What makes sin sin?
Because God says so.
Well, what makes sin sin for God? Or, as my two year old says of everything, “Why daddy, why?” (thankfully, not just when he is told not to do something : ))
Is the answer:
a) it destroys personal relationships
b) it is essentially destructive of matter (as personal relationships exist without matter).
c) a and b
d) none of the above
e) hell is made for persons who ask questions like this
First, I argue that the Law of God describes that objective form of life wherein (not whereby) our relationships with God and neighbor are nourished and are brought to fulfillment. Therefore, I am tempted to answer a) alone (in this post I said: “I, like Satan, am a masterful destroyer of relationships”… and “unlike us, God is not a destroyer of relationships”), but I’ve been persuaded the answer is d. In its essence*, sin is unbelief and unholiness** (holiness = the imitation, born of love and filial fear, of God’s designs, desires, thoughts, words and deeds, for we are created in His image***)
Therefore, this is the reason sin destroys relationships.
Still, what is wrong about defining sin as that which destroys relationships?
Part II on Monday
*Neither the term “essence” nor “unessential attribute” really captures what sin is for man in totality. Sin, which is a power and thing (see Romans 7) is a terrible mystery, and here Aristotle, with his either/or, fails us.
**Regarding the first sin which caused original sin, it is tempting to state that either Adam and Eve’s unbelief or unholiness must be the causative factor. It seems to me this is a “chicken and the egg” question we cannot answer.
***It is true that in fallen man this image is lost… but he still has some residue of his origin within him. Therefore, in Luke 3, Adam is called “the son of God” and in Psalm 82:6 Jesus says “You are gods, all of you, sons of the Most High.” Man’s “relation” to God was that he was specifically created to be something different than the rest of creation (also note that Luther said people were created in God’s image before the beginning of time [see Luther’s works 1:75]. So while we cannot say of each person born that they are *in* the Image of God [since original sin is present, and causes the absence of this image], we can still say that each person is created by God in His image. The power of sin is not something that God creates)