Is Sin Guiding the Christians? By Fr. Anand Muttungal
02 Apr 2010
In the beginning of the Lenten Season I happened to talk a good friend of mine in a metro city. It was Ash Wednesday so we began talking with the special rituals of the day. He told me that he and his wife attended the special prayer services but his son chose to remain at home. He pointed that hearing so much about sin my son feels very upset and frightened that he does not like to attend the special service to hear more about sin and its reincarnation into daily life. This inspired me to talk to my friends across the country.
I began to reflect on the concept of sin in the Gospel. Lord Jesus in His message said, “the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the Gospel.” It meant that all those who have worked against their own conscience must come back to the teaching of Love. It also meant a journey from seeking self-glory to fundamental principle of love. The basic teaching of Jesus was building up a person to live up to his / her conscience. It was a principle of life based on truth and other oriented.
Christians over the centuries meditated upon the concept of sin. These meditations lead to emergence of a new spirituality based on fear of God. A fear of punishment in the life after death has swept over the community. The basic organizational aspects of the church too became a matter enlisted in the category of sin. For instance, non-participation in the Sunday Holy Eucharist is considered a sin. All most all the Christian prayers and other rituals have repeated stress on sin. The sermons in the Churches gave new interpretations to sin. The one who made people to realize sin more deeply became best preacher. Mean while the hardcore Charismatic preachers specialized them-selves in making people feel that they are born sinners.
The scientific developments and latest liberal interpretations of the Holy Gospel slowly reduced the fear among people about sin. It also resulted in priests loosing their grip over the people with the belief that they have special power to forgive sin. Their effort to bring back people to sin based spirituality has failed. The result is seen in the fall of vocations, empty seminaries, convents and Churches. People also realized that preaching always on “the sin” has also affected the preachers and dedicated persons to loos sense of sin. They have lost sense of punishment and respect for each other. It is a symptom that such persons called to be with highest spiritual blessings encage in speaking ill of each other, encaging in destructive criticisms, spreading bad odour rumours and at times sharing low standard jokes.
Lord Jesus invited people to come back to the positive energy within them. The repentance was noting but falling back to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit within. There is a creative energy in every person and repentance is the realization of this rejuvenative power within. This positive energy can be defined as the earnest eagerness to do right activities to the point of death, do justice, keep oneself away from malice against one another, extend help to grow the weak, exercise power to build oneself and the society at large, to face crisis, to own up responsibility of a fall out and above all the highest wisdom to know the differences in choosing them.
If life to be raised close to the divine then there is no way other than journeying towards the positive divine energy within us. Making aware of the unfathomable positive energy depends on teachers of religion, parents, teachers and elders by telling how to do the most common things in an uncommon way. We need to give more stress on what to do rather than what not to do. The positive energy is the divine power that motivates every one to grow. Let that energy may engulf us Oh Lord !