Welcome, brothers and sisters, to my very first ATS thread. I've been here four years now without making one because I was waiting for there to be
something for me to bring up, a worthy topic that needed to be touched upon, something people really needed to learn but hadn't been told yet. And I
think I finally have it. Having read the title, you already know what the subject is. Almost nothing is more vital for people to understand than what
sin really is, so it can be avoided. To save you time, I will provide the final conclusion first and then prove it if you don't immediately believe
it (and since only the Bible can be used to prove it, the proof will only be believed by those who also believe the Bible). That conclusion is this,
the true Biblical definition of "Sin" condensed into a sound bite suitable for human attention spans:
"Any conscious decision to act contrary to your own sense of right and wrong."
"Anything you do that you then feel guilty about doing."
I've reviewed several past threads about this same subject. Very, very
few posters have ever touched on the truth, and I haven't seen anyone
get it exactly right. This post
comes the closest. (Congrats,
Troubleshooter.) It's incomplete, though, because it lacks scriptural proof. You all need to be convinced. So please begin your journey by reading
Romans chapter 14 in its entirety.
Every word of it. I'll
Done? Good. The payload in that chapter is the phrase "nothing is unclean in itself." If YOU
regard something as unclean ("a sin"), then
, and you alone, it is
a sin. There is no set-in-stone list of sins, aside from anything that goes against Christ's single
commandment: "Love everyone, including God." You know in your heart, if you have the Holy Spirit, that stealing from someone is wrong because it
annoys them. You know adultery is wrong because it will annoy someone's spouse. If you willingly and knowingly do something that you know would
aggravate someone if they found out about it (whether they do or not), you've sinned, and guilt will start gnawing at you. That guilt is the Holy
Spirit. It can comfort and punish. Evil, selfish, Godless people don't have the Holy Spirit, and that's why they have no problem with stealing or
murdering or adultering or raping or charging interest on loans or any of the other obvious sins (actions contrary to "Love everyone.")
So what about the unobvious sins? That's why Romans 14 was written. Christians don't consider shaving to be a sin, so for them, shaving is not a
sin. They do
consider two people of the same gender who love each other a sin, so for them,
being gay would be a sin... but that
doesn't mean it's a sin for everyone.
is unclean in itself." If you manage to convince a gay person that being gay is a
sin, you have just created
in them a desire to be sinful. You've made it unclean for them.
If they believe you, they'll start feeling
guilty about simply being gay (sexually-active or not), and guilt is what condemns us (just as it condemned Adam and Eve), so you
condemned them. If you had said nothing, that wouldn't be the case. They would be free to be gay without being condemned for it. So in effect, you
have "caused them to stumble"... and YOU have sinned
because you've harmed them.
There's a lot
of scripture that backs me up on this besides Romans 14, by the way:
- John 15:22 (Jesus speaking about the world)... "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they
have no excuse for their sin."
- Ezekiel 28:15... "You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until iniquity and guilt were found in you."
- Proverbs 11:20... "They who are willfully contrary in heart are extremely disgusting and shamefully vile in the eyes of the Lord."
- 1 John 3:18-22... "Children, let us not love with word, nor with tongue, but in deed and in truth. And hereby we shall know that we are of
the truth, and shall persuade our hearts before him -- that if our heart condemn us (with guilt), God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, we have boldness towards God, and whatsoever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments, and
practise the things which are pleasing in his sight."
- All of Psalm 15.
So that should be enough proof for any Christian, at least. Now for a lengthy diversion as to why nobody believes it... after the ATS-imposed
Post Break. (7,500 characters? That's it? Really??