Day 25 Question 25:
What do you believe constitutes as a sin?
I answer this question with the blood pumping through my veins pretty rapidly. As you know I have been on a documentary kick lately. I don’t get into scientific and history documentaries so much…they may peak my interest here and there though. Tonight I decided to watch Most Hated Family in America. I speak of the Phelps family from Topeka, Kansas. The creators of the Westboro Baptist Church. I have never watched such pure filth in my entire life. I completely admit that I am ignorant when it comes to religion and the complete understand of various theologies and the Bible. I never attended church regularly and when I did as a child I never put much effort in while I was there because honestly my mind was elsewhere. Not one ounce of me (and I am sure lots of people that know me would agree) believes that I am a bad person or I am damned to go to Hell because of making the choice not to believe in something. I spend majority of everyday trying to increase my knowledge and treat people with kindness and respect. I strive to make people’s days better by paying them compliments or sharing stories with them. I believe I have a gift of putting people at ease by making them feel an immediate sense of comfort when they are around me. I am not bragging. I am just stating qualities and traits about myself that I believe are very positive. God, the Bible or church had no affect on these characteristics I have within myself. I have stated it before and I will state it again, I have a great respect for those that attend church and praise their God. I admire them for having such strong convictions. I just choose to live believing in love and making your own choices as you see fit according to how you feel. I am currently in a time in my life where I am seeking knowledge wherever I can and am trying to take in as much as I can. I want to absorb things. Yes, I would like to try to absorb as much positivity as possible but I expose myself to negativity as well…some by choice and some by chance. I really don’t criticize people’s lifestyles unless I believe they are harmful to themselves or others and usually that is pretty extreme. I am a good person and no one can convince me differently. I believe that if someone in the church is going to judge and criticize me for my choices or actions then they are not living by the words of the Bible they claim to be so sacred. I cannot chain myself to a belief because I know I will make mistakes throughout my entire life. I know I have and will continue to “sin” throughout my whole life and I do not want to live a life of fear because I am not following a certain set of rules that in my opinion are unknown. Again, I respect people’s beliefs, but FOR ME (and me only) I have a hard time believing something I do not absolutely know. Religion/God/The Bible are only one small part of the stuff that I am unsure of the truth.
According to the dictionary sin is
1. transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
2. any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3. any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense: It’s a sin to waste time.
According to these words, I sin all of the time. I have done things in a moment without thinking that I regretted later. Some of these things may have included using hateful words or language or using poor judgment. I see these things as being human not as sins. At this time in our lives we are already bogged down by laws and rules and regulations and policies almost everywhere we go. Society is making us into robots in a sense. Big Brother is watching us. I just believe that living through the fear of “sinning” and going to hell is no way to live. In my opinion, it takes the joy out of life because you are no longer living for you. I do realize though, the message of many churches is to put God before yourself. If people choose to do that I am completely fine with that. I do not choose to do that. I believe people have to be accountable for their actions and from what I have experienced and viewed a lot of people are putting their actions into the hands of “God” to take care of. I don’t know if they are just not understanding what the message really is or if I don’t???
I know I am probably going to catch a lot of heat for this blog entry. Religion is a very touchy subject. I will say it again though, these are just my opinions. My character shines through in my writings and I would hope that most people would realize that. So, just to get back for a moment discussing the documentary I watched. If I were to believe in “sin” then the Phelps family are the absolutely truest sinners in the world. I find all of their actions to be an absolute disgrace to the human race. I am actually shocked that no one has gunned them down at one of the rallies (no I am not saying I want that to happen, I am just saying I am surprised some very angry individual has not done it—then again I can’t believe OJ Simpson wasn’t gunned down but that is another story in and of itself). I believe everyone in this world has love within themselves and has the capacity to show it but some just choose hate instead. I believe that if there is a God that he would think the same way. To walk around saying God Hate Fags and saying soldiers that were killed fighting for our countries freedom deserved to die is nothing but pure evil. I may be ignorant about a lot of things and may not always be sure what my beliefs truly are but what I do believe in is humanity and helping thy neighbor. It will not always be an easy task but being compassionate and empathetic is within all of us. This documentary showed 7 and 9 year olds picketing on the side of the road holding signs that said: God Hates You or God Hates the Troops. When asked if they knew what these things meant they both stood there clueless. They had to have the answers fed to them by their mother. This is not a church. This is a cult. These people have all been brainwashed. This is no different from David Koresh and the cult he lead in Waco, Texas. If I were to use the word sin, this behavior would define it.
