- Religion and Philosophy
We all Sin
The “we all sin” adage is why so long ago I started to reject Christianity. It just never felt right to me. I never understood why we define ourselves by being sinners. Why not define us by the opposite of sinning. But then we don’t even have a word for the opposite of sin. We could say a “state of grace” is the opposite of the “state of sin” but you couldn’t say “we all grace” or “I am a gracer”. There is no single word that means doing an act opposite of committing a sin.
I read the book of Genesis once. It was the first time reading it on my own rather than having others tell me what it meant. I had always been told the familiar story; Adam and Eve broke the rules, ate the forbidden fruit, and fell into a state of sin.
But reading it on my own I read a completely different story. Not a story about punishment or forbidden fruit, but of a gift - a gift of free will and the accompanying possibility to not only sin, but more importantly, to do the opposite of sin – to love, to hope, and to feel joy. We hadn’t become lesser creatures incapable of avoiding sin. We became greater creatures incapable of avoiding a state of grace. And by opening up the entire range of experience, by giving us the beautiful contrast of pain and suffering, joy and sorrow, God gave us a gift that he himself in his perfection couldn’t have. What a wonderful gift, I thought. What a beautiful definition of true Love.
This story, which was now new to me, was beautiful. I cried reading it and still carry that Bible around with me, even though for me it is only a book of tales, I still find it beautiful. I couldn’t believe how up to that point I had been made to feel by my bible instructors. How I had been taught to believe I was a sinner and that only the grace of God could lift me out of that squalor. And I knew suddenly in my heart that the way I felt at that moment is the way any real God would want me to feel. And of course then also realized that the way I had felt before was the way other men had wanted me to feel.
So I turned away from men. I turned away from their
interpretations of holy books and of gods and instead listened to my own heart
upon which I found an important truth – the most important story of God ever written
is the one written on my own heart. I don’t need other men or books to tell me
what it says. I don't need to look up to the sky to find anything that matters.
I am not done reading it and likely never will be, but I will tell you that the very first thing it says is, “you are a beautiful creature in a state of grace,” and so far, I have yet to come across any use of the word “sin”.