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Is sexual sin worse than other kinds of sin?

Jay Dee

Is sexual sin worse than other kinds of sin?

Oct 14, 2013

This post is basically my response to a Twitter conversation, if it can be called that, which occurred yesterday. I saw this tweet: JimEKey: GOD SAYS #sex outside of #marriage is SIN, OF THE WORST KIND, IT IS SIN AGAINST THE BODY, MEANT TO BE THE TEMPLE OF

Is Sexual Sin Worse Than Other Kinds Of Sin

This post is basically my response to a Twitter conversation, if it can be called that, which occurred yesterday.

I saw this tweet:

JimEKey: GOD SAYS #sex outside of #marriage is SIN, OF THE WORST KIND, IT IS SIN AGAINST THE BODY, MEANT TO BE THE TEMPLE OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT #church 6:18pm, Oct 10 from Web

Now, that phrase “of the worst kind” bothered, me, so I responded:

sexinmarriage: @JimEKey I agree, it’s a sin, but not the worst kind. All sin is equal, and all sin can be forgiven, except blasphemy of the spirit. 9:09am, Oct 12 from HootSuite

Because, well, I felt that what he said was unbiblical.  The problem is, with Twitter, you only have 140 characters, not quite enough to unpack an entire theology.  I was not trying to say all sins have the same impact on yourself and the world, what I was saying is that all sin is equally forgivable and they all have the same impact: distancing yourself from God.  Well, apparently it was taken the wrong way, because I woke up to this:

JimEKey7:49am via Web
@sexinmarriage God says that all sin is NOT equal, and NOT identical, you need to read 1Cor6:18 – Sexual sin is uniquely self-destructive.

JimEKey7:50am via Web
@sexinmarriage Of course, all sin can be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Spirit – which is to reject Jesus Christ.

JimEKey7:51am via Web
@sexinmarriage Sin can be forgiven, if repented of. But it still carries consequences, and sexual sin results in grievous consequences.

JimEKey7:53am via Web
@sexinmarriage Your ungodly attitude makes it sound as if sexual sin is of little concern. Will block you, and may God open your eyes.

Which sort of blew me away, I mean, I didn’t even get a chance to discuss it, just a barrage of statements and then blocking!  Now, I can’t really respond directly, but I still wanted to address this issue, because I’m sure there are others out there who feel the same way.  Also, he said I had an ungodly attitude and quoted scripture.  This is not to be taken lightly.  I believe if someone says I’m not following God or His Word, I should check myself, my beliefs and make sure I am.  So in all humility, I’m going to turn to the Bible and see what it says.  Let’s take a look at the verse(s) he’s using.

What does the Bible say about sexual sin?

Now, obviously, first in the list is the 1 Corinthians 6:18 he referenced.  In fact, let’s go right through to verse 20, because he’s really referencing the entire thing to build this doctrine.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

-1 Corinthians 6:18-20

The problem with using this passage to prove that sexual immorality is the worst sin is this: it doesn’t say that.  I just says there is a difference between sexual immorality and other sins, which is really of little consequence, you could categories a half a dozen sins into their own unique category.  It also says your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and that you don’t own it, so treat it appropriately.  It doesn’t say sexual sin is worse, or has a larger impact, or that God places a higher negative value on this sin.

Now, I believe what they have done, and someone correct me if I’m wrong, because I can’t ask @JimEKey myself, was combine this passage with Matthew 12:31:

And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
-Matthew 12:31

It can also be found in Luke 12:10 and Mark 3:28-30, basically with the same wording, and are likely recording the same event. The problem is, the verse from 1 Corinthians 6 and these have nothing to do with each other.  They only have a link when you use modern English to define words instead of the Bible.  The dictionary lists the following for the word “blasphemy” as the #1 definition:

“impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things”

Now, if we use this, and count the body as a temple, thus a sacred things, then we could extend this to mean that defiling the body is blasphemous.  But, that is not using the biblical definition of the word, it is how the word is used in our media and common speech.  I believe in letting the Bible interpret itself whenever possible, so we should not be using the dictionary to build our theology, but rather turning to our Bible.

 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
-John 10:33

Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
-Matthew 26:62-66

“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?
-Mark 2:7

But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
-Mark 14:61-64

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
-Luke 5:21

So, according to the Bible, blasphemy is claiming to be God when you are not.  Now, the dictionary agrees this is a valid definition, but it’s relegated to definition #4 in my dictionary.  Blasphemy, in the Bible, has nothing to do with not honouring your body, or sexual immorality.  And so, this sin, as all others, is forgivable.

