Tuesday, December 16, 2008

raising the question of...

I would love to hear everyone who reads this response.

Here is the question:

Do you think that all sin is equal in the eyes of God?

whether you are a Christian or not, I am interested to hear everyone's opinion. I recently had this discussion with a great friend of mine. And it left me thinking. I will reserve my answer and opinion on this topic for my next post, so that it does not change anyone's mind on how to answer. Thanks!



  1. If there is a God, it wouldn't make sense that all sins carry equal weight. I guess in at least some sense the answer is "yes" though. From the Christian perspective the end result of any sin is the same (eternal damnation), however, I don't think it makes sense to go as far as to take a pluralistic standpoint on the issue. There is a cliche example of an axe murderer asking where your friend is because he/she wants to kill them. If you know where your friend is at, I think it's fairly safe to assume you would conceal their whereabouts to protect the interest of the person you care about. Lying/deception is for the most part considered a sin but is it just as wrong as the murder that was going to be commited? If you take the stance that all sins are equal in God's eyes, are you just as bad as the murderer? It doesn't make sense to me to say this is so. Of course, you can always criticize my stance by saying "God's ways are higher than ours and we can't understand things the way He does." I just personally bring myself to see the merit in that argument though. Anyway, those are just a few thoughts. I'm sure they are susceptible to a multitude of criticisms but it's an interesting questions nonetheless.
    be well.

  2. That is a good question Brenda. My initial response is that no, not all sins are equal, because I think that a big part of the judgment of sinning depends on where your heart is at, which Josh seemed to say as well with his example of lying to save a life. There are probably many more examples like Josh gives where what really determines what is sin or not depends on where ones intentions lie and what is going on with one's heart. This makes sense to me, because I think that Jesus' number one concern was where people's hearts were at, not necessarily how they acted.

    So that was my initial response, and then I did some further research. I don't necessarily agree with reading the Bible in a way that picks out certain verses, because I think it should be read holistically, due to the fact that a lot of it is the telling of stories, which are difficult to fully comprehend by looking at only one verse and not the whole story or passage. With that said, I know some people appreciate individual verses, so here are some where Jesus seems to say that not all sin is equal. I would still recommend reading the whole passage, but here are the verses.

    Luke 12:47-48
    Matthew 12:31-32
    John 19:11

    I look forward to hearing your opinion! I think this is definitely an intriguing topic.

  3. im glad you asked this. (even tho we did talk about it)

    Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death.

    its funny how so many people (including myself) try to justify "smaller" sins (according to the world), like lying, being prideful, cursing, acting out in anger(me on the road =/ )i believe that every sin will lead us to hell if we don't have the grace and forgiveness of Jesus. so, yes i believe if one lives their life lying, cursing, acting out in anger, never reiceving the love & grace & forgiviness of the Father they are condemned to hell. & i also believe that one who murders & does not accept the same forgiveness, they are condemned to hell as well.

    1 john 2:2 (one of my favorite verses) says "& He is the propitiation for our sins, & not for ours only, but also for the WHOLE WORLD"

    i think this verse makes it very clear that the grace & forgiveness of God is extended to everyone. but it must be received through faith.

    ALL sin is a violation of Gods law. & we do not see sin through the eyes of God, but through our own eyes & i believe that, that is why we tend to categorize them & place some in the "bad pile" & the "not so bad pile"

    Christ was the covering for our sin, the sin we commit in our flesh or in our hearts.

    i think that we really need to try to see sin the way God sees sin, not the way our society sees it, because i think its pretty obvious that the world sees murder as a higher sin than being prideful(which would get a longer prison sentence?) (& who is punished & sent to prison for being a prideful person?)

    if the wages of sin is death. then its death & thats it. there is no talk in the bible of a longer sentence in hell for killing someone than being prideful.

    the answer to this question is found when we see sin through the eyes of God.

