James Long, Ph.D., P.E. Retired Analog and RF Consulting Engineer
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Brother Cysa Dime has authored a book on these sins. I recommend it and his how to study the Bible book. Both are available on Amazon.
In the early days of Christianity, church leaders noticed certain sins that were commonly committed (because the people thought that because they were not illegal by secular laws, they were unimportant) and which had disastrous consequences. These were listed as the Seven Deadly Sins. Some time later the Roman Catholic church decided that these were mortal sins which would bar a person from entering Heaven even if they were otherwise qualified. You can get a good handle on your relationship to God by your reaction to reading these. If you are frightened about how you have been impolite to God you know Him well. If you make excuses about why you do these sins or why they are not sins you do not know God at all. You can use these to spot fake pastors who are in it for the cushy lifestyle. Do they point out to members in the congregation that they are committing these sins?
There are two books that I recommend on this subject. One is The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, 1350. Be sure to get a printing with The Parson's Tale. It is this tale which describes the seven deadly sins. The other book is Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy L. Sayers, 1949.
These sins are not just invented by the church. They are also condemned by secular authorities. For example, gluttony was called a moral vice by the ancient Greek philosophers. Today Psychiatrists call it the mental illness of eating disabilities. Medicine calls the results of gluttony the disease of obesity.
Gluttony is an excess. It is used in the phrase "Glut on the market." Some of our forefathers considered this the worst of the seven because people who start out doing this one end up doing the others. This takes different forms. The most common form of gluttony amongst culturally lower class people is an excess in the quantity of food and drink producing excess body weight or drunkenness if aggressively done over long periods of time.
Gluttony amongst culturally upper class people (Note that these people are totally different from purely economically upper class people. See the next paragraph.) is excesses in quality. This includes food, clothing, shelter, and transportation far in excess of their real needs. I have seen frequent cases where they have technology consumer products that are so complex to use that they cannot use them properly and end up with the functionality of a much simpler product.
Culturally lower class people with wealth are known as Vulgarians. James Bond is a prime example. Notice how he always engages in physical activities such as eating, copulating, and violence while avoiding mental activities such as attending the symphony, art museum, or library. Another example is Steed and Emma in the Avengers movie which was a flop probably because of this. This group usually contains people who attained wealth accidentally, such as entertainment celebrities, professional athletes, technologists that worked for successful new companies, poor rural land owners that found minerals on their land, and poor rural land owners in areas that experienced high urban growth rate (silicon valley.) In some cases it contains physicians, dentists, attorneys, and investment advisors.
I am amused how some fake churches will not allow membership to people who ruin their health with tobacco products, but accept people who ruin their health with obesity. Another way to spot fake churches is by nepotism. There are "pastors" and other officials with no formal training, such as going to seminary, that are drawing salaries and are relatives of a real pastor who has gone to seminary. It is frequently the case that these people cannot qualify for a job in the community because of their sloth or general low mental abilities. In the church my late mother attended, the head deacon had a nephew who was so inept that he could not get a job. He was then made a pastor with disastrous consequences. He was never removed from office. Another more common example is the spouse of a pastor who went to seminary. Such spouses are usually very pleasant but not very bright. They are so ignorant of the basics of Christianity that they spend their time advocating the rewarding of people who commit sloth by giving them money taken by force (tax system) from those who avoid sloth. They are frequently put in charge of the singles class, the one with the greatest potential for domestic missionary outreach, and instead of preaching the gospel, they give thinly disguised amateur psychology sessions such as self esteem or finding your spiritual gifts. They are just as crassly incompetent as a psychologist as they are a pastor. A better approach was done by Hollywood Presbyterian Church. They supported a charity clinic staffed by licensed clinical psychologist (the highest grade of psychologist) and interns (getting their supervised work experience after getting a Ph.D. from an accredited school) who donated their time.
| SLOTH | TWO MORE | TWO MORE
Pride ties with gluttony for being considered the worst of the seven. It takes many forms. One is considering God and society lucky that you exist. I once had a consulting job terminated because I did not stand up and cheer that the contact with the company was God's gift to the civilized world because he owned two dilapidated Cadillacs. This company took in $160 million over 12 years and produced several products, none of which sold more than a few dozen units.
