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WHY is it a SIN if I don’t HURT OTHERS?

November 29, 2022

In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit one God Amen

We often ask why is such an action a sin? Specially if I am not hurting anyone. Why is masturbation a sin? Why is fornication a sin if I have the other person’s consent? What if I judge someone but he doesn’t know about it? Or talking behind his back? Why are those sins? The underlying assumption of this line of thought is that Christianity is a set of rules designed not to hurt others. It is merely a religious set of morality like any other but since I am a Christian this one is ‘truer’ than others. Of course as Christians we never want to hurt others, that’s a given. However, this is not the essence of Christianity. Christianity is so much more. The short answer to why these actions are considered sin is because you are, not only hurting yourself, but destroying yourself. And destroying God’s image in the process. God is the Creator and the only true Source of Life. He created the universe and everything in it—including us humans. The only way to have life is in Him. When one disconnects from this Source of Life, the inescapable ramification is death—physical death, moral death and more importantly spiritual death. We cannot have life apart from God. God’s commandments are not given to us as a means of judgment, although we will be judged. They are designed to keep us united to Him that we may have life. God is the Truth so lying is a sin. Lying is something outside of God and therefore it leads to death as it disconnects me from Him. Judging is a sin as it is lack of love. And God is the Source of love. Judging also stems from pride, while God is the Source of humility. Sin is something in opposition to God. Therefore, sin kills and corrupts me. In that light, God’s commandments are not chosen haphazardly, but are directly related to WHO HE IS. These laws are based on God’s ontological characteristics. And they are put into place to keep me in Him so that He may give me Life. The one and only Source of Life simply wants to share with me His Life. And I can’t have it in any other way. 

 

In Scripture, God has clearly revealed to us that we are created in His image. And we are designed to be like Him—to grow in His likeness. Sin deforms that image. So when I sin, the image of God within me is deformed and therefore I disconnect from God and ultimately die. Let me simplify it with an example. This is Christ who creates us. This is us prior to creation. We are created in the image of God so we look like Him. We have the same characteristics. When we are in this state, we are able to unite with Him to commune with Him. We can be in fellowship with the Holy Trinity in Christ Jesus. When I sin, regardless if I hurt others or not, the image of God within me is deformed and my soul starts looking like this. It is impossible to connect to God while being in this condition. This lack of unity is what is commonly called the wrath of God. It is a bad and painful state to be in. It is a state of spiritual death to varying degrees. If you notice, God never changed throughout all of this. It is us that change. So masturbation, fornication, judging or gossiping and so on all lead to the corruption of this image. And that is precisely why we have the mysteries. The mysteries are mainly given for the remission of sins. Meaning, to bring us back to our original state. We are recreated or healed and can therefore reunite with Our Savior. It is then that we experience all of His characteristics flowing in us. All the virtues: love, humility, meekness, heavenly joy and so on. And this is the beginning of real life when one starts his or her Christian transformation process. This is when, on a personal level, Christianity becomes real. It is no more mere theory but a spiritually-tangible genuine life in God. This is when you don’t need anyone to speak to you about the beauty of God. Now, you personally know Him. And this is only the beginning of the journey, as St. Paul says: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 

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