Sin of Thought?

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7thlancer
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Sin of Thought?

#1

Post by 7thlancer » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:59 pm

I have a very simple question which I have been wrestling with for quite a while now: why is thinking something sinful (ie: jealousy, sexual sin etc...) an actual sin? My question is founded on two different things.
First off, according to Freudian theory, we are not responsible for out thoughts or our dreams, so if one is incapable of halting these dreams in which let's say one dreams of sexual sin, why is one obliged to go and ask God for forgiveness?
Secondly, operating of the basis that God gave us free will as a sort of test our or faith, even if one has sinful thoughts but is strong enough to not put them into action, why is that a sin? Everyone is constantly bombarded with sinful thoughts in his/her mind and so isn't being able to resist them in the name of a higher belief further proof of our faith.
I may not have explained myself clearly and if that is the case let me know and I will try to further my explanation. And please to do not simply reply by citing biblical passages as I already know of their existence but am simply trying to understand the logic behind them.

Thanks

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Re: Sin of Thought?

#2

Post by B. W. » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:01 am

7thlancer wrote:I have a very simple question which I have been wrestling with for quite a while now: why is thinking something sinful (ie: jealousy, sexual sin etc...) an actual sin? My question is founded on two different things.
First off, according to Freudian theory, we are not responsible for out thoughts or our dreams, so if one is incapable of halting these dreams in which let's say one dreams of sexual sin, why is one obliged to go and ask God for forgiveness?
Secondly, operating of the basis that God gave us free will as a sort of test our or faith, even if one has sinful thoughts but is strong enough to not put them into action, why is that a sin? Everyone is constantly bombarded with sinful thoughts in his/her mind and so isn't being able to resist them in the name of a higher belief further proof of our faith.
I may not have explained myself clearly and if that is the case let me know and I will try to further my explanation. And please to do not simply reply by citing biblical passages as I already know of their existence but am simply trying to understand the logic behind them.

Thanks
There is no other way other than cite a bible passage and ask - what does it mean to you and from there may proceed from on the same page so we can understand each other better...

James 1:14, 15, 16 from the NIrV reads - But your own evil longings tempt you. They lead you on and drag you away. 15 When they are allowed to grow, they give birth to sin. When sin has grown up, it gives birth to death. 16 My dear brothers and sisters, don't let anyone fool you. NIV easy Reader version...

7thlancer, What does this verse tell you in regard to your question?
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Re: Sin of Thought?

#3

Post by The Protector » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:01 pm

7thlancer wrote: First off, according to Freudian theory, we are not responsible for out thoughts or our dreams, so if one is incapable of halting these dreams in which let's say one dreams of sexual sin, why is one obliged to go and ask God for forgiveness?

Thanks
Did Freud believe that because it was true, or did he believe it because he was unconsciously motivated to believe it?

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Re: Sin of Thought?

#4

Post by 7thlancer » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:50 pm

B.W - Well I definitely understand the logic behind the fear or letting one's sinful thoughts evolve into something bigger and that holds more actual sway over your actions. But from my personal experience, even if one has sinful thoughts (as I strongly believe that we are powerless in stopping them arising into our consciousness) and simply focused on other thoughts (varying from thinking about religious prayer and morals to focusing on the upcoming hockey game) my stronger beliefs in those two things surpasses my original sinful thought and the latter gets pushed out of my mind therefore not allowing in to grow into sinful action. Therefore the way that I interpret the biblical passage is that the actual though itself is not sinful but "when they are allowed to grow, they give birth to sin". In other words, if one is strong enough (whether in faith or secular moral) to not allow those thoughts to grow into anything more than thoughts, one has not sinned. Is that far off of the mark?

