The Seven Deadly Sins–Part 2

Last week we reviewed a new list of the seven deadly sins, proposed by the former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, John Frohnmayer. He would replace the old list—lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride—because it “doesn’t work for him anymore,” according to The Sunday Oregonian.

Seven Deadly Sins by Rox Steady

Seven Deadly Sins by Rox Steady (Photo credit: dingler1109)

Mr. Frohnmayer’s new list of seven deadly sins is surprising in its novelty: distraction, selfishness, apathy, dishonesty, hypocrisy, cowardice, and ignorance. He notes that the original list is something that offends God. For him, offenses are worse “if (they) offend society rather than a higher power.”

Hmm, the dictates of society guide his sense of right and wrong more than what offends God? He includes distraction because of pervasive electronic devices; selfishness because of reality television; non-voters rankle him because of their apathy; Wall Street carries his banner for selfishness; “Americans (who) think we are exceptional” qualify for hypocrisy; people who laugh at a friend’s racist joke are cowards; and talk shows represent ignorance.

This seems like a list of people and groups that Mr. Frohnmayer doesn’t like, a sort of I’m-better-than-you-are sort of thing. A violation of pride on the old list and hypocrisy on his new list, would you agree? I’d wager that he and those who agree with his list would have no trouble abiding by those strictures. Simply avoid the people you don’t like and the things they do, lest you contaminate yourself with the brutish appetites of the hoi-polloi.

I’d best look in my mirror if I am tempted to look down on John Frohnmayer. To his credit, he examined the ancient list of seven deadly sins; he considered them; he said they don’t relate to him or his world. My hope is that he would at some point look to God rather than society as his pilot in this life. Electronic devices and reality TV are a passing fad. Only God is eternal.

We should be concerned if we offend God. I would re-name Mr. Frohnmayer’s list as “the seven annoyances I could do without,” and replace apathy with “driver hostility” (think tail-gaters), which is more of a pet peeve.

As we draw nearer to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, what would you consider the most common temptations facing people in our society?

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About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
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6 Responses to The Seven Deadly Sins–Part 2

  1. Jerry says:

    It seems that Mr. Frohnmayer has accomplished what he may have intended. His column was read and discussed, even in a blog. I don’t have much to say about him and his less than serious list. Instead, my mind wanders back to Solomon and his noted wisdom. As I understand, he had 700 hundred or so wives and 300 hundred or so concubines. That may be a huge check mark in the “lust” column. Also, he used slaves to build buildings in his kingdom. That may be a negative check mark in the “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” He was renowned for his wisdom in many areas, but was he wise in those two instances? Are these examples just “feet of clay” moments for the wisest mortal?

    • samuelehall says:

      Hey, Jerry, thanks for your take on this. Appears that quite a number of people, like John Frohnmayer, think about sin quite a bit. That thinking–that’s information. Which, BTW, is another proof against evolution. Darwinism would have us believe that all life consists of matter and energy. With the discovery of the incredibly complex DNA (as one example), it’s clear that a third element exists–information. Information, of course, requires a designer.
      That’s where God comes in–at the beginning. He was the Designer, and the Creator. He made it all happen. If we try to comprehend it all with our ant-like intellects, we become like ants thinking (assuming ants think in the traditional sense that humans do), cogitating, imagining what’s going on with all of us silly humans … Quite a stretch.

  2. Seems like the first list was man made, that is quoting the Bible, but putting it into a man-focused context. The Bible isn’t about categorizing sin, but understanding God’s love and solution for sinners. It makes little difference what the sin is. This is simply pretending to change categories that never existed in the first place to other categories, only with a self-importance spin. Not what offends society, simply what offend him. It seems as if he is trying to supplant God with himself, which so many people have done throughout the ages and still do. If we remember another Bible verse, he without sin can chuck the first rock, suddenly this guy is without any rocks.

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks, John, for dropping by. I think you and I understand this the same: the first list of 7 deadly sins is consistent with the list in Proverbs 6:16-19. Frohnmayer’s list is of his invention. I didn’t see his original article, which appeared in Oregon Humanities magazine but the newspaper said nothing about him doing any research even to support that his list offends a significant portion of today’s culture. Therefore, you are correct; he is trying to supplant God with himself. Pretty standard procedure with the human race, it seems.

  3. According to what I have seen regarding those who have been caught in sin not much guidelines for what is wrong because everything seems right.

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks DJ. I agree, our tendency is to water down or ignore guidelines or lists of things we’d rather not do. Sooner or later, the chickens come home to roost. We don’t get to handle them the way we’d like. Truth is a hard taskmaster. But what other way can we go? Lord, we have no one but you …

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