This Controversial View of Sin May Change Your Life

GAYoda: Today’s global magazine for gay Christians

Mike Rosebush, PhD
Published in
7 min readJan 23


Image purchased via iStock

Christians, in general, seem obsessed with sin. And seemingly, the more pious one becomes the more grip that sin has on one’s life.

It does not have to be this way.

This article provides a new view on sin and a freed viewpoint.

Traditional Definition of Sin

Some people believe that sin separates a person from God. As such, the more religious the person, the more lament a person has whenever s/he sins. Relatedly, some Christians (most notably Catholics) believe that unconfessed sin on one’s soul prevents them from entering heaven. Classically, this is often portrayed as a dying man asking for a priest to which to confess his sins (or, at the least, simply making a “deathbed confession” to no one in particular).

Most people would prefer to think of spending eternity in a wondrous state of being rather than a torturous existence. Such is true regardless of one’s viewpoint of heaven or hell.

Thus, sin takes on tremendous importance to Christians. Screw this up, and you will end up in hell. Follow the right rules, and you will end up in heaven.

And there are plenty of things to avoid doing. The Christian bible (in all of its forms) clearly describes many types of sin: sexual immorality, idolatry, discord, envy, rage, and even drunkenness and gluttony. The more one studies one’s version of the bible, the more one is aware of the various types of sin.

And humans tend to point out other people’s sins rather than their own.

Often, for the religious person, to sin is to be sad. To sin a lot is to be depressed. To be too depressed is to lose hope. And to lose hope is to commit suicide.

So, for the super-religious and conservative folks, the traditional view is to fear making a sin. The greater the fear, the lesser the peace.

Original Sin

Most Christians have a belief in “original sin,” — which is comprised of two parts: “original pollution” and “original guilt.” Pollution refers to the idea that people are born with a sinful nature and a certainty of choosing to sin. Guilt is the belief that everyone is worthy of condemnation and death from birth.

The apostle Paul laments his original pollution — referring to it as his “flesh” (which some theologians refer to as one’s “sinful nature” and human’s “total depravity”). Accordingly, all people are born inclined to sin — it is how they are hard-wired. Many Christians believe they receive a second, competing nature (i.e., the fruits of the Holy Spirit) whenever they entrust their life to Jesus. Thus, the two “natures” are in a perennial battle between “doing right” and “doing wrong.” Those who give in to their sinful nature oppose God — and must repent to be forgiven.

Original guilt presumes that because of Adam’s sin in the garden, all subsequent humans are born with a sin or stain upon their souls. The remedy for this original sin: align with Jesus. Thus, evangelicals will want to rescue people from their inevitable destination of hell by sharing the good news about Jesus.

However, not all Christians believe in original pollution and original guilt.

Many Christians believe differently. They believe that all people are born “in the image of God.” Thus, all people have an inherent worth and deserve to be treated with dignity. As such, they are not destined to hell upon birth or have an uncontrollable nature to sin. Rather, they believe that all people have their own free will. Thus, each person’s responsibility (in every situation) is to choose not to sin. Furthermore, many believe that Adam’s sin in the garden did not condemn every generation toward the born status of “sinner.” Contrarily, many maintain that the consequence of Adam’s original sin results in physical death for every human (versus eternal separation from God).

Under this alternative worldview, Jesus was not born with a sinful nature or automatic guilt at birth. Rather, He continually chose to love (i.e., avoid sin) and died a physical death.

So what does all of this theology mean for you and me?

If we believe in original sin, we are doomed to eternal separation from God unless we become united with Jesus.

Contrarily, if we believe we are born in the image of God, then we continually choose to love in the manner that Jesus loves.

New Definition of Sin

There is an alternative view regarding sin.

And this new viewpoint may completely transform your life.

This perspective defines “sin” as “missing the mark.” Just as a sharpshooter attempts to hit the bullseye — he rarely hits dead center. He misses the mark. And the person’s consequence for missing the mark is not separation from God.

Instead, the person tries again to hit the bullseye. The more the person attempts to hit the dead center, the more likely the person is to accomplish the objective.

Religiously, there is a bullseye. It is called love.

Every person has unlimited and unending opportunities to love others. And most certainly, we do not hit the bullseye each time.

