Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Response to Comment

A sin might be seen as defining the activities that seperate the broad path from the narrow. The definition of sin, and of the path a man is seen to walk, is defined by the social group he chooses to be a part of, and of his time and upbringing which he could not choose.

That different people call different actions sin becomes clear to the student of history or the well traveled. Christians, like any other religion of man, are not all alike. No matter how hard they try they are not of a single mind. Christians vary from place to place and time to time. Even within the walls of a church you will find great diversity of opinion and understanding. Fools do not understand this, and think all men of the past and present who's lives do not agree with their own are false and not true followers of the fatih.

That a single person changes his undestanding of sin, wrong action, during the course of a life is clear to the experienced man of reflection. This same man will struggle to untangle why his undestanding changed. Was it his youth, was it his company, was it his situation? Many understand themselves to have progressed into the state they find themselves, meaning they see their history as a linear evolution of perfecting understanding. While this may be true we should never be too harsh on our past selves. We thought ourselves wise then too. And there is a good chance that we are no wiser than then even though we can find no fault with our current self and its "unified" mind.

All men change and they do not change in the same way. No single "way" may be defined for all men. Put men on the same path and it will inevitably diverge.

Why is the broad path broad? A path is grown from the soles of men's feet. It will first show to the trained eye after one or two have trod it. The untrained eye will begin to recognize a path when an entire host has walked along the same way. The broad path is broad because so many have chosen to walk in the same way.

Men choose to walk along many paths. And the ever changing minds of men lead us from path to path so that what once was narrow is quickly made broad, and soon will become narrow again as a different way is made broad by the slapping of our soles upon the way.

No path can remain narrow unless is it hidden.

The candles have been removed from the bushles, the city shines, the words spreads, and we are born and bred to sell the truth of Jesus. There is nothing hidden in Christ, he is open to all.

Gnostism, in its ancient (Mithra) and modern forms (Scientology) preach narrow ways to men by hiding the way. Denominations continue to split the coprse of Christ into smaller and smaller pieces so that a preacher can seperate his way from others and thus keep it narrow through greater division.

"The sins we share are sins no longer"

The "we" is pregnant with warning. The sentance with a promise of change. The warning is for those who can hear it; few for sure. The promise is for those who look ahead, aware of what is behind.

What do these eight words elicit? For those who can actually hear anything over the din of their dogma: Fear for many, and hope for the others. Those who have changed more than once, and can admire at least one of his former selves may find a watered wine here where some just find water or wine.

Why Fear? The fear typically comes from any mention that truth is relevant or can change. If something that is a sin today may be a sin tomorrow then it would call into question beliefs. For some a static system of beliefs that are not questioned brings a sense of comfort and stability. A challenge to the definition of sin is a challenge to their world-view and security in it. When they ask of their faith, "How should I live this life", they need a simple definitive answer even if difficult and unreasoned. A sublte or more complicated answer does not meet the needs of security and certainty. Of course there should be nothing to fear from truth, but the truth of our fathers changes no more than they do, so unless a man wants his own truth he will not allow it to change at all.

Why Hope? Hope comes from those who disagre with the herd but fear to challenge or seperate from them. This man is the least happy. Loss of their positive opinion, their estimation of his virtue, has seemed worth more than their estimation of his sin, but these eight words begin to change the balance of the scales.

Those with fear, do not want to make a decision and dread that they may have to.

Those with hope, have wanted to make a decision and have dreaded that they will not.

There is more to say, but the distractions of life pull me to the majority of life, that knows nothing of sin or virtue, but of duty it knows volumes.

No comments: