I grew up with many confusing ideas about religion. When I say confusing, I mean non-logical and inconsistent. I don’t entirely regret it, because it is this inconsistency and not quite making sense that has pushed me spiritually to find something that does make sense. It has helped move me to the spiritual path that I am on today. So I can’t complain, I feel I am in a good place. At the same time there is always a nagging voice that causes me to revisit the ideas presented to me in my youth, in an attempt to understand the jumble of Christian thinking I was brought up on. With so many wonderful people living a life of faith in Christ it seems there must be something to it that I’ve missed.
One of the major stumbling blocks I ran into in my attempt to be Christian, was the problem of Sin. I grew up being taught that Sin was a thing, it had substance and accountability and was real. All your sins are written in the great book of life. All your sins must be paid for or repented for. And of course the primary concept of Christianity, that Christ in a moment on the cross took all the sins of humanity upon himself and paid the price for those sins. These are not the attributes of a non-entity, therefore in my mind sin was a thing. And all things, must be created. Ergo, God created sin and then made it my fault…
This has been a stumbling block for me. A point I cannot concede to a God that is supposed to be Love and Compassion. How is it that a God that is supposed to be Love would also create something designed to trip me up. A construct that the very nature of it’s substance causes me to be, literally, damned for all eternity?
In the past few weeks I’ve been undertaking treatment for Lyme Disease. My doctor has been very helpful in identifying that I have lyme disease and the appropriate treatment regiment. One evening as I was recovering from the days treatment and pondering life, I was struck by an epiphany. What if Sin was more like Lyme and less like a collection of scarlet letters? What if God was more like my Doctor and less like Judge Judy?
Let me explain. If sin is a created substance than my original concern with God holds up. But what if sin is more like disease? What if sin, instead of being a created substance was merely a description of the absence of spiritual health? Then, God, being more like my doctor, would be the compassionate healer that wants to help cure me of this spiritual disease. Instead of God being the sadistic judge that creates a legal snare and then catches me up in it and judges me for my failure.
I can’t say which is truth, but being able to identify a world model in which sin is something to get help for, as opposed to a tool of manipulation, is comforting. Seeing a God that wants to heal you as opposed to a God that wants to condemn you is a powerful change.
I still have many challenges I’m working through when it comes to the Christian bible and the stories I was brought up on. But it is comforting to me to find a God, behind the layers of inconsistencies I was taught, that may resemble the God of Love that I’ve heard so much about. My journey continues and my path is burgeoning with growth opportunities. But as I travel I wanted to share my epiphanies with you. I hope it helps in your path today.