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TheCross

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2017, 11:32:22 am »
Your question seems to illustrate a fundamental mistake in thinking about sin, which implies a kind of who is best, salvation by works mentality. For example consider the war crime of dropping either; an accurate bomb, a cluster bomb, or an atomic bomb on a residential arrear with no military value what so ever. The crime or sin is dropping the bomb, the fact that the collateral or knock on effect is greater with an atomic bomb does not make any difference to the base moral sin or crime. The accurate bomb is not less sinful, it just has less collateral.

So what are you saying, there is no moral difference between using a drone to destroy a civilian house with a precision strike (perhaps if Bin Laden is inside or some such), VS destroying the whole city with a thermonuclear weapon killing millions of innocent people?

The two problem with your response is that you have missed my inclusion of the idea of a legitimate military target and so have fudged the difference of having any justification at all for the strike.

Or to put your question around the other way is there any moral difference between a terrorist achieving their aim either by killing one or a hundred. Is the terrorist who only kills one nicer than the one who kills one hundred? My answer is no, you can't add the value of lives up. The morality of indifference to innocent lives is the same, it is just that the multiplier or collateral is different.
 
The point of my illustration was not as a detailed examination on the morality of bombing but limited to trying to illustrate that the moral attitude is the same even if the multipliers and collateral effect are different. The OP regarding sin, does of course beg more than just an atheistic “harm reduction” basis to morality.

A common Christian illustration of sin is to liken it to links in a chain, it does not matter whether you break one link, or millions in an atomic explosion, the chain is broken either way. The subsequent question of the OP of whose chain is broken the least is utterly irrelevant to the purpose and usefulness of a chain.

Ok so forget the targeted killing of a terrorist, you think there is no moral difference between murdering one person or murdering one million people? Hitler was no worse than the alleyway mugger? I don't think that makes any sense at all.

It depends.

If my son were to be a victim of a murder, speaking about millions of victims would do next to nothing for me on a pure subjective level, my pain would remain intact because numerical statistics regarding evil deeds do not and will never provide a remedy for people that suffer.

However, if I am attending an intellectual dome, say Harvard or Yale, or even a debate between friends where I lack personal connection to any victim and strictly viewing event X to learn, then obviously the holocaust is significantly worse of a tragedy than me losing my son etc.
Gal 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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Scrutinizer

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2017, 12:12:06 pm »
"If you ask me, I would say that I don't focus on sin"

Are you aware of your sins as discrete events?

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SPF

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2017, 01:47:00 pm »
Quote
Are you aware of your sins as discrete events?
Could you define "descrete events" for me please? And off the top of my head I don't see how this question pertains to what I said or speaks against it.  Sin is sin.
"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln

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Nunovalente

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2017, 01:51:09 pm »
"Your question seems to illustrate a fundamental mistake in thinking about sin, which implies a kind of who is best, salvation by works mentality."

But Christians are trying to sin less, right?  Are they not succeeding?

No.

There is no need to try to sin. It comes natural. There is no need to put effort in.

If we merely try to stop sinning, without dealing with the cause, well, you may as well try pushing water up hill! Failure is certain.

The gospel is not a standard to attain. That was the law. And the purpose was to show us our spiritual and moral bankruptcy. Why?
So we find a solution to the problem, that is not of ourselves.


The Christian does not try to be like Christ. The Christian reckons on the work of Christ being made in effect in their own life, and the life and power of Christ is the source of rightness. Not our trying.
Faith is being confident in things hoped for, the conviction of facts not yet seen. Hebrews 11.
Everyone exercises faith in something. What is your faith in?

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Scrutinizer

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2017, 02:03:09 pm »
Quote
Are you aware of your sins as discrete events?
Could you define "descrete events" for me please? And off the top of my head I don't see how this question pertains to what I said or speaks against it.  Sin is sin.
Discrete meaning individual, seperate. 
It pertains because you said you do not "focus on sin".  If we do not focus, separate things tend to blur together.
Your comment of "Sin is sin" is gives me the impression of sin being a homogenized paste, of which you have can have more or less of, but is ultimately uncountable.

