The Seven Deadly Sins – Lent 2015 Series

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Featured

   You’ve probably heard of the Seven Deadly Sins.  It’s one of those ancient concepts that has managed to stick, even in popular culture, through films and books and advertising campaigns.  The concept was first introduced in the 4th century in the writings of Evagrius of Pontus, a desert monk.  Books and devotional manuals were developed to aid the church in confession and self-examination around these seven sins.
   Protestants have historically shied away from these seven, partly because of the label “deadly.”  We have a healthy understanding that all sins, even the smallest, are deadly, and incur guilt, and separate us from God.  But one of the insights that we have neglected as Protestants, an insight that these seven can help us to see, is that some sins are more powerful than others, because they give rise to additional sins.
   As a result, some describe the Seven Deadly Sins as the Seven Capital Sins.  I admit, that’s not a very catchy re-working of the original, but it’s trying to get at the reality that these seven sins are the source, the fountain of others.  Notice, for example, that adultery and murder are not on the list of seven but lust and anger are.  Why?  Because lust gives rise to adultery and anger gives rise to murder.  Anger also gives rise to a host of other sins:  impatience, yelling, hitting, belittling, telling someone off, bullying, and abuse.
   Someone has said that the Seven Deadly Sins are like generals.  They command the foot soldiers of sin, which we commit on a regular basis.  If we can take out the generals, we will go a long way towards cutting off the foot soldiers.  These generals historically have included the following sins:  envy, vainglory, sloth, avarice (greed), anger, gluttony, and lust.  Some lists include pride among the seven; others view it as the commander in chief, the root of all sin, driving even these seven.
   I invite you to join us in worship as we examine these sins together, not because we want to beat ourselves up with how bad we are, but because we want to learn the hiding places of these generals; we want to see the flags they have planted in our hearts, so that we might uproot them and find greater freedom and obedience towards God in everyday life.  The sermon series began on Sunday, Feb. 1, and will continue up until Easter.