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Don’t Name a Sin what is No Sin

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An insight by Martin Luther seems very important again to me. If you call something a sin when it is no sin, then you murder people’s consciences. You allow real sins to rampage. One naive person from the Roman Catholic faith said she could never give confession to me, a married Lutheran pastor, because she knew I had sex. I said that was no sin. She said, “What do you think the apple in the Garden of Eden stood for?” But it was Adam and Eve’s disobedience that entailed the sin, not their sexuality. Having sex can be holy or sinful. It is church legislation that forbids clergy marriage and would there was a supreme court to rule that human law inhumane. Eating meat on Fridays was considered a mortal sin in our old Massachusetts neighborhood, while racism, prejudice, and bigotry was allowed to go rampant.

An analogy about incompetent and frustrated police comes to mind. They have been known to plant evidence on an innocent man to get a conviction and declare someone guilty. In that way the harmless innocent man languishes in jail as the real criminal continues unabated in crime. That just puts personal and institutional flesh on the problem of naming sin something that is no sin.

I wrote a sermon on the topic last year. See  Don’t Name a Sin What is not Sin

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Written by peterkrey

October 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm

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