I think this is where one of the major miscommunications occurs in passing Catholicism from one person to the next. There are many interpretations that translate to essentially everything being a sin.
I left the church for a long time and came back, so I’ve been paying more attention this time. A lot of people who are quick to accuse you of sin may not be able to separate a stimulus from an action. You might have a desire to do something but do not ***act ***on that desire. In this instance, no sin has been committed. Just because you wanted to do it, or contemplated doing it…if you didn’t actually do it, you didn’t do it, and that’s that. However, to many Catholics, cause and effect are inexplicably linked. For example, if you masturbate or watch porn, even if only occasionally, that automatically makes you a sex addict and a bad person who has ruined your future wife’s health (even if you haven’t met her yet). Quite a leap of logic, filled with nothing but assumptions.
I think the issue is a loss of moral culpability. No one is holding people responsible for their decisions anymore, they’re just looking for whatever person or object to blame. Lots of people really do believe that beaches are a sin. Why? Because of swimsuits. Why? Because swimsuits force people to do bad things? Really? The majority of western culture has made yearly vacations out of visits to beaches. And I admit, sometimes seeing a girl in a bikini will make me think of stuff, because she’s nearly naked, but the difference is that I know better than to act on it. I don’t go up to people at the beach and say, ‘hi I noticed you’re almost naked, let’s go have sex so I can never call you again.’ I choose not to do that, even though I am physically capable… Just because it’s possible for someone to misuse something doesn’t mean that something is a sin. It’s all about the way we choose to use things. Keep the blame on the person who screwed up, not on the object they screwed up with. Swimsuits shouldn’t be thought of as sinful just because some people use things for the wrong reasons. What if you wore a tee shirt to the beach. Are beaches sinful then?? I was just using that as an example because my neighbor really does think beaches are sinful. Another example is a family member who thinks that salt is a mark of the devil because he has high sodium levels. And I’m like…so? Just because some people have high sodium levels doesn’t mean that salt is the devil… It just means your body is different and that you have certain reactions to things that other people don’t have, so you must stay away from salt instead of trying to ban everyone else from using it.
I think that a lot of Catholics tend to think that there is only one answer in life, and I think that life has many answers and that different situations turn out differently. However, I also admit that I have trouble listening to God, so I don’t mean to disagree with Catholic teaching, because I could be wrong. I think it’s a matter of putting sin into perspective - Christianity shouldn’t be trivialized and reduced down to following a set of rules if you want to stay in the club. I think God knows what your weak and strong points are, he knows where you are a good example and where your judgment does and always will err. I think as long as you’re trying to do right, he won’t withhold forgiveness. :signofcross:
And by that, I don’t mean that it’s okay to sin, I just mean that God doesn’t expect anyone to be perfect, and he embraces our individual strengths ***and ***weaknesses. :bible1: