Tuesday, February 02, 2010

You Cannot Balance Out Sins with Virtues

I recently came across an article from "CathNews" that "Australia is the 'most sinful' nation on earth." (link to article) There are some obvious problems with a methodology that uses plastic surgery as the measure of pride, but I'd like to talk about the reaction provided the article.

A Melbourne priest named Bob Maguire responded:
I think the people who did this survey are just jealous of we Aussies, and rightly so ... Australians like to indulge and enjoy the good things in life - we are open about that. But people forget that the mirror image of the sins are the seven virtues and Australians also have a lot of virtues on balance. We're just too laconic to talk about the things we do right.
I certainly don't think that Australians are the most sinful people in the world any more than I think that Hatians are the most sinful people in the world (see here - and more importantly here). The priest's claim, though, reflects a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of morality. We're not able to balance out vices with virtues.

Luke 17:7-10
But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

Some might still argue that the standard of required righteousness is low enough that one might do some works of supererogation, thereby balancing out one's vices with superfluous virtue. Scripture stops such an idea in its tracks. Scripture indicates that the standard is:

Deuteronomy 18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

And lest someone say that "perfect" should be understood in some lesser sense:

Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deuteronomy 10:12-13
And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

Mark 12:29-31
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'on balance'


Here's how God sees a balance balancing it out:

One sin, no matter what it is tips the scales so far south, there is no forgiveness for it by the sinner.

Just one sin, one sin only, that's the extremity with which Christ had to live under and not commit one sin before He died at the hands of godless men so as to inherit a Name above every name and save His Elect for whom He came for whom He died and rose again.

Two verses and a thought.

Rom 3:10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;

1Ti 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

["not one"].

["vindicated by the Spirit"].

On balance, we all begin on our way to hell; except for One sacrifice, we would all die and go to hell prepared for Satan and all his angels. Just One.

Here's a proclamation:

"Holy is My God, Our Heavenly Father, Eternal".

"Holy is My God, Our Savior, Jesus Christ, Eternal, sent from Eternity to live and die and live again here in these present, temporal created heavens and earth. He came and died and rose again, Our Savior, Jesus Christ, sinless, having commited not one sin". Sinless.

"Holy is My God, the Eternal Holy Spirit. Sinless. He has been here from the beginning, the Holy True Light. This is not His Eternal Home. He is here temporarily while the Church comes to the earth and lives temporarily, as sojourners sojourning and passing through this fallen unholy place until particularly passing to Eternity. He remains until the destruction of these present heavens and earth, the world and everything in it, these destructible creations.

There is an "eternal purpose".

The Spirit and the Bride say "come". This is our Eternal Purpose manifested before the presence of principalities and powers of spiritual wickedness.

Whoever is thirsty may come. Whoever hears the fearful sound may come and drink freely from the water of Life given to those who will hear and drink.

Whoever hears may drink and drink and drink until satisfied and at Peace while alive in this wicked world.

Satan and all his angels and all whose name is not found written in the Book of Life will perish in the lake of Fire.

Everyone else with live in Holy Communion in Eternity in the Presence of Our Holy Triune:::>

Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
Rev 22:2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Rev 22:3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.
Rev 22:4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Rev 22:5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Rev 22:6 And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place."