A couple of days ago I read an idea that struck me with flashes of new- to- me thoughts.
Basically, the idea is that pagans did not have the concept of "sin." It was the Jews and Christians who brought the idea of sin into the mind of humanity. It was the high ethics that drew God-fearers of the Greek world to attend synagogue, even though most did not actually convert and take on all of the practises such as eating Kosher. It was the loving kindness of early Christians and their congruent lives that helped draw new members.
The idea emerged that God has certain expectations of us, and, when we don't meet them, we sin. We have to change, turn back to God and God's ways. God's ways lead to an upright life of love, integrity, generosity, kindness, honesty, etc. Our behavior then is far more important than a positive civic life, for our choices matter to God and therefore have eternal ramifications.
As I look upon our current world, the decline of churches, increasing violence, crazy political theater, porn stars defended, babies murdered in the millions, tensions based on nonsense and on and on, I think paganism. It looks like people no longer believe God cares what one does, so nothing is a sin.
I hear the words "post Christian world" even at church gatherings. Perhaps we are therefore in a "post sin world" where anything goes. Perhaps we are reverting to paganism, back to the bad old days.
I am afraid for us. I am afraid, however, only if we don't turn around, back to God, to knowing what we do matters at a cosmic level. Dear friends who read this, contemplate with me the turning to God away from paganism. Ask God to inspire you with ideas that can spread and lift and heal these agonizing and lost times.
It really does matter.