Tuesday, January 08, 2008

No Sin Greater Than Another?

Why are you judging that particular sin? After all, no sin is greater than another.

Have you ever heard anyone make that claim? What’s more interesting is that more often than not this assertion is made in defense of a “politically correct” sin. It is usually in defense of a sin that has a whole movement dedicated to promoting it and recruiting new members, for they are unable to reproduce members on their own. Yes, I speak of the sin of homosexuality.

The main verse that I hear others use when trying to justify their sin is this one:

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
(Jas 2:10)

Now, this is a very valid point, and one that must be considered. After all, this scripture is part of God’s Holy Word. Can we understand James to be telling us this paraphrase:
“Don’t try to keep the law, because if you mess up and fail in just one area, it’s just like you broke all of it.” Certainly this is not what James is saying. For if you read the rest of James chapter 2, you will see a clarion call for Christians to add works to their faith, else we show that our faith is dead. (James 2:20) What verse 10 is telling us then is that fallen, unregenerate man is totally depraved. We are born into this world with a sin nature. Every transgression that we do is deserving of eternal hellfire. Therefore, there is a bit of truth when we say that “no sin is greater than another” because the sin of lying will send you to hell just as fast as the sin of homosexuality.

However, just because any sin is vile enough to send you to hell, apart from the saving grace of Christ, I want to show you that God’s Holy Word does set some sins as worse than others. Consider:

If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
(1Jn 5:16)

So, then we see that there is a “sin unto death.” This sin is so bad that John does not even admonish his readers to pray for those who have been observed in participating in it. He does not prohibit prayer on their behalf, but he does withhold his admonishment as he would admonish us to pray for others sinning “lesser” sins. At the risk of a digression, I want to point out that this “sin unto death” is the very same sin spoken of here:

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
(Mat 12:31)

This blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, this “sin unto death,” is the utter falling away from and turning against the Lord of Heaven. One such example we have from scripture is Judas Iscariot.

The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.
(Mar 14:21)

Here is an example of a man who walked daily with Christ for over 3 years. He heard His teaching. He saw His miracles. Yet, he showed himself to be a vile betrayer of the God Man Jesus Christ. No one can convince me that Judas Iscariot was forgiven of the sin he wrought against God.

So then, we have seen that there is at least two “levels” of sin; sin unto death, and sin not unto death. Do we see any scriptural examples of levels of sin in those sins that are not unto death? I declare to you that we do.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(Mat 5:19)

Here we see someone described as breaking “one of these least commandments,” then teaching this to others. He is still described as being in the kingdom of heaven, though he is called the “least” in the kingdom of heaven. I would point out once more that the only reason he’s still “in the kingdom of heaven” is through the atoning blood of Christ. Because, remember, without the blood of Christ the very least sin will send us to hell.

To get back to the premise of this article, let us ask ourselves: Is the sin of homosexuality worse than other sins? Is it worse than lying, for example? To answer that question, let’s read what the Bible has to say about sexual sins in general:

Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
(1Co 6:15-20)

So then we see that fornication and adultery are worse than other sins, because they are sins against our own bodies, which are the temple of the Holy Ghost. So, certainly if we are not to “join ourselves” in illicit heterosexual relationships, we can easily apply this passage to homosexual behavior as well.

So, let’s recap what we’ve seen so far. There is a definite distinction between the sin unto death and sins not unto death. Within the sins not unto death, we see that sexual sins are worse in that they are sins against our own bodies. Do we see any scriptural justification for homosexuality being worse than illicit heterosexuality? Read with me from Romans chapter 1:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
(Rom 1:26-28)

We see in this passage homosexuality described as “against nature.” Certainly illicit heterosexual sin is condemned in the scripture. However, in passages such as these, the Holy Spirit speaking through the Holy Word of God condemns homosexuality in very strong language. We read of the utter destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah over the sin we know as “sodomy” today because of their wicked ways.

So, when you wonder why Christians like myself “harp on” the sin of homosexuality, and why we aren’t out decrying the sin of gluttony, for example, perhaps you will now understand that God has given us in His Word examples of sins for which He has judged nations and cities. In modern society, we see groups organized to promote the sin of homosexuality declaring it to be “normal.” It is a spitting in the face of God. It is calling Him a liar, for to say that homosexuality is normal is to contradict Romans 1. Therefore Christians *must* oppose this abomination. We must refuse, as much as in our power to do so, to allow it to be rooted in our society.

Friend, are you entangled in the thralls of homosexuality? While this sin is an utter abomination in the eyes of God, I have shown in this article that it is not a “sin unto death.” There is forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ. Read what Paul wrote to the Corinthians:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
(1Co 6:9)

But he turned right around in verse 11, with:

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
(1Co 6:11)
(emphasis mine)

There is hope. You may turn to Him for forgiveness and salvation. Christ has promised that He will not turn away any who come to Him.


The Schaubing Blogk said...

Excellent post. Sometimes its hard to stand against the winds of political correctness.

Joseph's Coat Ministries said...

Enjoyed this. Was looking for some encouragement this am. My friend who's living a HS lifestyle, lives his life as if it's okay with God. Very discouraged about this friend. Thanks for reminding me of the truth of Gods Word.

Mike Southerland said...

Thanks... Another helpful resource on this topic is "The Homosexual Agenda" by Alan Sears and Craig Osten. Here is a link for that book: http://amzn.to/JkxFxN

Joseph's Coat Ministries said...

Yea. I've heard of the book. I'm involved in a ministry that helps people struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions in the Chattanooga area. Your blog was a source of encouaragement and a reminder of Gods expectation for His people. Thanks again.