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So I was thinking one day about how some people especially certain church members who think they can do nothing wrong and I guess people in general who think this way. These kind of people are judgmental. I should know because I used to go to a church with a lot of people like this and I always felt judged. They would always say things like under no circumstances should you have sex before marriage or basically commit any kind of sins, especially sexual sins(fornication, masturbation, etc). So got to thinking, no sin is bigger or worse than another sin regardless of what type of sin or whether the sin is repeated. Then I thought how interesting it is that in a legal standpoint, this isn't the case. The punishment for criminals varies depending on what they did. For example, a rapist would probably get more time in jail than somebody who stole something from a store. I wanted to know why is it that we tend to frown down on certain sins or even justify certain sins over others? In other words why is it that people tend to frown on sexual sins over other sins?

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 In other words why is it that people tend to frown on sexual sins over other sins?

 

I actually did research on this and every Christian site I came across conveyed that not all sins are equal. This gets repeated a lot, but apparently it's not consistent with Christian doctrine.

 

Speaking as someone who isn't a Christian, I think some sins have worse consequences than others and those with the worse consequences should be judged more harshly. That only makes sense.

 

One thing about sexual sin is it is highly avoidable. If you really want to abstain from sex, for example, nothing will stop you. You can't say that about other sins like losing your temper. The latter is more challenging to ensure you don't slip.

 

For clarity, I personally don't believe sex is a sin before marriage and I'm not Christian. However, I also believe that sex can lead to some pretty serious things like pregnancy and std's.

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I actually did research on this and every Christian site I came across conveyed that not all sins are equal. This gets repeated a lot, but apparently it's not consistent with Christian doctrine.

 

That's very true. In Catholicism, for instance, sins are divided into venial and mortal sins, with venial sins being the less serious sins, and mortal sins being the kind of thing you go to Hell for. But even then, it's not that simple. For something to be a mortal sin, it needs to fulfil three conditions.

 

The first one is that it has to concern grave matter. It's got to be about something serious, like causing someone else serious pain or harm. Pinching someone, although annoying, is not a serious sin.

 

The second one is that it has to be done with full consent. You have to actually "want" to commit a sin. If you're forced into it, it's not a mortal sin.

 

And the third one is that you have to know you're committing a mortal sin. If you don't know that it's a sin to do something, God's not going to hold it against you. That's an important one. Say you have two married couples who both decide to use contraception. One couple is Catholic, and know very well that's it's a sin. The other couple isn't Catholic, and genuinely has no reason to think that using contraception is wrong. The first couple would be committing a mortal sin; the second one is not. There are a few other things to bear in mind, there, of course. If you have reason to believe that something might be a sin, but make no effort to find out, then you might be at least partly at fault. It's difficult to judge that, so really, only God can tell for sure in some cases.

 

http://archive.catholic.com/thisrock/1999/9907chap.asp

 

 

Then I thought how interesting it is that in a legal standpoint, this isn't the case. The punishment for criminals varies depending on what they did.  For example, a rapist would probably get more time in jail than somebody who stole something from a store. I wanted to know why is it that we tend to frown down on certain sins or even justify certain sins over others? In other words why is it that people tend to frown on sexual sins over other sins?

 

Well a rapist is going to be punished more seriously than someone who robs a store because the rapist has committed a more serious crime. If you steal from a store, yes, it's wrong, but you're only taking someone's money. Rape is far more destructive, because you're harming a person in a way which can't be fixed. You can give someone their money or property back, but you can't undo rape. It's the same reason why murder is punished more seriously, because you can't give someone their life back.

 

xxx

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I think it has to do with the ability to justify sexual sins more than other sins. There are sins that are generally known to be evil and wrong throughout the entire world such as theft, murder, kidnapping, cheating, etc. (Granted people can make excuses for these as well, but the vast majority of people can see it being wrong and evil). But sexual sins can have excuses made for them. People make excuses for legalizing premarital sex, extramarital sex, masturbation, etc. People can make excuses that it's natural and not evil, etc. So it seems that more work is needed to be done to suppress the allowance of the sexual sins more than the other sins, maybe that's why it feels that sexual sins are judged more harshly. 

