Introduction: Questioning Common Beliefs

During my ordination, one of the questions that I was asked by a seminary professor was “Are all sins equal in the sight of God?” I hesitated. Not because I did not have a strong opinion on this, but because I was not sure what the answer was that he was looking for. Are all sins equal in the sight of God? My ordination may have depended on the answer.

The Popular Evangelical Perspective on Sin

It is very common within popular evangelicalism to answer this question in the affirmative. This was one of the main assumptions in a book that I just recommended last week. Most find this theological concept very appealing and accept it, I am afraid to say, without doing much homework.

Influences Shaping the Equal Sin Belief

I think this tendency to assume that all sins are equal in the sight of God comes by means of three influences.

1) A reaction by Protestants against the Roman Catholic distinction between mortal sins (sins that kill justifying grace) and venial sin (sins of a lesser nature that do not kill justifying grace).

2) A tendency within our evangelistic church culture to express common ground with unbelievers—i.e., if all sins are equal in God’s sight, then your sin is not worse than any other. This way we are not coming across as judgmental or condescending.

3) Some biblical passages that have been interpreted in such a way (discussed below).

I don’t believe, however, that all sin is equal in God’s sight. I do believe that telling people that it is does serious damage to people’s understanding of the character of God and of the seriousness of certain sins. There are many reasons for this, but let me start with a reductio ad absurdum and them move to a biblical argument.

Implications of this Belief

I often ask people who say that all sin is equal in the sight of God if they live according to their theology. Think about this. If all sin is really equal in the sight of God, and one really believes this, then God’s consternation and anger will be equal for whatever sin we commit. Equally important is the fact that our relational disposition before God should suffer equally from the conviction of the Holy Spirit for all sins.

Most Christians understand what it means to have a conscience weighed down by unrepentant sin. But this weighing down normally only comes from those sins that we perceive to be more severe. If it is true, however, that all sin is equal in the sight of God and one actually lived according to that theology, then they should be just as troubled spiritually and just as repentant before God when they break the speed limit as when they commit adultery. After all, breaking the speed limit, even by 1 mph, is breaking the law and breaking the law is sin (Rom 13).

But nobody does this. We all see speeding down the road as water under the bridge of God. Apparently our conscience bears witness that it is not as bad as other things, even if we confess differently. Either that or the ability for our theology to actually affect the way we believe and think is non-functional in this situation.

Scriptural Evidence Against the Equality of All Sins

Next (and more importantly) I think that it is biblical and necessary to say that some sins are more grievous in the sight of God than others. This also translates into the non-politically correct assumption that some people are sinners to a greater degree than others. Even though Protestants may not agree with the theology behind the Roman Catholic distinction between mortal and venial sins, there are many instances in the Scriptures where degrees of sin are distinguished.

Christ to Pilate

1. Christ tells Pilate that the Jewish leaders have committed a worse sin than him, saying, “He who has handed me over to you has committed the greater sin” (Jn. 19:11, emphasis mine).

Abominations Mean Something

2. Certain sins in the law are distinguished in a particular context as an abomination to God, implying that others are not as severe (e.g. Lev. 18:22; Deut. 7:25, Deut. 23:18, Isa. 41:24).

Unforgivable Sin

3. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is set apart as a more severe sin than blasphemy of the Son (Matt. 12:31)

Deadly Sins?

4. Proverbs 6:16-19 lists particular sins in such a way as to single them out because of their depraved nature, separating them from others.

Degrees of Punishment

5. There are degrees of punishment in Hell depending on the severity of the offense (Lk. 12:47-48).

Gnats vs Camels

6. Christ often evaluates the sin of the Pharisees as greater than the sins of others. You strain out a gnat while you swallow a camel (Matt. 23:24). If all sins are equal, Christ’s rebuke does not make any sense. (See also Lk. 20:46-47)

Weightier Things of the Law

7. Similarly, Christ also talked about the “weightier things of the law” (Matt. 23:23). If all sins are equal, there is no law (or violation of that law) that is “weightier than others.” They are all the same weight.