The protector - The question is definitely up for discussion as the question you pose is a legitimate one and one that I will admit I have never thought of. I still do believe that he elaborated his theory of the unconscious because he thought it to be true not because he was unconsciously motivated to believe it. My main point in defence Freudian theory's true validity is that had he been unconsciously motivated to believe it, it would not have escaped the self-imposed censorship of society by Freud's own conscience who considered his theory radical. Even if it escaped the censorship and expressed itself through a dream like our unconscious motivations often do, I believe that Freud, like all of us do with our dreams, would simply push them away and not consider them any more.

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Re: Sin of Thought?

#5

Post by 1over137 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:56 pm

Matthew 5:27
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
-- 1 Thessalonians 5:21

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Re: Sin of Thought?

#6

Post by neo-x » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:08 am

It is a sin because, the need to, and the want to commit sin is in your heart. This shows imperfection and our need of God's redemption. Christ is addressing the root of the problem. The fallen nature. If you thought of a specific sin such as lust and then agreed with your thought, you sinned, because you are okay with sin. That is the issue here. It is not about carrying it out, whether you carry it out or not is irrelevant. You agree with the sinful nature. That is the problem and that is sin itself.
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Re: Sin of Thought?

#7

Post by B. W. » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:31 am

7thlancer wrote: B.W - Well I definitely understand the logic behind the fear or letting one's sinful thoughts evolve into something bigger and that holds more actual sway over your actions. But from my personal experience, even if one has sinful thoughts (as I strongly believe that we are powerless in stopping them arising into our consciousness) and simply focused on other thoughts (varying from thinking about religious prayer and morals to focusing on the upcoming hockey game) my stronger beliefs in those two things surpasses my original sinful thought and the latter gets pushed out of my mind therefore not allowing in to grow into sinful action. Therefore the way that I interpret the biblical passage is that the actual though itself is not sinful but "when they are allowed to grow, they give birth to sin". In other words, if one is strong enough (whether in faith or secular moral) to not allow those thoughts to grow into anything more than thoughts, one has not sinned. Is that far off of the mark?
Yes, I think that is what the passage is saying. I also think it refers to what Jesus was saying in Matthew 5:28 and you put to two together and you gain the proper meaning of the James 1:15 Text:

…when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. NKJV

Our thoughts do sin – these cause us to justify the acts. Now look at these verses…

Titus 2:11 NIV - For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
Titus 2:12 NIV - It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Titus 2:13, 14 - while we wait for the blessed hope--the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
NIV

We may not be able to completely gain mastery over our own thoughts but thank the Lord for His Grace that teaches us how to resist.

So the question comes back to this principle – who and what do we rely on most: The Lord and his grace that teaches us what?..or our own thoughts that give birth to full blown sin?

Now look at your original question:
7thlancer wrote:…Everyone is constantly bombarded with sinful thoughts in his/her mind and so isn't being able to resist them in the name of a higher belief further proof of our faith.
I the light of the biblical standard discussed so far – what would you say the answer is?

Next,
7thlancer wrote:The protector - The question is definitely up for discussion as the question you pose is a legitimate one and one that I will admit I have never thought of. I still do believe that he elaborated his theory of the unconscious because he thought it to be true not because he was unconsciously motivated to believe it. My main point in defense Freudian theory's true validity is that had he been unconsciously motivated to believe it, it would not have escaped the self-imposed censorship of society by Freud's own conscience who considered his theory radical. Even if it escaped the censorship and expressed itself through a dream like our unconscious motivations often do, I believe that Freud, like all of us do with our dreams, would simply push them away and not consider them anymore.
Freud based his own past experience upon his theories as well as some ancient Greek philosophic ideas. Some may have a form of truth but be careful. There are so many variables in the human psychology that explains why folk do what they do, when they do what they do, that Freud missed. Just be aware of this when studying Freud. For example, there are such things as idols in the heart. An idol is what a person serves as well as bends God (or others) to serve as well.

People’ past experience’s often make a ‘Look at me Idol’ due to rejection, abandonment, abuse, neglect, great lack, etc received in their past. That idol transfers to a – I must be significant (important) Idol at All Cost - that drives a person’s actions. In Christendom, for example such folk strive to be the next greatest apostle, prophet, etc, the greatest theologian of all time and thus that Idol is used as a tool to have God bow too to serve their need with all subtleness. This can transfer into the secular business, scholastic world too. That is a sin that brings death and also by God’s grace be overcome.

