As I mentioned previously, my knowledge in so many areas of theology is not up to snuff. This was one of many “buts” I explored on my way to this point. Having accepted my humble beginnings I move forward with prayers for understanding.
Today I was contemplating the nature of sin. I have often been told that sin is any act which separates us from God. I’ve liked this definition as it simplifies nicely the world into sin and not-sin. Of course I know the world is not black and white and have allowed that there may be gradation in sin, though I’m not sure.
That said, during morning prayer which has become my habit over these last months, my brain quite rudely interrupted the Lord’s Prayer with this Easter Egg – how can anyone sin against us?
Up until just today I would have paraphrased this line as “hurt us.”. But, I find that with sin defined separation from God, then I don’t think hurt works. Can another person separate me from God?
To use a popular media example, there is currently a story of a son of the Duggar family who molested younger children. Molestation is surely sin. Were these girls separated from God by this crime? Not so neat a line.
On the one hand no, some people upon whom a crime has been perpetrated are drawn closer to God in prayer, questioning, and comfort. On the other hand possibly, some victims blame God and reject Him after a great injury. However, is that sin not the sin of the victim rather than a “sin against” them?
Are we saying that the victim is no longer responsible? As a past victim of crime I can see the allure of such a notion. But I feel that in this theological context, knowing God never abandons us, that employing such a device of powerlessness is itself a hurt to the victim. That’s why we see things like “take back the night” and other initiatives to claim our own power.
I’m sure I don’t know enough to argue this well, but suffice it to say I now understand the “trespass” translation of the Lord’s prayer better. As I can see that someone may trespass against me, but struggle with whether someone may sin against me.