The Sin of Unforgiveness

8. Unforgiveness is continually referred to as a particularly heinous sin (Matt. 6:14-15; 18:23-35).

Misinterpretations of Christ’s Teachings

So where does this folk theology come from? Most people would refer to Christ’s comments in the Sermon on the Mount. Most particularly, reference is made to Matt. 5:27-28 as justification for this way of thinking.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall not commit adultery’” but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matt. 5:27-28 27).

Is there a difference in the eyes of God between thinking about adultery and actually doing it? Absolutely. If we say anything other than this, I believe we do damage to God’s character and encourage the act based upon its premonition. The point Christ makes in Matt. 5:28 is not that lust and the actual act are equal, but that they both violate the same commandment, even if the degrees of this violation differ. Thus, Christ was telling people – and particularly the religious establishment of the day that thought they were safe because they had fulfilled the letter of the law – that the law runs much deeper. The spirit of the law is what matters. Therefore, if you have ever lusted, you have broken the sixth commandment. If you have ever hated your brother, you have broken the fifth commandment (Matt. 5:22). But, again, the breaking of the principles of the commandment is the issue, not the degree to which it is broken.

This is the same argument that James makes in Jam. 2:10 when he says “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” He is not equating all sin, but showing how any violation of the law, no matter how small, is still breaking the whole of the law because the law is connected to such a degree.

The Dangers of Oversimplifying Sin

Think about this (another reductio): if you believe that adultery and lust are equal in the sight of God, then here are the consequences: any man or woman can justify divorce based upon the fact that in Matt. 5:32 Christ condemns divorce except for marital infidelity. All they need to do is make the safe assumption that their spouse has lusted to some degree during their marriage. This will make their divorce justified and biblical. In the same way, if a man were to lust after a woman on the internet, he might as well commit the actual act since in God’s eyes he already has. Or (I am rolling), if you have ever lusted after a girl, then you are under God’s mandate to marry her since in God’s eyes you are one with her (1 Cor. 6:16).

I think that this way of thinking is not only wrong biblically, but it also has repercussions that lead to a distorted worldview and to discrediting the integrity of God and the Gospel of Christ.

It is true. All people are sinners (Rom. 3:23). All people are sinners from birth. But not all sin is equal.

A Balanced View of Sin and Human Depravity

I think this is a safe way to stay humble and accurately represent the biblical witness:

While not all people sin to the same degree, we all share in an equally depraved nature.

In other words, no one is less of a sinner because of an innate righteousness about which they can boast. All people have equal potential for depravity because we are all sons of Adam and share in the same depravity, even if we don’t, due to God’s grace, act out our sinfulness to the same degree.

Concluding Thoughts: Theological Integrity and the Character of God

If you disagree with this, just think—really think—about what you are saying about God. You are saying to an unbelieving world that your God is just as angry about the act of going 56 in a 55 as he is about the act of one who rapes and murders a six-year-old girl. Do you really want to go there? Do you really think this position is sufficiently supported to justify such a belief? Can you really defend it? If the Bible teaches it, fine: we go with the Bible and not with our emotions or palatability decoder. But I don’t believe that a viable case can be made for letting our theology argue for such a belief. I can’t think of many more things in Evangelical pop-theology that is more wrong, more damaging, or more misrepresentative of God’s character and the nature of sin.

I answered with the above answer during my ordination. I was relieved when I saw the approval of the ordination committee. They were all concerned that I might be one who, even with seminary training, retained this belief that most Evangelicals have. I have often wondered whether or not they would have passed me if I had answered according to the traditional Evangelical folklore, saying that all sins are equal in the sight of God.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    100 replies to "“All Sins are Equal in God’s Sight” . . . And Other Stupid Statements"

    • Michael L


      All three your statements are true. But from those three to the conclusion is a bit of a leap.

