Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Morality? Part II

Thinking about the last post has caused me to think more about morality. We Christians seem to get quite caught up in labling what is moral and what is not. And perhaps we should, at least to an extent. But it does seem like sometimes, and maybe (probably?) even more often than that, the purpose of doing so is not so much because it is a good thing to determine what is beneficial and what is not, but instead we like to be able to quanitify who is moral and who is not. That is, when thinking about the coming and very present Kingdom of God, we want to be able to say who is in and who is out. Of course, we would never claim to "know" who is in and who is out, but really, isn't that the real purpose behind much of our carrying on about what is moral and what is immoral? We tend to think of immoral actions (at least certain ones...) as eliminating one from being a part of God's people.

But I think the truth of the matter is that the issue of "morality" is much more shallow than we like to think. And the very truth of God is so much deeper than we allow when we continuously focus on morality. Not that I think we should act immoral. But sometimes I just wonder if we take it too seriously. Or, put another, and maybe less confusing, way: our sin (ie immorality) is a sympton of our separation from God. Perhaps we are not separated from God because of all these sins that we run around worrying about, but instead, maybe the truth is that we act out these sins because we are separated from God. It's a matter of confusing the product with the cause. If that's true, then, the crux of the matter is not to get people to stop sinning, the crux of the matter is to get them to God, whether they stop sinning or not (who does?). Maybe I am not a sinner because I sin, but in fact I sin because I am a sinner. And that is how, maybe, we can know that we in Christ still sin, and yet we are no longer declared "sinners", but instead are declared "righteous". Maybe?

What if Christians began treating sin in this way? What if we stopped treating sin as something that needed to be fixed/contained/managed/whatever, and instead began seeing it as a sympton of our separation? What would change?


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