Let’s Go Over These Rules on Sin.

We all know some things are prohibited by the Bible.

You shalt not lie, kill or steal and must keep the Sabbath holy.  Yet, violating these rules is not always sin.

We would say it was not a sin to kill someone if the greater good was served by doing so.  What if you told a lie in order to save someone’s life?  Probably no sin.

If a person was on the verge of starving to death and came upon a farm that had food but no one was home,  would it be considered a sin to steal something.  I think not.

When I was growing up, it was a serious sin to do field work with a tractor on Sunday.    Taking care of the animals was not a sin, even if one used the tractor.

All of these “thou shalt not” sins, then, have a context in which they are not sins.   As times change new contexts come along.

Many say homosexuality is considered a sin in the Bible.  But, are there any contexts in which it is not a sin?  For example, what if we find gay couples serve the greater good and do not harm anyone?

What if it serves the greater good to have people in relationships because they care for one another and don’t require government services?  If marriage serves the greater good so much we give it tax breaks, why would it be sin to include gay couples?

I don’t understand these sin rules.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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50 Responses to Let’s Go Over These Rules on Sin.

  1. Henry says:

    Jon: “I don’t understand these sin rules.”

    At the risk of stealing someone else’s thunder, I’ll make this one comment. Jon, you really need the Gospel badly.

  2. Wanna B Sure says:

    Jon; Today on Christian post, Tullian Tchividjian has a commentary on; “The Pastorial Practicality of Law-Gospel Theology”. Read it, study it. You may not, (most assuredly) agree with it, or you may have a hard time understanding it, but you will be exposed to it. Double dog dare you. Tripple dog dare you.

  3. Laura says:

    Jon, your rules on sin were right on! Your comments couldn’t be more true! Too bad others are not able to see the whole picture!
    Thank you

  4. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Interestingly Jon, the couple whose home we negotiating to buy are selling because of devastating medical circumstances.

    Since their state doesn’t recognize same gender marriage, assets have been reallocated and the state of California has been, and will continue to pick up the tab for treatment and the upcoming liver transplant.

    Not quite sure how prohibiting same gender marriage served the greater good of the citizens in the bankrupt state of California, but I guess there’s lots of stuff I don’t understand.

    They’ve only been together 28 years, so I suppose it’s not really a ‘marriage’ anyway.

    • Henry says:

      “Since their state doesn’t recognize same gender marriage, assets have been reallocated and the state of California has been, and will continue to pick up the tab for treatment and the upcoming liver transplant.”

      The solution to this problem is simple. If the gay couple is upright and of good character, they should pay for the treatment with their “reallocated assets” rather than telling others (Mac) how they are using the system because it is supposedly other people’s fault.

      • Avatar of Mac Mac says:

        Perhaps. I look at them as upright law abiding citizens who are benefiting from existing laws to protect their assets.

        I’m told opposite gender couples do this all this time when they pay less in income taxes because of the way laws are written.

        Likewise when widows of a high economic status receive the death benefits from their dead husband rather that leave the money for truly poor widows who have no rich dead husband.

        • Henry says:

          Mac: “I look at them as upright law abiding citizens who are benefiting from existing laws to protect their assets.”

          That is a different tune than the usual sad song of disenfranchisement. Rather benefitting you say. Ok, I am convinced. Keep the marriage laws as they are, and if anything reinforce them with constitutional law. In that manner, the gays can still benefit.

          • Avatar of Mac Mac says:

            Henry, pay attention. This discussion board is about the definition of sin changing in regard to what serves the greater good.

            Jon’s many times said that same gender marriage will move forward when for any number of reasons society decides it would serve the greater good.

            My point is that conniving, vengeful homos will wreak havoc on the welfare system because unlike the previous generation, we aren’t getting ill and dying alone in various states of quiet, solitary desperation.

            Right now, conservative society benefits from our high tax rate. I suspect when we start costing more than we contribute, the sin quotient will change.

          • Henry says:

            Mac “I suspect when we start costing more than we contribute, the sin quotient will change.”

            Yes. That would be a works based sin quotient. Be careful, Big Mac.

  5. entech says:

    Sin is disobedience to Gods commands, Christians tell us what God commands. Anything Christians don’t like is a sin. Simple really.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 5:31 “Simple really.”

      You have it right. The Christian system, as you say, is to make up rules and call violations sin. Then to make up other rules that allow the sin to be negotiated out (“gospel”). They are only related in the minds of those like Wanna who want them to be related.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Jon; You conveniently forget what the New Covenant did to fulfill the Old Covenant. As Jesus said, “I did not come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it”. For some, there is mass confusion as to what the laws are, (plural), and what the Law is, (singular). Beyond that, there are those who wish to fine tune “The Law” to fit their peculiar isms, and those who wish to do away with, or deny the Law entirely so there are no obsticals in any pet behavior. Would it be not so, but it is what it is. I have had the occasion in the past to beat the piss out of the neighbor’s dog, or shoot him for pooping on my lawn, and if that didn’t work, take the retribution a little farther up the chain of command. The spirit of the Law of “Thou shalt not murder” had a restraining effect. Without the Law, I could have had freedom to act on it. AND I am sorry for even thinking that way in the heat of passion. (Which is in the spirit of the Law). PS. the dog died of natural causes later.

        • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

          Tread carefully, when admitting to animal cruelty. Some statutes may be still applicable to you.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Didn’t touch the dog. Screw you.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Demo; You can’t read either. Double screw you.

          • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

            @Wanna B Sure August 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

            “I have had the occasion in the past to beat the piss out of the neighbor’s dog, or shoot him for pooping on my lawn, and if that didn’t work, take the retribution a little farther up the chain of command.” – I read what you wrote, I would not look to “screw me” but instead explain who “I” is? As to the way you wrote it, “I” would mean yourself.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            “I had the occasion to beat…” Didn’t say I did Dimo. The occasion was there, I didn’t take advantage of it! ! ! ! I could have said opportunity. If you can’t comprehend what I said, go take a reading comprehension course. I also mentioned ” I could have the freedom to act on it”. Which implies I didn’t. Grow up. You may impress yourself with your games, but you fall short of reality.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Occasion; A convenient or favorable time, opportunity or juncture.

            Occasion; The immediate or incidental cause or reason for some action or result.

            Occasion

        • Stan says:

          Demosthenes, your problem is you never finished the paragraph. You only read to the point you wanted to read. Thus you are the one wrong AGAIN.

  6. HAVE FUN PRETENDING YOU ARE GOD!

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      buffalogal 1:44

      Pretending?? :)

      • entech says:

        It is all pretending Jon, just some won’t accept it, go to any lengths to deny it, even suggesting that words written by people that weren’t there about things that probably never happened is supposed to be taken as (gospel :lol: ) truth.

        • Henry says:

          “that probably

          Speculation trumps the written word of many sources?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 12:08 The Bible is the speculative word. No one who was supposedly with Paul ever confirmed they were. There is no confirmation of the conversion experience. Paul never met Jesus. The diciples never wrote a word about Jesus.

          • Henry says:

            Jon, you have in the past referenced court of law procedures as a standard for proof. I’ll go along with your earlier thoughts. Courts of law recognize the testimony of two witnesses as proof. The Bible exceeds that standard.

          • entech says:

            confirmed by whom? the writers and their friends and followers, not reliable witnesses in my view. What sources outside of the “testaments” do you have. I once followed an online ancient history course from Yale, the opening remarks were to the effect that as very little was available of the written works of the likes of Sophocles (like Jesus he never wrote a word that is still extant) so we need to remember much of it is speculation and reconstruction from partial written remains, I wouls apply the same to your gospels.

          • Henry says:

            It exceeds the standard of proof in a court of law.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          entech 10:09 “It is all pretending…”
          I agreed. Whether the Bible said there were others present with Paul doesn’t establish the Paul events happened unless someone else wrote about them. More than once, the Bible’s writers tossed in, “others saw it” to make something seem real. Without success, I tried to engage Wanna about the corpses walking out of their graves where “many saw them”.

          But as you say, it’s the (gospel :) ) truth.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; Your attempted diversion, not mine. I responded. Again another example of–”How can this be, vs. what does this mean”. (Higher critical, vs. historical grammatical.) Play with it yourself. All by yourself, then pout.

          • entech says:

            Diversion? Were there road works being carried out so all the corpses had to change direction :(

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Diversion. Follow the thread. Diversion.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 12:27 I spent a little time looking up commentary on the Paul story. I could not find verification the people supposedly with Paul ever wrote anything themselves, or, that anyone talked to them independently and wrote about it. Was it only the writer(s) called Paul who wrote there were others present? If that is the case, we don’t know if any of it is true. And, it is curious it was not written about until decades after it was supposed to have happened.

            Further, I don’t understand why it is a diversion to bring up the walking, talking, long dead people walked out of their graves and “people saw them”. It is a different story than Paul, but it illustrates the standard of reporting that was allowed in the Bible. Anything, no matter how outlandish, was allowed in there. I can understand how you would not want to talk about the grave story or these standards, but simply saying “Nice try Jon”, or referring to such questions as childish seem to me an effort not to avoid dealing with hard questions.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; I did respond !!! Your’s is a classic attempt to introduce other unrelated info into the discussion for the sake of diversion. We have seen this done quite often when you are caught with your pants down. Hoping to bait the subject away from the original….and save face. This time it didn’t work. You admitted you didn’t read the text in Acts, then went on to try to recover.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            And then……. you import this from an earlier blog to even more confuse the uninformed. This has been tried before too. Cute, but not so cute.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 1:45 “Cute, but not so cute.”