      If God can’t tolerate sins, then he can’t tolerate his own actions.” God is not the one sinning. Satan sinned, Adam sinned, we sin. Unless you’re trying to imply God is sinning ?

      Let me clarify my statement: “Considering God is wholly just and Holy, it stands to reason that He cannot tolerate sin to be in His presence. Even though God created everything, it is the abuse of His creation that leads to sin. Example: Desire for your spouse is good. Lust for any other woman is not. Trying to find a job to work and provide for your family is good. Being obesessed with money, not so much.”

      I’m really not sure where you stand or where you’re gymnastics are leading ?

      Do you
      1) Believe there is a merit to what CMP is saying or
      2) Believe that there are differences betwen a small versus a big sin ?

      All I’ve read is accusing God and/or Christ of instituting a totalitarion mind-control regime and your understanding that Wouldn’t a God of Grace etc., ease up a little? Show forgiveness for very minor sins?

      I’ve heard too many people use that latter argument to self-justify behaviors that aren’t all that good or healthy. It’s slippery slope. Cheryl already pointed out in post #39, it’s His rules.. not ours.

      In Him

    • Joe

      Is is really God’s rule that we absolutely must obey every single tiny law? Is God that intolerant of sin? I’m citing Biblical examples, to suggest that God is more tolerant of sin than many think.

      No doubt, experimenting with “sin” is dangerous. But what is considered sin in one era – even by God – is not considered sin in another. God told the Jews for example, that eating pork was a sin; but in the New Testament/”new covenant,” an apostle has a vision allowing him to eat anything. While Christians eat pork today.

      NO doubt to be sure, you need to understand the reason for the rules, before you break them. ANd no one should think he or she is entirely above the “law.” At the same time, though, even the laws of God were changed significantly, from the Old to the New Testament. And who knows but that they might change again?

      Of course, this is a very, very slippery spot to be; so be very, very careful. Look very carefully, before you leap.

      But Paul, some say, took that leap: “All things are lawful for me.”

      To be sure, this is something you want to be very, very careful about. But consider too, that perhaps many things that you think God is commanding, you or I might have misunderstood; so that even when we think we are following it, we might be disobeying it.

      It might be too, that just when we think we are being very, very good, we are really like the Pharisees; following the “letter of the law,” but not really understanding the true intent behind it.

      So that trying too hard to be “Good,” ironically, often does not work.

      For that reason, God instituted some slack into the system: “Grace” and “forgiveness” and so forth.

      Cheryl: The article suggests that probably most cannot believe that God tells us to sin; but on the other hand, God seems more forgiving of it than many have thought. “Be a good person; but there’s no point in overdoing it.”

      And indeed, many people who think they are very very good and are following the laws of God, may well be following a false idea of God and so forth.

      So that ironically, trying to be very, very Good is not always right.

    • oldman

      Interesting points, but as entry 48 points out, God created sin. Even if you think of it as sin nature, it obviously didn’t exist before the heavens and universe was created. So let us start at the beginning, what is sin?

    • Ron Wolf

      Obviously a good discussion on your post Michael. I tend to agree with the different degrees of sin. I am somewhat confused when it comes to the unpardonable sin. I have always been told it was just the fact of unbelief. Guess that’s why I am here. To learn!

    • Michael L


      Once again some very interesting points. It still seems to me there’s an undertone of De-emphasizing sin and sinfulness. Definitely the use of your reference to 1Cor 6:12 is dangerous.

      For one, you’re only highlighting half of the verse. The second part is equally as important. The full verse is “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. Makes it very clear that even though the Law does not apply anymore to a lot of items, they’re still not necessarily beneficial
      For two, there’s been some debate on this phrase. There is a train of thought that actually considers this statement to be a reference from Paul to one of the slogans used by the Corinthian Church to justify their behavior and lifestyle. Pretty much as many of us do today. Paul was quoted this phrase to then repudiate it by saying “Sure.. but they’re not all good and I won’t be enslaved by them”. For more on this, Wierbe is a pretty good read in his commentary on 1Cor. Or David K.Lowery

      This being said, our God is indeed a God of grace. But that doesn’t give us the right to keep on sinning. Romans 6:1 is quite clear on that.

