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Sinless?

I’ll try to keep this post short and concise and if there needs to be a bit of clarification, I’ll do what I can.

As my wife and I were discussing some fascinating assertions in a book (The Last Week – John Dominic Crosson, Marcus Borg) this morning, some very interesting notions began to bubble to the surface.  One of those was essentially this:

We (Christians) traditionally understand sin in terms of things we ARE NOT supposed to do.  For example, the 10 Commandments found in the Old Testament.  There are also several other passages contained in the New Testament that outline several activities and lifestyle choices we should steer clear of, or avoid, based upon traditional interpretations.  (By traditional, I mean, “that’s-the-way-we’ve-always-done-it,” not necessarily as the original writings were intended to be understood.)  So essentially, just as in the time of Jesus, the religious systems, or the religious laws of today, define sin.

Here’s what I understand about the person and purpose of Jesus.  In as short a description as I can muster, Jesus came to challenge his followers, his disciples, to transcend the current religious system as well as live subversively in regards to the ruling empire of the day, all for the sake of others (in direct contrast to the idea that everything we do is for covering my own hind end).

What I find absolutely fascinating is the fact that 1. Jesus was not bound by the religious system of his day, which in turn and by default, caused him to violate the Jewish laws and 2. he, repeatedly, spoke, lived and stood against the ruling empire and it’s oppressive, militant way of “establishing peace,” among other oppressive and unjust societal norms.

Thus, sin in Jesus’ day was defined by the marriage of religious and state (empirical) laws.  I would argue, the same is true today.  The obvious next question is then, can we assert that Jesus lived a sinless life?  And if we maintain that assumption, by what terms did he live a sinless life?

I would further suggest, since we cannot answer those two questions as we’ve traditionally done, what then, are the implications for the terms by which we define the notion of “being a reflection of Jesus?

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  1. December 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Great thought provoking post.
    I believe Jesus lived a sinless life by exemplifying the Father’s heart and nature in all he did and in everything he said, thus fulfilling his Father’s will rather than his own will or that of any earthly system.

    If we are to be a reflexion of him, we must cease to identify with any worldly system including the Christian religion and all other religious systems, and identify soley with Christ and his kingdom.

    That’s impossible, of course, unless we learn to live in such an intimate relationship with him that we love like him, know what the Father’s doing and walk in the Spirit rather than our own understanding.

    Since Jesus said everyone born of the Spirit is like the wind, not knowing where it’s coming from or where it’s going, our life would be one of spontaneous response to Father.
    All this will get us into a heap of trouble.

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