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Intentional / Unintentional Sin

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Abiyah, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. Abiyah

    Abiyah <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Jul 22, 2002
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    The ideas I have read and heard regarding inten-
    tional and unintentional sin have been of interest
    to me, because I am certainly still in the learning
    more, certainly not the teaching mode, with regard
    to sin. While there is already a thread on the sub-
    ject, it is in the Baptist-Only area. May we please
    dialogue about it here as well?

    I have believed that I have sinned both intention-
    ally and unintentionally, but it was explained to me
    once that all sin is intentional, because all action
    is intentional. I could understand, to a point, why
    the person wrote this, but if this is true, why is
    there no sacrifice listed for intentional sin but there
    are sacrifices listed for unintentional sins?

    Also, what is the definition of intentional and
    unintentional sin? It may be that our definition
    is what is faulty here.

    Further, there are times when we may call some-
    thing sin when another does not. (Example: our
    definition of a lie may differ with another's defini-
    tion.) How do we rectify this biblically? Does a
    particular maturity level define sin for the individ-
    ual sinner?
  2. SpiritualMadMan

    SpiritualMadMan New Member

    Nov 10, 2003
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    Two thoughts 'jump' to mind:

    To sin willfully:
    Thankfully the Armenian in me is not too strong to also accept that if I judge myself I don't need to be judged. :D
    My mind is going blank... Probably need to eat a snack! This could get interesting?
  3. Abiyah

    Abiyah <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Jul 22, 2002
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    Did you get that snack? :)
  4. trying2understand

    trying2understand New Member

    Aug 25, 2001
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    This may be a good starting point.

    What do you see as unintentional sin?

    Lots of meanings come to mind.

    A sin that you do by accident - such as accidently walking out of the store with something you did not pay for but would have if you knew you had it?

    A sin that just pops up without your thinking about it - like getting angry at someone unjustly because you were taken by surprise?

    A sin that is the result of another act - such as not doing your job properly at the auto plant and five years later the bolt that you didn't tighten fell out and someone gets killed because of it?

    A sin that you just didn't stop to think about long enough to ask yourself whether it is a sin or not?

    Just thinking out loud here. [​IMG]

  5. Abiyah

    Abiyah <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Jul 22, 2002
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    Now please understand -- I am learning here.
    Asking questions. Throwing out thoughts. :)
    Please bear with me, too. :) This transition from
    holiness-Arminianism to Calvinism is not an easy
    one for me, in some ways! :)

    See, I did this the other day at Home Depot --
    walked out of the store with a small item that had
    fallen down in the basket, and I forgot about it until
    I was putting stuff in my car and found it.

    My old Arminian {A. from now on here) concept
    would have been, "But it was never a sin, unless I
    had not gone back to the store and paid for it." Is
    the Calvinism (C. from now on here) idea that it
    was sin as soon as I walked away from the cash
    register without paying for it but forgiven (justified)
    sin as soon as I took it back to the cashier,
    explained, and paid for it?

    Sure, in my idea of C. In my old idea of A., that
    would have been considered an error, a misjudg-
    ment, an accident. However, in holiness-
    Arminianism, they would say that if my "heart had
    been right," if I had been doing the right things, this
    would not have happened.

    Now, that one would be bad! I think that in C., that
    is a sin, but in A., it would not have been a sin,
    because I did not know. They used the definition
    that if you KNOW to do something and don't do it,
    it is sin. They would also have said that it must have
    been our God's will.

    Since I also use the ideas from the Law and the
    Prophets, I would certainly say that is sin, even
    though it was unintentional, and I have no idea it
    ever happened.

    I think so, in C. In A., that would not have been a
    sin until I actually recognized that it was sin. But
    again, in holiness A., they would have said that if
    my ducks had been in a row, this would not have

    Me, too.

    Yes, I would call all these unintentional sins. Am I
    on the right track so far?