      True enough, it gets to a point where some put the Law above Grace and it is good to remind us all that Christianity is a faith of grace. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore all aspects of sin. Whether big or small, they call out to me that I am a sinner and can never be perfect. It is only by grace that I am saved. Without sin, there is no need for grace.

      In Him

    • oldman

      It’s a catch 22, to be human is to sin. Therefore you need God (Jesus) to wash away the sin. No one can not “lust in their heart”, or be born pure or innocent, it’s a no-win situation for humans. The church uses this for their own means. Since we can’t agree, maybe we shouldn’t be offering our blind viewpoints? The church never says “we don’t know, or the scripture is unclear.” I’m tired of people who speak for God, not of God.

    • #John1453

      oldman, what do you mean by “of God” rather than “for God”?

    • Joe

      “Be not righteous overmuch” is from Ecclesiastes: it is part of what is called “Wisdom Literature.” Much of wisdom lit., is thought to be oddly different from, much of the rest of the Bible. And yet after all, it was finally allowed in.

      Paul and the disciples at times attack various forms of “wisdom”; but surely not the holy wisdom books?

      To be sure, the wisdom books are unsettling, in their difference/change from, the rest of the Bible.

      But it seems God often changes his eternal laws. For example, even Paul and other apostles, often seem to be ready to move past Old Testament “law,” to a “new covenant.” It is commonly thought by scholars, that the words and laws and covenants of God, underwent a significant shift, from the Old Testament, to the words, “grace,” of Jesus and the New Testament.

      And so: if the words and laws of God have changed once or twice in the past? Shouldn’t we therefore be receptive today, to new Charistmatic gifts and so forth? A subject much discussed on this blog.

      Maybe we should even look forward to yet another revision/update of God’s word? In the Second Coming, for example? But in such a case, the definition or understanding of what is “good” or what is “sin”ful might change, once again.

    • oldman

      John 1453
      The ancient languages aren’t anywhere near as concise as the later translations. There is a lot of guess work as to the actual sentences, which of course could change the meanings of the scriptures. The fact that there are so many denominations of churches belies the fact that we can’t claim to understand fully what God needs from us or what role we actually play in the grand scheme of things. Remember, the disciples walked, talked, lived with Jesus, and yet understood nothing of what was happening. In the end they were merely witnesses left to pick up the pieces of a battle they did not understand was happening. I don’t think we are in a very different situation today, than they were, I mean…how can we be?
      So it is from this viewpoint, I think we should speak of God, and what he may need of us and not speak for God which leads us to judgment, not only of others, but of God itself.

    • Joe


      I agree. The truth about God is so complex, and we are all such imperfect sinners, that we should seldom if ever presume to speak FOR God, authoritatively. But only speak modestly OF him.

      Especially since his message seems to vary so significantly, from one part of the Bible to the next.

      Even on major questions, like sin, and his “law.”

    • #John1453

      Joe, haven’t seen you posting in a while, though IIRC you used a different posting name.

      Interesting thought on new revelation at the second coming, but won’t that be a bit late? Since Christ will be here Himself, I’m not sure what the use or purpose of further revelation would be.

      As regards the original languages, there is little or no guesswork regarding the original sentences. And where there is dispute about where sentences start or stop, that dispute does not through into doubt our understanding of the gospel. Furthermore, there is no doubt at all about the gospel message.

      I find that there is not useful distinction between talking of God and for Him, and any distinction to be made is not useful to our task of spreading the gospel. Preaching the word of God and spreading the gospel is inherently and integrally speaking for God. God, in fact, commands us to speak His words.


    • Michael L


      “Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise” Ecc 7:16 is indeed a great passage.

      My point is, that once we start to “categorize” sins as small and large, we’re heading to a slippery slope. The danger when we start to catalogue sins is that we can say “Oh.. but I only commit the little ones and none of the big ones”, which leads to the temptation of calling yourself “righteous”. I’m a sinner. The end.

