It seems to me that one of the fundamental dividing lines between Catholic and Protestant thought is the issue of the sinfulness of man. I hazard that most Protestants, even Arminians, would hold that a man or woman cannot live a completely sinless life. I am not as confident that Catholics would hold to the same belief in an absolute sense.
So, putting aside what we know—that Jesus Christ was without sin—and putting aside what was dogmatically defined by Catholics --that the Mother of God was immaculately conceived and saved from sin—and, finally, putting aside the controversial examples of infants and mental incompetents, here is the question:
Can a mentally competent adult go through his or her entire life and not actively sin even once, albeit in a venial fashion? Is that theologically possible and, if so, do we have any example of it happening?
My personal belief is that it is not possible, that the utter sinful nature of mankind precludes someone from living his entire life without sinning at least once (and, experience tells us, on multiple and regular occassions). In other words, brothers and sisters “*f we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” 1 John 1:8-10
What say you?*