The Seven Deadly Sins (Summary of where the doctrine came from + quotes from the Bible)
All sin separates man from God, the source of life. Sin leads all mankind to death regardless of their faith. Know your enemy by sight, remember the seven deadly sins.
In this short article I will not claim absolutism, including the claim that Christianity is somehow more important than other world religions. Therefore, I reject in advance all possible attacks in this vein. The purpose of this article is to provide information about the seven deadly sins noted in Christian teaching.
But first, why did I suddenly decide to write about it? The reason for it was the film “Seven”, in which a man considers himself a tool of God and decided to punish the chosen individuals, as they say, point by point, that is each for some mortal sin. I was ashamed to find out that I could not list all seven deadly sins. So I decided to fill in the blank…
Mortal sin in Christianity is a grave sin that entails the loss of salvation of the soul in the absence of repentance. The term is widely used in Catholic theology, which has developed a doctrine that distinguishes between grave and ordinary sins. The term is used in a similar way in some non-Catholic churches, including Orthodoxy. But there the definition of mortal sin that is found in specific Catholic doctrine is lacking.
In this article, I will try to remind and draw the reader’s attention to the sin that leads to death. The purpose is to remind us of what we have ceased to give importance and attention to. Sin does not prolong life, but rather makes it fade away. We encounter the manifestation of sin every day in many different areas of our lives. We see it in our surroundings in real life on the internet and on television. It is important to understand and remember that the sinful nature surrounds you and the world you are in, to remember that and to be on your guard against letting sin into your life.
Mortal sin is not based on biblical texts and is not a direct revelation of God, but the Bible reveals and warns about each of these seven sins, if possible I will try to convey this.
Briefly about where the doctrine of the seven deadly sins came from:
First, the Greek monk-theologian Evagrius of Pontus compiled a list of the eight worst human passions. They were (in descending order of seriousness): pride, vainglory, acedia, anger, sadness, avarice, lust, and gluttony. The order in this list was determined by the degree of a person’s orientation to himself, to his ego (that is, pride is the most egoistic attribute of a person and therefore the most harmful).
At the end of the sixth century, Pope Gregory I the Great reduced the list to seven elements, introducing the concept of vanity to pride, spiritual laziness to dejection, and adding a new one – envy. The list was slightly reordered, this time according to the criterion of opposition to love: pride, envy, anger, dejection, greed, gluttony, and lust (that is, pride more than any other opposes love and is therefore the most harmful).
Later Christian theologians (notably Thomas Aquinas) objected to this particular order of mortal sins, but it became the main one and is still in force today. The only change in Pope Gregory the Great’s list was the replacement of the concept of despondency with sloth in the 17th century.
Since the representatives of the Catholic Church were mostly involved in compiling and revising the list of the seven deadly sins, I dare to suggest that it does not really apply to the Orthodox Church, and especially not to other religions. However, I believe that regardless of denomination and even for atheists this list will be useful.
Let’s look at these seven sins and what Scripture has to say about them. The Bible has a sufficient word for turning a man away from sin. Please don’t judge harshly if I have not been able to illustrate this fully.
- Pride is an excessive belief in one’s own abilities that conflicts with God’s greatness. In the Bible, in the book of the prophet Jeremiah it says
(Jer.50:31-32) “Behold, I am upon you, you pride, says the Lord God of hosts, for your day has come, the time of your visitation. And the pride shall stumble and fall, and no one shall lift it up; and I will light a fire in its cities, and I will devour all around it.”
This verse clearly shows us how the Lord God deals with pride.
- Envy is displeasure at the sight of another’s happiness and pleasure in his own unhappiness. The Scriptures in the book of Proverbs of Solomon speak very clearly about envy.
(Proverbs 14:30) “A meek heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.”
- Anger is a feeling of great indignation and resentment.
(Proverbs 27:3) “The stone is heavy, the weight and the sand; but the wrath of the fool is heavier than both of them.”
- Laziness is the avoidance of spiritual and physical work. It is written in the word of God.
(Proverbs 26:13-16) “The slothful man says; “The lion is in the road! The lion is in the squares!” The door is turning on its hooks, but the slothful man is on his bed. The slothful man dips his hand into his bowl, and it is hard for him to bring it to his mouth. The slothful man is wiser in his eyes, the seven who answer thoughtfully.”
- Greed is an excessive desire for material gain, a lust for gain, a rejection and disregard of spiritual principles.
(2 Corinthians 9:6) “At this I will say, He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; but he who sows generously will also reap generously.”
- Gluttony is the unrestrained desire to consume more food than the body requires. In the book of Jesus the son of Sirach
(Cyrus 37:33) says, “For there is sickness from much eating, and satiety leads to cholera.”
- Lust is a passionate desire for carnal pleasures.
(Gal.5:19) “The works of the flesh are known; they are, adultery fornication, uncleanness uncleanness.”
(1 John 2:1-2) “My children, I write to you this, whatever you have sinned, but if anyone has sinned, we have a steward before the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but for the sins of the whole world.”
Theologians claim that every human being, without exception, has been damaged by sin since Adam and Eve. Sin clouds the mind, weakens and ensnares the will, and squeezes the human heart with sadness and despondency. Blessed is the one who recognizes the cause of his grief – his sinfulness – and not the circumstances of life or the actions of others. The right diagnosis also leads to healing – through the pursuit of righteousness, through humility, repentance and meekness.
We need to remember that any sin removes us from God, the source of life, and we need to remember that sin is dangerous because it inevitably leads to other sins.