      I really am thinking we’re saying the same thing, perhaps from a different angle.

      In Him

      PS: Cessationism or not is fodder for a completely different thread.

    • oldman

      Little or no guess work? The Old Testament declared the coming of the Messiah but no one predicted he would be a sacrifice for our sins. The Jews thought he would help them overthrow their suppressors, and don’t believe Jesus fit the role as Messiah at all.
      John are you really so presumptuous to think that you somehow have the ability to convert people to Christianity, you think very little of other (or Jesus) to assume it is you that makes the difference.
      The distinction of talking “for him” or “of him” leads on to believe you do not think he can talk for himself. It really doesn’t matter if you find it useful or not, what matters is being intellectually honest and truthful, both to oneself and others. If the scripture and message is as simple as you think, then there should only be one church. Have you counted the different denominations as of today? They exist because of the mindset you bring forward.

    • cheryl u


      You said, “The Old Testament declared the coming of the Messiah but no one predicted he would be a sacrifice for our sins.”

      How do you understand Isaiah 53 if not as a Messiah that would be a sacrifice for our sins?

    • […] by Smithers on September 30, 2009 Recently I read a blog post by Michael Patton (@CMichaelPatton) from Reclaiming the Mind Ministries where he argues quite […]

    • Daniel B

      “After all, breaking the speed limit, even by 1 mph, is breaking the law and breaking the law is sin ”

      That’s a strained reading of both the laws of the road and Romans 13. The law (correctly) allows for “flow of traffic” speeds which exceed the speed limit, since this (if followed) prevents cars from clumping too much. And also “be subject to the authorities” doesn’t mean “do not drive 56 in a 55” – if I speed and get pulled over and don’t rebel against the authority of the officer who pulled me over, then I definitely have been subject to the authorities.

      “In the same way, if a man were to lust after a woman on the internet, he might as well commit the actual act since in God’s eyes he already has.”

      That’s not a logical continuation of “all sins are equal”. It’s a logical continuation of “if I’ve done a sin, then I might as well continue to do that same sin” – which is a false way to look at sin regardless of whether all sins are equal or whether some is worse than others.

    • C Michael Patton

      Dan, fair enough about the speed limit, but that does not help as there are any number of illustrations that could have been used. Such as:

      Is a 15 year old lying about his age in order to go see Braveheart as grevious in God’s site as raping little girl?

      All I am saying is don’t spread romors about God unless you can back them up. I don’t think anyone can back this up.

    • Judy

      Thank you for posting this. You did a very good job explaining it. Whenever this comes up in bible study, I usually point out the John 19:11 verse. This came up again this week and I think I’m going to point my bible study to your post.

    • […] “All Sins Are Equal in God’s Sight”… and Other Stupid Statements  C. Michael Patton, September 25, 2009 […]

    • Lloyd

      I’m certainly a johnny come lately on this topic. Anyways, this whole sin deal you got going on. One sin is worse than the other or they are all equal. What’s the point? I mean, it does make for interesting conversation but in the end, are we or are we not redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior? Are we or are we not all sinners who’s only chance is Christ our Lord? I find this whole discussion more benficial for the unsaved. It kind of gives them some kind of possible thought of how their hell will be. So the unsaved speeding guy or gal will live eternally without God and the unsaved rapist will live eternally without God. Wait a minute! Now that I’m writing this, it makes me think. What’s the difference? Just the mere thought of being completely away from God makes me utterly sick to my stomach and filled with the fear a young child has being ripped from their loving protective father’s or mother’s arms to be taken away and never returned. Ya know, I struggle everyday with different degrees of sin and I love God more than anything, truly I do and that wasn’t always the case. The majority of my life I loved me more than anyone else but that’s a different blog. Anyways, as far as sin from what I see, we all do it to different degrees and all sin seperates us from the Father Almighty. Correct? And who is the only way to the Father? Christ Jesus as you all know. So, our different levels of sin as far as we know only effect our life on earth, for the saved of course, for the unsaved, well like I said before, just the thought of being completely seperated from God is not something I would wish on anybody.

