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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

SERIES - Introduction, The Seven Deadly Sins


Background: The 7 deadly sins are thought to originate from Evagrius Ponticus. For those who aren’t experts on fourth century theology, Evagrius was a Christian monk who identified eight temptations of men that one needed to overcome to have a strong soul.

In the 6th century Pope Gregory combined two of these temptations (avarice and sorrow became sloth if you really must know) to become the streamlined 7 deadly sins we know today.


Everyone has heard of the seven deadly sins, but few can actually name them all without resorting to Google, and fewer still give any thought at all to actually addressing them. That is, in themselves. When it comes to addressing them in others, well, who among us hasn't accused someone else of being lazy, or egotistic? And if the day's headlines are any guide, politics and lust go hand in hand, prompting almost everyone to violate the command, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

The seven deadly sins are:

1. Pride

2. Envy

3. Wrath

4. Gluttony

5. Lust

6. Sloth

7. Greed

What is deadly about them is what they do to our individual souls. The word of Jesus is addressed to each of us individually. One need only consider the story of the adulteress we find in John 8. Dragged before him prior to a stoning, Jesus says, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one the men examine themselves, drop their stones, and leave. Then to the woman he says, "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”

With the seven deadly sins, we can play the role of the adulteress, in danger of being stoned for our misdeeds. Is Pride a problem for you, then examine yourself, and ask what is the root of your pride. Are you so proud of yourself that you think that you, like the men holding the stones, are fit to judge others? What about Envy? Do you crave the life that another man has? What is missing from your life now, that you would crave another person's life? And if you got that life, would it really fill that need, or would you simply find yet another man to envy? Are we not all guilty of engaging in Wrath? Anyone with a social media account is aware that we are daily bombarded with news stories designed to enrage us against a person or a group. How often do we weigh in ourselves with a snarky and judgmental comment?

Then there is, in a similar way, Gluttony, Lust, Sloth, and Greed. It is given to us to examine the root of why we fall into such sins. It certainly isn't because the act of sinning satisfies the need inside us. Has a glutton ever had his fill of food, the lustful ever found enough sex to be satisfied? Have the slothful ever found anything other than an accumulation of self-loathing? And as we all know, those given to greed will always be greedy, no matter how much they accumulate.

Our video about the Seven Deadly Sins offers gentle insights into the underlying frustrations and weaknesses that are behind our tendencies to fall into sinful behaviors and remain there. Perhaps it will help you do what Christ asks of us individually, to examine ourselves, then go and sin no more.

Stay attuned to this series as we delve into each one of these to help understand the cause and the approach to dealing with these in our society. How can we become the change we expect to see.



Authored by Jeffery D. Kooistra:

In my dreams I live in a world of 2 a.m. train whistles wailing in the distance, and tractor-trailers ruling the roads, abandoned tree-houses deep in the woods, the scent of burning oak leaves in the air, and squeaky windmills beside weathered barns.

I write half of the nonfiction Alternate View columns for Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine, now and then I still write fiction. I am a member of SIGMA, a collection of SF authors who do pro-bono consulting work, usually for agencies of the government.

I am a member of the Triple Nine Society ( This is for people with an IQ above ~150 or so. From the homepage, members "have tested at or above the 99.9th percentile on at least one of several standardized adult intelligence tests." Hence, Triple Nine.


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