A Guide to Christian Theology - Lesson 31

Consequences of the Fall

You will gain knowledge and insight into the nature, marks, purpose, structure, and sacraments of the Church. You will learn about the different biblical terminologies and theological definitions used to define the Church, its historical development, and the attempts made to identify the marks of the Church. You will also discover the different views on the structure of the Church, such as congregational, episcopal, and Presbyterian polity. The lesson will also teach you about the importance of worship, prayer, fellowship, discipleship, evangelism, and mission. You will also learn about the definition, historical development, theological views, and meaning of the sacraments, specifically baptism and the Lord's Supper.

Gerry Breshears
A Guide to Christian Theology
Lesson 31
Watching Now
Consequences of the Fall

I. Understanding Sin from Different Perspectives

A. The Fundamental Idea of Sin

B. Various Aspects of Sin

C. The Spiral Downward in Genesis

II. Consequences of the Fall

A. Guilt as a Consequence of Sin

B. The Concept of Shame

C. The Idea of Being Defiled

D. Fear and the Power/Fear Dimension

E. The Lostness Dimension - Belonging and Being Lost

F. Chaos and Shalom/Chaos

G. Hope and Despair as Dimensions of Sin

III. The Nature of Confession and Cleansing

A. Understanding Confession in a Broader Context

B. Sin Belonging to Me - Confessing Wrong Done to Me

C. Sin Done in My Presence That Defiles Me

IV. The Role of Community in Dealing with Sin

A. Community Confession and Cleansing

B. Avoiding the Repetition of Trauma and Sin

V. A Call for More Honest Approaches to Dealing with Sin

A. Moving Beyond Superficial Responses

B. Recognizing the Importance of Acknowledging Sin's Impact

  • In this lesson, explore the significance of systematic theology, blending academic insight with personal devotion. Learn to interpret biblical texts, understand how theology shapes beliefs, and fortify your faith against deception. This study fosters personal, biblical, and responsible theological growth, vital for spiritual development and discipleship.
  • Learn diverse ways to tackle theological questions, focusing on Holy Spirit baptism. Understand deductive, inductive, and retro-abductive methods. Acts 17:11 and Acts 15 show how community perspectives contribute to nuanced theological discussions, promoting unity amidst differing viewpoints.
  • This lesson provides insights into theological certainty levels, categorizing beliefs into "die for," "divide for," "debate for," and "decide for," highlighting essential doctrines, divisive issues, passionate debates, and less crucial matters, while underscoring the significance of understanding diverse perspectives and theological terms across different Christian tribes.
  • Explore general revelation through creation and conscience (Psalm 19, Romans 1). Responding leads to God, though not salvation alone. Special revelation possible. Diverse salvation views, favoring knowing Jesus. Seared consciences don't always void salvation.
  • Gain deep understanding of special revelation: history, divine acts, and communication revealing God's character and redemptive plan via Messiah. Lesson highlights Bible's key role, conveying God's nature, guidance, and transformative power, emphasizing ongoing divine-human communication.
  • This lesson delves into the concept of divine inspiration in Scripture, citing 2 Timothy 3:15-16 and 2 Peter 1:16-21. It explains "God-breathed" as a term highlighting God's creative influence on words, rejecting mere concepts or dictation. Inspiration involves human authors, their personalities, and styles, conveying God's message to the entire church.
  • In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of God, including their definitions, biblical support, and implications and applications.
  • In this lesson you will gain insight into the Bible's clarity, sufficiency, and authority, and the Canon.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp a deep understanding of God's character. His foremost quality is compassion, like a mother's love. He's gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving, extending favor even to the undeserving. Yet, He's just, not sparing the persistently rebellious. This lesson dispels misconceptions, urging contemplation of God's profound blend of love and justice.
  • This lesson delves into holiness via Isaiah 6, emphasizing dedication over separation from sin. It challenges misconceptions and calls for church reform.
  • This lesson delves into the fundamental characteristics of God, particularly the Trinity, emphasizing God's essential relational nature within Himself and its biblical implications, while also addressing theological controversies and highlighting the complexity of the Trinity.
  • This lesson explores different approaches to knowing God, inspired by Thomas Aquinas, discusses the doctrine of immutability, and highlights how God can change in his attitude and actions based on biblical evidence, emphasizing the value of in-depth Bible study and open dialogue in understanding God's nature.
