A New View of Christ . . .and Sin
On Easter Sunday I took my fiance, a traditional Christian, to the Center for Spiritual Living (Science of Mind) church to hear the minister’s Easter sermon. Reverend Jackie is a gifted speaker and he was enjoying the sermon until she said, “We don’t believe in sin!” He looked at me with astonishment as his eyes widened, as if to say, “Did I really hear what I thought I heard!”
I grinned and said, “We’ll talk after church.”
The next logical step in her talk then was that . . . if there is no sin, why did Jesus die on the cross? She went on to explain that the purpose of his death was to teach us about the resurrection, to teach us that there is no death of the “real” us. Yet, too often, traditional Christianity focuses, particularly on Easter Sunday on Jesus’s horrible death on the cross. What message does that give to His followers? Since they are taught to be like Jesus? Doesn’t that give the subconscious message that it is spiritual to be a victim? Jesus was! That was not Jesus’s message. Jesus did not want us to focus on his death and deduct that . . . if we are to be like him, we need to be a victim . . . that it is spiritual to be a victim! The problem with this is, a victim has no power. There is nowhere that Jesus teaches us to be a victim. His teachings are just the opposite. He wants us to know how powerful we are. For example in John 14:12,
he tells his disciples that they would do even greater things than they saw him do.
“ . . .HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO; AND GREATER WORKS shall he do . . .
Do you think a victim can do greater things than Jesus did?
So back to the main point Reverend Jackie made . . . don’t focus on His death, focus on His resurrection and figure out how we can use the idea to become more like Jesus. Try this. Symbolically we can resurrect ourselves from victimhood . . . let the old victim part of us die and become victorious over any adversity, as Christ did. That is an Easter message that we can use to improve our lives. If Christ became Christ by overcoming all things, doesn’t that inspire us to be powerful and overcome. We are told in Romans 12:2 how we begin to become powerful, (or how to discover our real power).
“ . . . BE NOT CONFORMED TO THE WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND”.
This means we must erase the old victim tapes that have been running your life, put there by well meaning by misinformed people, and renew your mind—think victor, not victim.
You must admit that makes a lot of sense. But . . . this idea of no sin . . . that is too big to swallow. So my fiancé and I talked about that in detail as well. Most people don’t even know what the original meaning of sin was. It is an archery term that means you missed the mark. You made a mistake when you aimed and missed the target. So what do you do if you miss the target. You keep practicing. You don’t need to beat yourself up, or endure shunning, you simply need to keep practicing until you get it right. The reason SOM doesn’t believe in sin is because of the connotation some members of traditional Christianity have given sin . . . that anyone who has made a mistake is terrible and less than. The problem with the standard view of sin is that it creates enormous guilt in the one who has not gotten it quite right . . . the one who has missed the mark. The trouble with guilt is, according to Spiritual Psychiatrist, Dr. David Hawkins, is that guilt is a state of mind that separates us from God and the very spiritual help we need to “get it right”
Is it not much more healthy to then eliminate the sin word that has such negative connotations, creates guilt and keeps people from getting the spiritual help they need to get their lives in order? Why not redefine error and say, I aimed wrongly, I need to keep practicing until I get it right. I need to change the way I think about things for thoughts create feelings, feelings create action and action creates results. So if you want to fix an error, where do you focus? Certainly not on the result (the error) You focus on the thought that created the error. Practice getting the thoughts right and everything else will fall into place.
After discussing these things, I asked my fiance what he thought about my reasoning. Much to his credit he said, "It makes a lot of sense". He recognized that judging others and calling them sinners seperates us as people and vilolates oe of Jesus's wishes for us. Jesus said he would that we would be one as he and the father are one. He recognized that it is also psychologically sound. That it is a way to avoid the depression created by self judgment, or judgment by others. In short, he could see that this way of thinking works. It unites people and creates joy. Man is that he might have joy.
Here is some advice. Try looking at Easter differently. Try eliminating the word sin and remember what the term means. If someone calls you a “sinner” erase the word and focus on its meaning and say to yourself, “I missed the mark and need to keep practicing until I get it right” which helps you remember that the word sin is simply an archery term which does simply mean . . . you missed the mark . . . which does simply call for practice and nothing more . . . except, perhaps, some psychological and/or spiritual support. Then remember Jesus wants you to be victorious over all things, and you can with . . . practice.