      All in all though, good reading.

    • Ben W

      I think that perhaps some of the disagreement on this post has to do with eternal security vs. Conditional security. Acutally I am sure of it.

      It is easy for the eternal securist to say that all sin is equal and bear the same weight because they believe that the believer is secure and can not loose their salvation over speeding or murder. So there is no need for them to delve into the degrees of sin.

      However every conditional securist at some points asks himself the question at what point can salvation be lost. Many churches never define it outside of the Catholics. For me I am with the author. God will Judge.

    • EddP

      I too have come late to this blog, but find it fascinating. I also admit I’m not as educated thologically so bear with me and correct me. One thing I keep thinking is that it depends on the definition of sin and its context.

      Under the Old Testament acts were sins because they violated the law. Since there were different punishments some sins were worse than others.

      Under the new covenant, one has to define sin. If sin is an act that separates you from God, i.e. disobeying him, etc., then clearly it is not created by God, because he cannot be separate from himself. But, then again, it is not necessarily a judgement on the act as the same act may or may not be a sin, though logically I can’t imagine rape ever not being a sin.

      Under this line, sin that separates you further from God seems worse than sin that takes you only a little way from him. Though are you farther from God after living hedonistically or when trying to do right with minor hiccups?

      Or, does the question depend upon consequences? Sure raping a child is worse than speeding, but the eternal consequences are the same: death. Since any sin is death, there is no difference in this context because the answer is always death. Thus, the lusting reference and need for Christ.

      In the end, it seems to depend upon the context: 1) the worldly side of it, rape is clearly worse than speeding; but 2) the eternal side, all sin leads to death so all sin is equally bad. Meaning both answers may be right. How’s that for relativism?

      Finally, a heretical question: for the believer is anything sinful? As Paul says all is permissible though not beneficial. Does this mean that eternally the believer is free to do any act because it is forgivable and can be done without fear of losing salvation, except blasphemy, though the worldly consequences may be harmful.

    • Bible Study

      I have to say, I never really gave it much thought because of the teaching we hear so much of. However, I do know the bible says there is a sin not unto death. I am leaning toward all sins being equal, but I will think about it. I believe in order to receive truth, we must have an open mind.

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    • The Uninvited1

      All sin is equal in the respect that all sin, or rather, any sin, will keep us from the glory of God. But, with that said, God Himself said certain sins are worse than others…just read Ezekiel 16:51 and Jeremiah 3:11

      Pastor Un

    • TEXIZZ

      Amen! The Holy Bible is 100% Truth, whether we understand it or not! The Holy Bible is the Word of God and God cannot lie!

    • Hillary

      Grace to you all through jesus christ our lord…’
      I may not be vast with the scriptures, pardon me to make my own flawed opinion.since we presume too much,though not our fault because we are left in awe of the supreme nature of God and understanding Him is always the problem we all have in our faith and joy-
      1)Dont you think God tollerates sins,though punishes them, which when scrutinize can be seen there is small and great sins,this can be seen by a degree of purnishment attached to them(see Genesis 3:14-19)though the all ultimate cause ends in death. But the reason for different purnishment we can never comprehend( Ecc 11:5).
      2)Also, have we asked why God had to condemn satan to hell, but spared us…is it not the same sin that we commits that he did?(ie if all sins are equall) then why didnt He condemn us instantly?, but he spared us.

      3)He spared us,though the cause, the reason, the why is only known by Him- but we humans would tag ‘love’ to this thought,then if God loves us so dear, the question becomes ‘did he love satan less? Didnt he love him so dear too? Why didnt he destroy him totally?_ if purnishment for sin can vary eighther in gravity or state then even a kid can answer. Though 1+1 can equal 11.

