I work in an academic setting, where the quality of the question being asked makes the difference between the great researcher and the good researcher. Good questions are hard to come by. A great question emerged in my small group this week:

Why is sin bad?

Many sins are clearly bad: murder, adultery, theft, even anger and greed. We’re not so sure about other sins, though: frustration, lack of gratitude, judging, complaining. The knee-jerk answer to the question is, “Sin is bad because it’s sin! God has told us what is right and wrong, therefore sin is wrong.” If left to ourselves, though, would we classify all those behaviors and attitudes as sin? Or, due to a lack of good rationale, would we re-classify some sins. Perhaps we would label them as “survival skills” or “coping mechanisms,” with the implication that not only are some sins not really sinful, but they may even be helpful in making it through life.

What do you think: Why is sin bad?