In order to repent a single sin, doesn't that sin need to be clearly in view?

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John Dee

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2017, 04:04:14 pm »
"Your question seems to illustrate a fundamental mistake in thinking about sin, which implies a kind of who is best, salvation by works mentality."

But Christians are trying to sin less, right?  Are they not succeeding?

Scrut
The idea of sinning less is a bit like asking an alcoholic to drink less, or also trying not to think of elephants when I tell you not to think of elephants. It is doomed to failure because it fails to appreciate the nature of addiction or the virus like nature of an idea planted in the mind.
Sin is all encompassing in that sense, trying to do less of it is impossible, and if someone does not see this then they have not yet fully appreciated the extent of sin and their involvement with it, for it is so much more that individual acts of wrong doing.
So instead of trying to do less you must just die to it completely. This is what taking up ones cross means, not suffering painfully by making ones best efforts to having less, it is instead an execution which best needs to be done as quick as possible. In alcoholic terms this is similar to just not touching another drop. Unfortunately this option is not available to sinners living in a sinful fallen world, instead death to sin comes about by replacement in such a way that sin just loses its basic power, it becomes a boring waste of time.
Key aspects are:-
•   following Christ,
•   growing into the image of God for which we have been designed,
•   but it also involves stopping keeping a score card on sin because the whole thing is just boring. In any case we are not in the position of a Judge of sin, but the whole issue has become irrelevant anyway because we have been set free from it In Christ. Covered by his grace we can just stop worrying about it and get on with life (as best as we can) in his image instead.

Repentance of individual outworkings of sin is of no use for it does not deal with the root problem. Proper repentance is always about a complete life turn around. A new attempt to follow and become in the image of God. You are then set free to try to live investing ones talent and risking residual mistakes and all, rather than commanded to try to sin less by burying ones talent through fear of residual mistakes.

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Trinity

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2017, 04:11:58 pm »
John Dee,

That seems similar to total depravity from Calvinism. If sin is all-encompassing, then we have no free will.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. - Psalm 19:1

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SPF

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2017, 04:40:59 pm »
Quote
Discrete meaning individual, seperate. 
It pertains because you said you do not "focus on sin".  If we do not focus, separate things tend to blur together.
Your comment of "Sin is sin" is gives me the impression of sin being a homogenized paste, of which you have can have more or less of, but is ultimately uncountable.

In order to repent a single sin, doesn't that sin need to be clearly in view?
I don't focus on sin in the sense that I don't live my life out of a works based mentality of striving to sin less.  I know I'm going to sin.  When I do, I recognize it, I repent, and I then I move on, trusting that Christ has forgiven me. 

I'm sure sin is probably uncountable.  I have no clue how many times a day I sin, it's probably a lot.  But thankfully, my Salvation is not based upon anything I do or don't do, it's based upon the grace that Christ has shown through His work on the cross. 

Honestly though, I don't know why a non-Christian would even care about counting sins and comparing.  Do you have some argument you want to put forth about how Christianity is false because Christians seem to sin just as much as non-Christians?  What's the point of this topic?
"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln

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John Dee

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2017, 05:22:29 pm »
John Dee,

That seems similar to total depravity from Calvinism. If sin is all-encompassing, then we have no free will.

Trinity

The all encompassing nature of sin makes no difference to freewill and the responsibility for action which stem from it. Your question highlights one of the classic mistakes of Calvinism which conflates the notion of "freewill" with the idea of “free choices” (although most people seem to make this conflation). Under sin I can decide to either set off an atomic bomb in your attic or kick a football into your stomach, I will subsequently be responsible for which one of those actions I do.  “So whats the use of that” the Calvinist then says,  if it does not get you to heaven, but the issue of freewill is only about the power to become responsible, it at minimum needs one choice to be operational whether that is a choice under sin or within God’s will in heaven makes no difference to the ability to become responsible for a particular choice. Freewill and therefore responsibility for action is relatively simple to designate between creatures even though wills are clearly overlapped and entwined. But before a creator God things are rather more tricky, how can a creature freely relate to God if every choice before it is within God’s will and basically set up by God, how is the creature’s and the creator’s will then distinguished to make a reality of the relationship? To make this distinguish-ment needs special choices set up with the possibility of getting out of God’s will altogether (i.e. the one around the tree in the garden of eden), and then presumably one back the other way again (around the tree of calvary) if the creator is to avoid losing his creation to its own self will.