  • This lesson covers key theological concepts: sovereignty, election, and free will. It explores differences between Calvinist and Wesleyan-Arminian views on God's sovereignty, impacting God's plan and human responsibility. Emphasis on defining terms to prevent disputes. Speaker is a "Calminian," blending Calvinism and Arminianism for a balanced perspective. Valuable insights into theological complexities and scripture interpretation.
  • Exploring various theological views and problematic issues surrounding the concept of providence, we will gain a comprehensive understanding of the role of prayer in providence, as well as the compatibility of God's sovereignty and human responsibility.
  • You will gain knowledge about anthropology and its biblical foundations, creation of human beings and the image of God in humans, fall and sin and their implications on human nature, redemption and sanctification, and human destiny and eschatology, including views on heaven and hell and the return of Christ.
  • This lesson offers valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of providence and its profound implications for our comprehension of God's role in the world.
  • The lesson touches upon various types of suffering, categorizing them into six different types: moral evil (e.g., rape), natural evil (e.g., cancer), persecution, sharing the suffering of another, punishment for sin, and suffering caused by the devil.
  • Learn to discern God's will by cultivating a Christ-like character, living by moral principles, seeking counsel, embracing uniqueness, and praying. It's about aligning with your long-term happiness and godly desires, offering a balanced approach to life decisions.
  • Explore Jesus' nature and incarnation. Learn how He balanced divine and human attributes, challenging traditional views. Reflect on His mission and ours, empowered by the Holy Spirit, bridging divinity and humanity.
  • This lesson delves into the incarnation of Jesus, explaining his dual nature as both God and man during his earthly mission, supported by Old Testament, Gospel, and epistle references. It acknowledges the complexity of his divinity and humanity, even after his ascension.
  • This lesson explores Jesus' dual nature, divine and human, delving into emotions, knowledge, sin, and his role as the Second Adam, offering theological insights.
  • Learn about Jesus' life and mission, challenging traditional beliefs like the virgin birth. Explore his spiritual journey, resurrection, and more, fostering critical thinking and alternative perspectives.
  • This lesson provides a comprehensive examination of atonement, its various dimensions, and the theological concepts surrounding it.
  • Learn about the Holy Spirit, baptism, and its role in Christian faith. Understand diverse perspectives on its workings in believers' lives, emphasizing its incorporation at conversion and empowering influence, supported by biblical insights.
  • Gain insight into the relationship between spirit baptism and conversion, the various terms used in Scripture, and the importance of ongoing fillings with the Holy Spirit for special ministry tasks, character, and as a command for all believers.
  • This lesson explores the role of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. It challenges traditional definitions, proposing that any ability empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in ministry is a spiritual gift. The primary gift is the Holy Spirit himself.
  • Learn about the theological debate on spiritual gifts like prophecy and miracles. Explore four perspectives: cessationism, continuationism, functional cessationism, and word of faith. The instructor, a continuationist, emphasizes discernment and scripture while promoting respectful dialogue among believers with differing views.
  • This lesson explores the Bible's view of humanity, emphasizing humans as God's unique creation, made from dust and breath, in His image. It delves into human origins, our role as covenant partners, and the interaction between spirit and body, supported by biblical passages, offering a holistic perspective on being human in God's eyes.
  • This lesson redefines humans as image-bearers of God, emphasizing the role of reflecting divine attributes in all work, gender equality, and growth in Christ-likeness. It promotes dignity for all, with potential for deeper reflection as faith matures.
  • In this lesson you will explore the origin of sin, rejecting dualism in favor of a Christian perspective where sin arises from the choices of morally responsible creatures. The lesson introduces the idea of a pre-creation rebellion by Satan, emphasizing that humans are called to engage in spiritual warfare by doing good and promoting Shalom in the world.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the nature, marks, purpose, structure, and sacraments of the Church and learn about the different views and definitions used to define it.
