shouldn’t be elevated to the level of “ignoring the prophet” as Elder Bednar did with the earring thing.

    I to like the concept of defining sin as a change for change…

  10. Interesting that it took until comment #9 for what is probably the definition of sin with the greatest support in LDS scripture and prophetic utterance to be given.

    Most of us are uneasy with the almost Islamic notion that God’s sovereignty is so perfect that He may literally define the same conduct as sinful one day and virtuous the next. Standing in contrast to Joseph Smith’s “whatever God commands is right” teaching (given in support of polygamy), is the notion that even God is subject to (or at least co-equal with) natural law — a basic system distinguishing between good and evil, which God could not violate without ceasing to be God.

    I find a capricious God unworthy of respect, let alone worship, so I have to define sin as an unexcused violation of natural law.

  11. I see many actions that we call “sin” as forms of segregation. Rules upon rules are added a never ending assault course of hoops to jump through, and for some who could possibly measure up to the bar (but still don’t fit in) additional sins are added that were unknowingly performed in the pre-mortal world (less valiant).

    IMO worthiness has little to do with sin, sin meaning what you have or haven’t done is redundant in reality what is more important is what is in your heart.

    I had an enlightening chat with a former bishop, he attempted to make me feel guilty for a member of my quorum not receiving the priesthood “if he dies tonight it will be on your head” now I believe he was being flippant, I replied “that won’t make me feel guilty little does, except the homeless & hungry I pass in the street” his reply was interesting “right druggies and alcoholics”.

    This former bishop is someone whom I respect and admire much and is a very Christlike person however this highlights the difficulties sometimes we focus on insignificant details when there are more important improvements that are needed.

    There are times when one focuses on crossing the I’s and dotting the T’s of a poorly written assignment, it’s still 4 pages of rubbish.

  12. MrQandA: “I had an enlightening chat with a former bishop, he attempted to make me feel guilty for a member of my quorum not receiving the priesthood “if he dies tonight it will be on your head” now I believe he was being flippant, I replied “that won’t make me feel guilty little does, except the homeless & hungry I pass in the street” his reply was interesting “right druggies and alcoholics”.” Wow. That’s a person with better imagination than vision.

  13. Sin is anything that damages a relationship — including my relationship with God, other humans, the earth and its inhabitants (including the environment and animals) and the relationship with one’s self (the view that to divide one’ self or be double-minded or self-betrayed is harmful to one’s self and to others in relation with one’s self resulting in inauthenticity). Sin us thus alienation in all of its forms. The opposite of such sin is healing relationships through repentance, being authentic and seeking to regain the trust that is the foundation of every interpersonal relationship.

  14. Buddhist philosophy emphasises skillful and unskillful actions rather than “sin.” Skillful actions lead to love and awareness; unskillful actions lead to a false sense of separation. The non-judgmental aspect of Buddhism motivates me to try to develop skillful actions and to abandon the unskillful.The harshness of “sin” and repentance turns me off.I suspect God has provided more than one way to improve ourselves since we are all so different.

  15. Thomas #11 – I could totally get on board with the “whatever God commands” idea about sin, with the understanding that there isn’t always an agreement about what God is commanding — it’s still up to us individually to decide.

    Course Correction, I get that. That is in part why I have sought to define what I think “sin” is. Sin and repentance only mean something to me when they refer to growth/progression. Many people, it seems, define sin as being pure vs. being tainted or in a “state of sin,” with the result being we all feel guilty and depressed because we’re always “sinning.” I prefer to focus on daily/weekly growth and progression–and I believe many in the church, including leaders, feel the same.

  16. By looking at this backwards it might help define what sin is. Mormon scriptures teaches that repentance is needed to have claim on mercy. What does one have to do to show repentance at the judgement bar? My feeling is that a daily stiving to keep our baptismal covenants is what shows our repentance. Therefore, sin is anything that keeps us from having the spirit with us.

  17. “I think prophets provide guidance on this, but ultimately we all work out our own salvation, so to speak.”