Now, are sins categorized?  Yes, they are categorized in a variety of ways in the Bible.  You can go through Leviticus and find many categories.  I don’t for one instant believe God is in heaven ticking off “oh, that’s a sexual immortality sin, oh, that one’s pride, oh, that one is …” The categories are merely a way for us to more easily understand what kind of things are sinful, they are mean to help, but I think, in cases like this, they hinder when brought up inappropriately.  Do I believe sexual sin is of little concern?  By no means!  I think I’ve discussed this at length in multiple places.  At the end of the day, I believe there really is only one sin: deciding not to follow God’s will, and the only unforgivable sin is going so far in that as to claim to be inspired by God when you know it is not so, or to say “I am God” when you know it is false, which sadly, is the way the bulk of our society is going.

Your Turn

What do you think?  Is sexual sin worse than others?  Is my attitude ungodly?  What does your church teach?  Let me know in the comments section below.  Oh, and if you are a Twitter user, could you send @JimEKey a message letting him know I responded…apparently he’s not taking my calls anymore…something like

Hey @JimEKey, @SexWithinMarriage responded to you at http://www.uncoveringintimacy.com/2013/10/is-sexual-sin-worse-than-other-kinds-of-sin/

Click here to tweet this

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51 thoughts on “Is sexual sin worse than other kinds of sin?”

  1. Michael says:

    There is something peculiar about sexual sin. Some people criticize God/the Church because they say that you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient God who is very interested in every detail of your sex life. This statement, though, avoids the idea that God is the one who decides what is right and wrong, morally and sexually, and we need to obey him.

    I would like to know what you think about pride. I think that that is one of the worst sin. Pride and selfishness are probably at the root of almost all other sins, so maybe they are the worst.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think as well, He set up these rules in order that we can have a more fulfilling sex life. I know mine improved dramatically once I got free from porn use.

      I will try to write something about pride and selfishness, but it will be on my other blog (JayDeeBlogs.com), as it’s outside the scope of Sex Within Marriage.

  2. happywife says:

    Yea, I don’t get it. Sin is sin is sin. The result of sin is that is separates us from God, and there are no degrees of separation. It does make sense to say that some sins have “more dire consequences” but I’m not even sure if that is true. Yes, lying to my husband about buying a pair of shoes might not seem as monumental as cheating on him… but isn’t the consequence the same?.. he can’t trust me. The first one might be easier for my husband to forgive and move on than the second, but that is our human reaction to the sin committed against us, not God’s reaction.
    I think that yes, as a society and a church we are more tolerant of some sin than others, and probably rightly so. But that is for the purpose of maintaining a functional society. Sin is sin, and sin is forgiven when we repent, even while we are living out the earthly consequences of our sin.
    No, I didn’t see anything ungodly in the way you responded to JimEKey. The thing I always have to remind myself here in cyberland, is that I really know nothing about the people I come in contact with. I want to assume everyone thinks like me and are like those who I associate with. Not true. There are some interesting folks out there who in real life I would probably never come in contact with partly because of their views and beliefs.. KWIM? I don’t need to let myself get in a dither over them here in cyberland.
    BTW, I’ve never taken the time to look at what exactly blasphemy is. I think we always heard in Sunday School that that particular verse referred to those who outright reject God. That always left me scratching my head wondering if some people had lost their chance to ever gain salvation (which was what was implied if you interpret that way). I never thought to delve deeper and check out all the other references to blasphemy to make sense of it.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Unfortunately, this has been the habit of many a teacher in churches, schools, and sadly, some pastors. Too many work off other people’s work, without really checking it against the Bible, or their own beliefs. It is a dangerous habit.

    2. Donna B says:

      My pastor has taught us that the unforgivable sin of blasphemy is to reject God forever. Once we come to Him and accept Him in repentance, we are forgiven. If we do not accept Christ and His grace, mercy, and forgiveness, how can we be forgiven? Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to reject His work of convicting our hearts of sin and the need of a savior. By not responding to the calling on our lives to come to Christ, we are saying we don’t believe it to be true. My pastor did a much better job explaining this than I am, but you get the general idea.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        I’d tweak it a bit myself. I think unbelief is forgiveable. What’s not is believing and still rejecting. To know God and who He is and say “I want no part of that.”

