Is Sin Relative?
A friend recently sent me a link to an article written by pagan author Patti Wiggington titled, Do Pagans Believe in Sin? I offered my friend an unsolicited rebuttal and thought I would share an edited version with my readers.
First, let me say that Wiggington is a wonderful writer. She clearly and articulately states what it is she and other pagans believe. I appreciate that because it makes it much easier to digest and rebut.
Having read the article, I found that Wiggington was suggesting that sin is “relative” – as such, she argues that sin is subjective. Here’s a quote that illuminates her argument, “Ultimately, what matters most is that you find a way to remain true to your own values and ethics.”
Christianity argues that sin is objective. It doesn’t matter what I think is a sin. If I think murder is okay, God still says it is wrong. If I think being a drug addict is okay, God still says it is wrong. Here’s where it gets tough … If I think lust is okay, God still says it is wrong. God says hate is akin to murder, it doesn’t matter what I think. To me, this seems far more realistic and practical than the argument that it is our own values and ethics that are important. Why? Basically, people are susceptible to stupidity. If you think about, responsible fathers treat their children the same way. We don’t leave our naive children to live life on their own as they see fit – we instruct them on the best way to live and the best choices to make. God treats us in the same manner.
Christ teaches that sin is objective, acknowledges that none of us meet a holy standard, and gives us a plan to deal with it and strive to be better. Again, this is exactly how a responsible parent handles their own children. You give them rules and guidelines to live by. When they mess up … you forgive them and love them anyway … just like God the Father does for us through Jesus Christ.
As such, I argue that Christianity is far more responsible than the pagan view and closely resembles an actual parent/child relationship.
In our lives, hind-site is twenty-twenty, right? In her article, Wiggington argues that multiple sex partners are okay as long as everything is consensual. Let’s put this concept to the test. Let’s say a married couple decides the wife should have a fling … everything is consensual, everyone’s adults, and what matters most is that everyone remains true to their own values and ethics. So the wife goes ahead and does it two or three times (now keep in mind that this whole time the Christian God is screaming that it’s wrong and begging her to stop). Somewhere along the way, the husband regrets his decision and finds that it is painful to know his wife has been intimate with another man. He asks her to stop and she does even though she was enjoying herself. Do you think the husband will ever get the image of his wife cheating out of his mind?
This is a case of a human being’s values and ethics changing. We do it all the time. This is why as we grow older we often regret the choices we made in the past. Meanwhile, the one true God has never changed His opinion on sin. Adultery was wrong before the wife did it and it is still wrong now. But even after such a mistake, Christ wants to draw us near, help fix it, and restore our relationship with God the Father.
Wow … God loves us just like we love our own children.