However, the bullseye itself never changes.

Jesus informs us that every rule and command (from the bible or tradition) is fulfilled whenever we love others, as Jesus has loved us.

Let’s take the example of playing darts. The goal is to hit the bullseye more times than the other person. Thus, the person aims and releases the dart. The dart may land near or far from its target.

Expert dart throwers practice over and over again to hit dead center. Whenever they “miss the mark,” they are not condemned. Nope. They get another chance to “hit the mark.”

Dart throwers do not quiver in fear that if they are off-center, they are eternally condemned to hell. Rather, they have unlimited opportunities to score the bullseye (or at least get closer to it).

A New Reality

Many Christians operate upon the premise that life is all about avoiding sins. They believe that if they learn right from wrong (i.e., a “black-white” way of thinking), they can avoid sinning. Some Christian religions and denominations are obsessed with avoiding sin. For example, a denomination exists in which the members believe they can attain a state of sinlessness. In other words, they always hit the mark. Such denominations are “holiness” centered. Their goal is purity. And generally, they are obsessed with sexual purity. They preach such righteousness; they convey that they have actually attained sexual purity. Usually, they are prideful.

And deceived. They preen and act as though they have never sexually sinned. Such delusions result in an inauthentic life (and often closeted sexual addictions).

Furthermore, belief in maintaining sexual purity has a secret dark side.

Presumably, all humans (except asexuals) experience a sexual attraction toward certain people. Frequently the attractions tempt the person to want more (i.e., to view the person nude or to imagine a sexual experience with such a person). Rather than consider this a normal part of the human condition, many Christians act as though they have “missed the mark” whenever they experience a sexual attraction. Accordingly, these Christians believe that same-sex attractions always miss the mark. Furthermore, they lament that they seem unable to stop their attraction toward anyone other than their spouse.

Such people are guilt-ridden messes.

They can, however, have a better life.

What if their worldview shifted?

A different worldview would be as follows.

The new perspective would presume that we are not totally depraved but instead made in God’s image. Thus, we can love like Jesus. Furthermore, we are not born guilty; rather, we are born to die a physical death. Moreover, Jesus loves every human life. He considers all humans to be made in His image — and thus deserve dignity. This posture is true for gays and people of all colors and genders. Dignity is owed to the homeless. Value is even ascribed to murderers. One does not have to earn God’s respect. Rather, all humans already possess such dignity.

The new perspective would presume that the bullseye is love. Such actions resemble Jesus’ actions. Most specifically, love is feeling compassion for someone and then serving the person with merciful kindness. The classic example, of course, is Jesus washing the apostles’ feet. Jesus felt compassion for them, then humbly provided kindness to each person (including Judas). Other examples of such love abound. Jesus having compassion for the starving masses and then satisfying their hunger; Jesus hanging out with the marginalized; Jesus forgiving the brutes who horrifically tortured Him.

Jesus is Love

Jesus not only provides the example of love but also unendingly exudes love.

In some ways, Jesus is the master dart thrower. He always hits the bullseye. And yet, Jesus invites everyone to throw darts with Him. When someone misses the mark, Jesus provides them with another opportunity to improve. The more the person attempts to love, the more automatically the person succeeds in hitting the bullseye.

And here is the amazing new reality.

We can eternally experience life with Jesus for as long as we keep throwing darts with Him.

If someone does not want to play darts with Jesus, then such a person is not obligated by Jesus to do so. The person has free will. However, the person will miss out on the ultimate joy of providing love to others.

And the person who has no desire to love will have no desire to be around Jesus. And such a person will get her/his wish — a life devoid of Jesus.

I Could Be Wrong

Of course, I may be entirely wrong in my view about original sin. And maybe life is not like playing darts with Jesus.

But this much I believe with my whole heart:

I want to be forever next to Jesus — and He wants to forever be near me.

Dr. Mike Rosebush (he, him, his; Ph.D., Counseling Psychology) is the founder/writer for GAYoda: Today’s global magazine for gay Christians. Contact Dr. Rosebush at



Mike Rosebush, PhD

Lover of Jesus | Gay Married| Founder/Writer “GAYoda” | Counselor/Encourager