    [ November 22, 2003, 07:35 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
  6. trying2understand

    trying2understand New Member

    Aug 25, 2001
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    I would say that this is not a sin if you did not know that you were doing this. When you discover the error, then at that time you need to correct it. Failing to correct it then would be a sin.

    I would say that this is a sin and is a consequence of our fallen nature. Once it happens we have an obligation to make amends to the person we hurt as well as to confess it to God.

    This one is a little tougher. I would say that not doing the job to the best of our ability to the standard that we are being paid for, is a sin.

    Whether the harm done to another is a sin would probably depend on our ability to forsee that such a harm could potentialy follow as a consequence to our negligence.

    I would also say that we have an obligation to seriously consider the potential harm, however unintended, of our actions.

    This would probably be a sin depending on whether we should know that it is sinful.

    In other words, we have an obligation to develope a well formed conscience. To neglect the formation of our conscience is not a valid excuse for not knowing that something is a sin when the typical Christian in the same circumstance would recognize it is a sin.

    Ron [​IMG]
  7. trying2understand

    trying2understand New Member

    Aug 25, 2001
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    Abiyah, pretty tricky stuff, huh.

    I think that it comes down to striving to avoid sin as best one can, recognizing that we do sin even though not intentionally, confessing our sins to God, and trust God will and does forgive us.

    I'd also add to the list of intentional/unintentional sins:

    If you think that something is a sin when it in fact is not a matter of sin, but choose to do so anyway, that too is a sin of disobedience in and of itself. [​IMG]
  8. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia Guest

    Something that has stuck with me as a child... an unintentional sin...

    My mother insisted her bedroom suite was exactly as one she saw on sale at a store for more than she had paid. When she got home she realized she was wrong and called the lady to tell her that she was mistaken.

    IF she had not corrected her statement, that would have been intentional. If she had not been able to verify she was wrong, no sin would have been committed, just an error. Even an honest mistake, if not corrected, can BECOME a sin by ommission and not commission.

    I've always been very careful to clear up things if I find out later I misquoted or misstated something.

  9. Abiyah

    Abiyah <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Jul 22, 2002
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    Sure makes me think. In my old belief, so many
    things were passed off, ignored, to the hurt of the
    ones who committed them as well as those they
    were committed against and those who observed
    them committed. The excuses made for these
    things, when excuses were even made, were very

    One of the things I realized, toward the end of my
    tenure there, was how unforgiven sin stacked upon
    unforgiven sin, until the people seemed to have so
    little conscience left.

    I agree, and that is biblical. I am trying to remember
    the reference, but it slips me right now.

    My reasoning for calling the accidental shoplifting
    sin is this: if I had been noticed by store security,
    leaving the store with the item, they would have
    legally called it theft. From their point of view, they
    would have had every right to do so, and biblically,
    they would have been right, too. The item was in
    my possession, and in the U.S., by our laws, it was
    theft because I exited the door with it.

    Certainly, I did not know I had it, but how can one
    act done by me be rightfully considered not sin by
    me and rightfully considered sin by another? It is
    either a sin to all parties or not a sin to all parties.
    So I conclude that it was sin. If I had deliberately
    driven away with it, it would have become an even
    worse sin, because I would have ignored my God,
    my conscience, the laws of the land, and the
    store's right to be compensated.

    I have known believers who actually think that it
    is all right to keep that extra dollar bill from the
    cashier, the pen they accidentally took from the
    bank, the book (CD, movie) they borrowed and
    forgot to return, etc. I, personally, believe that
    every pen with a company's name on it, that we
    were not specifically given by them, represents
    theft. I believe every borrowed book (CD, movie)
    we keep beyond the rightful due date is there by
    theft, unless arrangements with the lender have
    been made. Somebody suffered a loss, and we
    gained through that loss. That's theft.

    Ouch! Ouch, ouch! I can't find a book I borrowed
    from the library, and I know I must find it or pay.
  10. Abiyah

    Abiyah <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Jul 22, 2002
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    Diane --

    I would say that your mother left you a legacy of
    honesty. Bless her.