Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Seven Deadly Social Sins

I came across them on the internet some time ago, and they inspired me so much I actually framed them. Every time I read them I must pause and ponder--the "Seven Deadly Social Sins" as defined by Ghandi:
1. Politics without principle
2. Wealth without work
3. Commerce without morality
4. Pleasure without conscience
5. Education without character
6. Science without humanity
7. Worship without sacrifice
What's striking to me is how Ghandi defines sin as a state of being "without". I've always thought of sin as a negative, an absence, a un-thing like darkness, which is not a thing in itself but rather the absence of light. Sin is a perversion of something that would otherwise be good.

Perhaps the most pertinent point to me as a Christian is "Worship without sacrifice", which reminds me of the forgotten yet essential connection between the acts of worship and sacrifice. In ancient times the two words were virtually synonymous. You couldn't worship your god without making a sacrifice of your livestock, produce, or even your own child. Yet how often do we 'spiritually advanced' Christians 'worship' without offering anything
at all to God. Instead, our focus is usually on the blessings God is supposed to give us during worship.

We Christians no longer sacrifice animals, since Jesus was the final sacrifice of life in death. So, what are we to bring to sacrifice when we worship. To me, the words of Paul have show us where real sacrifice begins:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1,2)

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