What is a Mortal Sin?

One of the most entertaining things for me is to read about or visit with people about sin.  My impressions are two.  First, definitions of sin are almost completely arbitrary.  Second, when certain kinds of Christians talk about sin they are confident they are not arbitrary in the least.

Some definitions of sin are merely thoughts.  Diagnosing thoughts seems like something for a professional psychiatrist.  But no, it is the stock and trade of some branches of Christian theologians.

The attached link goes in to great detail about serious, mortal, sins and trys to sparate out when they occur.  One conclusion is that societal issues are moving so fast and that the sinner might not be fully aware something is a mortal sin until after he/she has committed the nasty deed.  This gives the sinner a pass.

That’s a nice thought.  With a finding like that, it could be no one is a sinner.

Believers often ridicule nonbelievers because, they say, nonbelievers have no moral standard.  Now, if sinners can be absolved by excuses that society drives over them in its sin bus, it seems like believers have no moral standards either.

I hope most nonbelievers have good moral standards.  The ones I hope they have are ones that help generations to come.  People with high moral standards are those who think the lives to come are more important than our own afterlife.

Support for abortion, birth control and gay marriage are probably the current mortal sins.  But, sinners can negotiate.

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/are-most-catholics-in-america-going-to-hell

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.
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14 Responses to What is a Mortal Sin?

  1. entech says:

    Depends on what kind of Christianity is your choice, make the wrong choice and burn. :lol:

    Without the jokes, there is some degree of difference between all denominations, some lesser and some greater. It seems the most commonly held belief is that if you don’t believe then you are out of the club and get anything you deserve.

  2. Blasphemer says:

    A rational outcome is hard to achieve; when you are just making it up as you go

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Blasphemer 1:14 “A rational outcome is hard to achieve when you are jsut making it up as you go.”

      To me, it’s about the long term versus the short term perspective. The short-term perspective is, “What happens to me when I die?” The long term is, “How does what I do affect future generations on our planet?”

  3. Brad says:

    According to those scriptures we are constantly reminded of, the love of money is the root of all evil, not abortion or homosexuality. But, the religious right has taken the liberty of picking and choosing what they deem as the worst sins. Of course, the fact that they are typically on the side (Republican) that is committed to the love of money might have something to do with their selectivity.

    • Barbara says:

      High fives to you, Brad! It’s quite a dance these people perform to avoid addressing the greed issue! :D

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Barbara 3:26 Good, calling it a dance. Someone said the Bible discusses greed several times more often than sex. But, the right today discusses sex several time more often than greed.

    • Matt says:

      pride/lust is the root of all evil(it is the sin that caused lucifer to fall) and the love of money, abortion, and homosexuality can all be found to be rooted in pride/lust…

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Matt 11:48 “pride/lust is the root of all evil..”

        And, thinking one is so important the god knows who you are and guarantees you after life is not pride?

        • Matt says:

          dont get me wrong i am not without pride but your understanding of my belief is very small and skewed….what i know is god knows me and loves me enough to have created me unique and unrepeatable as he did for you as well…i think if you understood how much god is involved in our day to day lives and how much he actually cares you would be blown away…

          i do not assume heaven is guaranteed for me

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Matt 12:14 “what I know is god knows me and loves me enough to have created me unique and unrepeatable as he did for you as well..”

            I respect your view on this, but it seems like the product of a god of the mind, not one outside the mind. Only if the god is in the mind alone can it be tailor made to fit the individual needs of millions of individual people.

          • Matt says:

            jon your reality and my reality are two very different things and that makes this conversation and unfortunately most all conversations on your blog almost impossible to have…

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Matt 5:42 “Jon, your reality and my reality are two different things and that makes this conversation and unfortunate most all conversations on your blog almost impossible to have.”

            Good summary–I’m glad you said “almost impossible” because just learning of your reality is helpful to me.

  4. Wanna B Sure says:

    I seem to remember a movie. Burt Reynolds I think. In it he had fallen asleep on an inflatable beach cushion, and woke up later way out in the ocean. If I remember right, he was disgusted with life. When he woke up, he became afraid, and vowed that if he made it back to shore, he would become a priest, and give all his money to God. He started paddling, and halfway back he said “50 % Lord”. closer in, he said “20% Lord”, then 10 %, until he got to shore and cursed God for putting him through such an experience. I wonder how close the narrative may be to truth for some people. It was a funny segment, but thought provoking.

  5. Wolfy32 says:

    After a lifetime thinking that everything I did was a sin and that my pure existence was a sin, and thoroughly convinced that by living I’m sinning therefore the only logical conclusion is that all of humanity should be dead, because it is all corrupt and sinning.

    When the logic equals judgement and death for everyone or “selective judgement” for some that includes a prison meant for fallen angels not humans, the choices became clear, believe that all of humanity is evil and believe it should die (fairly dark for my taste), or that each person is capable of doing good and evil. And their choices in life form their character in God’s play. We are our own judges and our own punishers “of ourselves”.

    When we commit a crime too great, society steps in and offers its own judgement.

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