Making sense of it all (part 5)

Now's a good enough place to examine what is meant by 'sin'.

An old-fashioned word, it is one that is rarely used outside of synagogues and churches, except when used ironically, as in film sub-titles ('he had committed the ultimate sin - now the world was to wreak its vengeance!')

We tend to use other words, trendier and more acceptable, to convey the same meaning. We use the words, offence, or error, or misdeed, or peccadillo, or vice or wrongdoing. But, when we've gone against God's law, whether it's one of the 613 commandments that make up the Torah of Moses, or the list of misdemeanours from the teachings of Jesus, a sin it is, a sin against God.

We all sin, whether we are stealing a pen from the office or committing an unspeakable atrocity. But 'none of us are perfect', you may mutter. That is perhaps the truest thing you've ever said. We've all committed sins, however perfect we may think we are.

The problem is that .... God hates sin! God hates grand larceny and petty pilfering, he hates evil dictatorships and classroom bullying, he hates white lies, green ones, even pretty purple ones.

In Old Testament times God showed us how to say that we're sorry for these sins. That was the point of the sacrificial system. It provided atonement for one's sins, as mentioned earlier. But what of today? We don't offer sacrifices any more. Does that mean God goes around angry and frustrated, his righteous anger unsatisfied? No ... not necessarily. We will examine this situation a little later.