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Sin?

Some of the ideas we hold as ‘truths’ in judaeo-Christian traditions were very radical ideas when they were advanced.  
For instance when Amos took up the plight of the poor and disenfranchised (who at the time were seen as cursed by Yahweh), he was very unpopular with the ecclesiastical authorities and the people of him time. 
In fact, Jesus’ continuous mingling with ‘sinners’ was the chief reason why he was unpopular with groups like the Pharisees, eventually, leading to his death. In a strange way affirming that he died for ‘the sins of the world’.
I say this to note that what we term as ‘sin’ today have not always been absolutes. A case in point, the writer of Ruth vindicated Boaz for accepting Ruth (a Moabite) in marriage, in what can also be best described as a polygamous relationship. In similar vein Jesus challenged ‘sacred’ concepts like: fasting, giving, sabbath, and even Temple worship. 
Friends, we miss the mark if we don’t realise that Christianity and her older cousin Judaism has always been about people – especially those at the fringes of society. It’s about the bringing together of ALL, even the lost. It’s about creating ‘One New Man’.

Therefore, if people are hurting, we ought to be listening. If they are left behind, we should be reaching out. If they are tired, we should be reviving.
It’s also noteworthy to stress that most of what we refer to as the Old Testament was written retrospectively as part of nation building after The Exile.

As such, the Hebrew cannon (the Old Testament) consists of oral, administrative and historical documents that were edited and crystallised with a political vision of keeping the people and their culture together. A project which I believe Africa can learn from.

Perhaps, also important is the fact that the Christian notion of sin emerged from these Old Testament texts, and the prevailing view of the time. Hence we should be very wary when the shadows of these texts are cast on us today.
We need to build on the foundations laid by Christ: love towards God, through our love towards humanity, especially the ostracised. Even at the cost of our very lives. 

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The Problem of Evil: Sin or Injustice?

Sin moves the responsibility of evil away from us to the devil, thereby making it a spiritual problem, as such, the anecdote becomes prayers. 

However, the term injustice makes the case for a moral and ethical problem, leaving us with opportunities for reflection, with a view to change our perspective (repent if you like), thereby being at peace with God and humanity. 

The latter makes us agents and instruments of change, bringing God’s decrees into every facet of society. It makes us Good Samaritans, not priests or Levites. 

  • Clement Akran
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Spiritual Intelligence: The Gathering

He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people: “Gather My saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge. Selah

This prophetic psalm highlights God’s position as the judge of all. This call is for the saints (those that have made a covenant by sacrifice). This call is for the called out ones; it’s a call for the church.

Good morning friends. In the Old Testament’s legal system, in order for the death sentence to be passed, their needs to be two or three witnesses. The patriarch emphatically declared in his written work:

he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

Physical death is only cessation of our body; our spirit continues existence in sleep mode until the day of judgement. While alive, we can also experience spiritual death through sin and rebellion against God; this affects the harmony between our spirit and God’s, until the process of realignment through repentance. To strengthen this argument, Paul writes to friends in Rome:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This principle of witness or testimony is embedded all through scriptures, affirming God’s edicts, decrees, verdict and judgement on the affairs of humankind. This also strengthens the authenticity of biblical texts, and its prophetic credentials. So, in line with this principle, let’s look at two New Testament testimonies or perhaps witness statement.

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth in the spirit of fatherhood, amidst a culture of sin and rebellion:

This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare

And Peter also made this profound statement to friends in Jerusalem, indicating that the time is upon us:

For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

The call is upon us dear friends, Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”. The call for the gathering of the saints for judgement; for without judgement, there will be no rewards or punishment.

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~ Sabali