    We use a term in the Church to define certain leaders who are referred to as “common judges in Israel”. While judges don’t necessarily make the laws (a debatable point in the Church), they do much more than provide guidance. Rather they determine “worthiness” per the somewhat unique Mormon criteria, and use that worthiness to dole out religious rights (temple recommend, callings, Eternal score card of sorts, etc) or penalties (prohibitions from sacrament, disfellowship, withholding of temple recommend, excommuncation, etc).

  18. Using the moral influence atonement theory as a background, I would contend that sin is not being in the right state of mind. Schleiermacher said in the early 1800s that redemption was “a passage from a bad condition, which is represented as a state of captivity or constraint into a better condition.” So to be in a state of sin, we need to be in a bad condition. Ultimately he developed the idea of a God-consciousness that incorporated the merging of the spiritual and temporal aspects of life. In perfect harmony, according to Schleiermacher, one would develop the god-consciousness and not enter the bad condition. With all of that being said…

    I think that sin is a state of mind when a person is not thinking of the needs of those around him/her but only of his/her current temporal needs. I think we will find ourselves guilty of being sinful when we are self-absorbed, which stops us from truly showing love and compassion to our neighbors. So in a way, to sin is to not love God and your neighbor as yourself.

  19. Sin is anything offensive to a being that in all likelihood does not exist. Therefore, in all likelihood, there is no such thing as sin.

    There is right and wrong, though. And that should be our focus.

  20. Dex,

    I love how with your comments you almost always include something like, “none of this matters because God most likely doesn’t exist.”

    I get you. I hope you feel that I understand–at least a little–of your viewpoint by now. Sincerely. As much as one online person can understand another, I understand.

    Cowboy,

    I’m glad you weren’t scared away by the temple shadow post. 😉 I agree, in the sense that leaders often TRY to do more than provide guidance, but ultimately that is not my belief, in the spiritual sense. E.g. one of my ancestors was exed because a corrupt SP was ticked about something. It took like a hundred years for my ancestor’s “blessings” to be restored. To me, restoring his membership was only ceremonial, because obviously, God (if he exists–that’s for you Dex) would not honor a corrupt SP’s decision. I DO agree though, they DO dole out earthly penalties and etc. I’ve been there in a small way–interviewing people for baptism, and not letting one of the investigators get baptized. Situations where those earthly decisions are incorrect are tragic, imho. I have no problem when they are right though.

  21. From The Book of Common Prayer:

    Q: What is sin?
    A: Sin is the seeking of our own will instead of the will of God, thus distorting our relationship with God, with other people, and with all creation.

    Q: How does sin have power over us?
    A: Sin has power over us because we lose our liberty when our relationship with God is distorted.

  22. I agree with your formulation, Adam in the OP of concentrating on the 2 great commandments. The complex one here is the first “love God,” especially given the disagreement about what God is (if anything). This commandment is actually the “positive” (do this) version of the “negative” (don’t do this) earlier Mosaic versions. If we look at it in light of the “thou shalt nots,” we can define loving God as avoiding (symbolic) idolatry. In this perspective, sin is worshiping something that is clearly not God, e.g., money or fame. And I would also put on that list worshiping scripture (scriptural authoritarianism/literalism) and worshiping leaders.

  23. Michelle G – “Like is immorality really one of the worse sins? A friend of mine brought that up recently and I’ve been wondering since . . .” That’s one of the oldest lines in the book after ‘hey, baby, what’s your sign?’.

  24. Sin is anything, the wages of which is death. It is anything by which you make your happiness contingent on the continuance of impermanent things, rather than things that are potentially eternal.

  25. I learned from a Methodist minister in a religion class that sin is “the difference between who God created you to be and who you are now”. I think of sin as a state of being more than actions that are “sins”. I think there is biblical support for the idea of sin as “separation from God”. So, anything that separates you from God could be called “a sin”, but I’m more comfortable thinking of it as “an action that causes sin” (separation).

