It seems like every year the news media presents us with shocking disclosures about political leaders, actors, athletes, and members of the clergy getting caught in scandal. These are often people of great accomplishments. Even great leaders, who have started important movements throughout history and whose personal sacrifices have benefited humankind, have succumbed to various personal indiscretions.
How is this possible? How can these transgressions happen, especially when many such individuals often expound noble behavior? They clearly have a sense of right and wrong.
The problem is not civility or morality. It is one’s spirituality. Misconduct is not simply a “slip” or a temporary mental state of bad judgment. It is the rejection of the concept of sin.
Many dynamic individuals may understand that certain behavior is immoral and loudly condemn such behavior as going against the public good. But if these things are not seen as sins, they remain soldering in the heart and are merely kept hidden from the world for the sake of reputation.
This is why Scripture warns us to “clean the inside of the cup” (Matthew 23:26). If something is not viewed as a sin, the inside of the cup remains as it is.
What is not usually taken into account is that humans have an inner and an outer reality. Humans are both physical and spiritual beings. But these two realities of our life can be completely separated from each other. We can be outwardly good but inwardly challenged. This leads to hypocrisy.
This inner deceit has led to a faulty reasoning of modernity which has adopted the life-slogan and inner conviction that, “something is wrong only if you get caught.” But how is it that such individuals can do great things for humanity and gain our deepest respect and praise?
Great things can be, and indeed are, accomplished by those who do not inspect their inner reality. In fact, they are often more motivated to accomplish great things which can benefit others than those of a more humble animus. The reason is quite simple. Such individuals are inwardly driven by the powerful principle of self-love and have pride from the glory of their own self-intelligence. So, in order to succeed and gain proper recognition, they push themselves more than others to accomplish great things.
The Lord God often makes wise use of those who are intoxicated by the power of self-love. For instance, various ego-centered individuals have been quite successful in spreading the Holy Word throughout the world by their immoderate passion for quoting scripture and speaking about God from the pulpit.
The problem is that while such individuals can be of real value to others, they shoot themselves in the foot. The spiritual world (heaven and hell) consists of the inner realities of people. That can be either a comforting or scary thought.
It is wrong to think we screw up because “to be human is to err.” We get our humanness from God and increase it through following spiritual tenets and the Commandments. God is always focused on our inner realities.
Do you think the concepts of “sin” and “evil” have relevancy in our post-modern world, or are they simply archaic terms used by the unenlightened?