A Christian by the Virtue of Being a Sinner – I am a Sinner, therefore I am a Good Christian

We are all sinners – historical evidence and personal experiences tell us. The human soul, as it is well known, is weak and easily corruptible. Still, one thing is the petty sinfulness of being human-only human and still trying (mostly in vain) to resist it in the name of Christ or even because of love for Him, and it’s quite another to participate in organized and righteous sinning and then to claim that all of this is not sin at all because it is done by Christians and meant as a defense of or empowering a Christian nation. When a person feels that belonging to a Christian nation gives you a chance to be forgiven for committing sinful acts and even crimes, religious belief is used as an excuse to sin, it doesn’t contradicts sinning anymore. When somebody among us feels that sinful acts (like war’s sanctified robbery and murder on mass scale) are forgiven by Christ as soon as it is done for the sake of Christian civilization and leads to the expansion of Christianity over competitive religions, this logic must be considered as self-justificatory and at least three times more sinful than the attempts to justify the individual crimes and transgressions.

We often forget that our proclivity to sin is connected with the circumstances of our life starting from our childhood and, on the other hand, with systemic (societal) stimulation of sinful behavior. Like traditional cultures understood sin as being exclusively a matter of personal behavior and responsibility, today’s democracies also underestimate the systemic determination of human norms and values (for example, we are trained from childhood to consume as a goal in itself and to enjoy a consumerist pride, or to hate the enemies of our rich decision-makers). The cult of fight for a higher place in the social hierarchy, the cult of war and its tail: international plunder, were always obvious systemic influences sculpting the polymer clay of brains into human desires and interests. Megalomania (I ‘m/We ‘re-the-best-mentality) and scapegoating (whatever detriments take place it is always another people’s guilt, never mine or ours) are the basic psychological mechanisms of sinning. It is the same logic that says that I killed somebody because my victim was an evil and a disgusting person who deserved it, or, if we kill collectively it is because another group/nation was a danger to our superior civilization/religion.

Religious systems have always justified sinning by ideological cause, but Christianity with its humanistic motif of forgiveness of sin through the mercy of Christ is more open to abuse of justifying our individual or collective egoistic and self-indulgent behavior – many Christians are prone to rely on Christ’s mercy and allow themselves to sin without (or with reduced) fear of being punished by God. In the hands of many Christian believers God’s mercy opens up the theological gates for more sinning and more calculation of how to sin without the risk of being punished. It is of no surprise that the Christian nations today are economically the most gluttonous and predatory, the richest and strongest in the world, the most aggressive and the most destructive in their aggressiveness, and the most drug-fixated countries in the world, with the highest rate of crimes and imprisonment. Christ’s mercy has been abused by human beings, has been taken as an excuse to sin more, to sin without limits. Christ became a justificatory “mechanism” for human crimes against humanity.

Today, in the Bushmerican period of American history when corporate credo of crude greed provokes terrorist resistance, and when physical torture (in the name of Christianity and democracy) has become a respectable way to behave, the role of systemic stimulation of sinful behavior is especially obvious. The gap between the two top percents of the American population and the rest widens. The invention of wars without reasons, creation of financial collapse by improper commercial practices, and bailing-out the corporate sinners with the tax-money of the poor – this accumulation of sinning becomes “legal” by the efforts of lawyers with liberal sensibility, but with fragmented psyches and de-existentialized professional logic. The transgressors are not punished – their actions are perceived as corresponding to “our national interests”.

The consumerist Christianity (consuming Christ’s favors as much as enjoying earthy goods) becomes even more dogmatic – the more people sin the more they need to neutralize their sins by demonstrating to themselves and others their belief in Christ and the church. Today more than ever the traditional idea that true Christians are those who try to become more virtuous (less fixated on consumption and hate) seems outdated in its naiveté and even hubris. Now, it is exactly sinfulness what connects us to Christ – instead of separating and distancing us from Him. When individual or collective sinners (militaries who make war with people who did nothing bad to our country, or who torture with pleasure, or the rich financial decision-makers indulging in illegal or semi-illegal practices and ending up with having the taxpayers’ money cover-up their misdeeds), after surrendering to vicious behavior become afraid of punishment – here the compassionate palm of Jesus (or the very totalitarian proclivity to let the crimes of leaders, bosses and their followers to go on unpunished) touches the sinner’s forehead, and the sinner becomes sinless as a leaf of a birch tree.

In our historical cradle: the totalitarian societies, loyalty to the leaders allowed you to be forgiven for your crimes. Then isn’t Christian forgiveness of our sins a typical totalitarian motif of pardoning that is granted in exchange for loyalty (for belief in Godly or human leaders)? May be, it is the leaders’ need for the sinners’ loyalty have created this custom of the monarchic (Christian) gesture of pardon for crimes when the majestic will of the sovereign (under the cover of Christian forgiveness) overrides the law?