    I agree with Mike totally: Food is good. Too much or too little food is bad. etc. EVERYTHING is like this, so it’s up to individuals to find the delicate balances.

    One writer says it’s like walking up a hill with a cup of water. You make constant adjustments to keep the contents inside. To me, rigid rules are like saying, “You should keep the cup at a 90 degree angle in order to keep the water in the cup.” It sets up a conflict of interest. Do you follow the rule or accomplish the goal of the rule? Because in reality, you have to keep making minute adjustments to account for the infinate complexity of your life. It may sound like a relativist copout, but it is reality as I see it.

  26. Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden, but it it forbidden because it is hurtful. Benjamin Franklin.

    All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Noone is righteous. No not one. All have fallen away and their throats are like open tombs.

    John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM (he), you will die in your sins.”. “He” is not in the original biblical manuscripts so can the Jesus of Mormonism save if he isn’t the I AM? Will Mormons die in their sins?

  27. Joe in Cedar City:

    Mormons do believe that (he) is the “I AM”. There is just a fundamental difference in how Mormons view the nature of the trinity vs. what they refer to as the Godhead.

  28. I’ve always viewed commandments as guides for getting through life with as little pain as possible, fits nicely with the Ben Franklin quote. Sin is anything we do that hurts our, or another person’s progression.

    In line with those thoughts, repentance is not about being punished for our sins, but about learning how to let go of the things we do that hurt ourselves or others.

  29. #35 – Joe, why don’t you just say what you have to say, and then people can respond if they disagree with you, as opposed to continuing to ask set-up questions. It’s a little exhausting.

  30. #38 maybe this will help:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=alpha+omega&qs_version=KJV

    Those are the verses describing the Alpha and the Omega in the bible. So who is the Alpha and Omega? Jesus, Elohim, Jehovah, Father God, etc?

    I don’t mean to be “exhausting” or go off track. I’m just trying to address the comment in #32 saying that Jesus is the I AM of the old testament.

    I found this on the LDS website: “I Am”
    Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).
    In a way, simply by saying, “I am,” Jesus said it all. With this, He declared that He is the Creator of the world and Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, whose name literally means “I am” (see Exodus 3:14). Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah and Savior, who saves us from sin and death. Because of who He is and what He did for us, we can have everlasting life and become who we are meant to be.

    Wouldn’t it make sense that the “Alpha and Omega” would be the creator of the universe and the great I AM? So who is the Alpha and Omega? Who is our savior?

  31. Joe in CC: Another reading of this passage is: “Before Abraham, was I am” with I AM being another name for Jehovah / Jesus. In LDS theology, Jehovah = Jesus = creator of this world. Jehovah is the Alpha & Omega and our Savior. God the Father is Elohim, His Father, but Jesus is our intermediary – which is why all things are done in the name of Christ.

    FYI – That’s all just a quick tutorial on Mormon belief, but BTW this is a MAJOR threadjack, so let’s get back on track here out of respect for adamf’s original post. If you are interested in a Bible bash or came here to witness to us, why don’t you save us all some frustration and invite those nice missionaries in? At least they have the time (and possibly the energy) for it.

  32. hahaha!! I swear I did not read this post before I wrote up mine on the skewers of religion. Honest.
    (and I haven’t read the comment’s yet, short on time today, sorry)

    for me: sin (VERY generally speaking) = that which harms others; people (individuals and humanity in general), the earth, living things, etc. (so yes, we are all sinners. just trying to sin the lesser amount.)

    A god who can read my thoughts or a soul that can be tarnished by random (and ever changing) lists of do’s and don’ts IS NOT a part of my equation. Reducing my carbon foot print and trying to make sure that as little of my $$ goes towards supporting human suffering IS a part of my equation.

    okay… now I shall go read some of the comments.

    I like it simple that way.

