Sin and Salvation

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Godmachine, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Godmachine

    Godmachine Active Member

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    Which came first, sin or salvation? Were people saved before they sinned or did they have to sin in order to be saved? It seems to me that most necessary thing a person must do in order to get into Heaven is not to pray or accept Jesus into your heart; the first and most necessary thing a person must do is to sin. Sin is the first step on the road to salvation. Without sin, prayer and Jesus and religion become unnecessary. Now that I think about it, churches ought to be promoting brothels and illicit drugs and abortion clinics and homosexuality and all the sinful stuff that has kept them in business for so long. Just a thought.
     
  2. donnann

    donnann Well-Known Member

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    The sin that caused the whole fall was adultery. Prior to the fall the male and female were each half of what a whole human being was. There was a whole community not just two. Going outside the paired oneness sexually caused a separation of the soul and spirit from the body and a split of the male and female. Anything that wasn't in the garden of eden causes us to age get sick ect specifically not being one with whoever each of us other half is. Personally I know that prayer does work.
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Godmachine. The Bible's got that one covered.

    A thoughtful reading of Genesis would suggest that man lived in a close relationship with the Divine, until pride got the upper hand. A not uncommon position in many traditions.

    It's there because:
    a) man thought himself equal to God.
    b) man suffered a new experience — shame — before anyone mentioned 'sin'.

    "Hypocrisy, pride, self-conceit, wrath, arrogance and ignorance belong, O Partha, to him who is born to the heritage of the demons." The Gita, XVI. 4.

    "Pride attaches undue importance to the superiority of one's status in the eyes of others; And shame is fear of humiliation at one's inferior status in the estimation of others. When one sets his heart on being highly esteemed, and achieves such rating, then he is automatically involved in fear of losing his status." Lao Tzu.

    "Nanda saw the error of his ways, and he realized that to be a true saint, he would have to conquer his pride" The Life of Buddha 14: 'Nanda'a pride'.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Live without blame and you are already saved....saved from yourself.
     
  5. OneThatGotAway

    OneThatGotAway Welcome to the New Age

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    Before sin and salvation there was love, peace, happiness, freedom, loyalty, trust, and obedience. Then came the lie which spawned doubt, offense, fear, lust, and greed. Sin is the act of disobedience without inquiry coupled with arrogance and the aforementioned fruits of that lie. Then came shame, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, hope, and salvation. HalleluYah.
     
  6. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Okay, color me confused. I thought the first sin was knowledge. The first sin was adultery? You suggest the male and the female were each half of a whole human. They were, what. Androgynous?

    And Adam and Eve could commune on all levels in paradise except the sexual one. Cause once they did the whoopee, only then did they became a man and a woman.

    Just what gives sexuality such a bad rap. And where did this whole concept come from. Because I have never heard this before.....
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    No. That's what the pseudo-gnostics would have you think.

    Nope, not that, either. Lord knows where that came from.

    I think in most, if not spiritual traditions, pride heads the list of the worst of vices.

    You don't even have to be spiritual, pride is the problem across the whole spectrum.

    In today's culture, L'Oreal could represent the serpent: "Because you're worth it ..." That's where it all started to go wrong.
     
  8. Godmachine

    Godmachine Active Member

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    I suppose most people who are familiar with the story have an interpretation of the original sin mythology. So I'll share my own.

    I believe the story of the fall of man in the Book of Genesis represents a dramatic clash and ultimately a shift in cultural worldviews. The Garden Eden, I believe, was not a literal place but a time in human history before what we call 'history' existed. It was a time when the majority of human beings on the planet enacted a story that placed them as stewards or caretakers of the earth. Most people at that time were nomadic hunters and gatherers. They took what they needed to survive and I suppose some of them even gave thanks to whatever gods they might have worshiped for providing them with what they needed. They hunted and they gathered and when food was scarce they simply moved to where the food was. Eventually people moved into an area where the land was especially fertile and there existed a wide variety of native animals that were easily domesticated. In this area, today we call it the 'fertile crescent', people began to settle and cultivate the land. It was there that some of the most legendary city states of our modern civilization arose, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah. It is also there that the mythological Garden of Eden is said to have originated.