      Please i would like to understand maybe in annther topic, why the devil was condemed and we were saved, this should be outside the context of john 3:16. in Christ. . . . HILLARY.U

    • Doug

      Even just Leviticus taken by itself shows degrees of sin just in the different punishments and sacrifices. Great writing here 🙂

    • Wendi

      Glad I read this. It always confused me on a deep level whenever someone told me that “all sin is equal in the sight of God”. I couldn’t imagine God being just as outraged over someone yelling at their boss as He would be at someone raping and murdering a child. I always thought, I’m made in His image, therefore if I am more disturbed by this evil act, wouldn’t He also be? I was told it was my human sin setting me apart and that “His ways aren’t our ways”. But I’m so glad to have information to back it up now, thank you so much for this blog!

    • […] I disagree. While I do not believe that all sin is equal in God’s sight, there is no biblical reason to say that there are some sins that destroy the grace of God and […]

    • […] If anyone is interested, the blog post that I read is here. […]

    • Marjorie

      It is my opinion that all sins are covered under God’s grace, thus making the playing field for “sin” equal. Prior to Jesus life on earth and His death on the cross the Mosaic law was the written edict for sin. Now, the act of sin is covered under grace through Christ because of his act of love and mercy on the cross when He shed His blood for us on the cross.

    • […] nature. While I do believe that homosexuality is a worse sin than many others (that is right, not all sins are equal like some would have us believe), I don’t believe that those who have that bent should be […]

    • […] | Bible Study Planet In fact here is an ordained minister's blog that calls the notion "stupid": "All Sins are Equal in God's Sight" . . . And Other Stupid Statements | Parchment and Pen Just throwing that out there because I grew up going to multiple non-denominational churches, went […]

    • […] interpretation. Some examples are Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 18:20, 2 Tim 2:13, and the notion “all sins are equal in God’s eyes” or “one little lie will send you to […]

    • Dmitry

      Well, i personally think it is equal well how should i from this like God no matter what will forgive you if you ask him with your heart and really want to be saved, yes all sins are kind of different like every sin has a different stage like a lie and cuss word could go into one category and than like hitting someone and hurting someone could go into another but no matter what the sin is God forgives you which makes it look like all sins are equal to God.

    • […] rehearse a defense of this here, because that has been done ad nauseam elsewhere (see here and here, research hamartiology for dummies, or just actually read your Bible). To maintain the belief that […]

    • Daniel Meyer

      Thank you for pulling together these Scripture references. This is helpful.

    • Mass

      I have to disagree. The worldly view of sin is to assign a monetary value on sin based on the outcome of the sin. If your sin did not affect anyone it should not be punished as bad as if you changed, for the worse, the lives of 5 people. In that sense we can say one sin is worse than the other but, that is not sin, that is the outcome of sin. Thievery is a sin. If I tell you that stealing an apple is worth 1 year in jail and stealing an orange is 1 year in jail, but stealing a banana is worth 5 years in jail, what conclusion can you draw? Bananas are more valuable and more important based off the fact that you are punished greater for that disobedience. I often see the argument that if you go one mile over the speed limit you might as well have killed someone. No, but yes. Murder and speeding are each disobedience to God (like the fruit), but what is the punishment for breaking the speed limit and murder (in the eyes of God), death (equally).
      We can usually agree what the punishment should be for someone like Hitler, for example. He should have the things done to him that he did to other people, torture and death (highlight these). What kind of punishment should you get if you eat an apple if God told you not to? God saw it fit to punish women with painful child birth, men would have to work the ground for food, the bushes would produce thorns, and they would die and return to the dirt from whence they came. Torture and Death. God tells you not to do something and you do it you are deserving of torture and death, because all sin is equal, the repercussions of sin is not equal but the sin itself is. There is another piece to this I don’t have room to go over, if you look at the sins they all boil down to selfishness. The last is if you believe sin is unequal you are giving yourself permission to stand on moral superiority. I found myself saying this when I sinned, “at least I’m not as bad as them” because their sin was worse than mine.