  • This lecture discusses the leadership offices of a church, including eldership, deacons, and church members, and how they function according to biblical principles of polity, which prioritize following what the Bible prescribes, closely following what it describes, and using wisdom and being Spirit-led in matters it is silent about, all with the aim of effectively sharing the Gospel and achieving unity and focus.
  • In this lesson, you will explore baptism's significance, modes, and theological perspectives, and learn its role in church membership, unity, discipleship, and spiritual growth.
  • This lesson provides an overview of the historical, biblical, and theological aspects of Communion, including practical considerations for its practice.
  • You will gain a good understanding of death and its theological implications, including the biblical view of death, consequences of death, and resurrection and the afterlife. The lesson covers the definition of death, cultural views, and the portrayal of death in the Old and New Testaments. You will also learn about the physical and spiritual consequences of death, as well as the Bible's teachings on resurrection and the afterlife.
  • From this lesson, you gain insight into the biblical concept of God's Kingdom, its significance in Christian theology, and its impact on eschatology, social justice, and the Church's role.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into eschatology, examine biblical perspectives, explore key events like the Rapture, Tribulation, Millennium, and Final Judgment, and learn the significance of eschatology for today's believers.
  • By studying the eternal state, you gain insights into the new heaven and earth, resurrection, judgment, and eternal life, deepening your understanding of Christian hope and assurance.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into the crucial role of church leaders, their essential qualities, and the challenges they face, while discovering the importance of support and encouragement for their growth and effectiveness in ministry.
  • In this lesson, you gain an understanding of the nature of Scripture and learn to interpret the Bible within its historical, literary, and canonical contexts while addressing challenges in biblical interpretation.
  • This lesson delves into the structure and authority of a church, examining different leadership models and emphasizing the overarching role of scripture as the final authority, while also highlighting the need for congregational involvement in decision-making processes and the unique nature of the apostles in early church leadership.
  • Learn Dr. Breshears' local church leadership principles: focus on equipping, inspiring, empowering, unifying, exemplifying, caring for, overseeing, and shepherding members. Rooted in biblical teachings, emphasizes servant leadership. The lesson discusses congregational decision-making, women in church leadership roles with respect for differing views.
  • Learn about church leadership principles, roles of elders and deacons, active membership, mutual commitment, gift utilization, and clear processes in this comprehensive lesson.
  • This lesson explores sacraments, focusing on baptism and diverse theological views. Baptism signifies a profound commitment to Christ within a believer community, emphasizing understanding and promptness post-conversion.
  • In this lesson, you'll grasp the essence of baptism, its questions, and debates. Discover belief's role, its confession, and the link to repentance and faith. Explore diverse views on baptism performers, methods, and locations. Gain insights and wisdom for informed baptism decisions in your faith community.
  • From this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of Communion, also known as the Lord's Supper or Eucharist. It will provide you with insights into the controversy surrounding its terminology and the theological background of Communion, primarily focusing on 1 Corinthians Chapters 10 and 11. You will learn about various theological perspectives on the real presence of Christ in the Communion elements and explore different viewpoints on the frequency, leadership, eligibility, and practical aspects of Communion. Overall, this lesson will equip you with the knowledge to better understand and participate in the Communion meal.
  • This lesson delves into two ends: individual death and the end of the age. It explores human death, material and immaterial aspects (Ecclesiastes 12:7, Genesis 3), fear, loss of autonomy, cremation, death determination, rewards, and urges preparation to meet Jesus, facing the undeniable reality of death.
  • Learn about the Kingdom of God, its aspects, Christ's return interpretations, and key concepts like inaugurated, Messianic, and millennium kingdoms. Emphasizing humility and mission in theological debates, it prepares you for insightful discussions on Christ's return and tribulation.
  • Learn about Christian views on heaven and hell. Hell is punishment for those who reject Jesus; heaven is eternal bliss with Him on a renewed Earth. Explore differing views respectfully.