Jeremiah 17:9, 10, 11, 14
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Re: Sin of Thought?

#8

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:08 am

The literary form of what Jesus was speaking of in Matthew is called "hyperbole." It was very common in Jewish teaching and it involves taking something to its extreme to illustrate the absurdity of some of the legalistic constructs that are built upon it. This is the same type of thing that was going on when Jesus spoke of cutting off limbs or gouging out eyes. Reading that with a literalistic, simplified point of view misses the point Jesus was making which wasn't to encourage self-mutilation but to show how absurd it is to imagine that trying to maintain moral perfection before God as a basis of our holiness is a reachable goal.

As I understand it, and as I've experienced it, my own spirituality maturity and thought life have changed over time, not because I've become super-good at self-control by my own efforts and disciplines but because I've been being transformed in my heart and mind by God's spirit in me, and that's the foundation. My efforts align with that, and are important, but they aren't the foundation, they are me cooperating with what is ultimately a work of God and His Spirit.

Positionally and objectively from God's perspective I have arrived because I am identified in Christ.

Practically and subjectively from my perspective I continue to be a work in progress but I am the object being worked upon and through, not the source of my own righteousness.

We're free from the whole works based righteousness that says we're right with God because of what we do or don't do and we're free to love God and allow the fruits of righteousness in our life come from God and the Spirit's work within us to produce those fruits.
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Re: Sin of Thought?

#9

Post by nuthajason » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:31 pm

7thlancer wrote:B.W - Well I definitely understand the logic behind the fear or letting one's sinful thoughts evolve into something bigger and that holds more actual sway over your actions. But from my personal experience, even if one has sinful thoughts (as I strongly believe that we are powerless in stopping them arising into our consciousness) and simply focused on other thoughts (varying from thinking about religious prayer and morals to focusing on the upcoming hockey game) my stronger beliefs in those two things surpasses my original sinful thought and the latter gets pushed out of my mind therefore not allowing in to grow into sinful action. Therefore the way that I interpret the biblical passage is that the actual though itself is not sinful but "when they are allowed to grow, they give birth to sin". In other words, if one is strong enough (whether in faith or secular moral) to not allow those thoughts to grow into anything more than thoughts, one has not sinned. Is that far off of the mark?
.
i have thought this before and am guilty of letting some of my sinful thoughts run wild and grow (read 'backsliding'). i think the sinful thought must maybe be distinguished from the sinful fantasy in much the same way that knowledge and wisdom are different. wisdom is knowledge in action. an errant thought that is held and developed can become an obsession and an action. if the original thought is contrary to God it becomes sinful when relished.
a young beleiver once asked me if they were going to hell because they thought they cursed the Holy Spirit in their thought when they read Mark 3:22-30. and it is funny how this rang a bell because my mind certainly did think a similar thought when i first read that passage. But it is clear that this is not what Jesus means if you read into the context of the statement ( see http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/ ... lesin.html).
i believe God knows when what we think are just stupid thoughts and he knows exactly when these begin to become sinful. and if you are consciously trying to baffle these thoughts with prayer or even thought about sports, then your intension is based on obedience and love for God - the very opposite of sin. the fact that you are concerned about this at all speaks volumes.
j

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Re: Sin of Thought?

#10

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:12 pm

Intent leads to sin and intent is driven by thoughts.
Of course we THINK sin, it is our nature BUT we must be conscious that thinking a sin is just as sinful as doing it because, in understanding that no sin comes from anywhere BUT from thought, we can best "nipped it in the bud" sort of speaking.
Just as sin starts in thought so does redemption and doing what is right.
The HS speaks to Us in thought, Our Lord's voice speaks to us in thought, we start the fight against sin in thought.

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