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So I was thinking one day about how some people especially certain church members who think they can do nothing wrong and I guess people in general who think this way. These kind of people are judgmental. I should know because I used to go to a church with a lot of people like this and I always felt judged. They would always say things like under no circumstances should you have sex before marriage or basically commit any kind of sins, especially sexual sins(fornication, masturbation, etc). So got to thinking, no sin is bigger or worse than another sin regardless of what type of sin or whether the sin is repeated. Then I thought how interesting it is that in a legal standpoint, this isn't the case. The punishment for criminals varies depending on what they did. For example, a rapist would probably get more time in jail than somebody who stole something from a store. I wanted to know why is it that we tend to frown down on certain sins or even justify certain sins over others? In other words why is it that people tend to frown on sexual sins over other sins?

We frown upon sins like rape more in the legal system because rape has a profoundly terrible effect on the victim. Stealing an apple from the store (or $1000.00 from a person) is nowhere near as bad as physically assaulting someone, taking away their sense of ability to control their world, emotionally and mentally traumatizing them, and really forcing them to have to live completely new lives to cope with the pain of being raped. 

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We frown upon sins like rape more in the legal system because rape has a profoundly terrible effect on the victim. Stealing an apple from the store (or $1000.00 from a person) is nowhere near as bad as physically assaulting someone, taking away their sense of ability to control their world, emotionally and mentally traumatizing them, and really forcing them to have to live completely new lives to cope with the pain of being raped. 

 

i agree whole heartedly. :) stealing money is never going to be as big a problem as raping or murdering someone, it doesn't leave the same torment and terror in a persons life.

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So I was thinking one day about how some people especially certain church members who think they can do nothing wrong and I guess people in general who think this way. These kind of people are judgmental. I should know because I used to go to a church with a lot of people like this and I always felt judged. They would always say things like under no circumstances should you have sex before marriage or basically commit any kind of sins, especially sexual sins(fornication, masturbation, etc). So got to thinking, no sin is bigger or worse than another sin regardless of what type of sin or whether the sin is repeated. Then I thought how interesting it is that in a legal standpoint, this isn't the case. The punishment for criminals varies depending on what they did. For example, a rapist would probably get more time in jail than somebody who stole something from a store. I wanted to know why is it that we tend to frown down on certain sins or even justify certain sins over others? In other words why is it that people tend to frown on sexual sins over other sins?

 

 

First of all, Christ taught us not to judge others because as he said Judge not lest you be judged etc .

Christ even talked about these types of people when he gave the parable of the pharasee going into the temple to pray and he was all proud and puffing out his chest, standing up and thanking God for making him such a sinless and good person, then a tax collector coming into the temple on his knees covering his face in front of God ashamed of the sins he had committed with complete contritness in his heart. Guess who was forgiven and lifted up before God? It wasnt the high priest. God judges not only our sins but forgives based upon the state of our heart and how sorry we genuinely are for our sins. Remember what Christ said, if you want to be First with Christ, you need to be the slave of all.

 

But as far as there being different levels of sins, the bible also talks about this, but the question You should be asking yourself is whether scripture was meant to be interpretated personally or authoritatively. Did the early Christians believe in personal interpretation of scripture or authoritative interpretation of scripture.

 

Who did the apostles pass their the teaching that they received from Christ to? Who were the disciples of the apostles that the apostles entrusted with passing down to the world what was taught to them? What did they have to say about this?

People like Clement of Rome (student of Peter and paul

Ignatius of Antioch and polycarp ( students of the apostle John).

 

These are called the apostolic Fathers because they were alive when the apostles were still alive. They were in the best position to understand the holy spirit guided interpretation of scripture that was given to the apostles by Christ at pentacost.

