Christianity advises that sin is spiritually harmful to individuals, who commit sins and the other aspect of a sin is that it is harmful to others too.
by Edward Theophilus Wanigasekera
( December 24, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Christmas is considered as a challenge to the world because it began showing people how to liberate or save their body and soul from sins which people are subjected to commit always with knowing or without knowing about it or the consequences of them. The spiritual liberation of human is a controversial concept when we think about it because our mind always goes along with what we see or what we can touch in the visible world. When we see the world from the point of view of human beings, we see the body but the soul is invisible as it is not a material thing visible to others in human body. We also can see that there are arguments between different religions on the existence of a soul but Christianity based on the faith and we believe the existence of soul based on the faith rather than its visibility. In Republic of Plato indicated that the world of ideas or forms are related to soul and Aristotle also viewed that ideas of things (Soul) can exist without matter (Body), but no matter can exist without form (Soul). Therefore, the existence of soul is not a problem that could be resolved by logic and arguments according to Christianity and it is related to individual faith.
The body of human being has an ability to feel and comprehend many things in surrounding environment. The soul is not a material thing that can be seen or touch, in such a situation people have no feeling of wounds of soul, sometimes conscience mind may come to light what a person has done is right or wrong if the person is really concerned on what he/she has done. The conscience mind is based on a person’s knowledge and understanding and the conscience mind would be improved through education and when people are not educated, they might not think about the repercussion on what they have done. But whether people think or act on conscience mind or not could be determined when we used to talk about it or behave in the society often as it is an expression of our attitudes to external world in day to day life.
Christianity advises that sin is spiritually harmful to individuals, who commit sins and the other aspect of a sin is that it is harmful to others too. For example, if any person kills another it would heart many others such as relatives, children, friends and many others because the loss of the person create disadvantages to wife, children and closed relatives without the supports provided by the person. The other side of committing sin is that a person who commits a sin might not get long lasting advantages due to committing a crime, if any advantage possibly gains would be a temporary indulgence subject to the persecution and justice in this world. When the justice system eventuated, the person committed crime would possibly suffer from the punishment. In this way, Christianity indicates that when people addicted to committing sins it would badly impact on not only individual who commit sins but also to the entire community. The role of Jesus Christ was to educate the community about this truth and show the way to get out of committing sins. This education began with Jesus, who was born on the day of Christmas and he manifested with divine power.
The message of Christmas that we need to understand that invites individuals to review the life and assess the life to change the behavior, which is determined by the environmental conditions and B.F Skinner indicated that all kind of internal drives are not inherent nature of humans but they are created by the environment in which we are living. The assessing of life through a proper meditation or looking back the life is not an easy task for many of us. We are in human life are addicted to do easy tasks or profitable tasks, but assessing our life from the point of views of justice and responsibilities is quite difficult. Because we also have addicted desires that entertain our body that we cannot see in our life that is not always profitable in this world if we look back and meditate with a conscience mind. Therefore, we are always reluctant to look back on our life and assess our life from the point of views of this world. But it is highly profitable from spiritual point of views because it will give an opportunity to be forgiven from our sins and clear the soul. This opportunity came to human being as a result of the manifestation of Jesus Christ to this world. Therefore, we can regard Christmas as a beginning of new life for human beings.
Before manifestation of Jesus Christ, the society of Jews was polluted with wrong concepts and wrong teaching to take revenge when people do something wrong against us and still we can see that the state of Israel implements such an old policy against the brotherhood. Jesus critically evaluated the society from the point of views of God, which were strange to human beings because they were in wrong mind believing that people have a right to take revenge against wrong doers. According to Jesus in New Testament, we should not judge others in relation to their religious align to God or with a motive to take revenge with a view to praising God. The Old Testament, which was based on traditional Jews society, consists of many mythical concepts, which were against the wishes of God. For example, taking revenge as eye to eye, tooth to tooth were not teaching or advises of God, but they were human manipulations for personal advantages. In entire Middle East, we can observe that they are wrongfully interpreting the wish of God and destroying creatures of God.
In this background, manifestation of Jesus Christ to this world was monumental benefits to the world. The birth of Jesus happened in a manger because nobody came forward to help Joseph and Maria to provide residential facilities when they were in an area where they were not familiar and desperately needed to them. In modern time, we can observe that due to indiscriminate war and destructions, people are getting refuge in the area where Jesus was born. There are thousands of homeless in Australia too. However, many people ignored this situation and we can see that millions of babies are born in refugee’s camps, in fact not because anything those kids have done wrong but because the situation created by human beings.
On the other hand, Christmas has become a commercial event making profits for business. There is no harm use of Christmas for business as long as it is respected the role of Jesus Christ and demonstrate the event for second generation to understand the good news in relation to Christmas and its significance to modern society. However, we can observe that in many places, key message of Christmas has ignored and especially people like Joseph and Maria in current society are left out of the enjoyment of Christmas. In modern era, we can meet Jesus and his family in different format but we are unable to recognize them. This type of situation we can clearly see in Sri Lanka than in developed countries. There are many attempts in other countries to share the message of Christmas and share the enjoyment with others who have no opportunity to it. In Sri Lanka, there are many needy people but they are not recognized as what happened in the day before Christmas in Bethlehem. There are many people without shelter, food, cloths and many people are in imprison without reasons but on the basis of false accusations. How can we bring Christmas to those people? It needs sacrifices to liberate people who are not being recognized in the society with respect and dignity. However, we see that politicians of Sri Lanka attempt to build a large Christmas tree in Gall Face based on commercial purposes, but the truth is that Christmas tree is neither a part of Christmas nor Christianity. Manger is the real symbol of Christmas. Why these politicians cannot build the world largest manager in Gall Face.
In this Christmas, we genuinely attempt to recognize our role in the society and use Christmas as the beginning of reforms in human life.