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Scrutinizer

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2017, 02:09:21 am »
Quote
Discrete meaning individual, seperate. 
It pertains because you said you do not "focus on sin".  If we do not focus, separate things tend to blur together.
Your comment of "Sin is sin" is gives me the impression of sin being a homogenized paste, of which you have can have more or less of, but is ultimately uncountable.

In order to repent a single sin, doesn't that sin need to be clearly in view?
I don't focus on sin in the sense that I don't live my life out of a works based mentality of striving to sin less.  I know I'm going to sin.  When I do, I recognize it, I repent, and I then I move on, trusting that Christ has forgiven me. 

I'm sure sin is probably uncountable.  I have no clue how many times a day I sin, it's probably a lot.  But thankfully, my Salvation is not based upon anything I do or don't do, it's based upon the grace that Christ has shown through His work on the cross. 

Honestly though, I don't know why a non-Christian would even care about counting sins and comparing.  Do you have some argument you want to put forth about how Christianity is false because Christians seem to sin just as much as non-Christians?  What's the point of this topic?
A non-Christian might make an argument about such an argument because they are trying to show the concept of sin is incoherent even without challenging Christianity as a whole or the existence of God etc.
And it's more fun than the say the played out New Earth/Old Earth stuff, where everyone knows their lines...
Nor am I denying sin, but I am curious on the specific models that people are using. 
On the other hand, I'm hardly a non-Christian and have the sins to prove it :)

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GRWelsh

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2017, 11:15:05 am »
Wouldn't we expect Christians -- who love God and want to please him -- to sin less than those who are atheists because they "love darkness"? 

After all, God hates sin, and you Christians are free willed, are you not?  Even if you can't choose to never sin, surely you can choose to sin less than you would if you were a non-believer, right?

These are actually decent questions to ask, because it doesn't make sense for someone to convert from atheism to Christianity and say, "Well, I've accepted Jesus, but I'm going to continue to sin just as much as when I was a non-believer, since after all, God will forgive me if I ask Him to."  Who thinks that way?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 11:36:52 am by GRWelsh »
The morning sun rose and burned off the ghosts; it seems they were nothing but shapes in the fog.

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AnimatedDirt

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2017, 01:11:14 pm »
Wouldn't we expect Christians -- who love God and want to please him -- to sin less than those who are atheists because they "love darkness"? 

After all, God hates sin, and you Christians are free willed, are you not?  Even if you can't choose to never sin, surely you can choose to sin less than you would if you were a non-believer, right?

These are actually decent questions to ask, because it doesn't make sense for someone to convert from atheism to Christianity and say, "Well, I've accepted Jesus, but I'm going to continue to sin just as much as when I was a non-believer, since after all, God will forgive me if I ask Him to."  Who thinks that way?

To accept Christ isn't to have to quit sinning or sin less.  We START to change at the point of needing/accepting Christ.  Everyone is at a different place in their growth with Christ.  It's a personal walk/change.

People are amusing.

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Nunovalente

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2017, 02:38:59 pm »
Wouldn't we expect Christians -- who love God and want to please him -- to sin less than those who are atheists because they "love darkness"? 

After all, God hates sin, and you Christians are free willed, are you not?  Even if you can't choose to never sin, surely you can choose to sin less than you would if you were a non-believer, right?

These are actually decent questions to ask, because it doesn't make sense for someone to convert from atheism to Christianity and say, "Well, I've accepted Jesus, but I'm going to continue to sin just as much as when I was a non-believer, since after all, God will forgive me if I ask Him to."  Who thinks that way?

Absolutely.

Im afraid we cannot simply look to the nominal christian for the answer for this, rather scripture is a better benchmark.

