Lately I’ve been getting some advice to the effect that I should condemn and repent of the sinning that I did before I was a Christian. That’s never before occurred to me as something about which I should be even vaguely concerned.
In my teenage-to-early-adulthood years, I smoked a lot of weed, had sex with (not very many) girls to whom I wasn’t married, and for a year or so lived with a girlfriend to whom I was also not married. And later I also lived with my now-wife for about three years before we got married.
Sin-wise, I think that about covers my main, pre-Christian offenses.
Wait, no it doesn’t. In my early twenties I did a little cocaine and a lot of LSD. Plus I drank.
Also—and I don’t think this counts as an Official Sin, but just in case you’re the kind of Christian who thinks it does or should—when young I also had very close friends who were gay. At the time I left my high school, in fact, my best friend was gay; it’s with him that I lived in my first apartment. A couple of years after that I lived with another great friend of mine who was also gay.
But the important point, I guess—again, if you’re a particular kind of Christian—is that I never had sex with any of my gay friends. Sure, that was always a tragedy for them. But I guess you’ll think that at least it gets me off the hook with God.
Anyway, I definitely used to get high; and, to me back then, needing to be married before you could have sex was like needing to own a car factory before you could drive a car. It didn’t even almost register as sane.
Pffft. How do I not already qualify for sainthood?
“God hates John’s fornication!” commented one of the readers of my post, How I Lost My Virginity to My High School Teacher.
“Repent of your past sins, or be condemned in the eyes of God!” wrote another.
“If you don’t want to eat pork, just come out and say so!” wrote another, bafflingly.
Man, if there’s one thing you can say about my readers, it’s that they are definitely stoners intense.
Anyway, should I feel remorse for the sins I committed before I was a Christian? No. I don’t even know what that question means. We all should feel regret for the times in our past when we hurt others, when we put our own needs and interests ahead of the well-being of someone else. For all the times in my life I’ve done that, whether before or after I became a Christian, I do indeed feel remorse. But that’s it, remorse-wise, for me.