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Thursday, July 24, 2014
“No one does anything wrong, given their model of the world.” I once read this in the “Conversation with God” book series. Boy, that is something to chomp on, isn’t it? This to me is basically saying that there’s no such thing as “wrong” in God’s eyes. Nobody is wrong. It’s just how one sees the world.

I grew up thinking I had done something wrong, which turned into I was wrong. This is not a good thing. Fortunately, as a grown up, one realizes there is not anything truly spiritual about thinking you are wrong. This is what got to me about growing up being told I was a sinner. What is spiritual about that? It gave me a bit of a complex; I already felt different and that I did wrong, I did not need God to tell me there was something wrong with me. I needed God to support me. Telling me I was a sinner did not support me.

This was brought back to my mind as I have been hearing in the news lately about this group that’s been in Portland lately whose purpose is to teach children about Christianity. It’s called the Child Evangelism Fellowship. The Vice President is quoted in the Associated Press as defending their organization’s tactics by saying "We do teach that children are sinners, but we're not nasty about it," (Moises) Esteves said.

Now I realize there are other theological concepts they are talking to children about, including the love of God. But what I’m afraid happens is all the child hears (and they cater to children as young as 5) is that they are sinners. To a child’s mind that can be associated with being bad. To a sensitive heart, it’s carried around. This does not go away, even when preached with the love of God.

Sin in all its definitions and colloquial language can feel heavy and value laden. If I did not mention it before, I will say it again. The original meaning of sin in Hebrew, where it first pops up, means “to miss the mark.” It does not associate with human depravity.  It merely means we can make a decision that does not serve us or the people around us. AND, we can try again. To me, being told you’re a sinner is a mark that you can’t erase. There will always be something less than about you—and no kid needs to hear that. Thank goodness we are a denomination that doesn’t go around talking about how sinful we are. We get to try again.



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Kairos-Milwaukie UCC Blog

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary by Rev. Rick Skidmore and Rev. Jim Ogden.

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