  3. Bonny says:

    I don’t believe sexual sin is worse than others, because upon repentance we are freely forgiven of all sins (aside from blasphemy, as you stated). I do believe it is different from other sins, or peculiar, as Michael said above. I believe it is set apart because sexual sin is so complicated emotionally, within our hearts. Even those who are victims (through no fault of their own, like children who are abused) of sexual sin, suffer deep and long lasting consequences. It’s unfortunate you couldn’t have a further discussion with the man on twitter.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, I would agree, sexual sin definitely has some unique qualities.

  4. happywife says:

    Also, the fact that he blocked you before you even responded to his response to you tells me that he’s got some social interaction issues. Who does that? You gave a simple one sentence response that didn’t even hint of emotion or assertiveness, let alone aggression or judgementalism. I say don’t give it a second thought. This is 100% his issue, not yours.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I was hoping he might get the message and come here to discuss, but he doesn’t seem to want to. It’s unfortunate.

  5. LatterDay Marriage says:

    I agree that all sins separate us from God, but I don’t believe that fact makes all sins morally equivalent. Is somebody who cheats on their taxes really morally equivalent to a mass murderer or serial rapist? No, of course not. Christ said to Pilate: “therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” (John 19:11) so there you have confirmation that there are levels of sin. My understanding is that while all sin keeps you from God, the greater a sin is the greater the “fruits meet for repentance” you must bring forth as part of your repentance.

    Sexual sins are something I would put near the top of the list, because it is an abuse of something sacred, it impacts other people, and in some cases (rape, abuse, divorce etc.) it can create life-long traumas. I wouldn’t say it was worse than murder however.

    As for blasphemy, certainly claiming to be divine when you are not counts, but Christ said “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matt 12:31) so there is a difference between blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and other forms of blasphemy. My understanding is that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is when you have the Holy Ghost witness to you that Jesus is the Christ, and you turn and blaspheme against it knowing full well Christ really is the Son of God. (see Heb 6:4-6)

    I don’t see God’s sense of justice as being any different than the sense of justice he planed in our hearts. The more a person knows they shouldn’t have done it, the worse it is that they did it. Rebellion is worse than making a mistake out of weakness or ignorance. While all may be forgiven, the rebellious will have a lot harder time humbling themselves before God.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      John 19:11 is a confusing text. Jesus says Pilate has no power at all except what is given to him from above (heaven, Romans 13:1). So, then God is the one with the greater sin (which is categorized as not following God’s will)? How does that make sense? I for one need to dig into that verse. Do you have an answer? Perhaps Jesus is using hyperbole. By claiming God is more sinful than Pilate in this matter, perhaps he is completely exonerating Pilate, which would be in keeping with the text while invalidating this as a proof text for gradations of sin.

      “fruits meet for repentance” – I have never heard this phrase. Are you referencing Matthew 3:8? This talks about living your life in a way keeping with repentance, not that you need to do something in order to repent. Do you have any verses that show deeds are a requirement of repentance (not a result of repentance)?

      1. LatterDay Marriage says:

        The way I read John 19:11, God placing Pilate in a position where he has the legal power to crucify or to free Christ doesn’t absolve Pilate from accountability on how he uses his power. It has nothing to do with comparisons to God but with the Jewish leaders who brought Christ to him. The difference between Pilate and those leaders is that Pilate was not abusing his power and acting illegally while the others were and knew it so what they did was worse.

        Repentance is a verb, it is something you do. In Matt 3:8 Christ is chewing out the Pharisees and Sadducees, telling them they must bring forth fruits meet for repentance and not assume that they are good with God because they are descended from Abraham. ‘Fruits’ are the results of what you do, so he is telling them they need to do the things that count as repentance. There is also Acts 26:20 which says “…that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” I don’t think there is a verse that clarifies it further, but for the sake of argument lets say that all it takes is for somebody to stop doing it and re-orient their heart away from their sin and toward righteousness. Somebody who is sinning out of ignorance or weakness will have a much easier time of doing that than a person who is willfully and knowingly rebelling against God. With sexual sins there is such a powerful flood of pleasure and emotional bonding that comes from sex that it is harder to turn your heart away from those kinds of sins. That makes it harder to turn away from the sin and easier to fall into willful rebellion which is another way you can say it is worse than many other sins.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I could read John 19:11 that way except for that “therefore.” It links the two thoughts together, there must be some continuation of logic there. The second statement seems dependent on the first. Add to this that it is common practice to favor the many verses instead of the one when building theology. To me, the rest of the Bible speaks as though all sins are equal, and all mankind has equally committed them. Even if I read John 19:11 that way, I could not discount the rest of the Bible in favor of it.

