So yeah, the "thought experiment" of that CNA article. Ever hear of Rasputin?
“Sin is also from God. The more you sin, the stronger is your repentance, the closer to God you become.” --the filthy "monk" Rasputin
Here's a little anecdote from Rasputin's life:
Rasputin's first recognized appearance among Orthodox Churchmen was at a Siberian Academy of Theology. He was in a discussion with a group of seminarians when their teacher and the academy's rector Father Feofan entered the room unnoticed. The seminarians had already recognized how easily Rasputin grasped the Holy Scriptures while they toiled over their books studying their meanings.
Soon, with all the students eagerly listening, Father Feofan and Rasputin were discussing sin. Father Feofan mentioned that Rasputin had said that "sin is indispensable before God." Then the priest inquired how could that be when the Savior and the saints of the Orthodox Church had denounced sin as the Devil's work.
Rasputin replied, addressing the priest as "little father", "Our Savior and the church fathers did denounce sin as being the work of the Evil One, but," Rasputin went on to ask, "how can sin be erased without sincere repentance? And, sincere repentance only comes after one has sinned."
Rasputin paused a minute and then continued in a thundering voice of an angered peasant to say: "Take away your Scriptures and your useless pondering over them. Accept life as it is, as God gave it to us. Stop worrying about where sin comes from, and how many prayers a man must say to escape it, or how long he must fast. Sin, and then you can truly repent. But, if after doing all these things sin still lurks in your heart, prayers do no good. You still remain a hypocrite. The filth must be gotten rid of. ...do you hear, little father? Only then will your savour be well pleasing to the Lord." --from here
Here's something from Wikipedia:
"He [Rasputin] also maintained that sin and repentance were interdependent and necessary to salvation. Thus, he claimed that yielding to temptation (and, for him personally, this meant sex and alcohol), even for the purposes of humiliation (so as to dispel the sin of vanity), was needed to proceed to repentance and salvation."
Hmmm...there's the Khlysty doctrine...