Understand the core topics of systematic theology, from what we know about God to the future state of humankind. Special emphasis is given to such topics as Christ, salvation, the church, and the future.

A Guide to Christian Theology
Dr. Gerry Breshears
Consequences of the Fall
Lesson Transcript

Some of that was brand-new, judging from the thing in the room and what I've seen in other places. But the fundamental idea of sin, I think, is not trusting God, and many sins are not rebellion against God. I don't think Eve's sin is rebellion against God. Many sins are just ignoring God, and "I'm going to do it myself."

Now, there's rebellion in many sins, but I think many sins are not trying to yell at God and tell Him to get out of my life. It's simply ignoring God and doing what I want to do. It's betraying the relationship and image of God, the amazing ability and awesome responsibility to make visible the image, the characteristics of God. That's the heart of sin, is when I betray that responsibility, but many times, it's not done in rebellion. I don't think the core of sin is rebelling against the law of God. I think the core of sin is determining for myself what's good, right, true, beautiful, real, and then acting on it. There may well be a rebellious piece of that, but I disagree with the idea that sin is always rebellion against the law of God. I just don't think that's the case.

I think it's rather betraying the responsibility and relationship we have with God, by "Oh," and we didn't even think about betraying God. We're just into our own thing, and Satan's agenda is to get us into our own thing, isolated from God and grace community, and just do my own thing, and he wins at that point.

Now, from that, I want to talk a little bit about some consequences of the fall. Just let me say this on the way. The fall is a first act, but in Genesis 3, it's not a single fall; it's a spiral down, and it keeps going down. You begin with Eve and Adam, and Eve sinned first, but Adam sinned more seriously, I think. But then in Genesis 4, you get Cain killing his brother. Now, we're down a step. At the second half of Genesis 4, you get Lamech. He gets slapped, and he kills the guy. That's down another level. In Genesis 6, you get the entire land, the entire Earth is full of violence, which I think comes from adopting the way of the sons of God there in Genesis 6, these evil beings who are narcissistic and violent, and the people become narcissistic and violent.

God sees the entire land is like that, so He washes it clean, the flood, to do a restart. Keeps one guy who's righteous, blameless, and walks with God, and Noah, end of Chapter 8, gets off the Ark.

The righteous man does an offering to God, the priestly work, and God responds, "Even though the Earth will continue to be violent, I will never again do this punishment."

This is the priest, Noah, interceding with God, offering to God, and God responds by saying, "Even though humans will not change, they'll continue to be violent, I will never again do what I just did."

Then Noah, "Yay!" Noahic covenant. Second half of Chapter 9, Noah is in the tent doing something kinky, and we don't know exactly what it is, but it's bad, and you end up with Canaan getting cursed and there's all kinds of mystery to what happened there.

I'm actually intrigued with the idea that seeing his father's nakedness refers to the fact that the son has sex with Noah's wife and Noah's so drunk that he's somehow either absent or involved, but sees the father's nakedness as an idiom, they've inferred, to seeing his wife's nakedness, which would be to have sex with the wife. Anyway, we don't know exactly what happened. It was bad, whatever it was.

Chapter 10, we get the Table of Nations, you get Nimrod, who's a seriously bad guy, violent, that kind of stuff.

Chapter 11, you have the ultimate arrogance, ultimate arrogance, that people build their own access to Heaven with the tower. They reject decisively the name of God. "We'll make a name for ourself." They reject decisively the canon of God to fill the land. "We'll stay right here."

God says, "This is a mob. It's out of control. We've got to disperse the mob." That's what police officers do with a mob. They disperse it. He disperses it.

I think that Deuteronomy 32 gives us the picture of what happens is he divides the nations up into distinct nations under angels, not under God as their Lord. The spiritual beings. This is Deuteronomy 32 worldview, I think that's talking about Genesis 11. When he disperses them, they come under angels. So Canaan is under Baal and Asherah, spiritual beings, high powerful spiritual beings. Moab is under Chemosh... Sorry. Let's see. Which one? I've got them right here. Moab is under Moloch, Edom is under Chemosh. And you get the various gods, various spiritual beings, and so Canaan is under Baal and Asherah, god of power, god of sex and the people.

Then God chooses Abraham to become a restart, righteous man akin to Noah and through them will come the line of Messiah, a whole bunch of stuff I won't go into here.

But so spiral down and then so one of the consequences of fall is it didn't stop at there. It just keeps going. But what I want to talk in terms of consequence here in Genesis 3, we see guilt coming. And guilt is one of the things that comes out, is "I did wrong things." And that's looking at things from the innocence/guilt perspective. One of my unhappinesses of typical Western theology, you do everything in terms of innocence/guilt. And it's true, but it's not enough because not only innocence/guilt, "God gave a law, I broke it. I'm guilty. Jesus took my guilt so I can receive his forgiveness." Absolutely true, but not complete. Another thing is shame. And shame is "Not only I did wrong, I am wrong." So the honor/shame dimension of sin is getting more press now, and in the honor/shame societies, if you are shameful, we must get rid of you to get rid of our shame.

In the Western world, we don't do honor/shame, we do fame/shame. And when you're shaming me, "You don't not recognize what a wonderful person I am, and you see bad things about me, you're shaming me." That's entirely different concept than honor/shame, which is "I've let my community down and therefore I'm shamed." A different context. Shame in a honor/shame context is a community thing. Fame/shame, ours is an individual thing, but whatever. Honor/shame, "I am wrong." Not "I did wrong" only, but "I am wrong. I'm defective as a person."