          I agree, repentance is a verb, it is something you do. That is, turn away. In Matthew 3:8, it has the word “and” separating the two phrases, showing they are separate actions:
          1) Repent and turn to God
          2) Do works meet for repentance (live according to this new consciousness)

          The verb in Hebrew means “to return”, and in Greek is a compound word meaning “change of mind and heart” or “change of consciousness”. Neither of these terms have to do with deeds that must be accomplished.

          For this reason, the beginning of Romans 6 was written, so that we would be clear that while repentance does not include the deeds, the deeds come as a result of true repentance. For example, the thief on the cross. He repented, but had no chance to do “deeds” yet, Jesus clearly states that he will be in heaven.

          Enjoying the discussion!

          1. LatterDay Marriage says:

            The ‘therefore’ doesn’t give me any issues, to me it is like saying ‘you are acting within the power God allowed you to have and they are not, therefore they are in greater sin than you’. We may just have to agree to disagree on that, and some other things though.

            Equal is a very broad term, things can be equal in one way and not equal in another. All sin is equal in that it all separates us from God, but that doesn’t mean all sins are morally equivalent so in that sense they are not equal. In your discussion it may have helped if it was clarified what exactly you each meant by ‘equal’.

            I don’t want to sidetrack this into some bid debate on faith and works, but I don’t think you can really separate repentance from taking action. It’s like when John said that faith without works is dead, they have to go together and can’t be separated and still result in the same thing.

            If a person is truly repentant of a sin, they will stop doing it, they will make amends as best they can, they will ask God and any others they wronged for forgiveness. If you say you are repentant but refuse to do those things, you are fooling yourself. If you go through the motions of doing those without any real regret of what you did or intention to change your life, you are also fooling yourself. And the idea that repentance doesn’t include both the inward change of heart and the outward reconciliation with God and others I would say is fooling yourself too. And I don’t think that detracts one bit from forgiveness being a gift from God that is beyond anything owed to us. If I got a coupon in the mail for a free gift from a store, I would still have to do the ‘work’ of getting myself and the coupon to the store to get the free gift. That doesn’t change it from being a free gift.

            Getting back to the topic at hand, ‘greater’ is a loosely defined term as well. Sexual sins are I think harder to repent of. Think of the refused and rejected husband who finds sexual fulfillment and acceptance and even a form of love in the arms of another woman. Would it not be hard for him to turn away from that sin with the deep emotional bonds he has sinfully created and physical pleasure he gets from it and not from his wife? I think it would be a very hard thing to turn away from that sin and in that sense you could call it a greater sin because it gets a greater hold on you, takes a greater effort to turn away from, and it violates something sacred in the process.

            1. Jay Dee says:

              I would agree, some sins have a greater impact on yourself, or society, or might be harder to turn from, but I think they vary depending on the context.

              For example: it might be easier for an alcoholic to turn away from sexual immorality than to turn away from drunkenness. Does that make drunkenness a greater sin for them? If the sacred thing you mean is the body, then the drunkard is violating the same thing.

    2. userdand says:

      @LDM. Please understand I am not judging or condemning, but based on your username I was wondering if you are a Mormon. I have been reading a few LDS based sites lately and this idea of “degrees” (my quotes) of sin seems to be mentioned by commentors on them at times. I don’t mean that there seems to be a formally sanctioned list within the church, only that there seems to be a concept of bad, worse, and worst sins, if you will, in the LDS oeuvre, if not church doctrine. Am I correct in that belief? I am not looking to debate it with you. I am just curious as to whether my understanding is correct.

      1. LatterDay Marriage says:

        Yes, I’m a Mormon. I understand that this site is intended for orthodox Christians so I do my best to respect the host and his other guests and avoid creating needless conflict. There are a number of scriptures we have that are relevant to this but it wouldn’t be appropriate to cite them here so I don’t.

        Since I’ve been asked I’ll address the Mormon view on this and if JD feels it should be removed that is his right to do so.