            Yes, I did not read the text in Acts. I’ve admitted that. Now, I asking what seems to me to be a reasonable question. Does the fact that it says there were others present really mean there were others present. I’m trying to get to something more substantive than just believing stuff in the Bible it true becasue you, as a believe, want to believe it is true. Some adult-like response would be most appreciated.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            An adult could easily see your use of extreme higher critical to keep bringin up an already answered question. Give it a rest Jon.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; Re. reply. To refresh your memory. Aug 28 6:24 Last two sentences.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 2:28 In that post you seemed to be uncertain whether the walking out of the grave story was true and said their are things we cannot expalin.

            But, then you went on to make a statement that leaves me wondering if you were joking or not. You said this story may have draw people to “The Way”. Now, I looked up “The way” and it pointed me toward the statement attributed to Jesus who said, “I am the way..” to the god.

            Are you making conclusion, then, that the more bizarre the Bible’s story, the more converts there are. But, maybe you meant what seems more likely, the opposite.

            So, then, maybe you believe the bizarreness of the Paul conversion, its unbelievibility, makes it seem all the more real? Or, maybe you are saying its bizarreness brings converts.

            That’s why I’ve asking you to clarify whether there is any importance to the “observers” reference. Instead of just accusing me of being “cute” I wish you could develop a way of addressing issues in a straight forward manner that all could understand. Just a request.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; No sufficient reply will be good enough for you. Your “trap” didn’t work. Your rhetoric is just that. Just more embarasing diversions on your part.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; “And the Pharasees went and planned how to trap Jesus in conversation”.

            Pharasees; “Teachers of the Law”. ) Our Jon is a modern day Pharasee. Matt 12:38–Mark 8:11.

            Crafty then—crafty now. “Professing themselves wise, became fools”.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            On another site, I asked for some help on the Paul conversion story. I see it was discussed various times, at least once in sort of a third person style and once in the voice of “Paul”. In the voice of “Paul” there was no word from the supposed others present. In the third person, there was a hint others spoke of it, but I could not understand for source of this version, it seemed like it, also, came from “Paul”.

            The point remains it is a bizarre story that would not be given anything but a laugh if told today.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            “The Way” is what the earliest Christians were called untill they were called “Christians”. Early on, “Christian” was used in a derogatory manner. I would have thought you knew that.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            And yet again Jon persists. He claims not to understand. Professing to be wise. Paul was nothing really. Only a messenger. Jon also rejects the message, the object of the message, and the reason for the object. In short, everything related to it. I don’t know why Jon can’t let go of it all, and move on, but I have my suspicions. Poor Jon. Struggling Jon. Frustrated Jon. Bewildered Jon. Proud Jon.

        • entech says:

          So Henry, 2 witnesses – if two members of the same gang of robbers said they didn’t do it that would be proof positive it never happened? If two members of the same gang say the same thing does that make it true – not really?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 10:00 “So Henry, 2 witnesses–if two members of the same gang..would be proof positive it never happened?”

            Beautiful. Henry is our Inspector Clouseau. Paul wrote there were others present, maybe quote two of them..BAM. Dead people ran out out of their graves, copied in other books twice…BAM.

          • Henry says:

            And the atheists have no evidence to disprove despite struggling very hard. Beautiful. The atheists now want to throw away the concept of the “two witness” evidence. It doesn’t fit their worldview, then attack it even if it is a part of secular society.

  7. Wanna B Sure says:

    Jon; Today in Huffpost religion there is an interesting article; Reading the Bible as reason, not revelation. Just saying.

  8. Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

    I’ve been trying to recall why I had the impression no one was present when “Paul” saw Jesus, heard him talk and fell on the ground. I now recall it came from a discussion which concluded there were no reliable witnesses.

    The problem comes from the Bible’s different versions of what happened. In one version (Acts 9:7) witnesses saw no one, but heard a voice. In another (Acts 22:9) they did not hear any voice.

    If those supposedly present were put on the witness stand, I think they would give the gangster’s answer, “I didn’t see nuttin’. I didn’t hear nuttin’.”

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      At the time of Paul’s appointed and approved trip to Baghdad to roust out the new sect formed within Judaism, there would have most certainly been a caravan of some sorts along with supporting people and supplies. Not only for “camping out”, (it’s a long way by camel/horse/mule), but for protection from robbers/thieves. If I was a hired camel jockey, I too would have been pretty quiet. Your “I didn’t see nuttin, I didn’t hear nuttin would have been a prudent act. This was no doubt a hot topic item for the man on the street filled with danger. You may remember the Jews in Baghdad were in fear of Paul due to his past activities, and were suspicious of his approach, and story. As would I too have been. A complete turn around from the violent anti-”The way” sect, to proponent.

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