On brokenness” and other euphemisms for sin

Derek Rishmawy:

There is something broken about us.

What’s more, much that falls in this overall category of sinful” behavior, thoughts, etc. which we speak of in euphemism, does have a non-culpable, psychological and medical component which should be dealt with as such. This should impact the way we pastor, counsel, and evaluate others in the Church. Some do struggle against heavier burdens. Telling someone to repent themselves out of a behavior linked to a chemical imbalance or childhood trauma is a recipe for pastoral malpractice. These things do need treatment, healing (human and divine).

But these euphemisms have their limits and so cannot replace or dominate our vocabulary for sin. This is so for at least a couple of reasons.

Not only broken,” but also bent.”


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June 2, 2017 · church · Derek rishmawy · sin · brokenness

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