I had a girl send me an email once that said how can you call yourself Agnostic when you speak a lot about Buddhism and read stuff from the Dalai Lama. My answer was simple. I keep my mind open to as much as I possibly can in order to potentially find stronger convictions in certain things. I told her I admire a lot about Buddhist philosophies but I cannot claim myself as a Buddhist. I also told her I would not be opposed to reading the Bible. It is a learning tool and an experience just like anything else. This is why I love the way I choose to live because I give myself this kind of freedom. I choose not to be limited. I do not mind if people educate me on their beliefs but I do not want it shoved down my throat. I do not want people telling me I need to think this way or that way or even tell me I SHOULD think a certain way. What a lot of people do not understand is the concept of tact and discretion. I am willing to listen to you and consider what you say if you come at me in a manner in which you are exposing something new to me to give me new information. Once you tell me my way of doing things or my way of thinking is wrong or I need to do things a certain way according to your beliefs I will immediately shut the idea out of my head.
As so many of you know by now I believe in beauty. I think that the world is all about these things and sometimes these things get lost or get warped but they are still there. This is all I want to share with people and if they choose not to take it that is ok. All I want is for people to experience happiness in their lives that comes at their own free will. I state over and over again in this blog that everything I write is strictly opinion based because my experiences will never match up with another person’s. There will come times that I want people to agree with me and I will get frustrated when they don’t but I am aware of that as well. That does not control me. It’s a self-awareness and learning process. I don’t care what religion, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender you are. If you show that you are a kind person that strives to do good as often as possible then I will accept you. If you make mistakes and take ownership for them I will have great respect for you. It is quite simple.
One day I was driving to my parents house and I passed a church and on the sign it read: Homosexuality may be legal in New York but it is still illegal in the bible. I literally did a double take and couldn’t believe I didn’t run my car off the road. I see people as people. We all live and breathe the same air and walk on 2 legs (if we are lucky) and have eyes and ears and mouths (again if we are lucky). I thought to myself, “Why don’t they just write I Hate Fags on their sign.” The message they were trying to convey was pretty much that anyway. I can’t wrap my brain around prejudices like that. I, honestly believe that people are born gay. In this day and age I do not believe ANYONE would choose to be gay with how mean and hateful people can act. Matthew Shephard was hung from a fence in the middle of nowhere and left to die because he was gay. He was ridiculed and beaten because of his sexual preference. I still remember being in my college dorm room and listening to the news and waiting to see if he was going to make it. He did not. People are people. Everyone should have the same rights and everyone should be treated the same but unfortunately it is not that way in this world. It saddens me because I have many gay friends that I think are some of the most amazing people in the world. One of my closest friends is the manager at the restaurant that I work and he is gay. I love him with all of my heart and I want nothing for him but the utmost happiness a person could experience. His sexuality is of no concern to me. What matters about him is his caring nature and his connection to the people he surrounds himself with. Many people don’t even know he is gay and his personality just makes people radiate to him. So, because he is gay, he does not deserve the same rights as me because I am straight? Out of all of the people I have met in my life he ranks in the top 5 of being the most wonderful, kind and compassionate people I have encountered. His sexuality does not define him at all. I really do wish things were different in this country…hell in the world but I realize in my lifetime I may not see all of the changes that I would like to but that does not mean I won’t stop fighting with this army of 1 (ME). I really did not get too in depth with the question at hand but I believe I gave my thoughts for the day that I felt were important. I, usually leave off my posts asking for people to just keep an open mind or think about something or another. I am not asking you to agree with me, just keep the thoughts in your head and be open to something different. With this post, I just ask you to think about the love that is in the world even when you may not see it. When you have the urge to judge or condemn someone ask yourself what you are guilty of and if your judgment is then necessary. We all make mistakes in life and there is nothing wrong with it if we do what we can to fix them. I wish the Phelps family had a different mind-set but they do not and probably never will. It is saddening but it doesn’t change me. To all of my readers, thank you for the continuing support. Even if our views don’t match up we are all still artists and creators. :0)
I love this post. I agree with you 100%. I find myself to be more spiritual than anything else, but I don’t believe in religion and I think rules and regulations and too many laws about what is right and wrong actually limits us from growing and loving, and caring for one another. You hit on a lot of strong points. I haven’t seen this film, but I can see why it stirred up this subject in you. I think the most important thing any of us can do in this life is give and receive love. Thanks for a great read!
