This webpage is really fun and helpful!
It also feeds into something I have been thinking about lately. What is sin?
The way we usually think of sin is that it is doing something that is bad. It is a word that makes people bristle. How dare you tell me I am wrong? How dare you claim I am going to hell for this thing or that thing? How dare you claim I can’t do what I want?
Of course, certain acts are sinful. Almost everyone would agree that murder is heinous and wrong and deserving of punishment. There are other acts that God says are sinful that our world doesn’t want to accept, from saying a bad word to having sex outside of marriage. But sin isn’t only something people do. Sin is a state of being. It is anything that is contrary to who God is, how He intended the world to be and what He wants for us.
The Bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. This means that we just don’t get it right. The Bible also says “all our righteousness are as filthy rags”. This means that even when we are doing our best it isn’t quite right. Jesus said to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. We know we aren’t perfect. We can’t. This is what it means to be a sinner. We fall short of God’s perfection. Sometimes this means we did something wrong and need to make amends/atone/apologize/receive consequences for our behavior, and sometimes it means that we don’t quite measure up, not because we did anything in particular. It’s our human nature; imperfection. The standard is God. That we are not able to meet His standards of Good and Best is what it is to be a sinner.
Sin can be an act, like murder or theft. But truthfully, sin is a force. It affects everyone and everything. Every imperfection and complication in our world is a result of sin. The Bible says even Creation groans under the weight of sin. This doesn’t mean that trees are sinners, but they are imperfect. They feel the result and consequences of the force of sin being in the world. The earth is not as God intended. Damage and disease ravage plants, animals, people. It is not a sin to have a disease, but it is a result of sin. Most likely not the result of individual sin (it might be possible the act of not caring for your body might cause cancer), but most likely it’s just a consequence of genetic or environmental imperfection – the presence of the force of sin.
This is not to minimize our responsibility. There are so many facets to this. We are “grandfathered” into sin because Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. That is where we got our sin nature and how the earth and genetics, etc were affected. This is sin nature. This is why babies are born sinners. However, we are personally guilty because we often know the right thing and choose not to do it. I, for one, literally have discussions with myself and often conclude “aw, screw it” and do the wrong thing on purpose. Also, we are affected by other people’s sin and suffer those consequences, such as losing a loved one to someone’s sin of murder, or suffering an STI due to a spouse’s sin of adultery. We also choose to accept other people’s sin and allow our culture to be changed to “tolerate” sin. Though sin is a force, we still make it worse and often on purpose. We are guilty. The point here is that we are powerless to stop it.
As it relates to this webpage, languages are a result of sin. LANGUAGES ARE NOT SIN. They are beautiful and are useful for communication, finding a job, and worshipping God in specific terms. However, languages originated at the Tower of Babel. People were trying to build a tower that would reach heaven, with the intention of becoming equal with God. The attitude of trying to become God instead of submitting to God was an act of sin. As a punishment, God caused all those people to speak different languages so they couldn’t talk to each other and come up with anymore sinful ideas together. Since they couldn’t communicate, those people went separate ways and divided into the various languages and cultures we now have. If sin was not part of our world, and if this specific sin had not been committed, it is logical to say we would not have multiple languages. God never intended for us to be separated from each other. Because we are, despite languages being beautiful, they cause all kinds of complications, mainly confusion and prejudice. This is a prime example of how sin has affected our world.
My point here is this: it is essential for us to understand how sin has changed our world. The word sin does not always mean “you are bad and YOU SHALL BURN”! It does mean that God wanted better for us and it got screwed up. Furthermore, we continue to make it worse by not understanding how things really work around here, or just plain refusing to realize that there is a design. We don’t get to make up the rules. We don’t even get to “figure out” or “feel” the rules. God made the rules and He tells us what they are.
The amazing thing is that, instead of God saying, “Damn you all to hell!” He took it upon Himself to send His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to make amends for all that imperfection. We can’t do it. We try to do the right thing and we fail. Or worse, we make up our own “right thing”. God’s grace gives us hope that things will be set right one day. When that happens there will be no more disease, heartbreak, imperfection, prejudice, pain, frustration, and even weeds in the flower bed! There might actually not be multiple languages, either, or, at least, we’ll all understand all of them because we will no longer be divided.
As you explore this webpage, I do hope you enjoy it and learn from it. It is interesting and beautiful. But let that cause you to be grateful to God because He made beauty from the confusion of languages, which actually are contrary to how God wanted things to be for us. That’s what God does. He is just and has to guide us, which sometimes means consequences, even punishment. But He weaves those things into great beauty and He takes it upon Himself to turn it around. He is just but He is good. Remembering that will give you a whole new perspective on everything.