I so love the idea that sin is a cultural misbelief. This idea is not mine. It was downloaded into the consciousness of a woman who was chosen to receive messages from the divine. She jokes about being chosen because she can type quickly.
So, the divine wants us to know that this concept of being punished for sins is a manmade construct, created to give our society moral boundaries. One outcome that this created concept has had, is ideally that we get along and can readily identify our own culture’s mores- basically keeping us in line with the prospect of “if we don’t do this and if we do that, we are doomed to hell” or something like that. It helps create a more civilized society I suppose.
But then again, if you behave a certain way because you fear retribution, whether it’s after you die, or at any other time, what does that really do to us? Depending on how you were raised, and the degree to which this concept of sin and punishment is drilled into you, it can have a really negative effect on your health and well-being. When taken to the extreme, it heaps not only fear, but shame and worthlessness on a person. And these emotions, when deep seeded, contribute to all of the chronic physical ailments I see, especially in the culture here in my own country.
Fear, shame and worthlessness are all at the core of cancer, arthritis, obesity, addictions, diabetes; the list is endless.
Being steeped in a culture of fear of retribution doesn’t just come from what our religion has become, it comes from being raised in a culture that thinks that correcting children’s behavior by using fear and punishment is a good thing. I personally do not.
When I challenge ideas of punishment and retribution in the arena of parenting skills, the most common (fear based) response I get is: well, I was raised that way and I turned out ok. Really? Have you taken a really good look at yourself and at our society? Have you taken a look at the ever-increasing incidence of disease rates?
Just because your grandparents or great grandparents used outhouses, doesn’t mean that we still need them. We have new technology and know more these days; so we have things like indoor plumbing. Similarly, we have people out there bringing us new ideas about better ways to raise our children, like Jane Nelsen and her Positive Discipline series. And it’s time we let go of the idea that we are all born sinners and are required to spend our entire lives atoning, for fear of a bad outcome after we die.
So, if we are not kept in line for fear of being a sinner, how do we keep our society from plunging into anarchy? By following our hearts. When we listen to and follow our hearts, we are led by the divine. And in the end, this becomes a much healthier way to coexist.
I am currently taking an online course offered by Sara Wiseman, called 365 Ways to Awaken Your Mystic Heart. The course gives you a lesson (that was divinely download) a day for a year, to contemplate and learn about yourself, and to grow.