Monday, May 12, 2008

...And These Guys Are Considered to be "Light on Sin"

Those who seek humility should bear in mind the three following things: that they are the worst of sinners, that they are the most despicable of all creatures since their state is an unnatural one, and that they are even more pitiable than the demons, since they are slaves to the demons. You will also profit if you say this to yourself: how do I know what or how many other people’s sins are, or whether they are greater than or equal to my own? In our ignorance you and I , my soul, are worse than all men, we are dust and ashes under their feet.

- St Gregory of Sinai


  1. Dixie said...

    GREAT stuff! Notice, that in our sinfulness we are in an "unnatural state". This understanding was new to me when I became Orthodox. Is this something Lutherans can agree to as well? I would think that in Baptism one dies to self and rises in Christ.

  2. Christopher D. Hall said...

    I stole this from another blog...but there was a delay between copying and posting, I forgot where I found it.

    Yes, I believe Lutherans can also say that in our sinfulness we are in an "unnatural state," given the state that humans were created in and for.

    However, our current liturgy regretfully has us confess that we are "by nature sinful and unclean." This is contrary to what the Formula of Concord actually says:

    "We believe, teach, and confess that there is a distinction between man’s nature, not only as he was
    originally created by God pure and holy and without sin, but also as we have it [that nature] now after the Fall, namely, between the nature [itself], which even after the Fall is and remains a creature of God, and original sin, and that this distinction is as great as the distinction between a work of God and a work of the devil.

    3] 2. We believe, teach, and confess also that this distinction should be maintained with the greatest care, because this doctrine, that no distinction is to be made between our corrupt human nature and original sin, conflicts with the chief articles of our Christian faith concerning creation, redemption, sanctification, and the resurrection of our body, and cannot coexist therewith.

  3. Doorman-Priest said...

    St. G: get down from the fence and tell us what you really think.

  4. Rev. Eric J Brown said...

    I think it is easier to broach this discussion amongst Lutherans about sin being "unnatural" by looking at death. Death isn't a part of nature, it is the most unnatural thing there is. We see death and we know that it is wrong. Is it part of life after the fall - yes. In that sense it is "natural" as it part of the way things work now - but it's not how they ought to be.

    To err is not human - to err is to be fallen and less than you were created to be. Lord have mercy!