Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sometimes you get heretical notions here

So let’s start with the foundational axiom that Jesus Christ led a sinless life.

Fine. But what does sinless mean?

The general idea among us Mormons, shared by most Xian theology, i think, is that it means that Jesus Christ never committed a sin—he was tempted, but never submitted to temptation.

However, there are other possible readings.

First of all, for Mormons, it could be that he committed acts that would be considered sinful, but that he did so before the age of accountability.*

Another possibility is that he committed acts that would be considered sinful, but he never sinned against any particular law that he knew of—after all, there’s that textually ambiguous status of sins committed by someone who doesn’t know what the rules are. (That’s at least part of why Mormons don’t consider the Fall to be the result of sins on the part of Adam and Eve—no knowledge means no sin.)

He may have sinned but consistently repented perfectly (better than the rest of us do, i’m thinking), meaning that those sins would not have been attributed to him.

And finally, he may actually have never sinned. At all.

I’m not sure which of these i hold with. I’m throwing this out there ’cause i’m curious what others think.

* For any non-Mormons reading, one doesn’t become accountable for one’s sins until arriving at the age of eight. (There’s more to it, but that’s enough detail for the moment.)

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

I can honestly say that I've never really thought about any of that.

I'm going with never sinned.