This Week in Church: Sin

Welcome to the series wherein I share my take-aways from church. The things that, I think, are beneficial to all of us to know or think about, whether or not we believe in any church-related things.

I think that church can teach things that are beneficial to everyone, whether or not we believe in church-related things.

This week in church we talked about sin.

I dislike the word "sin." So much so, that when I typed it, my fingers made it into "sing" and I had to go back and fix it. It's too bad, because while we did sing in church this week, we didn't talk about singing. We talked about sinning.

First, the definition of sin, which could be so many things. Many were offered, and I liked this one best as something I could get behind: sin is the vandalizing of shalom. So basically, sin is anything that vandalizes (covers up, gets in the way of, or otherwise ruins or mars) peace and wholeness.

The next question was what we do with our sin. Do we conceal it or do we confess it? The right answer is very obvious: confession. Of course it is! We all know that covering up something we've done wrong just leads to fear and deception and a slow poison that creeps into our minds and hearts and relationships. After an extended time dealing with the guilt of something we've done wrong, confessing and dealing with the consequences can be a HUGE relief to our little burdened hearts.

Now, turns out there's another sneaky form of concealment that's basically hiding in plain sight: when we just try to move on without dealing with something. It's not that we lie or cover it up, and maybe we even apologize for it, but we don't really deal with it. We just sort of move on and forget it ever happened.

I'm getting excited now because this ties in with real-life big-time problems like racial justice. Let's pause for a minute and think what a better place Canada might be if, instead of pretending that the cultural genocide against the Indigenous populations never happened, we had confronted, confessed, and dealt with it what was done? Do you think maybe our Indigenous incarceration rates would not be so blatantly skewed or that reserves would have clean water and adequate health care? How about in the United States? What if, when they abolished slavery, they made real attempts at restoring that relationship with black Americans instead of hoping they could forget and go on with life?

These are just two examples of so so so many, and as we know from every movie ever about someone trying to run from their past: you can't.

Oh man, this is not a very inspiring post, is it? Well, I guess sin isn't all that inspiring.


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