  33. Hawkgrrl: Noted…

    Allow me wrap up my statement since nobody is willing to discuss the nature of God. Likely the most important question for all of mankind! If you aren’t following the Jesus of the Bible wouldn’t that be another Jesus and another Gospel as described in Gal 1:8,9?

    I don’t understand how both God the Father and Jesus can both be the Alpha and the Omega (the beginning and the end) without there being a triune God. What “world” exactly did Jesus create? Revelation 1:8 describes almighty God. Revelation 21:6 describes Jesus. Both are called the Alpha and the Omega. How can we have two firsts, and two lasts?

  34. Joe in CC-read the Book of Mormon-Book of Mosiah-Prophet Abinadi. He makes the reference in how Christ is the Father and the Son. Now, back to the post about sin.

  35. Joe in Cedar: See also D&C ch. 20:28, which refers to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one God.

    Basically, Mormons are Social Trinitarians, like the Capadoccian Fathers. Your Baptisti mind tricks won’t work here.

  36. “Likely the most important question for all of mankind!” I find the start time of the National Championship game a more pressing question. Seriously, does anyone know what time the game starts?

  37. I also see “sin” as anything that changes my state of mind and being into something not intended by God for my creation. Iow, it is anything that keeps me from fulfiling the measure of my creation. It is anything that traps me in my fallen, “natural man” state and keeps me from becoming Christlike.

    For that reason, I am not going to be responding to Joe in CC.

  38. A non-eternal Jesus can not be the alpha and omega. I can’t believe anyone can buy into anything otherwise. If LDS theology contradicts the bible why should I turn to the D&C or BOM?

  39. Joe, you are acting like a troll. Your comments have NOTHING to do with the post or the discussion thread. You are highjacking a very good discussion.

    Please stop.

  40. Joe, it’s getting boring. Those who believe in the Bible will believe the Book of Mormon. Those who believe in Christ will believe the Book of Mormon. You can do something about it now while you still have time, or you can take it up with Christ at the Judgement Bar and tell him why you don’t think he follows the bible. I’m with Ray. Best of luck.

  41. Joe in CC what are you talking about? Jesus is eternal and so is his Father. And to clarify, The LDS church does not believe in the trinity. Jesus is a Father also and this reference is found in the Book of Mormon. He was the literal creator of all living things from the beginning; therefore, He is Alpha. His works never end; therefore, He is Omega.
    Because Christ is eternal then so are His words. This is why His Father calls him the “Word”. The minute a person sins, no matter how small the sin may be in man’s eye, it creates an infinite gulf of separation between that person and God. The only way to overcome this is through an infinite atonement. Jesus provided this atonement but has conditions of repentance attached. The measure of repentance is the extent in which someone makes and keeps covenants with God. The beginning of the covenant is required but enduring to the end is also required.
    A sin is to act knowingly and willfully against the will of God.

  42. Sorry all, I was traveling yesterday. Thanks for the comments.

    Joe, please let me know if you would like some advice for how to teach us about your beliefs. I sincerely believe your intent is pure but your approach needs some work. How would you feel about me offering some thoughts on this?

    G – Lol, great minds think alike. 🙂

  43. AdamF…

    I would love your thoughts! BTW, my intent would never be to “teach you my beliefs”, but to lead you to the Jesus of the bible. Who I believe is a very different Jesus than the brother of Satan (and my spirit brother). He was eternally God with the Father.

    Ray… Was it “Christlike” when Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers and said, “You have turned my house into a den of thieves.”?

  44. “Ray… Was it “Christlike” when Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers and said, “You have turned my house into a den of thieves.”?”

    Joe:

    Can I conclude from the above analogy that you consider Mormon Matters on par with the Temple of Solomon, ie, Jesus’s house?

    (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

  45. Joe, cool, thanks (and this is only based on what I have seen on this post and your comments here). I suppose these tips could be applied to a lot of people who wish to share their witness of the “Jesus of The Bible” with LDS folk.

