Forbidden Pleasures (Not)

"Suppose God came and spoke to us here in his own voice (he never ceases to speak through his scriptures [per litteras suas], of course).  But now, imagine that he is here and saying to one of you, 'Do you want to sin?  All right, go ahead, then: sin.  Do anything that gives you pleasure.  Anything that you love on earth shall be yours.  You are angry with someone?  Fine: let him die.  You want to lay violent hands on someone?  He is yours to seize.  If you want to hit someone, you can hit him.  If you want someone condemned, condemned he shall be.  Whatever you want for yourself, you shall possess it.  No one is to oppose you, no one is to say to you, "What are you doing?"  No one will say to you, "Don't do that."  No one will say, "Why did you do it?"  All the earthly things you crave shall be yours in abundance. You shall live to enjoy them not just for a time but always.  But there is just one reservation: you will never see my face.'"

--Augustine of Hippo (d. 430), Expositions of the Psalms 121-150, Exposition of Psalm 127, trans. Maria Boulding (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2004), pp. 105-6. 

Sin is the choice we make to cut ourselves off from God.  Nobody is stopping us from sinning, least of all God.  That is the whole point of his creating us with free will.  Nobody will punish us for sinning, not even God.  We punish ourselves by choosing to sin.  So, go ahead, sin, if you like.  It's your choice, after all.  (Kinda takes all the fun out of it, doesn't it?)


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