  4. Slightly audacious to purport that you can see clearly through the eyes of God, isn't it? Turn the question over. Are all good acts equal? If I help an old lady cross the street, is that just as admirable as abolishing slavery or risking my life to rescue Jews in the holocaust? Am I just as good of a person as Ghandi because I helped my dad with his math homework when I didn't want to? Is there no direct correlation between sinning and your character? Or must the frequency of sin and the condition of the sinner's heart be taken into consideration as well? If this is the case is seems to hint at some sort of hierarchy. If the assertion is that all sin is equal then it puts everyone on level ground doesn't it? One act is equal to the next. It seems pretty difficult to make it so black and white, especially in the world we live in. Very few things are so cut and dry. Maybe this is one of those few things though. I don't know. I don't see myself in the same light as Hitler but maybe that is only because I'm looking at things the wrong way. Or I have misconstrued this whole thing (a definite possibility).

  5. Im too tired to actually do any good thinking about this right now, but I will later. anyway, my first thought is to say that not all sin is equal but it all leads to death. The fact that we cant live up to Gods law shows all the more that we need HIm, people who deny that are expressing the sin of pride. C.S. Lewis wrote something about this I believe, I think said that pride was the worst of all sins because in essence it was saying that you dont need God and you are fine on your own. Also doesnt Paul say something about sexual sin being extra bad because it is against your own body or something? anyway too tireed.

  6. Damn you for giving me that man's name! I've been wasting so much time watching videos. JP makes some fairly compelling arguments. Ultimately, they still come up short for me. It is the flames for me, I suppose.

  7. Well i thought that you would find him interesting. I will find out what books you should look into as well, Dustin knows them better than I do. Well, I am glad you are at least watching them!

  8. It's honestly not necessary. I appreciate the effort though! I have a mountain of books I already want to read and I'm honestly more than okay with my apostasy. I have much more peace about it than I can remember ever having with Christianity. I no longer feel the burden of rationalizing things that make no sense. Perhaps my perspective will change one day, though. It's possible.

  9. Hi Brenda,
    Could you give me your address? You can either email me or leave a comment here on your blog. Here is my email: brookegonzales@gmail.com.

  10. josh, this is not meant to offend and obviously I dont know anything but what I have read here, but it seems to me that your rationality for "giving up" christianity is very irrational. just an observation

  11. Bandy = irrational? Seems to me he is following the same path as Lewis or any other freethinkers who asked good questions and demanded good answers. Some of the best apologists asked similar questions or began with philosophy and moved to faith only later (Justin Martyr and Augustine come to mind).

    The issue at hand: "are all sins equal?"

    You would really have to pin down a tighter definition of sin. I assume here what is meant is one act, any act, running contrary to God's expressed will.
    Second,I think some degree of disambiguation is necessary. Do you mean, "do all sins have equal consequences in relation to humans?" Or "do all sins equally run contrary to God's expressed will, thereby putting one in a state of disobedience to God."

    I will limit my comment to these two, hopefully contributing something to this discussion. Regarding the first, I think this may be put to rest most easily. M. Bandy brings out the absurdity of agreeing with such a proposition. Clearly lying and murder have drastically different consequences. And I meant that without any ethical ideas attached. They simply produce two very different results. Ethically, it seems absurd to think the consequences of lying are able to be equated to the consequences of murder (unless a lie led to a murder). I will take for granted here they are not on any level truly comparable when examining them by their consequences (though that is an interesting discussion as well).
    The second concept is a different dragon altogether. It is hard to say whether one sin could put someone into a state of sin or not as scripture really does not address this concept specifically. "Sin" as understood by Paul and, to my knowledge, many NT writers is not often thought of in the singular sense, but rather in a collective sense or as a force in nature or an entire lifestyle. I do not mean to say that committing one sin would not need God's grace to amend it, but simply that I am not sure the biblical testimony speaks to such an issue. If one accepts these parameters as such, it begs the question whether or not one can truly answer such a question. If we cannot answer whether one sin could even put one in need of God's grace, then it eliminates the ability to push past this and say which of these can put us out of God's grace and which cannot.

  12. whyd you stop writing!? brenda! andale brenda sparsa! =)

  13. I agree with Beatriz! Write again! Plus, you made us all answer this question, and then never posted again!!! :(