Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lies Preachers Tell: One sin is the same as the rest...

Continuing on today, I thought I'd pick up this little beauty:  all sins are the same in the eyes of God.

If you've heard this, raise your hand.  Now put your hand down because you look silly raising your hand in front of the computer screen.  People get this idea from Bible passages like James 2.10-11 where the Spirit-inspired apostle reminds us that if we break one part of the law we are guilty of all of it.  You also might have heard the logic that since God is completely holy, any offense is a capital crime against Him.  Also true.

But this line of thinking is only half the story.  Half-truths are still full lies.

Certainly any sin is an impurity before the white hot holiness of God and cannot be tolerated.  But all sins are NOT the same.  Read the OT law:  some sins required restitution, some required death.  On every level you can think of, there was some delineation of sin.  Socially, some sins were worse than others and the consequences reflected it.  When someone stole because they were hungry, they were treated differently than stealing because you wanted what another had.  On the familial front, same thing (watch out all teens, because dishonoring mom and dad was - and is - seriously bad news).  Even Jesus Himself said that Judas had committed a "greater sin" (John 19.11).

I guess I point this out because sometimes we get into conversations and say in a well-intentioned manner, "Well, all sin is the same before God."  When we do that, depending on the conversation and context, we can sound like idiots and make God look bad.  The question forming in the non-believer's mind goes like this:  "So this God of yours thinks that the homeless guy stuffing a twinkie in his pocket is the same as Usama bin Laden masterminding and funding terror plots which kill thousands of unsuspecting non-combatants and leave thousands of children as orphans?  What kind of God is that?"  Fair question.

Does this leave us on shaky, relativistic ground?  Absolutely not.  Sin is still sin.  God still burns with anger against it.  Because of it, we all stand in desperate need of a Savior.  Jesus had to die for the "big" ones and "little" ones because they all separate us from God.

And thankfully He did.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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