There's certainly a place for shame. It's not always toxic, but sometimes it is. So it's a second dimension.

A third dimension is defiled. So in defiled is I am dirty. And if you read your Bible, you notice all kinds of stuff in Scripture about the difference between clean and defiled. And so before you can go into the temple, you must stop in the mikvah and wash, which is washing off the defilement of living in a sin-marred place. And there's all kinds of things you can defile yourself with or be defiled by, and you have to cleanse yourself of that. So clean/defiled is a third dimension.

A fourth dimension is fear, "I will be hurt," and that's the power/fear dimension.

So let me do this again. Make sure you got the fill in the blanks right so far.

Guilt, "I did wrong." Innocence/guilt.

Shame, "I am wrong." Honor/shame.

Defiled, "I am dirty." That's clean/defiled.

Fear, "I will be hurt." That's the power/fear dimension, and if you get into animistic religions, "I'm afraid of the demons, so I've got to make them happy or they'll hurt me." If you're in society, "I've got to make the sheik... keep him happy or he will hurt me." And so fear/power is a real dimension of sin.

For a long time, I just taught those four. And then a police officer, who defined himself as a pastor with a badge and a gun, Tom Pennington, I honor him because he's a really good man. He's no longer a police officer, he's a full-time pastor and a good one.

But Tom said, "Gary, come on."

I said, "Help me, Tom."

"Well, you know I'm a police officer-"

"Yeah, yeah."

"I deal all the time with something you're not even talking about."

"Okay, help me!" I said.

He said, "Gary, I deal all the time with lost boys."

"Oh geez, of course! Son of man has come to seek and save that which is lost." So you've got belong/lost as a dimension of sin. So a fifth dimension is "I'm lost," and that's the belong/loss. So a big piece that Jesus does is bring reconciliation. That's dealing with the belong/loss dimension. Okay, I got five, that's the Pentateuch, that's good.

I was doing a D.Min. Class in the Philippines at International Graduate School of Theology. I've taught there several times and I had these D.Min. guys, it was really fun. We were having a great time, men and women sitting around.

And I said, "You know, I got the Pentateuch, but seven's the perfect number. I'd like to have seven dimensions of sin."

I was kind of laughing and going to go on and they said, ""Well, you've already been talking about another dimension quite a bit already."

I said, "I have?" Like what I've been saying. And what I've been saying I've been talking about the chaos monster. So shalom/chaos, that's a sixth dimension of sin. Shalom is everything ordered as God designed it to be. Chaos is bringing disorder into that. So shalom/chaos is a sixth dimension of sin.

A seventh dimension of sin, it only took me about three seconds to think of a seventh dimension, and that's hope/despair. Hope/despair.

So now I want to talk about dimensions of sin. I have seven dimensions.

Later in that same D.Min. class, the guy said, "Can we go for the apostles? Let's have them do 12."

I said, "No, no."

"Or 10 commandments!"

"Nope. Seven's all I'm going to do."

But I think this is helpful to understand the different dimensions of sin because, we always think in terms of innocence/guilt: "God gave a law, I broke it, I'm guilty. Jesus just took the penalty of my sin so I can receive His forgiveness." And that's all true, but didn't deal with these other kinds of dimensions: the shame: "I am wrong." The defiled: "I'm dirty." The fear: "I'm going to get hurt." The lostness, "I don't belong." "It's chaos around here. There's no order." The despair. All those are dimensions and consequences of sin. And I think to have that dimension, you have to do that.

So we're going to land this plane here. One of the things that comes out of that is 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us for all unrighteousness." Confess means take what's in my heart and bring it out of my mouth. So I confess Jesus is Lord. That's the same word, [foreign language]. Confess means takes what in my heart and bring it out concretely through my mouth.

What is our sin? And I am inclined to think... I'm more inclined to think... I think that our sin is a simple possessive. Our sin is a simple possessive. It's sin that belongs to me. We think of sin exclusively in terms of innocence/guilt: "I have done wrong," so sin done by me.

That's sin for sure, but I'd like to suggest go you a bigger dimension to that. I want to take you back to an Old Testament story, 2 Samuel 13. We all know 2 Samuel 12, when Nathan comes to David and confronts him. You get all the story there, after the Bathsheba stuff.