Romans is a good place to examine the topic. Paul goes into detail about the nature of sin that is at work in every human heart, and how the work of the Cross is to render that nature of sin redundant. Thereafter if we walk according to the life that Jesus imparts, we walk in the light and righteousness.

"Reckon yourselves dead to sin...."

That means compute. Calculate.

Unfortunately many christians are still struggling and battling the nature of sin unnecessarily, because they do not grasp what has been accomplished on their behalf.  Hence the need to teach people as Paul did.

9 However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. 10 If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

12 So then, [a]brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but not to our flesh [our human nature, our worldliness, our sinful capacity], to live according to the [impulses of the] flesh [our nature without the Holy Spirit]— 13 for if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, you will [really] live forever. 14 For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God. 17 And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.


Earlier in Romans 6 Paul states how Sin shall not have dominion over us. i.e. we are not slaves to it any longer.
Therefore it in inevitable we sin less, if we so live.

The nature and power of sin has been tackled 2000 years ago. It is an objectively historic accomplished fact.
But there is a difference between what has been accomplished, and that being worked out in effect in our lives.

Oswald Chambers puts it like this...

A man cannot redeem himself— redemption is the work of God, and is absolutely finished and complete. And its application to individual people is a matter of their own individual action or response to it. A distinction must always be made between the revealed truth of redemption and the actual conscious experience of salvation in a person’s life.

That is the gospel. That is the good news. If we who were once dead in our sins and trespasses of the laws of God, continue to so trespass and sin as before, then our gospel and salvation is pretty pointless. We can be freed from the power and dominion of sin. Not by our own accomplishments, but with our cooperation with what has been done on our behalf.
Faith is being confident in things hoped for, the conviction of facts not yet seen. Hebrews 11.
Everyone exercises faith in something. What is your faith in?

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Scrutinizer

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2017, 11:12:50 pm »
Wouldn't we expect Christians -- who love God and want to please him -- to sin less than those who are atheists because they "love darkness"? 

After all, God hates sin, and you Christians are free willed, are you not?  Even if you can't choose to never sin, surely you can choose to sin less than you would if you were a non-believer, right?

These are actually decent questions to ask, because it doesn't make sense for someone to convert from atheism to Christianity and say, "Well, I've accepted Jesus, but I'm going to continue to sin just as much as when I was a non-believer, since after all, God will forgive me if I ask Him to."  Who thinks that way?

To accept Christ isn't to have to quit sinning or sin less.  We START to change at the point of needing/accepting Christ.  Everyone is at a different place in their growth with Christ.  It's a personal walk/change.

"To accept Christ isn't to have to quit sinning or sin less."

If not less sin, is it just more fruit?

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Nunovalente

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Re: Do Christians sin less than Athiests?
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2017, 03:59:04 am »
Wouldn't we expect Christians -- who love God and want to please him -- to sin less than those who are atheists because they "love darkness"? 

After all, God hates sin, and you Christians are free willed, are you not?  Even if you can't choose to never sin, surely you can choose to sin less than you would if you were a non-believer, right?

These are actually decent questions to ask, because it doesn't make sense for someone to convert from atheism to Christianity and say, "Well, I've accepted Jesus, but I'm going to continue to sin just as much as when I was a non-believer, since after all, God will forgive me if I ask Him to."  Who thinks that way?

To accept Christ isn't to have to quit sinning or sin less.  We START to change at the point of needing/accepting Christ.  Everyone is at a different place in their growth with Christ.  It's a personal walk/change.

"To accept Christ isn't to have to quit sinning or sin less."

If not less sin, is it just more fruit?

Its a change of source.

A bad tree will not bare good fruit. A bitter spring will not bring forth sweet water. Its not a case of a bad tree producing less bad fruit. Its a case of changing the source of the fruit. Not the fruit itself.

Thats the issue.

A Christian is one who should have had a change of source. From a nature of sin (self reliance, independence from God) to a source of rightness (being rightly related and dependant upon God), and thereby producing good fruit. i.e. Not of the nature of sin.
Faith is being confident in things hoped for, the conviction of facts not yet seen. Hebrews 11.
Everyone exercises faith in something. What is your faith in?