 

To get a true understanding of the original Interpretation of scripture that the apostles taught its very important to research the writings of these apostolic fathers.

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One thing God made clear in his word is that "For the wedges of sin is death" which means that God does not have a catagory for a "big sin" or "little sin". According to his word it is all SIN anything that is contrary to what he has said in his word that we are not to do has the same result....seperation from him.....now if we ask Gods forgivness of those sins, and not commit them again...we are back in a right relationship with Him. Isn't it amazing how our judicial systems laws reflect the laws given in the Bible?! Ie, murder, adultry, stealing, coveting etc......and they are punishable by mans law!? Hmmmmm.....not a mere conincedence....Just shows how our nation was founded on biblical principles & laws.....How AWESOME is that!!! Now, God created sex to be GOOD......its not dirty or ugly. But he also gave us a place for it to be enjoyed....between a man & a woman......in marriage. Society has take what God made beautiful and cheapened it, devauled it, marginalized it, perveted it, disstorted it, twisted it. And anyone who doesn't think of sex on the same terms as society are concidered CRAZY!!! I'm going with Gods veiw!!!

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One thing God made clear in his word is that "For the wedges of sin is death" which means that God does not have a catagory for a "big sin" or "little sin". According to his word it is all SIN anything that is contrary to what he has said in his word that we are not to do has the same result....seperation from him.....now if we ask God forgivness of those sins, and not commit them again...we are back in a right relationship with Him. Isn't it amazing how our judicial systems laws reflect the laws given in the Bible?! Ie, murder, adultry, stealing, coveting etc......and they are punishable by mans law!? Hmmmmm.....not a mere conincedence....Just shows how our nation was founded on biblical principles & laws.....How AWESOME is that!!! Now, God created sex to be GOOD......its not dirty or ugly. But he also gave us a place for it to be enjoyed....between a man & a woman......in marriage. Society has take what God made beautiful and cheapened it, devauled it, marginalized it, perveted it, disstorted it, twisted it. And anyone who doesn't think of sex on their terms is just crazy!!! I'm going with God veiw!!!

Amen!

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I think there are two things at play in the questions that you are asking.  The first is the issue of consequences.  Different wrongdoings have different levels of consequence.  If I steal a candybar from the store or if I blow up a building there will be vast differences in the consequences of my actions.  The level of harm done to society in the second action is much greater than the first action.  Therefore in society we have different levels of punishments for different crimes.  And we see there were similar differences in the punishments set out in the laws of the Old Testament.

 

However, human nature often uses these differences to make ourselves feel better.  Here's a story that Jesus told:

 

9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’  13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.† (Luke 18:9-14, NLT)

 

Jesus makes it very clear that comparing our sins to the sins of others is pointless.  Our point of comparison should be God and his perfection.  Our own failings should humble us and bring us to God to ask for forgiveness.  It does not matter which sins we commit but rather our response to those sins.  And actually our own self-righteousness can get in the way of our relationship with God.  We see here that the tax collector was the one who recieved forgiveness in the story and not the Pharisee. 

 

I know that I can very easily feel like the Pharisee and say to myself "well at least I don't......"  I pray that God would always keep my heart soft and attuned to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and that I would not try to justify myself by comparing myself to others. 

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With regards to judgement I will not elaborate any further than what shaneb said above and I agree with him. However I will address Gods' view on sins as opposed to our judicial punishments and societys view of sin.My intention is to beat no one over the head with a bible but since it is from scripture I contrive my faith this is how I will express it to you; you be the judge for yourself wheather it is wisdom or folly.That being said this is no easy answer nor will it be a perfect one but I will offer my opinion on the matter. "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) This does not exclude anyone be you saint or an athiest everyone has sinned. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23). Now it is the belief and is suport throughout scriprture that God is perfect, blameless, and without sin. So much so that He can not be in the presence of sin. "You must be blameless before the Lord your God." (Deuteronomy 18:13) "Then he will say to those left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matthew 25:41) So esstinail Hell is not only death but eternal separation from God. So to this end in the presence of an almight and perfect Lord and in His eyes all sin no matter what is equal and thus separates you from God. What is the payment for our sins we all commit = death and separtion from God. So how is it that we are spared from such a horrible fate? By His love for us. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life." (John 3:16) This essentially is the foundation of my faith and I lay this out there to explain an insight.