    As people cultivated and farmed the land, a new concept began to enter the human psyche, that of ownership. When a farmer worked the land and brought forth the food that people depended on to live, the land became his property and his worldview shifted from stewardship to ownership. Where people once depended on their gods provide what they needed to survive, they began to depend more on themselves. Farming communities had a great advantage in that the number of people in those communities grew exponentially according to how much food was produced. Soon there were cities and then states and the most powerful people in those city states were those who owned and controlled the resources people depended on to survive. And as their numbers grew, so did their need for more land and more resources. The role of caretaker became that of conqueror and another new concept entered the human psyche, war.

    The Genesis story of Adam and Eve is a beautiful artistic illustration of how this all came about using symbolism that would have been familiar to people of that time. Those who still lived according to the old ways, enacting the roles of stewards and caretakers might have seen this new way of life as something 'sinful', knowledge reserved for the gods and the gods alone, the knowledge of who should live and who should die (good and evil). And who better to convey this "knowledge" than a wily serpent?

    So this first 'sin', as I see it, was not necessarily knowledge or pride. I think it was the concept of ownership from which came greed and all the "evils" of our modern world. Everything can be traced back to human greed in one way or another. The lust for power, the need to control and profit from the resources others need to survive, it's all about greed. I think Jesus must have understood this. In Matthew 19:21, Jesus instructs a rich man to sell what he owns and give the money to the poor and the man goes away sad. He then tells his disciples that it is harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. Remember this next you see some rich guy on TV professing faith in Jesus and asking you for money.
     
  9. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    It is the original sin that I find the most distasteful of all the Christian mythology. We are supposedly born into this world a sinner. It is more than distasteful to me. It is offensive.

    One would think that over a lifetime, we humans would propagate more than enough sin that JC would be necessary to wash away to get our salvation ticket into heaven. Even the best of us have their sins. But right out of the womb? No.
     
  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule Well-Known Member

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    Neither - Christianity was an after-effect.
     
  11. Godmachine

    Godmachine Active Member

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    An after effect of what?
     
  12. Godmachine

    Godmachine Active Member

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    I agree. Christians believe everyone is a sinner, we just can't help it. Sin/evil is essentially a part of human nature because we have this thing called 'freewill'. As if having a choice or making a choice is in itself something evil that we do. It is absolutely essential for Christians to believe this is true because without sin, there could be no salvation. To sin is the ONLY way to be saved.
     
  13. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why you have turned sin and salvation on it's head, that sin is somehow the product of salvation. Is it simply a argument to dismiss Christianity?
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    OK ... so what's you're competing thesis?

    Sin is a condition in all religions. In light of your comments, I would hesitate to suggest either a flawed notion of the self, or a flawed understanding of the doctrine, but those are the two points I would seek to clarify before proceeding with a dialogue on the issue.

    To understand it, we have to first put ourselves, as much as we can, in the minds of the people who came up with it. The first chapters of the Bible are largely a metaphysic wrapped in mythopoeia.

    Time:
    The concept of time in the Ancient world was cyclic. Ancient man did not see time as linear, as we do now. The idea of 'progress' or 'evolution' is relatively modern (and in many ways assumes rather more than it should). So the point is that any notion of source, origin, begining and so on, will be within a cyclic envisioning of the cosmos.

    Space (or place):
    Well, no concept of space as it has evolved, but rather of place. The concept of place in the Ancient world was relational and hierarchic. The idea of egalitarianism is again a modern notion and alien to the ancient mind.

    The Garden of Paradise
    Represents the metaphysical principles of the Centre, the Origin, the Source, the Beginning.

    The figure of the tree, for example, signifies the vertical and hierarchic pole, it stands right in the centre of the garden; the four rivers signify horizontal dispersion.

    What follows, especially the creation of man and his dialogue with the Divine, offers a sophisticated metaphysic (which refutes the 'we make God in our image' idea).

