Only One Deadly Sin
There’s a lot of mis-information floating around out there about Christians and what we believe. One of these beliefs is the mythical list of ‘do nots’. The belief that by becoming a Christian in any sense, you are then supposed to not smoke, not drink (I love a Sam’s once in a while,) not party, not do anything on a Friday except eat fish and watch ABC Family, etc. This warped interpretation couldn’t be further from the truth and is a direct decedent of egocentric theocratics who’ve ruled the church over the centuries.
First off, this silly notion of the seven deadly sins. Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride all originate from Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” (NIV)
“See James, it’s in the Bible and, if you believe the Bible is true, then there are 7 sins! Are you a hypocrite?”
Whoa, you’re getting ahead of me. Are there seven? Yes. Go to biblegateway.com or any other online bible and search for “Seven deadly sins” and see what comes up. Go on, I’ll wait….oh, you’re back. What did you find? Nothing? Hmm.
King Solomon, wise son of the great giant killer King David (by the way, David knew how to party! See 1 Chronicles 15:28-29. Not your typical Ned Flander’s!) wrote proberbs to his son about how to live a successful and Godly life. These were the good ‘ol days technically known as the Old Testament. You don’t want God getting Old Testament on your a** and fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Back then, there was no payment for sin except immediate punishment under the law or sacrificial offerings.
“Okay, fine, then where does this term ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ come from?”
Where? From the Church. Not inspired words of God. The very notion of seven sins came AFTER the event that made them null and void: Jesus’ death and resurrection. They were written to keep people afraid of God’s wrath long after His wrath had been appeassed. A good portion of the Church became and continues to be what Jesus stood against – a ruling party who enjoyed their power and importance. Forget the peaceful image of Jesus petting a lamb and laughing with children. Jesus was an antiestablishment rebel pure and simple. He was controversial; a rabble rouser; hung out with drunks, prostitutes and tax collectors (don’t think IRS – more like the mafia;) and wasn’t afraid to say “You Suck” to the ruling party (Pharisees) in public forums. Jesus had the biggest cahonies in the Bible.
In fact, the Bible warns about people who make rules in the name of God. Isaiah, the wacky prophet who prophesized of Jesus, stated, “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” (Isaiah 29:13 NIV emphasis mine)
“Rules taught by men? So are you saying that the Seven Deadly Sins, penance, sacraments, and confession are not what God had in mind?”
I’m not saying anything, I’m just stating what’s in the Bible. I didn’t go to cemetery – I mean seminary. My interpretation? Anyone who is merely religious and approaches God with ritual only doesn’t have a heart for God. It’s like pretending to like someone just to get something in return. Eventually it backfires.
God doesn’t keep a report card with little check marks that show we did or did not go to church each week. In fact, Jesus says, “..at the Final Judgment thousands [will be] strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.” (Matthew 7:21-23 The Message)
“So no church? No ‘do’s’ or ‘do nots’. What kind of religion you talking about here?”
God hates religious people. Religion in that sense of duty, self-righteousness, and ‘looking good’ on Sunday. Zig Ziglar’s defines a hypocrite as one who isn’t himself on Sunday. That’s religion. If you believe the walls will fall down if you go to church, then you have a religious attitude. If you believe that God can’t love you because of what you’ve done, then you’re religious. God already loves you just the way you are and cannot love you anymore.
“You don’t know what I’ve done! And you’re title mentioned there’s One Deadly Sin. So stop beating around the bush you zealot!”
Fine. The one deadly sin? Rejecting Jesus’ gift on the cross. I don’t care what you’ve done. I don’t care if you’re a rapist or murderer – God already loves you as much as He is capable (Romans 5:28). God hates religion. He wants relationship. In Matthew 7:21-23, NIV translation says “I never knew you.” That’s not ‘know’ like your bowling buddy, or your coworker, but speaks of a deep love and trust. He wants us to seek Him with everything we’ve got.
“What about the seven deadly sins? Are you saying we can party and do anything we want as long as we seek Him?”
No. But I am saying that trying to live a ‘good life’ is not a way to please God. Give Him your heart, and you’ll WANT to live the good life. Once you realize everything He wants to do with you, then you want nothing more than to please Him. If you were in danger of losing your house and some benevolent rich man paid it off for you without asking anything in return, wouldn’t you feel indebted to him? I would! This is more than a temporal house – this is your life.
I’ve done a lot of stupid things, but overall, I’ve been a goody-two-shoes my whole life. Guess what? That life wasn’t good enough for God. That was religious. Romans 3:23 states that “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NIV emphasis mine) He wanted my heart, not my “good” acts.
In short, regardless of your upbringing, don’t believe that rules, do’s and don’ts, and perfect church attendance get’s you anything more than a feeling of lack and frustration. God cares less about what you do and more for why you do it. There’s only one thing you can do wrong – reject Christ. (see Ephesians 2:8-10)
“I’m not sure I need God or if He even exists.”
Good point. Check out www.needgod.com and take the test. Maybe you’re right.