Why is sin bad?

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
— Luke 15:20


  1. TRUE / FALSE: Relationship is the glue to Marriage. Family. Friendship. Community. Country. Religion.

  2. If/when relationship breaks down, what are we left with?


  3. What is the foundation of relationship?

    a. Love (this is what I mean by love)

    b. Something else.

    c. Science.

  4. What is the foundation of my love of [the other]?

    a. Because I’m a really nice person.

    b. Because they’re a really nice person.

    c. To get something I need or I want out of it.

    d. Because of the invaluable dignity of every person (this is what I mean by dignity)

    e. some other thing

  5. The foundation of the invaluable dignity of every person is?

    a. The fact that we are all made of, and from, the same stuff (physical and spiritual).

    b. The fact that we all know and experience the same stuff (suffering - - - - joy).

    c. The fact that we are all have knowing, loving, and good-ness, in us.

    d. that fact that we all are like Jesus Christ, and thus the divine, in some way (in other words: all of the above)

  6. TRUE / FALSE: Relationship, which is the glue, is based on on love, which is based on the invaluable dignity of every human person, which is based on our human/divine heritage.

SIN degrades, diminishes, disregards, cheapens, patronizes, ignores, and/or just-could-care-less about the dignity of the other, and ourselves.

And in doing so, sin reverses love, elevating the self above the other and above God: me first, and… well you hardly factor in to it, unless you can be of some use.

And therefore, sin destroys relationship: with ourselves, with each other, with God.

That’s why it’s bad.

BONUS QUESTION: What is the anti-dote for sin?

I don't believe in God because I think religion is for the weak.

It is no longer about my strength, only His.
— Ab

Marx: religion as, “the opiate for the masses”.

Even though today we have taken this phrase out of its original context, with perception being what it is, the question remains, is religion (Christianity) an opiate for the masses?  

Opiates are an artificial means to a high used to ease or escape some current affliction for temporary relief.  So the question is…   

Is Christianity artificial?  

Many would argue, YES, ironically, Marx would not.  In fact, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Karl Marx was not an atheist, but rather, against God.  However, the argument that Christianity is a “fake” is a difficult one to make given today’s scholarship.  We may disagree on who Jesus is, but to say He was completely invented is an argument that no longer holds its ground. (Watch the video: I don’t believe in God because I think it was all made up.)

Is religion a “high”? 

For some, Yes.  Religion is another “feel good pill”, or something I do to make me feel “better”.  While God does and will provide consolation, it’s not about this.  And if we get hooked on those consolations, then Marx is right. If we are in it merely to “feel good”, we may need to re-examine our motives just as if we would if we were in a marriage merely to “feel good”.  There is so much more. God doesn't want us to get hooked on his “good feelings”, he wants us to get hooked on Him, as any passionate lover would.

Is religion an escape?

Religion is about as far away from an escape as San Diego is from say… Pluto.  In fact, a relationship with God is the anti-escape. It’s more like a giant 1000x magnifying mirror that reveals even the most hidden blemishes and blackheads of our soul. Only when we see them for what they really are, can we remove them once and for all, and God will provide the tools (and this doesn’t always feel good).  


Do you really think she did it just for a high or to escape?

Is religion temporary?  

For many of us… unfortunately, it is.  We are temporary creatures.  Hot/cold, in/out, short attention spans, bored easily and disenchanted easily-er.  In the grand scheme of things, our lives in this place are temporary.  Our culture, our world, the universe and everything in it… is temporary.  God is the only constant.  

Freud: religion as, wishful thinking.

Freud theorized that it was our early, collective psychology of - neediness - that projected the “illusion” of an idyllic, benevolent, loving father, to comfort us from the harsh realities of life, protect us from our violence, and forgive us of our guilt.

And he was probably right… about countless ancient beliefs and their deities.  But this is not Jesus. Jesus was a living, breathing, historical, figure who walked the earth at a specific time, in a specific place, was recorded, believed in, and followed to this very day.  Jesus is no psychological projection just as Abraham Lincoln is no projection.

However, isn’t it interesting that Freud, the father of psychology, identified our deepest psychological need of being loved, of being comforted, of being protected and being forgiven.

The Real Illusion

Maybe it is not God that our psychology projects, but rather the image of strength that is the illusion. We are unceasingly bombarded by these images… aren’t these the artificial, the escapes, the opiates of the masses? And maybe it’s when we can shed this image, like throwing down a heavy armor, and are - ok in our weakness - that God can finally get through to the flesh, un-impeded. And once he is in, he brings his strength with Him. And then we are strong. And it is in this sense, that God is for the weak.

love... ?

What is Love?

There are many types of love, the love of a friend, the love between family members, the love of a mother and her child, the love between spouses, but this can seem confusing, is there one-type-of-love that we can use across all these?

Love’s only focus - the other

The hard question we all must ask ourselves is, do I love [so-and-so] for my own sake, or for theirs. Love’s only focus is - what is good for - the other.  And love’s only aim is - how can I give myself for that good; even if in giving something for their good, I have to give up something for my good.

