Theophan, you will recall from last week’s Bulletin, gave us a different image, I believe, of what sin is by giving us characteristics of a sinner. A sinner can be described as a person who is concerned about many other things than his or her relationship with God. A sinner is a person who deprives himself of God’s help or grace.
In his writings Theophan presents what he sees as the general features characteristic of a sinner. He states:
Having turned away from God a man becomes centered on himself and puts himself as the main object of his entire life and activity. This is certain, because after God there is nothing greater for a man than himself.
This is why we can state that all of us are sinners since the natural tendency in all of us is to think more about ourselves than about others. This is also why the message of Jesus is challenging. He challenges us to be selfless and other-centered instead of self-centered. This, I believe, is one of the primary lessons that all humans must learn during this lifetime. We must learn how to be other-centered.
One author, who I tend to agree with, sees the following as some of the characteristics of our modern society:
· Disenchantment of the world: the loss of sacred and metaphysical understandings of all facets of life and culture;
· Secularization: the loss of religious influence and/or religious belief at a societal level;
· Alienation: isolation of the individual from systems of meaning (e.g., family, religion, meaningful work);
· Commodification: the reduction of all aspects of life to objects of monetary consumption and exchange;
· Decontexutalization: the removal of social practices, beliefs, and cultural objects from their local cultures of origin; and
· Individualism: growing stress on individuals as opposed to meditating structures (e.g. , as family, village, church).
Think about this! Christos Voskrese!