Posted by: Heather | December 12, 2008

knock, knock, knock. . . is anyone in there?

I have a question for those of you who read this. I would like your opinion, and reason for your opinion.

Does God see all sin the same, or are there varying degrees of sin in His eyes?

Don’t feel like you have to have a degree in theology here, either. I just want to know what you think.

Pondering this one myself,

Craig

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Responses

  1. I would say he sees it all the same. There is scripture that says if we break one law, we break them all. There are others saying if we are angry with our brother we have committed murder, if we have even lusted in thought, we have committed adultery. One sin separates us from God, no matter how great. If I was sitting next to a prostitute, I believe Jesus would have the same compassion for both of us, and show the same love and forgiveness to a repentant heart. Then even harder yet, if we cannot forgive a person’s sin against us, God will not forgive us – no matter how great the sin. My quick thoughts…

  2. I agree with Lyle to an extent. Sin is sin, and it separates us from God. Lyle also raises a question which I have wondered about before- how one distinguishes (if at all) between sinful desires and acting on sinful desires- both are sinful! For example- lust & adultery. If my husband lusted after other women or looked at pornography etc, it would be clear that he had committed adultery in his heart. Adultery is listed as an acceptable reason for divorce. So can Christians divorce based on adultery of the heart, despite us (as humans) not being able to judge others hearts? I have wondered about this before, and although I dont pretend to have all the answers, I would say that no…adultery of the heart is not sufficient grounds for divorce- that the bible is specifically referring to a physical sexual act of fornication. Im not going off on a tangent, I do have a point, which is that although both are forms of adultery and are both sinful they have different consequences so to speak. One results in a reason to break a covenant, the other doesnt. So although broadly, sin in any form separates us from God, it seems like there may possibly be other varying consequences. I see throughout the Bible mentions of 'greater abominations', 'greater damnation', 'more severe punishment', 'more bearable', etc, which I guess means that either there are some degrees of sin, or rather that there are degrees of punishment/consequence. I dont really know, but you asked for thoughts, and those are my brief thoughts without going into anything in depth. And just to clarify again, I believe that ALL sin, no matter how 'minor' humans may view it is a transgression of Gods law which ultimately results in our death and separation from Him. I also believe that God's love and compassion for all is the same, that Jesus died to cover ALL sins. And yes, sorry for the scatterbrained way I've presented my (frequently faulty) 'karina logic'…I have a lot going on in the background! 🙂

  3. Wow, I didnt realise the comment got so long! Sorry Craig!

  4. In Numbers 15:27-31 we find a difference described between intentional and unintentional sins. It would seem that in God’s eyes (in light of Matt 5-7) it is worse for me to hate my brother than to commit manslaughter. Both are sins, but an unintentional sin is treated differently.A superficial reading of the old testament law has varying penalties for various sins. These were set out by God.I understand that all sin is falling short of God’s law. In the sense that I have disobeyed God they are all the same in that respect. But Does God have a “level of severity” in the way he views sin? I can’t find where the bible says God sees all sin the same. I can see where they are the same in that they are against God’s law.Still wondering.Here is what got me thinking. Rom 1:18 For God’s wrath is revealed from Heaven on all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, holding the truth in unrighteousness, Rom 1:19 because the thing known of God is clearly known within them, for God revealed it to them. Rom 1:20 For the unseen things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things made, both His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse. Rom 1:21 Because knowing God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful. But they became vain in their reasonings, and their undiscerning heart was darkened. Their hearts were darkened because they supressed the truth in unrighteousness, did not honor God, and were not thankful. It appears that the perversions that follow are results of this darkening God places on them. I was surprised to notice the wrath of God was directed toward those who knew the truth and supressed it, rather that those who committed gross sexual sins, etc. If God has a severity scale, it is different than mine, it centers on how what we do, say, and think reflects on God.Still processing, still welcoming thoughts and comments.Craig

  5. Hmmm…interesting question. I am no scholar by any means. I have always believed that sin, small or big, still prevents us from communion with God, which means that we will not “enjoy” the blessings that come when you are walking in fellowship with God. To put a grasp on the question though – hard to say. Sin, at one point, was so great, that God detroyed the earth with a flood. Gen. 18:20 “the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grevious, that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me…” Sin in Sodom and Gomorah was bad enough that God destroyed it…just a few examples of God destoying people because of their “extreme” sin. Does that show that their sin is a different level of wickedness? Seems to me it is possible. Good question…

  6. Good question…I hesitate to even weigh in on it – some good thinking to consider.I think that the idea of levels of sin and levels of consequences is valid; but I think that the eternal consequences – e.g. Hell, with the idea of the Greek mythology of the seven levels of it.The least worst level would be hardly a measure. This is like grading rotten milk.The sin thing might be different. I need to verify this though. Feelings aren’t a good argument.I know though that I am grateful to God for His mercy to me. I hesitate to consider the thought of how nasty life would be if we actually suffered even the earthly consequences of each and every sin.Ryan


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