Essay on Sin: Past and Present

Essay on Sin: Past and Present

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It is hard to tell the difference between a Christian and a non-believer in today’s society, for believers have conformed to the ways of the non-believers. The Bible defines sin as “transgression of the law” (King James Version Bible, 1 John 3:4). Wikipedia defines sin, in religion, as an act that violates a known moral rule. However, Christians’ attitudes towards sin have changed drastically over the centuries. The Seven Deadly Sins, found many times in the Bible, are rarely spoken of in contemporary Christian culture. If anything, they are encouraged. In the movie Wall Street, Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gekko states, “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” The popular HBO series Sex and the City focuses on single women and their lustful pursuits of men. In the 1300s, around the time that Dante wrote Divine Comedy, Christians were aware of the Seven Deadly Sins and strived to be holy and void of them. The sins listed in the Bible are not considered as important as they were in Dante’s time.
In Purgatorio, Dante’s purgatory contains seven terraces, one terrace for each of the Seven Deadly Sins. In each terrace, the souls are forced to encounter both the sin and the opposite virtue to the sin they had committed. Pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust each had consequences. Followers of Christ during Dante’s time were careful not to commit any of these sins, but presently, they do not seem to care about them.
The first terrace of purgatory deals with greed. Souls traveling through this terrace carry heavy rocks on their back, forcing them to walk slowly with their faces pointed to the ground. Carved on the side of the mountain are images of the opposite virtue humility, such as...

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... positive views of God. “Jesus loves you” is the phrase drilled into every churchgoers head. Because of this brainwashing, the people choose not to worry about their sinful lives because, after all, God loves them and will forgive them. They tend to focus on only the positive aspects of their faith and leave the topic of sin on the back burner. God will forgive those who repent and save those who believe, but, sin is not just breaking God’s law. It is the cause of every pain, every conflict, every fear, everything negative in one’s life. Thus, if one avoids sin, there is less anguish in his or her life.

Works Cited

Wall Street. Dir. Oliver Stone." Perf. Douglas, Michael.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation: 1987,

King James Version Bible. Frank Charles Thompson, ed.
Indianapolis: B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc., 2007.

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