“Whatever Became of Sin?”

December 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

In 1970 the famed psychiatrist Karl Menninger wrote a seminal book entitled Whatever Became of Sin?

I copied the following from the Amazon page where the book is available for purchase:  “WHATEVER BECAME OF SIN?” BY KARL MENNINGER, M.D. For many years the name Karl Menninger has been almost synonymous in America with the science and the practice of psychiatry. His book THE HUMAN MIND introduced that branch of medicine to the american public in 1930. In the present book Dr. Menninger attempts to apply psychiatry to a world-wide affliction, the depression, gloom, discouragement and apprehensiveess which are so prevalent. The word “sin” has almost disappeared from our vocabulary, but the sense of guilt remains in our hearts and minds. The prisoners punished in our jails are a small minority of all the offenders; “all we like sheep have gone astray.” While a few deplore their guilt, many remain blandly indifferent or vaguely depressed or bitterly accusatory of others. Are these states of illness? Not until the EPILOGUE, which he calls a deferred preface, does the author tell us how he came to write this book and how he has come from from many yearsof experience to consider moral values an essential aspect of psychiatry. If, as he believes, mental health and moral health are identical, the recognition of the reality of sin offers to the suffering struggling, anxious world a real hope not of belated treatment but of prevention. This task enlists the physcian, the psychiatrist, the minister, the lawyer, the editor, the teacher, and the mother in a common army- an army against self-destruction and world destruction.

I remind you that this book was written over forty years ago.  Doesn’t sound like much has changed, does it?  Except for the fact that the slide away from calling sin sin has continued even further.  The latest example is what has happened to the head of the Duck Dynasty clan.

Christians should be up in arms, but not surprised over what has happened.  The battle between right and wrong has existed since the Garden of Eden.  Satan is loose in the world doing everything within his power to convince people that wrong is right, just like he did with Eve.

Followers of God need to stand up and speak the truth, but speak it in love, much like Phil Robertson did in his interview in GQ and in his comments afterward.  We do the cause of Christ no favors when we look and sound like rabid dogs. 

Without a moral compass an individual or a country is destined to fall.

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