Saturday, August 2, 2008

What Is Sin?

I got this from an old Revive Our Hearts podcast. To view the transcript for the entire podcast which is an interview with Joshua Harris on the effects of media, go here. (It's really good, BTW!)

Joshua: When John Wesley was in college, he wrote a letter to his mom asking the question, “What is sin?” I think he was looking for a catalog of activities.

Nancy: “The list.”

Joshua: Exactly; a list. I can imagine somebody listening to this about media, saying something like, “Okay, well, tell me what I’m not allowed to watch. Kind of give me a …”

Nancy: We’re not going to do that.

Joshua: Exactly. And neither did she. Mrs. Wesley wrote him back, and I just want to read what she said. I think it’s so wise. She said,

Take this rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.

5 comments:

Layna said...

Okay, can someone explain whether or not there are degrees of sin? My instinct is that there isn't, but I can't explain why. At the same time, my sins of gluttony seem to be "less of a sin" than a murderer's. Still sin is sin right?
Thanks!

Bird said...

Sin is sin in that it's all good enough to eternally separate you from God. However, the results and consequences of sin obviously have varying degrees. Stealing a .5 cent piece of gum from a store when you're a kid does not have the same consequence as murdering someone, obviously.

The temptation is to think something like my sin isn't as bad as that sin so I'm doing ok.

layna said...

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks so much!

Debs said...

I've heard this quotation before, but thanks for the reminder :)

Mrs Wibbs said...

...thank you for this
I've linked to it on my blog, I found it ever so helpful!
Mrs Wibbs