Is There “Big” and “Small” Sin?

A friend of mine made a humorous post on Social Media today. She wrote that she wanted financing for a project and that she doesn’t care if they financer is a drug dealer because “sin” is “sin” and there’s no “big” and “small” sin.

I replied, “yes Julie, there is big and small sin.”

I remembered when I was in Sunday School, our teacher told us, “there is no big sin and small sin: sin is sin. You can’t say, ‘I only stole 1 dollar, but he stole 1 million dollars,’ you both sinned just the same.”

But that’s a dangerous thing to tell a child! I can write a whole book about “the lies I learned in Sunday School.” Not that I’m saying the bible is false or that my teachers were ill meaning: the problem is people giving their personal opinions and interpretations of the bible which goes outside of the what the scriptures actually say.

As humans, would we give the same punishment to someone who stole a loaf of bread as we would to someone who raped or murdered? No, as humans, we know how to mete out “just” punishments that fit the crime. So is man more righteous or intelligent than God? Absolutely not! It is God who created man, therefore, he is the giver of intelligence and the owner of it!

We are told in the book of John that “there is sin that leads to death and sin that does not lead to death.” A sin that leads to death is a “big” or “grave” sin. And a sin that does not lead to death is a “minor” or “light” sin.

Yes! There are various degrees of sin! Sometimes, God understands and excuses us. Just like a speeding motorist might be excused if he were rushing a sick patient to the hospital, there are times when God understands the circumstances which drove us to sin. One good example is when Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister. God didn’t or rebuke Abraham for this because He understood the situation. And then there is the case where Jacob’s mother lied so that Jacob could receive his father’s blessings. God wasn’t angry at her for this because this was part of God’s plan.

Also remember that “you don’t have to hurt anything to sin!” This was the case of Adam and Eve. They didn’t hurt anyone, yet they committed the worse sin in history. Sin then is a direct disobedience of God’s command.

Telling someone that “sin is sin” and there is no “big and small sin” is inherently dangerous. It could fuel the thought that “as I’m sinning I might as well go all out.” It could lead a young mind to do deadly things thinking that he’s going to suffer the same consequence anyways!

Be careful. Remember, if you don’t understand something fully, don’t say it!

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