Saturday, June 27, 2009

Law #2: We Suck

This post is a continuation of Law #1, and being thus, I suggest most humbly that you read the first one first.

So I titled this a long time before publishing the personal post and kept it's title "as-is" because I thought that it would be a fun transition to move from self to corporate in the accusation of suckiness. Honestly, it's hard to get around the fact that we as the human race suck at life. We are all infested with this gross inner darkness Christians like to call sin. Don't believe me? Watch more news, or get out in the world more. Even better, just look at yourself; examine what motivates you. Think you're perfect? (If you do, I'd recommend consulting your significant other. Single? Your best friend(s). If they're honest with you, they'll inform you otherwise.)

Sin separates us from a perfect and holy God. From the moment we take our first breath, we enter an evil world. A world of pain, suffering, and the prevalent sin that engulfs it all. "Sin," you say, "sin is just a churchy word that religious individuals throw around to justify themselves!" People tend to think of sins as actions. Lying is a sin. Murdering your great-aunt Cindy-Lou is a sin. Sex before marriage is a sin. Homosexuality is a sin. Stuff like that. They reduce sin to a physical activity. This definition has two side effects:

First, because sin is seen as actions, religious people believe that if they just stop acting on their impulses, they are more righteous and can thereby draw closer to God. Their relationship with God (or whatever goal they wish to achieve) and their eternal destiny becomes based on a heavenly scale of the good and bad things they do in their life. They spend their life never knowing quite where they stand or what sins will come back to bite them in the end, hoping against hope that they did enough good deeds to tip the outcome in their favor. Being a religious studies major, I can confidently say that this thought process explains every religion in the world, people trying to do good things to earn their way to heaven (or whatever spiritual goal), relying on themselves for their salvation. I've got bad news for those of you who think that by going to church, reading the koran five times a day, emptying yourself of all desires, eliminating the engram, being a good enough person in your life, (etc.) will save you, it won't. Nothing you can do can erase the sin that you've already done, and any sin is a death sentence, "for the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) Not death in a physical sense, but in a spiritual one. Eternal separation from the source of life (i.e. God).

The second effect is non-spiritual people being completely turned off by religion. It's a system of impossible rules to regulate people and keep them in their place. Religious people are slaves to their beliefs, they HAVE to follow a certain lifestyle to stand correct before God, and the majority of that lifestyle sucks. The people not interested in religion would rather not be burdened by it, and they are sick of the self-righteous hypocrites that have submitted their lives to these institutions condemning them for going against rules that the secular individual doesn't even believe are necessary in the first place. If the actions are the sins, they figure that they can just do some good now and again and try to keep the bad to a minimum (better to admit you do "sinful" crap than be one of those "perfect" Godly hypocrites).

However, sin is so much more. Sin is not actions, the actions themselves are just a logical outpouring of the condition of the heart. You see, sin is a reality everyone is born into, it is ingrained into us. We aren't good people who do bad things, we're bad through and through. "But wait," you say, "don't we do good things too?" Yeah, with incredibly selfish motives. We want to be seen as good in the eyes of others, because being seen as we really are is shameful, or we try to please God (some higher power) through our actions. Too bad God sees our attempts to make ourselves righteous for what it really is: us arrogantly trying to glorify ourselves. "So you're saying that there is nothing we can do to get to God, and we're all screwed from the start no matter what?" Yep. That's pretty much sums up Law #2. There is no action you can ever take to bridge the gap between you and God, and nothing you can do to force Him to forgive you of the sin that created the gap that separates the two of you in the first place. So, why is man not able to have a deep and personal relationship with God or experience his loving plan as stated in Law #1? Sin. Turns out we just suck too much."For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

Stay tuned for Spiritual Law #3!

"Virtue needs some cheaper thrills." - Hobbes (Calvin & Hobbes)

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