Thursday, August 20, 2015

In the wake of the Ashley Madison website hack and posting of customer information, I imagine we're going to see lots of expose', embarrassment, excuses, muck-raking, finger-pointing, damage control, gossip, ruination and schadenfreude. What a wonderful opportunity this presents for Christians to demonstrate grace, compassion, self-control and the kind of love that "covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8). As Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." A pastor that I used to sit under liked to say that "sin makes you stupid." I don't entirely agree. I think sin itself is, in essence, poor judgment. Sin (the Greek word is "hamartia" which literally means "missing the mark") is not a congenital condition resulting from Adam and Eve eating forbidden fruit, but simply choices we make that are misguided (or, as the Buddhists would say, are not skillful); in other words, are not aligned with God's intent for goodness, beauty and shalom. None of us are immune from missing the mark, sometimes spectacularly so. Additionally, sin can become systemic and institutional--making it very difficult to extricate ourselves from association and complicity on some level--despite our best efforts (one example of this would be the pervasive myth of redemptive violence that we all imbibe). Without denying the destructive nature of sin, can we extend grace and empathy--as we hope would be extended to us?



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