In today’s world things are changing so fast that our understanding of religious truths or ideas must be constantly revised to keep pace with changing times and conditions. Just as there existed, traditionally, the seven deadly sins, so there are seven modern versions of these ancient errors. Today, the first deadly sin is ignorance. Ignorance is a sin because it blocks the free flow of the creative goodness of God. We need to know how evolution works, we need to understand population problems, ecology, our own aggressions, problems of community life, shortages of energy. Ignorance in these areas will frustrate the work of God because God doesn’t change, we do. Arrogance is always a sin, and it comes from ignorance. Being sure of yourself prevents your learning from others. God meanwhile, is constantly revealing Himself anew. Greed is a modern sin and is destructive to ourselves as well as others. Violence, like greed, is a modern sin and coercion destroys our freedom. Dishonesty is a modern sin. If God is love, then any word or act that misleads must be contrary to the will and goodness of God, and basic relationships are thereby damaged. Indifference is a modern sin as well. It is commonly assumed today that those in government can’t be trusted. This applies in many areas of life, and even religious leaders and their religion have become suspect. The opposite of love is not hate, but rather indifference. The most tragic thing of all in the long run is the attitude that things don’t matter, and despair rules the day. Our world is under great pressure, and when we get through hating, we turn away in indifference. The only way to solve our problems is to care more and more each day that we live.
The first of the original commandments is that we must love God with all our being with no substitution. Idolatry persists today and is equally dangerous as it was in Biblical times. We exalt ourselves or our achievements above those of the divine, making these things more important than God. Surely God is more than anything, any quality, any value, any idea or any achievement of human beings. God may reveal himself in many ways, but the simple truth is if we accept God wholly and fully we will not be guilty of any of these seven deadly sins of the modern world– ignorance, arrogance, greed, violence, dishonesty, indifference, and idolatry. If we would rather go on growing in wisdom and understanding and in the depth and quality of our relationships with and others, then these seven things must be rejected, shunned, condemned. As the Bible says– ‘Be sure your sins will find you out’.