What happens when I sin? I essentially set myself up in opposition to the principles of interpersonal relationships–not merely in this or that form (about which I may be mistaken concerning their accuracy at reflecting the ultimate principles), but I set myself intentively against them in principle.
I think it is also possible to sin by willfully resolving to delude myself as to the state of reality–again, whether my perceptions of reality are themselves particularly accurate makes no difference. If I resolve myself to believe something that isn’t true, then it might be an honest accident; if I resolve myself to insist on believing that what I think to be true is not true, then I am rebelling against the truth (regardless of whether I happen to be correct about what I think to be true), putting myself up over against it–and so I am acting rebellion against God Himself.
I do not mean the legal form of rebellion. That sort of rebellion might be ‘good’ or ‘evil’ depending on its object. If Satan is the prince of this world, then to rebel against the greatest of rebels may well be to seek to become a servant of God! Or, to ‘rebel’ against the ‘greatest rebel’ might mean only to set myself up as the greatest rebel instead!
But again, it is not the mere form of rebellion that I am talking of–as if God is only a king, merely Someone Who has massive power, against Whom it would be (consequently) merely dangerously imprudent to rebel.
The rebellion I am speaking of, is an intent to go against however much I can discern of what reality is.
And ultimately, at the top and bottom of things, God is reality.
To insist on embracing what I perceive to be inconsistencies, for the sake of my own wishes, is to set my face against reality, to go against it insofar as I possibly can.
And this will be true, whether I am pagan, pantheist, atheist, agnostic; Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim–or Christian.
There is nowhere I can safely be a traitor to reality.