Another form is less lofty. You think that you are better than others because of some object that you own or your ancestry or your bra size or your wardrobe or where you take your vacations. One of the worst forms is that you watch some television program on DVD. Civilization by Clark is one example of this. The program was intended for the mass market British audience when the average adult had less than 12 years of schooling. When I point this out to people they get quite defensive.
Such people frequently do things to attract attention to themselves. I once received an advertisement to be included in a Who's Who of intellectuals book. They provided a writing service for functionally illiterate people who could not write a few paragraphs describing their ideas for the world to admire.
I am reminded of the saying that you buy things you do not need with money you do not have in order to have mental illness delusions of impressing people who do not notice that you exist.
Pride can be communal. Back around 1990 several cities in Silicon Valley were planning on having playhouses for stage performances. (Complete with paid staffs.) There were already stages available at schools and city centers that were never used for plays. It was all just a status symbol for the vulgarians.
Lust is a driving force to do things that are harmful to you, usually for some useless reason and with the consequences that you come out with a net harm from doing it. It includes much more than wanting to force your affections on someone.
My father lusted after ease and took a cushy job that was low paying and we lived in poverty because of it. One of my women friends took an otherwise unsuitable job because it allowed her to wear flashy clothes in public. Some people lust after an expensive life style and spend all of their wealth on it and do not save for their retirement. I heard of a woman who complained when her rent was raised that it should not be raised because her late husband wore custom made suits. Some people select vocational areas that they are poor performers in just to show that people of their national heritage or gender can do it.
Wrath (Ira) Hate
Wrath is irrational anger, usually with the desire to do harm to someone or group. One example is the reaction some people get when their false fronts are exposed or their committing the seven deadly sins are brought to their attention.
Covetousness (Avaritia) Avarice
This is wanting something just because someone else has one. Much of advertising is based on exploiting this sin.
Envy is disliking someone because of some aspect of them or their possessions. What makes it different from covetousness is the desire to deny the other person the object of envy. Covetousness is wanting one as well. Vandalism is one expression of envy. Envy on a gigantic scale has been done by the British Labor Party which makes legislation intended to harm others as an end in itself. For instance, the speed limit was lowered when the XKE was produced. George Orwell reported that the leaders of the party in his time openly voiced contempt for the working class when none were around.
Sloth is taking more from society or your family than you give back. People who plan on living on welfare are an example of this. Another example is trading short term gains for long term losses by not being diligent at school. About 50 years ago the US Navy advertised for people by saying that they could retire by the age of 38. You can guess what type of people enlisted. I remember my father describing how such people would not follow direct orders and would complain that they were being oppressed and discriminated against when they were required to do any work.
Two more from Jude
The Bible book of Jude reveals that flatters and boasters will not enter Heaven. These two sins come out more clearly in the Living Bible translation. This may explain why people experience disgust when they hear flattery and boasting in others.
Boasting can be nonverbal. Status symbols are one example. Doing or owning things to show that you have arrived is another. I am reminded of the saying, "Buying things you do not need with money you do not have in order to have mental illness delusions of impressing people who do not notice that you exist."
If you have gotten this far I hope that you have been provoked to think. There is one more item. This involves attempting to brown nose God into owing you favors. In England this is called being a toady. Several hundred years ago this was done by putting fur coats on statues of Mary. One modern example is using special adjective with the name of each member of the Trinity as if "God" or "Jesus" was not enough of a lofty title by itself. The most common thing today is to toady the second member of the Trinity by insulting the first and third members. This involves claiming that one part of the Bible is more important than another and setting it off with red ink. This is an insult to the third member who is credited with influencing the entire writing of the Bible and the first member who is credited with the meaning and content of the entire Bible. Red is also the worst possible color for causing reading fatigue.
If you have made it so far, you will probably be interested in END TIMES where I discuss what most people do not realize was the one and only end time theory before 1850 that involved a real and not symbolic fulfillment of end time prophecy in the Bible.