Tuesday, February 23, 2010

innocent vs. deceitful sin

From Rebekah Curtis in Touchstone...

Our four kids are generally well-behaved, or so we're told. But occasionally they do something spectacularly disobedient, and more incredibly, they fail to make any serious effort to conceal it. This infuriates their father. If they're going to do something that [stupid], he growls, they should at least be clever enough to keep us from discovering them at their sin.

However, I salute their stupidity. I take it as a sign that though the children are disobedient, they have at least sinned simply and honestly. Their sin is impulsive, not deceptive; it is primarily of the flesh and not the devil. They sin with desire but without duplicity.

I know what she means in the second paragraph, but I would quibble with her word choice. The issue is ignorance, innocence and naivete, not stupidity. Sinful impulses are also quite problematic. But all in all, she makes a really interesting point.

Jesus tells us to be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves. We should develop our cleverness but it must be applied with proper motives, with proper strength, and to proper ends. (Interestingly, the snake in Genesis 3 is described as crafty or cunning, but it's the same word that's more typically translated prudent in Proverbs.)


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