Sin as Wound and Sickness

I believe I've mentioned this before on the blog, but I've been increasingly taken with the metaphors of woundedness, injury, and sickness for sin.

Most Protestants tend to view sin as moral performance errors. Sin is morally "missing the mark."

The trouble with this metaphor, though I'm not denying its legitimacy, is that it frames sin in moralistic terms. With every choice we are either being "good" or "bad," obedient or wicked. The frame here is one of guilt and forgiveness. Salvation is "wiping the slate clean."

But more and more I've come to think of sin in biological and medical metaphors. Sin is a sickness, a disease, a fever. Sin is a wound and an injury. Generally, a self-inflicted wound and injury.

What I've liked about these metaphors is that they are less moralistic and tend to marginalize the framework of guilt. Sin doesn't produce a guilty verdict from a judge. Sin is, rather, a state of weakness and incapacity that I need rescuing from.

I don't need forgiveness in these metaphors, I need healing.

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