    But the basic idea is this:
    Man lived, originally, in a state of primordial perfection. This was the Golden Age, it's the subject of the Kaballah and all manner of esoterisms.

    Why? Because if this state of ignorance, suffering and impermanence that we find ourselves in now is our actual and only condition, then life is without hope. Everything reduces to a question of necessity and pragmatics. A bleak picture, especially for a people who possess none of the technological or material comforts we do today. You're born, you labour until you drop or something gets you, and that's it.

    But if there was a Golden Age, an Age of Innocence, then a return is possible, and there is hope.

    But something must have happened to separate us from Paradise.

    Was this calamity the fault of God, or the fault of man?
    Again, if it was God's doing, then we're back to a hopeless situation. We live according to the caprice of an unfathomable creator, and perhaps something a lot worse awaits us round the corner. (Look at the Epic of Gigamesh, it asks the same questions, and comes up with a hopeless, tragic, nihilistic answer.)

    So ...
    We lived in a state of perfection according to our nature, we were not gods, but we walked and talked with gods. Then we did something contrary to the will of the gods, and we lost it, we were exiled from paradise.

    We did not become bad people. We did not become evil, we are not demons, although we are capable of things that must surely make a demon blanche.

    We were wounded, deep in the very fabric of our being. The idea of the calamities of one generation echoing down through the ages was a common one, and in many ways it's true.

    So 'Original Sin' is not this or that naughtyness per se, but a solution to the problem of theodicy — if God is good, why do bad things happen?

    When understood without getting emotional or sentimental, it actually has many promising and optimistic aspects to it. It is not, after all, an inescapable condition.

    Admittedly, St Augustine went to a pretty dark place when he contemplated this situation, and some of his responses to the question are out-spoken — not even the Roman Catholic Church accepts his whole thesis without question — Martin Luther is even bleaker still, and some elements of the peculiar American Christian expression has pushed on to even darker bounds ...

    'Original Sin' then is a viable solution if one takes as axiomatic, that God is perfect, His will is perfect, and His creation is perfect, albeit finite and contingent, and that no ill can be done that cannot be undone.

    That Paradise is not lost.
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Not quite. Depends which Christians you're listening to, I suppose. I would offer, from experience, that the ones that make the most noise are the poorest exegetes.

    If you're a 'Bible-thumper', probably. If you're Lutheran, arguably. If you're Catholic or Orthodox, this is flat wrong. If you're Unity, there's no such thing and it's all in your mind ...

    No, that's not it at all. To mis-quote the old adage, it's not what you do, it's the reason why you do it.

    Gosh, sometimes I really wish that were true. I'm an old dude now but, sin is the road to salvation? Then ye-hah! Bring it on!
     
  16. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Interesting exchange. Is Chr!st Jesus never sinned, could his human side ever be redeemed, Godmachine? The choice for growth or good (or whatever value you care to express one side in) is always there for a human being. And if that human being consistently made the "right" choice (the one of value), it seems to me that person is deserving of redemption, regardless of your or anyone else's opinion. Furthermore, if g!d does not find that behavior as worthy, that g!d cannot be g!d but some doppleganger.
     
  17. Godmachine

    Godmachine Active Member

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    No, not a product of salvation but a necessary step toward it.
     
  18. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    But by stating it your way, the focus seem to be salvation. But perhaps it could be formulated as 'tough luck we're all flawed, but that's ok because...'. This way the focus is the human condition of not being perfect and how to (depending on the religion) living with it or over coming it.
     
  19. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    See my post, sin is not necessary. Sorry... g!d does not need sin to redeem us, there is no logical or textual requirement.
     
  20. Godmachine

    Godmachine Active Member

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    One does not necessarily need religion to acknowledge our flaws and imperfections. My question here would be, are those flaws synonymous with 'sin'? Or can we be our flawed human selves without such a concept? My problem when it comes to the concept of sin is that is such a twisted labyrinth of religious dogma that I have to just scratch my head and wonder, what is this thing called 'sin' anyway?
     

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