        There is no formal ‘hierarchy of sins’ in our doctrine other than there is one verse in the Book of Mormon that states that sexual sins are second only to murder in their seriousness. Informally there are a number of things that could get you excommunicated from the church, or at least put under some temporary restrictions. Most of them are sexual sins but not all. A member who commits first degree murder will be excommunicated, a church leader who commits fraud or other serious crime will have to face some form of church discipline up to and including possible excommunication, and if somebody is trying to destroy the church from within and lead others into apostacy they will likely be excommunicated too. There are not that many hard and fast rules, the church attempts to bring the wayward to repentance and if they respond to that it is much less likely that they will be excommunicated, but if they refuse to repent of their sins it is pretty sure they will be.

        We view repentance as a process of reconciliation with God and those we have wronged. It includes recognizing our sin, sincere regret for what was done, confessing our sins to those we have wronged and to God and asking for forgiveness, making whatever restitution is possible and forsaking that sin from then onward. Sin damages our relationship with God and others, repentance bring reconciliation of the relationship, and through the power of Christ’s atonement his blood washes away the stain of sin and heals us that we can become clean and whole again. Repenting isn’t some magic dance where we fix ourselves, it just opens the door to allow God to work his miracle in our lives.

        If you want to talk more on this, perhaps it would be best to email me (latterday period marriage , gee mail period com). I don’t want to look like I’m trying to hijack a thread.

        1. userdand says:

          I appreciate your response to my question. I personally don’t feel you are in any way attempting to proselytize here and have no problem with you presence. You are just answering my question and providing some additional information to add perspective. I suspect it is the “one verse in the Book of Mormon that states that sexual sins are second only to murder in their seriousness” that tacitly implies a hierarchy and that is why I read so much about “degrees” (my quotes) of sin when on LDS sites. I am a Christian and a believer in pentecostal doctrine FYI. I came across an LDS marriage site and then researched some others for relationship therapies. Their “selectively enforced” policy on masturbation and the temple came up and while researching that I ran into the degrees of sin unofficial philosophy. It’s seems to be a politically complex religion that is very patriarchal. (None of this meant as negative criticism, just making observations. After all, they did give us Steven Covey, a very wise man whose teachings I still study and greatly admired. He died way to soon; so much more to teach us. Each of my kids and grandkids has been given their own copy of the 7 Habits.) You provide another perspective at times. We can’t begin to understand one another if we do not know one another. Don’t leave on my account.

          1. LatterDay Marriage says:

            It takes a lot more than some honest questions to get rid of me 🙂

            You’ll tend to find that many Mormons who are marriage/sex bloggers or who post to blog and discussion boards often tend to be the more liberal kind and they are really a representative sample of the members, so don’t base your views on the church too closely on what you find them saying. The more traditional, conservative Mormons generally are very reluctant to discuss sex other than with their spouse unless there is a problem. It is a very sex-positive church though.. Here we had the author of ‘Hold me Tight’ do a workshop for the women last year.

            I agree with what you said about Dr Covey. His daughter served in my mission and we know each other. He came there a couple of times and did 7 Habits workshops for us too himself. I loved his book The 8th Habit, it came along at just the right time in my life.

        2. Jay Dee says:

          Just wanted to say, the site is intended for people to discuss sex within marriage. I welcome all brands of Christianity, atheists, Muslims, etc., anyone who wants to learn. I haven’t yet deleted any comment that wasn’t clearly spam.

          But, what I’m going to be writing about is sex from the Christian perspective as I find in the Bible (which, to me, doesn’t include the book of Mormon, nor the Apocrypha, nor the Qur’an, nor the Mishnah. Though I may reference them separately at times as an external perspective.)

          Continue discussing as you are.

  6. Deborah says:

    The breaking of any one of the Ten Commandments is the worst sin but all can be forgiven if you ask God to forgive you and you repent for what you have done. Sinning in a sexual manner is a damaging sin mostly to yourself and then to your partner in a way that it can permanently change the way you feel for that special person (meaning your spouse).

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hey Deborah. I’m curious about your logic and verses behind the Ten Commandments being the worst to break.

  7. Robyn Gibson says:

    I agree with Jim’s statement but not with his premise for reasoning. The greatest example of Christ and His bride is supposed to be in the direct reflection of marriage. When you say you have a Christian marriage and then it is marked by sexual sin, it reflects a twisted picture of God’s fidelity to His chosen people.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Fair enough, but a marriage doesn’t just include sex, there are other aspects as well. Wouldn’t lying to a spouse about something not sexual constitute the same thing?

