Daily Email

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spirituality: A Short History of Sin – Part 3 of 5

The 20th Century

Our Church today results from our historical practices, which become second nature for a person. Most practices are self-serving and a good idea, and sometimes they are forms of social control to govern interpersonal relationships. Penance was intended for the person to be restored to God and to order himself or herself rightly in front of God.

1. The Penitentials were written to address real pastoral needs and were works of mercy by monks to enter into the chaos of the sinner. The Penitentials sought to be just by attending to stations in life and class differences.
2. Unfortunately, sin was identified with something that you did, and people became preoccupied with their own sin development (moral narcissism), with great focus on individualism rather than confessing as part of a community or Church. In some sense, people became obsessed with the law, particularly as our tradition has had nine centuries of practice of the priest as the just judge.
3. Moral formation was aimed at the priest in the Confessional and moral theology was not the forum to consider what was right.
4. Therefore, we have developed a weak notion of sin. Some would say that we went from the vice of despair to the vice of presumption (today), and we left out hope. We left out our need to be grateful for God’s mercy.

What does the New Testament say about Sin and Forgiveness?

1. Sin is real. Rom. 3:9; 1 John 1:8, James 4:17; 1 Cor. 8:12. Humans have an inability to do what is right; there is conflict in the human heart.
2. Seriousness of Sin. Apocalyptic. Mt 5:29-30; Mt 18:8-9; Mark 9:43-47. Nothing should keep you from following Christ; Sin is counter to life in Christ.
3. The sin of the people: unbelief. John 15 (hearing), John 16. Jewish world: sin is the hardness of heart and Israel’s inability to keep the covenant. Ezekiel 20: I will place my heart in you. God is doing something for us.
4. The Good News: In Christ all sin is overcome. Acts 2, 2 Cor. 5, Romans
5. Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. Mt 16:15-19; Mt 18:15-18
6. Jesus is the example and agent of forgiveness. “Behold, the Lamb of God.”
7. Being forgiven is contingent on our forgiving others. (This is a difficult one to do.) Mt 5.
8. Disciples have authority and mandate to forgive. Retain or loose
9. Range and scope of forgiveness. “how often shall I forgive?”
10. Sin and the baptized. We die to sin and rise to new life in Christ.
11. The sin against the Holy Spirit. The whole notion of sin is our inability to let the Spirit touch us. The very action of God to forgive is the Spirit.

Bottom line: Through the death and resurrection of Christ, all sin is forgiven.

No comments:

Post a Comment