...I'm not terribly worried about "sin." It's just not a big deal to me, not as such. I was never really excited to sit around and use that word for it's own sake, as I never had the opportunity or interest to use it on people.
I think Christians often would define "sin" (if they were honest) as "anything you do that bothers or inconveniences me." Properly, that's not very theological, because it certainly has nothing to do with any god. Sure, they'll talk about "offending God," but that's not what they really mean.
Folks who run around talking about "sin" as if it were always acts of rebellion against God that in turn separate people from him really believe in "sins" rather than "sin." They're also in law-keeping mode, and that's very unfortunate. May I direct you to something I wrote last year?
Our previous enmity with God emerged because of rebellion, not brokenness. He does not despise the weak. Not all sin is symptomatic of rebellion, but rather a manifestation of deep brokenness – some part of the personality still in need of Christ’s redemption. Perhaps we can differentiate between sin (as a condition of rebellion) and sins (as symptoms of brokenness or rebellion). This speaks to the insistence of some Christians that their sins yet separate them from God.And I don't think my opinion has changed much since then. If you like, check out both posts:
They do not.
Rebellion needs to be forgiven, but weakness requires an infusing of grace and strength. Sins (understood as symptoms) cannot separate the individual Christian from God, because in baptism one is sealed with Christ. The righteousness of the Messiah is imputed to the Messiah’s people, after all. As Athanasius illustrates, our restoration and healing are a matter of God’s honor: he has redeemed us, and there is a big sign at the trading post that says “no refunds.” (Groan) But it’s true.
If the God who knows to expect so much more failure of us than we do ourselves has already accepted us in Christ Jesus and sealed us in him through baptism, we don’t require more forgiveness just because we are more aware of our brokenness. I do all kinds of sinful things I don’t know to be sinful (just ask my friends!), but they don’t separate me from God, or my community. We confess to be known as sinners, and to appropriate healing and restoration in the dark and lonely places of our souls.
Jesus does not despise the weak. He does not find us lacking and so cast us away. He knows what we lack, and so has stood for us, and does stand, on those parts of our lives where we are unable.
Oh, and Happy New Year.