But the next chapter: "In the course of time, Amnon, son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom, the son of David." So he falls in love with his half-sister and he becomes obsessed with her and Jonadab says, "Well..." and he gives him a thing to do. "Have her make some bread and bring it to you."

So David sends Tamar, "Go make some bread for your brother."

She does. "She took some dough, kneaded it, made bread in his sight and baked it. Took the pan, served him the bread, but he refused to eat."

"'Send everybody out of here.' So everyone left," and we hear the doom notes going.

Verse 10: "Amnon said, 'Tamar, bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand,'" and oh my, the doom notes are going crazy. "Tamar took the bread she'd prepared him and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. And when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, 'Come to bed with me, my sister.' She said, 'No, my brother. Don't force me. Such a thing would not be done in Israel. Do not do this wicked thing. What about me? Where could I get rid of my distress? What about you? You'd be like the wicked fools of Israel. Please speak to the king. He will not keep me from being married to you.' But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. And then he hated her with intense hatred," and throws her out and she complains again and he throws her out anyway.

Now, I want to ask, if you're Amnon and you're confessing, what would you confess? "I powered and raped my sister. That was wrong."

If you're Tamar and confessing, what would you confess? What did she do wrong? Absolutely nothing. She tried to prevent this evil thing, even offered herself in marriage to this snake to prevent what was going on, and he raped her anyway. But see, we have sin is not only done by me, sin is done to me. Confess our sin is sin belonging to me. And Tamar would confess, because she's completely innocent in this process. There's no guilt whatsoever.

But she's been raped and she says, "Where could I get rid of my disgrace? Where could I get rid of my shame?" She has been defiled and shamed by what Amnon did to her.

And what she would do is she would tell God, confess to God, "This is what happened to me."

That's a confession of sin to me. And God offers forgiveness. No forgiveness necessary, but cleansing. And I've done that with varieties of people who have been sinned against.

Now in many cases, I'm in the midst of a situation right now, and the woman in this case who was raped... Well, not raped, but sexually abused, was complicit, if I can use that unhappy word, because she didn't use her voice to say no. And she knows that. And we've already laid it out, and what we'll do is she'll confess to the Father both her guilt for not using her voice and sin done to her by a pastor who powered her and abused her in the name of Jesus, so to speak, and will do forgiveness and cleansing.

But see, that's not only sin done by me, it's also sin done to me that we confess.

"But she didn't do anything wrong!"

Exactly, exactly.

There's another dimension as we follow this through, and we see it Numbers 19:11: "Whoever touches a human corpse will be unclean for seven days and they must purify themselves."

Now that's sin done in my presence that defiles me. There's no sin that Grandpa dies, but when death is in the tent, I'm defiled by the presence of death and I have to touch the corpse. I can't just leave it there and let it rot. So a third dimension I think is sin done by me, sin done to me, and sin done in my presence that defiles me. And I think the confession is in all of those areas.

Now, let me say one more time. The woman who's been raped has committed no sin in almost every case. And that confession is not a confession of something that she has done. It is putting into concrete statement to God, I think with the help of a priest many times, a trusted person who can help you through the dark places, to speak what's happened, so God can bring cleansing from the defilement that Tamar talks about in her plea, "Don't do this."

And so I don't like to use the term sin there, because when we use sin, we mean stuff we did that was wrong. Innocence/guilt. We don't see sin as something done to us that shames us or defiles us. And I wanted to broaden that out. But I want to use the term sin inevitably bring back innocence/guilt, something I did that was bad, and I'm not talking about that here.

So to me it's helpful, very helpful to see not one dimension of sin, but seven dimensions of sin at least, and then talk about confession and cleansing, of dealing with all those dimensions, including things that I did absolutely nothing wrong, because that's a part of what's going on.

And it's not just the individual, it's the community that needs to do this confession. And I've advised several places where there's been power abuse by a pastor or something like that, and I want the community to come together and do a time of confession, even if the community did nothing wrong, which is not usually the case, but it could be, and just do a public closed-door meeting where we confess, speak to God, what happened, and invite His cleansing and healing in our communities, so we won't repeat the trauma of that and don't repeat the action of that.

I think we need to deal with sin more honest kinds of ways. What we tend to do is say, "Well, I just gave it to God, it's all good," and we don't go through the confession and we end up with the trauma of sin in our midst. That's what I look at in dimension of sin.


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