sin

Lesson 10: The Forgiveness of Sin

Lesson 10: The Forgiveness of Sin

At first, it might seem strange that belief in the forgiveness of sins appears so prominently in the Creed. Sin is not a popular topic in the modern world. To acknowledge a mistake is a sign of weakness. A failure is simply a learning experience on the way to success. We should be emphasizing the […]

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Lesson 13: Euthanasia

Lesson 13: Euthanasia

Euthanasia is often defined as mercy killing, meaning a relatively painless death. People use the term for a variety of practices that run from the passive withholding of treatment to the active use of lethal substances or forces to kill. Some are widely accepted, such as giving medications to relieve pain knowing that they may […]

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Lesson 12: Stem Cell Research

Lesson 12: Stem Cell Research

One of the face-to-face classes discussed “Is stem cell research a sin?” thinking it might be less emotionally loaded than the other life issues, such as abortion, in vitro fertilization, contraception, genetic engineering, and euthanasia. People obviously find it easier to speak about using some of the 100,000 or so embryos left over from in […]

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Lesson 11: Giving Up Church

Lesson 11: Giving Up Church

Remember we are using “Is it a sin?” as a gimmick for examining what is good for self, others, and society. I was surprised that both the face-to-face classes wanted to discuss giving up church attendance and again how they handled it. Usually people make the decision based on “Do I need it?” or ‘Am […]

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Lesson 10: Public Porn

Lesson 10: Public Porn

Last week two of my face-to-face classes discussed “Is it a sin to view pornography in public, especially if children are nearby.” This problem was reported in a Washington Post article “Publicly, a Whole New Lewdness” by Monica Hesse. We started by acknowledging we are saved by grace, God’s unconditional love, so the discussion of […]

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Lesson 9: Sin in Our Time

Lesson 9: Sin in Our Time

It is easy to define sin as not doing God’s will or being separated from God, but what does that mean? If you turn to the Bible you can find rigid laws but also flexible love. You still have what Bob calls “the perennial problem of rigid rules that are generally but not always correct […]

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Lesson 8: Sin in Paul

Lesson 8: Sin in Paul

Not everyone agrees, but I think a terribly significant change takes place with Paul. He transforms the common story when he moves from a Hebraic to a universal vision. Previously it was the Exodus which remembered the Jews were slaves whom God rescued. Now it became the Cross when we all were helpless, sinners, and […]

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Lesson 7: Sin in the Gospels

Lesson 7: Sin in the Gospels

Jesus like the prophets sees sin as injustice. The similarity is obvious when he describes the Last and Ultimate Judgment based on giving food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked, caring for the sick and visiting the imprisoned (Matthew 25: 31-46). Or again when he insists […]

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Lesson 6: Sin in the Prophets

Lesson 6: Sin in the Prophets

The prophets are obviously important. They wrote almost half of the Old Testament, 17 of the 39 books. They answer the critical question, “If we are God’s people, how come we suffer?”, claiming the people brought pain on themselves by breaking the Mosaic Law and losing touch with God. They must repent and return to […]

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Lesson 5: Sin in the Mosaic Law

Lesson 5: Sin in the Mosaic Law

The Mosaic Law found in the Torah, the first five books our Bible, spells out in some detail what it is to live as God wills. The First Commandment, “Love your God with all your heart, mind, and soul (Exodus 20: 2-6, Deuteronomy 5:6-11) is constantly cited in the ordinances (D. 6: 4-9, 10: 12). […]

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