Love is NOT:

An emotion. Love is not sappy, sentimental, warm and fuzzies; or hot and steamy, romance, pleasure and stimulation; or thunderbolts and electricity, or some kind of invisible force (those these may all be side effects of love).  Love is certainly not something I do to get someone to love me back, or even just to like me, to make the loneliness go away, or to feel better about myself.  Love is something we do, for the GOOD of the other.

Is love just, giving “the other” what they want?

If your child desires something that is harmful to themselves, to you, or to anyone else, is it loving to give it to them? Or is it just feebleness.  Love wishes and/or gives only what is good for the other. The hard part is knowing the difference between that which only seems good, and that which actually is good.  And Loving someone certainly DOES NOT MEAN, we stay in a situation that is harmful.

Love your enemies…. or, love the people you don’t like. 

I once heard a Catholic priest say that the litmus test for all Christians is, love your enemy.  This is the hard part. We don’t have many enemies these days, but there may be someone we don’t like, we disagree with, who annoys us, who disgusts us, who we don’t respect, or who we just don’t care about.  Can we love them? This doesn’t mean we need to meet for coffee and be best friends, it simply means, at the very least, genuinely wishing them the best in our hearts.

How do we know what love is? 

Because Love itself pierced the time and space barrier, broke into our world, and took on flesh and blood, skin and bones, hair and teeth, in the form of a human person, Jesus Christ.  You may or may not believe this, but the only way to really know, is to look into it for ourselves.  

One thing that cannot be denied, he gave his entire life, until his very last breath, his very last drop of blood (literally) for “the other”.  To those who were humiliating, beating, spitting, mocking Him as they slowly tortured His life away, he says, “forgive them, they know not what they do”.    

I don't believe in God because I think it's all made up.

Christianity was made up for power, control and money.  

When asked, why do you think Christianity was made up? The most common answer given is: for power, control and money.  But this cannot be the answer simply because, It’s impossible. Historically, the church wasn’t in any position to have any sort of power or control (if that was what it sought) until, at the very earliest, the mid 5th century. That’s four hundred years (or more) after the death of Christ.  That’s like saying that the United States was conceived for the purposes of something that will not occur until another two hundred years, or more, from now. 

Without a doubt, there were times throughout history where those in the church did abuse her power, (and unfortunately still do) for control and money.  And It is wrong. It’s also no secret, these are all well documented, and the church admits to them all.  But to say that Christianity itself was invented for this purpose… is not only impossible, but disregards history.  


Do you think he was following a fairytale

So where did it come from?

In order to see why something was founded, a good place to start is its founder and the founding principles.  So if Christianity was founded for power, control or money, we should see indications of that in the founder and his precepts:

Turn the other cheek  

Love your enemy

Love everyone else as you love yourself

Forgive infinitely

Blessed are the meek, the peacemakers  

If you want to be the first, be last, the servant of all 

Work for treasures in heaven, not on Earth

Beware of the deceitfulness of riches

Sell what you have and give to the poor

If you have two of something, give one to the poor.  

Feed the hungry

Give drink to the thirsty 

Clothe the naked 

Shelter to the homeless

Visit the sick 

Visit the imprisoned

Are these the precepts of power, control and money?

We may say, yes, well Jesus and the early church had it right, but the “institution” ruined it many years later.  Then at least we can agree that it wasn’t all made up, and lets save that next debate for another time.

In peace.  

What's the best thing we could want?

Do you believe in heaven, the afterlife, eternal life?

Why not?  What is that is holds us back.  If we say science: science is not an adequate answer because the afterlife does not fall in the realm of physical science, but of the spiritual. If we say there is no proof, well we are not going to find scientific proof, but if you dig into the spiritual, there is plenty of unexplained evidence found in mystics and saints throughout the past 2 millennial.

What if its real?  How ever we answer the question will change our lives.

Imagine you are dying… 

You know you are dying.  The moment has arrived.  But at the very instant when death comes, you remain conscious.  You are still thinking, you are still knowing, still existing.  The pain, fear and suffering are all washed away in a flood of freedom, clarity, fullness. It’s as if your consciousness just broke free from its shackles and expanded from the little world inside your own head, to the size of the universe.  It seems you can experience everything, as if everything is part of you. But more so, you sense right away you are not alone, that you will never be alone again; you sense an incomprehensible love that knows everything about you.  Though you have no eyes to see or ears to hear, you perceive others around you, as if you are part of them, and they are part of you.  You know them, you recognize them, and you know they know you, and there is no hindrance of any kind in between you, only that perfect love.  You discover right away, that everything is one.  If only I knew this before, you think. And even an eternity, would not be enough to scratch the surface of that loving - Oneness (God).  It’s a completely new way, a different way, of living… and it’s just the beginning. 

Near Death Experiences, (NRE’s) 

You may think it’s all nonsense, wishful thinking, there’s no proof, and once you’re dead, you’re dead.  While we can’t “prove” the afterlife, there may be some clues.  Given our advancements in medicine, med-tech, and our ability to resuscitate those who have suffered clinical death, more and more people have reported near death experiences, or NRE’s.  Now, because of the vast number of NRE’s (in the millions), countless peer reviewed, scientific studies have been conducted and found striking consistencies among them all.    

Are NRE’s real? If so, what can they tell us about God, afterlife, and the soul? A vast resource that evaluates only the scientific research can be found at: Magis Center, NDE’s