    • Heather

      I was listening until the comment of comparing a 6yr old’s rape and murder to speeding…. YES, I do want to go there. To use general opinion to substantiate theology undermines christ himself. Im sure his disciples said the same thing when he started telling strangers that he was God…. “uh… Jesus, do you really want to go there?”, im sure they thought it once or twice.
      Interesting points that ill think over, but it has been a humbling experience to look at rapists and murders on tv and think, wow, my sin is no less than theirs… And as far as God’s anger- its not like I caught Him off guard or anything, so if he knew about me having a child out of wedlock as an adult, at the same time he knew about my lie about letting the dog in as a child (not to mention that he already knows all the stuff he’s pleased with me for), so why not be angry or happy about everything conglomerately ? I dont think he would feel the need to hold in all those emotions to express only at the exact time the event occurred in my life. Just some thoughts, but definitely a NO-GO on not wanting to go there, thinking likeminded works great in humans but christ was not a conformist by any means and would probably challenge us all to “go there” in any argument

    • Jerry

      So, the Catholics were more right than wrong on this issue…

    • […] I have written on this here. […]

    • […] topic so I'll just leave you with this link that I just found and read briefly for thought sake: "All Sins are Equal in God's Sight" . . . And Other Stupid Statements | Parchment and… […]

    • Wood

      You are staying to shallow. Is the sin really speeding or rape or anything else? Are not those the symptoms of the real sin? Pride is the real sin in both these examples…in both of these examples…the person’s heart says,”to hell with the rules, to hell with what is right, to hell with what another person says, I will do what I want when I want because I am all that matters in this moment.” It’s the heart’s condition…that’s what Jesus was getting at as he related adultery to lust. Get your eyes off the exterior and consider the interior. So are they the same? Is the defiant heart the same? Maybe your pride doesn’t want to admit it but it must consider it.

    • Phaethon

      Thanks so much for this post! I’m so tired of hearing that, albeit from well-meaning Christians. Yet another cliché the Church needs to get rid of.

    • S.Mickelson

      Let me see Adam and Eve sinned a great sin by eating forbidden fruit and brought a harsh judgement down upon themselves and their descendants. One may argue that when Cain killed Abel, God went easy on Cain by allowing him to live and be protected from personal harm. Eventually, Cain would suffer the judgement of death, a punishment inherited by all. All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory AND ARE doomed to eventually die, regardless of the “severity” of their respective sin. in this regard, all sin is “mortal sin” and no action, save faith in Jesus as your saviour, will overturn the penalty of death. If your studies were a result of having accepted the gospel of Jesus as your saviour, by faith, the Spirit will help you discern that one does not have to murder to receive the penalty of death and still all are entitled to sanctification through Jesus, by faith.

    • cleland

      After all is said and done, remember that counting the sins of others doesn’t make our smaller……the fact is asking God for forgiveness of sins ….that’s all.

    • Charlie Crouch

      I totally understand your argument here. If we catagorize sin, and put it in a 1 to 10 good to worst sinario we feel better about ourselves, at least those of us who haven’t done, well ….. you fill in the blank. But we have to realize when Jesus died for us he took all our sin. But most important when we accept what Jesus has finished, we get His robe of righteousness and God the Father never sees the sin (big or small) but only sees His Sons blood/righteousness. I believe by saying some sins are lesser than others we put God in a box and say, “well Jesus blood only covers this amount or this great of sin, all else are left out”. If we believe this way than there is some inherent belief that we have a part in restoring our position with God by works beyond a certain measure of repentance or forgiveness. This I hope we all know is not the case, I’ve heard testimonials from the most wicked people you can imagine, that are so under the anointing now that you know there born again/forgiven, there light is burning bright.

    • Amwayi John

      True.. Each sin has it’s punishment… Though we also have unforgivable sin(blasphemy to the Holy Spirit) and abominations(bestiality, homosexuality)
      We also inherit sins or get them through sexuality

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