      1. Robyn Gibson says:

        There are other aspects to marriage other than sex?!? — *gasp* that means my husband’s been lying to me! (hoping you get my brand of humour) 😉

        Yes lying would be included as a sin. But it doesn’t include a third person and it doesn’t bond you to anyone else.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Lying includes you, the person you lied to and God. Not sure what you mean by “it doesn’t include a third person”.

          And, have you ever noticed that lies tend to follow you around? If you don’t come clean, you tend to keep lying to cover the original lie. That’s pretty bonding I’d say.

          1. Robyn Gibson says:

            not a covenant (blood) bond. I would say the consequence that follows you around (from lying) is a harvest from sowing a lie. I don’t have sex with myself and form a covenant in God’s eyes with myself.

      2. Robyn Gibson says:

        Another thought. Isn’t sexual sin within marriage the breaking of covenant? Yes, sin IS sin and carries consequences, but we don’t make a covenant “not to lie.”

        1. Jay Dee says:

          So, if we make a covenant about something else and break it, is it not on equal footing? Also, sexual immorality does not need to include marriage at all.

          1. Robyn Gibson says:

            you cannot make a covenant bond over anything else, because its the only contract that includes the spillage of blood (consummation of contract). Yes we can make all the contracts to not lie that we want, they still won’t be a covenant.

  8. Robyn Gibson says:

    Also JD, I like the new look – great job!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thank you!

    2. userdand says:

      I like the new look too. The comments work well in this theme:, the white is less than 100% and with the type color creates less contrast so it is easier and less fatiguing to read. If you take the white further down the type may start to muddy up. I like the way that it is not a columned layout. In a two or three column format long comments involve too much scrolling and make referencing top to bottom cumbersome like in FW’s blog. A long comment there (You’re talking with the king of long comments here.) can invlove 4-6 or better screen traverses. I am considering purloining this theme for my blog. (NO! Not yet Robyn. You’ll be among a very small group that is interested in receiving foreknowledge of same.)

      1. Jay Dee says:

        Why not? You take my post ideas, why not my theme as well? 🙂

  9. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says:

    It’s frustrating when someone treats disagreement by assuming things about you they couldn’t possibly know (like intent) and dismissing you. That Twitterer’s response was odd.

    As to the overall question, I’m in the minority position of yes, there are degrees of sin. However, I don’t see that sexual sin is the worst. Also, I don’t really see the point of comparing ourselves based on what’s better and what’s worse. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Thus, our standard is not, “Well, at least I’m not a serial killer!” but “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” — a standard we can never reach. That knowledge should humble us before God, make us to desire and accept the gift of grace from Jesus Christ, and motivate us to avoid sins, big and small.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      It doesn’t seem to be a minority position, about half and half, I think.

      I agree, regardless of whether or not there are degrees, in the end it doesn’t matter (which to me is a logical clue to say there isn’t).

  10. MInTheGap (@MInTheGap) says:

    I’m going to try to make his point, though I probably agree with yours– I’d need to put in more thought.

    I think that you cannot make his point with 1 Cor 6:18 alone, I think you need to also look at what the early church fathers thought. And during the first church council in the book of Acts, we find that of the commands that were given to the new gentile converts, avoiding sexual immorality is one of the very few that are mentioned.

    In fact, I think that marriage is very important to God– just look at how often marriage and sex are in the Bible, and consider both Song of Solomon and Hosea.

    So, whereas I agree that all sin is lawlessness and makes one an enemy of God, God seems to underline sexual immorality and its “cousins” divorce and adultery as particularly heinous.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hey, welcome to the comments section!

      Fair enough, they did talk a lot about sexual immorality, but look at the culture they were talking to: having sex with prostitutes in the temple was considered worship in the culture they were converting from. No wonder they talked about it a lot.

      As for how often it shows up in the Bible, money and finances show up more than any other topic (including prayer and faith). Does that mean the worst sin has to do with financial matters? After all, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

  11. Paul H. Byerly says:

    “I just says there is a difference between sexual immorality and other sins, which is really of little consequence, you could categories a half a dozen sins into their own unique category.”

    Yes, we could do that, but the Bible only does it this one time. God seems to set sexual sins in their own category. Not as “the worse sin” but somehow different. Ignoring that distinction is, IMHO, foolish and leads to problems.