    1 – In #33 I was very gracious to you, and you responded with another leading question. Tip: Avoid using leading questions. In my frank opinion, unless it is an authority figure doing the questioning (like God, or a professor, lol) I think they will engender contention. And we all know contention is of the devil.

    2 – Stay on the topic of the post (which I’m not now, but oh well, haha) – If you want to talk about the nature of God, I’m sure there are MANY MANY posts on this blog and on other LDS blogs that cover the topic. I have seen MANY people try to share their witness of Jesus to Mormons, but they often fail to get their message across because they’re jumping into a conversation and trying to change the topic. Some (not all) Jehovah’s Witnesses I met in Japan were experts at this. They would manipulate every conversation into a debate over “what is the name of God?” I quickly learned that they didn’t care for me, they just cared about being in control of the conversation.

    3 – Understand that Mormons get the whole Huckabee thing, i.e. the “Jesus is Satan’s brother” stuff. Tip: Don’t bother telling people what they already know about. It can sound a little condescending, and this (amongst other things) will put many Mormons on the defensive. When someone is on the defensive, they will NOT respond well, will not be flexible, and will move further and further away from where you would like them to be. If you want them to come to Jesus, avoid any language that could make people defensive. They will listen MUCH more readily when their resistance is down.

    4 – Understand that to you (I’m assuming you, like most Christians, believe the “message” of the bible is infallible but not the exact words) “biblical” means “doctrinal” or “truth” while to Mormons, it probably means “what’s written in the Bible.” Often Mormons and other types of Christians fail to communicate effectively because of this miscommunication. Tip: Make sure you know your audience and how they interpret your words. I am working on this to. For example, I made the mistake above of saying to you, “teach us about your beliefs” because I should have remembered that EVERY Christian I have ever spoken to online has responded to me EXACTLY as you did, e.g. “they’re not my beliefs, it’s about leading you to Jesus.”

    5 – Be respectful (this applies to everyone). This takes a lot more work online, imho, than it would in person. I’m sure you’re a great guy, but you come across as someone who wants to hit people over the head with the Bible until they change their beliefs. That is not love. Love is patience, kindness, long-suffering, non-defensiveness, graciousness, and obviously, charity.

    Let me know what you think.

  46. Joe in CC – “the Jesus of the bible. Who I believe is a very different Jesus than the brother of Satan (and my spirit brother).” Whoa! Satan is your spirit brother? Heavy.

  47. Last night on Conan Obrien I found out that Jackie Chan has what he called “Kung Fu Brothers”. When asked to explain he replied that they were just the guys he practiced Kung Fu with him. Mabey that’s what joe in Cedar City means. Satan probably isn’t his literal spirit brother, they just work out at the gym, or belong to the same book club, or something like that. I guess that makes Adamf’s point (#4 – ” Make sure you know your audience and how they interpret your words.”) all the more relevant. If I hadn’t watched TV last night, I wouldn’t have known that, and would have made the same mistake in believing that Joe and Satan were actual “spirit brohters”. Context is everything.

  48. I’ve just been lurking here for awhile and am impressed about how nice everyone has been to Joe in CC. But maybe if you ignore/don’t feed him you can get back to sin. A more interesting topic by far.

  49. “But maybe if you ignore/don’t feed him you can get back to sin.”

    So many sins, so little time….

    I like the way you phrased that.

  50. GBSmith

    I believe there is a greek rendering of the word “sin”, which implies that to “sin” is to “miss the mark”. Perhaps through our being distracted by Joe in CC, we have in fact missed the mark of this post (sin, ironically) and have in effect, sinned.

  51. I sincerely hope we haven’t since to sink to that serious a slip would be sadness and sorrow in spades. Missing the mark has made us move from a meaningful mission to a message of mischief and dare I say meanness and may lack meat as well as milk. Time to move on.

  52. AdamF,

    I respect your observations. It really is about leading people to Jesus. The internet is like a public square where people can shout from their soap boxes. Perhaps I have stepped to close to your box and respectfully been told to give you all some space. 🙂 I can dig that.

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