I believe if you can go through life without hurting anyone you are doing well!
“In my opinion…” they say experience is the best teacher, so more exposure to something you don’t know makes you familiar with it. Try to read the bible and have a pastor or priest guide you through. God bless you Diane.
Wise words, Ginowskie. Plenty of people misinterpret the Bible and make it say things to agree with their own opinions rather than letting its real truth shine through. At the centre of it all is a God of immense love. Again, thanks for posting with such honesty 🙂
Thank you both for taking the time to read it :0) I am so in love with doing this blog and having interactions with people all over the world. It has truly opened my eyes and warmed my heart :0)
Fantastic blog entry. However in a respectful disagreeance with loustar and ginowskie I wouldn’t recommend reading the bible with a pastor or priest guiding you through it the first time. I’d recommend reading it as if it is any other book, not everything is about interpretation of the text, some things are just present within it, good things and horrific things. After reading it yourself then I would take it to a pastor or priest and go through it with them a second time. I wonder what your take on it would be then.
Also, thank you for following my blog. You’re officially my first follower. 🙂
Interesting post 🙂 I am fascinated by religion. I think because all religions teach (in some way) that transgender men and women are sinners. So I don’t have a religion I can follow (yes, even eastern religions teach this because at their core they teach not to change what was created but to live in harmony with it the way it was created).
Having said that, I have tried a variety of religious practices on for size (Christianity, Catholicism, Buddism, Taoism and Wicca). And, like you, I have decided that none is right for me. Many have strange rules that contradict each other (for example: Christian and Catholic religions teach to love one another but also teach by implication to hate homosexuals).
I think sin is anything that hurts others – including putting up signs that say “Homosexuality may be legal in New York but it is still illegal in the bible”. But ultimately, I think people who follow these strict and closed-minded practices need out pity and compassion: they are either ignorant of the world or fearful of it. Either of which is likely to be caused by lack of education (life education or academic) or personal trauma they suffered. I talk to my concept of God every day and I know he loves me. It’s a shame many ‘religious’ people are so afraid of losing God’s love that they have to spread hatred because they are missing out on something so special – the beauty of a life of free choice and (if they chose to believe in God) the knowledge & security that God loves them unconditionally.
My belief is that sin is deliberately trying to hurt yourself or someone else. And I think there is always a chance for redemption right here, on this little planet.
I would say, Diane, that you were right when you said you sin all the time. So do I. So does every person on the planet, because we come from Adam and carry his sinful nature. This is true and not to be put aside. If there is really a God who created the whole universe and is active in our daily lives, we need to step back and realize, we do not and can not live up to his standards, and he will not lower them to fit the person. The only way to find a peace with God is to find forgiveness for our sins, our falling short and not hitting the mark. While God is compassionate and wants to forgive our sins, a righteous judge cannot forgive a murderer and just let him go free until he pays the punishment. Right? We must pay the punishment, and that is what we would call hell. But our sins are against an eternal God, our punishment is eternal, once in hell, you can’t get out. That is why God sent his son, Jesus. Jesus was the perfect man, not from the line of Adam, but of God, and he lived the perfect life that we should have lived. God put the punishment of sin on Jesus, so that he might forgive us our sins after our punishment is paid. Please listen, because if you do not accept his gift, this forgiveness, you cannot be forgiven.
I’m sorry if I cannot explain what I believe to be truth. Please, please read Mere Christianity by C.S.Lewis. It will prove without doubt that there is something in what I say. You are a smart person and I think he would show you some things you would like to know.
And please do not pass this off as a Christian comment to be ignored. You can choose not to believe in God because you know you have sinned against him, but that will not change his existence, any more than not believe in cancer will save your life if you have it.
Sorry this is so long, I hope you read it all
I absolutely did read all of this. I appreciate it very much. I am all about being exposed to different points of view in order to learn more and more. I will check out the book you reccommended. Thank you so kindly :0)
You are so welcome! And C.S.Lewis really is a wonder. 😉
Best of days to you!