    So I agree with you it is not any worse, but it is different and God does seem more concerned with sexual sins. I figure He is more concerned because He knows how much sexual sins hurt us, and how difficult it is to get free of the damage they do.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
      -1 Corinthians 6:18-20

      I just says there is a difference between sexual immorality and other sins, which is really of little consequence, you could categories a half a dozen sins into their own unique category. – Jay Dee

      Yes, we could do that, but the Bible only does it this one time. – Paul Byerly

      I’m unclear what you are saying here. What does the Bible do this one time? Point out a specific sin? I would argue a great portion of the Bible is spent pointing out specific sins. Do you mean that it is different because it is a sin against the body? Matthew 10:28 would suggest that worrying about the body is less important than the entire soul (including the body).

      I would argue as well that God spent much more time on the 4th commandment than this verse spends on sexual immorality. Likewise other sins, like marrying someone from another faith, seem to have much longer reaching consequences in the Bible (see Genesis 6:1-3). As well, 1 Timothy 6:10 would suggest that the love of money seems to be the sin that causes many people to stray. Wouldn’t that be considered “unique”? But 1 Timothy 5:8 would say that failing to provide for family means you have denied the faith and makes you worse than an unbeliever. That seems pretty serious.

      Sorry, just stuff off the top of my head, it’s a little all over the place. I guess I’m asking, what did you mean?

      – From one who is admittedly foolish at the best of times

      1. Paul H. Byerly says:

        Only once are sins grouped into two categories – one type of sin and everything else. You said we could “categories a half a dozen sins into their own unique category” and I replied the Bible only does it for this one situation. I think that means something, you may not.

        Paul (the other one) said it was different because it was against the body.

        There are few sins which are still deeply regretted years later. Some such sins are not sexual, but I think for most people they are. Because sex is physical, emotional and spiritual, sexual sins hurt people in all those areas.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Ahh, I see. That is a hard criteria to search for.

          I agree, sexual sin is devastating, but I’d argue that murder is emotional, physical and spiritual, with more devastating results to both the victim and the sinner.

        2. Jay Dee says:

          Of course, we seem to have forgotten the obvious one:

          And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
          -Matthew 12:31

          This is a clear instance where God says “all sins forgiven” and “this one sin is not”, delineating between this one sin and all others.

          1. Paul H. Byerly says:

            Point taken!

            1. Jay Dee says:

              Thanks for the discussion Paul!

  12. Rory says:

    A thought experiment?

    Your husband swipes a snickers bar at the gas station and isn’t caught….

    Your husband cheats on you….

    Are they both the same? Sins both, yet the ‘same’

    I think not

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I agree, as I stated:

      I was not trying to say all sins have the same impact on yourself and the world, what I was saying is that all sin is equally forgivable and they all have the same impact: distancing yourself from God.

      Notice, your thought experiment did not include God? It focused on the impact to the wife. Without diminishing the severe impact to the wife, the relationship with God is the priority though.

      For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
      James 2:10

      It does not matter which one you break, the impact is the same with respect to God: it is selfishness, pride, a choice to say “I know what is better for me and you don’t”.

      Did Jesus die more for the adultery or for the theft? The answer, of course, is that he died for both equally. The cost of both (death) is equal. Therefore the valuation in God’s eyes is equal.

      In that sense, are they the same? Yes, they are both a departure from God’s will. Whatever term you want to put on it (theft, adultery), and they both have the same impact (damaging your relationship with God).

      Remember, David said:

      Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
      -Psalm 51:4

      This was after he had Uriah killed and slept with his wife. The focus is on the impact with his relationship with God.

      Thanks for the opportunity to discuss!

  13. Bonnie Wallace says:

    Hi Jay. I just saw this for the first time tonight and it’s great because I just posted two days ago about sexual sin. I am in agreement with you that sexual sin is -different- not -worse-. No sins are worse than others. Some sins have worse earthly consequences, but sin is sin. Breaking it up into which sins are worse than others does the same thing as denominationalism–pits us against one another by determining that someone has to be “wrong”. As usual, it’s great to hear your thoughts.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, it’s something creeping up here and there: the idea that some sins are worse than others. Personally, I think it’s another piece of Greek mythology that worked it’s way into Christianity, like so many other things. Unfortunately, modern Christianity is becoming a melting pot of religions…

  14. Anonymous says:

    For Years the Church and my Family think that sex sins do more damage than other sins

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