A Course in Miracles – Chapter 19 – II. Sin versus Error
T-19.II.1. It is essential that error be not confused with sin, and it is this distinction that makes salvation possible. 2 For error can be corrected, and the wrong made right. 3 But sin, were it possible, would be irreversible. 4 The belief in sin is necessarily based on the firm conviction that minds, not bodies, can attack. 5 And thus the mind is guilty, and will forever so remain unless a mind not part of it can give it absolution. 6 Sin calls for punishment as error for correction, and the belief that punishment is correction is clearly insane.
T-19.II.2. Sin is not an error, for sin entails an arrogance which the idea of error lacks. 2 To sin would be to violate reality, and to succeed. 3 Sin is the proclamation that attack is real and guilt is justified. 4 It assumes the Son of God is guilty, and has thus succeeded in losing his innocence and making himself what God created not. 5 Thus is creation seen as not eternal, and the Will of God open to opposition and defeat. 6 Sin is the grand illusion underlying all the ego's grandiosity. 7 For by it God Himself is changed, and rendered incomplete.
T-19.II.3. The Son of God can be mistaken; he can deceive himself; he can even turn the power of his mind against himself. 2 But he cannot sin. 3 There is nothing he can do that would really change his reality in any way, nor make him really guilty. 4 That is what sin would do, for such is its purpose. 5 Yet for all the wild insanity inherent in the whole idea of sin, it is impossible. 6 For the wages of sin is death, and how can the immortal die?
T-19.II.4. A major tenet in the ego's insane religion is that sin is not error but truth, and it is innocence that would deceive. 2 Purity is seen as arrogance, and the acceptance of the self as sinful is perceived as holiness. 3 And it is this doctrine that replaces the reality of the Son of God as his Father created him, and willed that he be forever. 4 Is this humility? 5 Or is it, rather, an attempt to wrest creation away from truth, and keep it separate?
T-19.II.5. Any attempt to reinterpret sin as error is always indefensible to the ego. 2 The idea of sin is wholly sacrosanct to its thought system, and quite unapproachable except with reverence and awe. 3 It is the most "holy" concept in the ego's system; lovely and powerful, wholly true, and necessarily protected with every defense at its disposal. 4 For here lies its "best" defense, which all the others serve. 5 Here is its armor, its protection, and the fundamental purpose of the special relationship in its interpretation.
T-19.II.6. It can indeed be said the ego made its world on sin. 2 Only in such a world could everything be upside down. 3 This is the strange illusion that makes the clouds of guilt seem heavy and impenetrable. 4 The solidness that this world's foundation seems to have is found in this. 5 For sin has changed creation from an idea of God to an ideal the ego wants; a world it rules, made up of bodies, mindless and capable of complete corruption and decay. 6 If this is a mistake, it can be undone easily by truth. 7 Any mistake can be corrected, if truth be left to judge it. 8 But if the mistake is given the status of truth, to what can it be brought? 9 The "holiness" of sin is kept in place by just this strange device. 10 As truth it is inviolate, and everything is brought to it for judgment. 11 As a mistake, it must be brought to truth. 12 It is impossible to have faith in sin, for sin is faithlessness. 13 Yet it is possible to have faith that a mistake can be corrected.
T-19.II.7. There is no stone in all the ego's embattled citadel that is more heavily defended than the idea that sin is real; the natural expression of what the Son of God has made himself to be, and what he is. 2 To the ego, this is no mistake. 3 For this is its reality; this is the "truth" from which escape will always be impossible. 4 This is his past, his present and his future. 5 For he has somehow managed to corrupt his Father, and change His Mind completely. 6 Mourn, then, the death of God, Whom sin has killed! 7 And this would be the ego's wish, which in its madness it believes it has accomplished.
T-19.II.8. Would you not rather that all this be nothing more than a mistake, entirely correctable, and so easily escaped from that its whole correction is like walking through a mist into the sun? 2 For that is all it is. 3 Perhaps you would be tempted to agree with the ego that it is far better to be sinful than mistaken. 4 Yet think you carefully before you allow yourself to make this choice. 5 Approach it not lightly, for it is the choice of hell or Heaven.