The Seven Deadly Sins need to go

Forget about the Collect for the Twenty First Sunday After Trinity. It is entirely out of step with the spirit of the age. The traditional sins—especially the seven deadly ones, namely pride, envy, gluttony, sloth, et al.—are as outmoded as last summer’s beach wear. They have been replaced with two new and all-embracing sins against which the whole ancient pantheon of sin pales into insignificance.

The new deadly sins are known as “judgementalism” and “negativism.” Be warned! These two sins are worse than anything that we have yet encountered.

Apparently, practitioners of “negativism” and “judgementalism” can end up in a whole heap of trouble. Who knows, they might, even with no Miranda Rights, be running the risk of being expelled from their health clubs and having the cup holders in their SUVs confiscated.

For those antediluvians who have failed to keep up with “new wave” theology, I’ll do my best to explain how these new sins work:

“Judgementalism” is probably best described as a predisposition towards “negativism.” And “negativism” seems to be, basically, a predilection to be critical about the human race.

“Negativism” is frequently committed in sermons and parish newsletters, but it can also creep into casual conversations at home around the dinner table and, at work, around the water cooler.

Actually, if the new theology is right, The Bible can no longer be regarded as “the good book” at all. Indeed—in light of these newly-discovered sins—it would be more appropriate to call it “The Very Bad Book.”

Take a look at it, and you’ll see that it claims God doesn’t have a very high opinion of the human race. Quite the opposite, in fact. He seems to think that humans can be pretty horrible. By the end of the third Chapter of Genesis, he has kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden—no Miranda warnings, no second chances, no probation reports, no pleas in mitigation.

God, for example, zaps the entire world except Noah, simply because people don’t want to play the game his way. And, what’s more, things don’t get any better after the flood. The Ten Commandments are pure “judgementalism” and “negativism.” All but two of them are “thou shalt nots.” And the two “thou shalts” require people to honor their parents and keep the Sabbath day holy—which is not only no fun at all, but there’s not the slightest pretense of democracy about it. The New Testament is more of the same.

Now clearly there are fogies (old and young ) who don’t go along with this new theology. They say that God created the world and, thus, he knows much more about it than we do. They explain that the Bible tells us about terrible things that happened to the Children of Israel in order to help us avoid similar pitfalls.

And they point out that Christ’s teachings are intended to help us not only to live happy, hopeful, and fruitful lives, but, ultimately, to enable us to attain life eternal.

The bad news is that, being human, even the best of us will stray from the straight and narrow path from time to time. Sometimes, we will do some truly awful things that put our whole relationship with God in jeopardy of his judgment.

The good news, however, is that the Bible tells us that we can get back in to God’s good graces—simply by confessing what we have done and asking Jesus, to intercede on our behalf. And in order to facilitate this exchange, Jesus established his Church.

Like or lump it, the Church needs to be just a tad “judgmental” in order to do its job properly. After all, if the church doesn’t identify what is sinful and why, folks will have to figure things out on their own.

While, at first glance, this might not seem such a bad idea, history shows that, over the years, it has gotten us in a whole heap of trouble. Just look at Adam and Eve. GPH✠

1 comment to The Seven Deadly Sins need to go

  • Gail Ehrhardt

    Wish I could have been there in person to hear your sermon. Your phone call meant so much. I’m praying for your Charlotte to find comfort and peace. God bless