Sinning is Just Missing the Mark: A New Perspective on Religion and Sinning
Almost two years ago, I commented on an article here talking about suicide, and one of the sentences I highlighted (and thus responded to) is this-
If suicide is a sin, God is an asshole
My response was this: Why would suicide be a sin? What kind of God would punish someone for ending their misery, thus making their misery even worse? Isn’t God supposed to be a forgiving person?
I didn’t think much of it and went on with other topics…that was, until just a few days ago when someone responded to me. That person claimed that part of the trouble is with our current understanding of the word “sin”. A sin, by our current definition, is an act against God. When we sin, God gets angry and punishes us…or so we think.
In actuality, God is understanding and forgiving because that is who God is supposed to be. He is there to help us while respecting our free will. Much like sin, light does not punish darkness but is rather the opposite of it.
So, what is the real definition of sin? What does sinning mean if we’ve been getting the definition wrong this entire time?
Well, a short while later, the person who originally responded to me published an article on here, where they claimed that, according to the understanding of Original Christianity — Divinely Revealed Truth, sinning is just “missing the mark”. When we miss the mark, or sin, God doesn’t get angry and punish us, but that doesn’t mean sin is our friend. He is still there to love us and guide us towards the light . God’s love is everlasting and never moves, much like the mark we would hit with an arrow. Much like an archer, the missed mark does not punish us. We just have to keep practicing the reach that mark.
I must admit, I had never thought about religion and sin in that mindset before because, when I went to church as a kid, sin was taught as an act that God will punish us for if we commit it. Thou shall not lie, thou shall not kill, etc. When I was a little kid, I was taught that I would go to Hell if I had violated one of the Ten Commandments. Have I been getting this wrong the entire time?
I’ve been taught that God has nothing but everlasting love and forgiveness for us, so it wouldn’t make sense for Him to damn us to Hell for our actions, especially if we’ve repented since then. Let’s go back to that quote I used from someone else earlier.
If suicide is a sin, God is an asshole
Why would an everlasting loving and forgiving God send us to Hell for ending our pain? That just doesn’t make any sense to me. If we’re so miserable to the point of killing ourselves to end the pain, then why would God make us suffer even more pain? That’s not something God should do, and I don’t think that’s something God would do.
This may sound stupid in hindsight and may not have much to do with what I’ve been talking about, but the thought of an everlasting loving and forgiving God might be the reason as to why so many prisoners convert to different religions while incarcerated. Murders, rapists, abusers — some of the worst people imaginable turning to God despite their abhorrent actions. Do these people feel genuine remorse for their actions, or do they already know that God is willing to forgive them no matter what?
In prison, there aren’t many books you can keep by your bedside except maybe a Bible or a Koran. There also aren’t many activities you can do, so maybe reading that Bible or Koran could be as to why so many prisoners turn to God. Either that, or prison conditions aren’t ideal, so they turn to God as a resource of hope and forgiveness.
I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve had a complicated relationship with religion for the longest time, and I’m still not too sure if I do believe in a God or not. But what I do know is that God, in His truest form, is filled with nothing but everlasting love and forgiveness. What we’ve been told all our life is sin may not actually be sin after all. Sins aren’t actions that God will punish us for; sins are just us missing the mark. And when we miss the mark, we just have to repent and try harder the next time. After all, God will forgive us and love us no matter what.