 

Now this why we must choose to live lives in accordance with His will and seek to follow His example of a sinless life. However it is not possible for us to do so hence why we are in need of His grace as forementioned. Otherwise if we were without His grace we best all judge ourselves and be found guilty of sin punishable by death. Now when relating this to society's laws it is our responsiblity and duty to enforce the will of God on everyone. But we are ourselves imperfect and He is the only true judge and yet in His perfection and power He has found it in His will to show us mercy. This is the foundation of our legal system even though society has skewed and bent this concept into something dicating what is right and what is wrong on what they feel is good and what is not. No, our system was meant to be founded upon a desire to seek the will of God within our laws. (its why here in the states when you go to the supreme court you will see the 10 Commandments engraved in the ceiling relief inside the courtroom...not saying our system is still this way or perfect). Alas though after seeking His understanding we see that it is His will that some sins be 'judged' more harshly than others but we still are to show every measure of grace possible to be certain we are not in error. However again because we are not perfect and we are sinners judging sinners only God will be the final judge. Hence why when someone is convicted of a haneous crime it was common practice for the judege to pass sentence saying 'may God have mercy on your soul' conveying both doubt and hope that the will of the Lord is being done.

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In God's eyes (my belief system of Baptist) all sins are equal but for us there are sins that are worse than others based on the result of the victim (stealing vs rape vs murder- or all three). I have been thinking about the subject of judgment and I think there are two types. There is judging in a hypocritical manner such as shown in Mat. 7:1,5/Ezra 5:8 and there there is righteous judgment (John 7:24). Judgement itself is neutral. It is a step above an opinion because it is backed by evidence or facts but the problem is when people make up evidence or facts where the judgment becomes unrighteous. We immediately feel self-conscious with the feelings of another judgment but I have realized that maybe I should step back and understand their reasoning/evidence. If I am truly doing something wrong and they are stating it is a sin and that it is wrong then they are in fact helping me from losing my way. They care about me and worry about my own soul but they first have to judge based on scripture. If they have the correct scripture and they truly want to help then they are doing a righteous judgment. On the other hand if they are legalistic (thinks mere works without a real relationship to God will put them in the clear) then they are being hypocritical especially they come from a prideful heart shown with little evidence. 

Pride is always a problem with everyone, religious and non-religious and I believe that is just human nature along with other sins. So hypocrites are always a problem but that goes for both sides of the coin. The person who is making the judgment could be doing an unrighteous judgment but the person who is receiving the judgment could equally be so prideful that they close their ears to any help. In terms of righteous judgments I kind of think of it like two people are sick and one person knows the disease but the other person does not or thinks they are completely healthy. The person who knows the disease tells the other person what they know and how to get treatment. It is not a hypocritical judgement to tell the person the sin they are suffering from if it is out of love and humbleness. As Christians we are called to help each other but we have to use the Bible as evidence to make a judgment (not a condemnation). 

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I believe all sin is the same sexual sin is different from all others though because sexual sin is sinning not only against God or someone else but yourself it also has some of the most consequences. It can destroy self esteem and effect your health there are reasons God gives us rules sexual rules are for our own protection because all it really does is hurt us even if we don't realize it. Anything sexual comes with so much intimacy that it puts us in a vulnerable state therefore it can hurt us more and with something like porn it distorts the whole idea of sex and intimacy that other people should be in on it and get to watch. These are my thoughts I in no way think a lie is any better than me going off and having sex before my wedding night, but a lie is easier to heal from and deal with than telling my wife I had sex with someone besides her or lusted after girls. The consequences are just different I believe.

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