We All Have Sinned

We humans have a tendency to justify or rationalize the poor choices we have made.  But we all have sinned.  We may even convince ourselves that we are better than criminals or others who have sinned more.  But, unfortunately, we are not better.  We all have sinned equally.

One of my favorite stories is about an older man who approached a younger woman and propositioned her to have sex with him.  She immediately turned toward him down and in an offended voice asked, “What kind of woman do you think I am?”  The old man then asked her if she would have sex for a million dollars.  She turned toward him with a smile and said, “Well, of course I will.”  The old gentleman stroked his white stubble and said, “Well, now we know what kind of woman you are.  All we need to do is to negotiate the price.”

We may go through life without killing somebody, but we should not congratulate ourselves and think that we are better than those who have committed murders.  Just like the lady who believed she wasn’t a prostitute, we may think that we are not murderers.  But under different conditions, such as war or revolution or starvation, who knows what we would do.  Would you kill your neighbor who during a depression was trying to steal your last loaf of bread?  Or would you kill a stranger who was trying to shoot your spouse?

Never say never.  We are all capable to killing and, for that matter, committing any number of sins.  We are all sinners and are capable of committing any and all sins.  We should not delude ourselves by comparing ourselves to others who have committed more sins.  We are no better than any of the criminals given life sentences for their acts of depravity.  And it serves no purpose to weigh sins.  Your sin is just as heavy as those of others.  And for those of you who are proud that you have never committed a sin may have the worst sin to deal with:  pride.

I remember a discussion about ten years ago when a church member announced that he believed that it was not fair for a murderer to repent his sin one minute before execution for his crime.  He thought that the murderer should be treated differently than him in the presence of God.

Quite frankly, I don’t know how the Creator will provide consequences for our sins, but I do believe that He will look on us more favorably if we don’t spend our time judging others and simply accept the fact that we are sinners.  Just like Jesus said, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

I also believe that for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  In other words, I believe there are consequences for our sins.  There may be consequences for our sins if they violate the laws of society.  Or we may provide consequences to ourselves if we feel guilty about what we have done.

But the potential for the most devastating consequences are out of sight and sometimes out of mind.  In a closed universe where matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed, there is a strong possibility that we will still be thinking after we die.  And for those of you who wanted to live forever, think again… and again… and again… in fact, think forever.  And without your senses to entertain you, you might indeed be in Hell.

But let’s be positive.  I am positive that we all have sinned.  I am positive that there will be consequences.  I am positive that we can prepare for the consequences, whatever they might be.  I am positive that if I repent of my sins and let God enter me and be a part of me, I will have an ally and guide through Hell.  Without Him, I will be lost in the chaos of Hell.

 

May the Faith Be with You

One phrase in the Star Wars movies has resonated with many viewers and is perhaps the seminal phrase engendering the spirit of the series:  “May the force be with you.”  The phrase originated in “Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope” and has been a popular line used in those movies since then.

The force was an unseen power that Jedi Knights had over the Dark Side.  And it was a power that you had to allow inside you, trusting it so that it became part of you.  Instead of relying on your own powers, you let the force become intertwined within you, creating a new you.

It is interesting when we substitute faith for force.  “May the faith be with you.”  It carries the same significance.  Faith is an unseen power that you have over the evil within the world.  It is a power that you allow inside you, trusting it to be part of you.  Instead of relying on your own powers, you let faith become intertwined within you, creating a new you.

This simple substitution, however, does not have the same impact on individuals as do the Hollywood movies.  Very little has been written about Star Wars as having a religious foundation.  The majority of people enjoy the cinematic tour of life through the imagination of screenwriters, but they are less interested in the mundane life required by religious beliefs.  The “force” is exciting, but “faith” is not.

People may believe that they are more in control when they connect with the “force,” but think that they are giving up their powers and independence when they find a nexus with “faith.”  This is not true.  In reality, the two are interchangeable.

It does not matter what you call this inner power.  You can label it as “dark energy” or “quantum mechanics” or “Higgs boson.”  It simply does not matter.  The power, whatever it is, must be embraced by your inner being.  You must humbly turn over the controls to this power just like Luke Skywalker did in Star Wars.  Unfortunately, you will not have Yoda to assist you in this training, but you need to learn to be one with this force before you die.

Even though it is important to follow a moral code and lead a good life, the Dark Side will offer no consequences for your failures or poor decisions during life.  The unification with faith or whatever you call the force within our universe must occur in advance of death so that you can fight the opposing forces on the other side.  If you die and there are no opposing forces or consequences awaiting you, then that will be the most wonderful thing that could possibly happen to you.

But since our recycling universe is most likely a closed system, your thinking will probably continue into eternity with consequences on the other side awaiting.  Your only chance is if the faith or force is with you.  You must be one with the Creator in order to survive the chaos.

I look forward to the afterlife.  There are so many unknowns in the universe that it would be a fantastic journey for eternity.  All the diversity in the universe would take eons to explore.  I am eager to travel this path with God inside me.  May the faith be with us.

Kierkegaard Got It Right

Soren Kierkegaard, sometimes called “the Father of Existentialism,” was a philosopher who attempted to appeal to both secular and religious readers.  Kierkegaard was the only philosopher who got it right.

Born on May 5, 1813, in Copenhagen, Denmark, Kierkegaard was never politically correct.  He typically was not sensitive to others.  He was not liked by Scandinavians or, for that matter, by anybody else.  He believed in God, but Catholics, Protestants, and other believers turned against him.  He was an existentialist, but other existentialist philosophers spurned his writings.  Yet, Kierkegaard got it right.

It is like the story of a judge who made a ruling that neither the plaintiff nor the defendant liked.  The judge smiled and said, “Well, since nobody likes my ruling, that means I made the right decision.”

Kierkegaard champions our individual freedom in making choices over the religious or secular establishment’s restrictions on your decisions.  Your unification with God will not be assisted by a priest or minister or policeman or government employee.  It will be a one-on-one meeting of the minds.  You will become one with God only within yourself.

Your attendance at church and your giving to the church will carry no value into the afterlife.  You will carry nothing on this journey of death except what is within you.  And according to Kierkegaard, God must be your guide on this road, otherwise you will be lost.

Kierkegaard had two primary steps.  First, know yourself.  If you know yourself, you will be a strong individual who can resist the temptations of life.  Second, know God.  Only God has experienced everything and can assist you through the chaos of the afterlife.

It is important to know yourself inwardly and subjectively.  Know your weaknesses.  Pride must become humility.  Be independent, but humble in your individualism.  The highest goal in subjective ethics is to be humble.

Then let God inside your subjective self, thus allowing an objective spirit to enter your body.  This creates the synergy of subjective and objective reasoning.  The combination of a priori and a posteriori makes for perfection.

Once you let God enter your soul, your independent spirit will be lifted up to new heights.  This combination completes the person.  God’s objective, empirical knowledge is the final piece that finishes the jig-saw puzzle.  The highest goal in objective ethics is to become one with God.

Subjective consequences for your poor choices in life will be handed out by your conscience, but objective consequences will be administered by your Creator.