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Nateskate
11-10-2005, 10:10 PM
I think this is the most important question of all. God loves people, and not just because they understand, know, or do everything that he likes. I think we do the greatest harm when we convey (wrongly) that God doesn't love people because they don't get it right, or understand this or that.

The plot thickens.

In my picture of Jesus he was accessible, ate at people's houses, went to barbecues, and weddings. He did not go away from the people, but to the people. Then he also spent time with his disciples. Then he went off to be alone by himself.

There is a balance. And sometimes life took the balance away from him, when people pressed in on him because their needs were so great. So, even when you plot a course to find balance, it isn't alway possible.

He was confrontationol only in matters regarding being exclusionary and pushing people away, which in effect money changers in the Temple did. And I think it is the most vital message of all, that God is the God of all, and not a country club, which Jesus said when he implied that God's sunshine and rain fall on us all, which means God does what he commands us to do, "Love those who hate you...do good to those who spitefully use you..."

He never got mad at people for being filled with sins and contradictions, only saying, "The kingdom of God is a country club, and you aren't invited." In which case, he said, "The kingdom of God belongs to the little children..." Implying God loves people who can't even fully comprehend him.

And so in the parable in Luke fifteen, God has two sons. (By the way they represent all people in the world) which fall into one or two extremes, those who try to prove they deserve to be rewarded (self-righteous boasting, and those who give up and numb the pain of life by dousing themselves in pig slop. (AKA run of the mill sinners) Believe it or not, religious or not, we all tend to be one or the other brother throughout our life. And it is a good thing neither brother defines God. The father defines God.

And he was speaking to people who were saying, "We are righteous- they are sinners" (Paraphrased)

But it is pretty amazing that God didn't make a distinction between whether they lived in the house or did what he said. They were sons regardless. If they lived in pig slop, and spent their money on harlots- the younger son. They were still a son. Position didn't change how God saw them, although it impacted how the brothers saw themselves and each other. And at the end they were either sons who were lost, or they were sons who were found, but they were sons. And if you backtrack to the parable of lost sheep and a lost coin, the point was that lost or found they had great value to God.

Now it is important to make this disinction also. The younger brother was lost out of the house. He couldn't recieve the father's love where he was at, but the love existed. The older brother was lost inside the house. He was loved but saw himself as an indentured servant, "I have served you for all of these years, and yet, you never gave me...." Well, the father said, "All I have is yours..." In other words the older brother was just as alienated, but in his case it was because he never realized he was loved for who he was, not what he did.

So when the older brother- self righteousness -sees the younger brother, he disowns him. "This son of yours has...spent YOUR money on harlots...and riotous living." Not "This brother of mine..."


Sometimes the church fails to get that message. I doubt half the people who loved Jesus followed Jesus. They simply knew he loved them. He ate with them. He wasn't mean to them. He was very much an everyman to the point where those who criticised him said, "He is a glutton and a wine bibber..." Huh? They saw him hanging out with people that righteous people weren't supposed to hang out with. And this offended them.

If we send the message, "God only likes people who do such and such..." we actually send the wrong message. "For God so loved the world (people)

But the whole intent of our being, is not to be an exclusive country club, but people who get, "God loves these people" and I'm supposed to be an example of that.

I'm not saying we don't need an Oasis.- a place to go to get refreshed. But a church is not always going to be that. But the question again, is this, "what is a church anyway?" The church was not a place, it was a group of people with a common belief. And that group of people went out, came in, encouraged people, spent time with God. We all need refreshment. We all need to get away from the masses, whether Christian or not. And I think that is available. But here's the dilema. When I go into a building with needy people, I can't help but either be involved or to pull away from them. So church (as in a building community) can't always meet my need for encouragement. I might have to get together with an inner circle of friends or go away altogether for that.

Just some thoughts to ponder.

Shwebb
11-10-2005, 10:59 PM
And they are good thoughts to ponder!

I think that church is for the edification of each other, actually, as mentioned in Hebrews 10:25. But I don't think that is the sole purpose of the church.

I have a friend who is Muslim, and lesbian. She tells me that neither is mutually exclusive of the other, and not knowing much about Islam, I wouldn't know, anyway.

I mentioned my friend to a few people who are really conservative, and they started into this line of "you know, she doesn't worship the same god, and I hope you told her so . . . you have a responsibility to tell her about Jesus . . ."

I told them that I felt my first responsibility was to show her love, right where she was. After all, isn't that what God does with us? And then, if she wants to hear more, I'm right here waiting. I want God to lead me in what to say, not some dogma that tells me what I should be doing.

When I discuss religion with other people, I want them to come away wanting to know more. And that it's not a "Giant Fist" waiting to smack them, but it's a God who loves them and desires them more than anything else. It's a relationship issue.

It's frustrating to me that (and I know I'm generalizing) churches seem to want to find out more ABOUT God but they don't want to know HIM and have the relationship with Him. That it's not about doing, it's about becoming, as we let Him change us into the people we were meant to be all along.

Nateskate
11-11-2005, 12:18 AM
And they are good thoughts to ponder!

I think that church is for the edification of each other, actually, as mentioned in Hebrews 10:25. But I don't think that is the sole purpose of the church.

I have a friend who is Muslim, and lesbian. She tells me that neither is mutually exclusive of the other, and not knowing much about Islam, I wouldn't know, anyway.

I mentioned my friend to a few people who are really conservative, and they started into this line of "you know, she doesn't worship the same god, and I hope you told her so . . . you have a responsibility to tell her about Jesus . . ."

I told them that I felt my first responsibility was to show her love, right where she was. After all, isn't that what God does with us? And then, if she wants to hear more, I'm right here waiting. I want God to lead me in what to say, not some dogma that tells me what I should be doing.

When I discuss religion with other people, I want them to come away wanting to know more. And that it's not a "Giant Fist" waiting to smack them, but it's a God who loves them and desires them more than anything else. It's a relationship issue.

It's frustrating to me that (and I know I'm generalizing) churches seem to want to find out more ABOUT God but they don't want to know HIM and have the relationship with Him. That it's not about doing, it's about becoming, as we let Him change us into the people we were meant to be all along.

People can tell the difference between love, and conditional love. When Peter tried to put a limit on God's grace, Jesus erased it. Peter figured forgiving someone 'seven' times was a nice round figure. After that, he thought you should write them off. Jesus said "I tell you seventy times seven..." But he also said "As often" which means, 'without limit'. "...as often as your brother sins against you, and repents...forgive them..."

It basically is saying "Take a forgiving posture" in general.

Well, there is no doubt Jesus knew the sins of each and every person who had dinner with. But the only time he called them out personally, was when they were condemning others. It's not that he had no standards, and in fact he taught high standards. But he didn't go around exposing everyone's sins. It was when people were lifting stones, that he said, "He who is without sin throw the first stone." It leveled the playing field. It was not saying that God had no standards or expectations, but we didn't have the right to condemn others without condemning ourselves in the process. On the other hand we have the right to extend mercy. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy..."

"I say do not judge...with the measure you judge...you will be judged..." This did not mean to have no distinctions or standards of behavior, which was not the case. (See 1 Corinthians 5) To judge means to despise and hold in contempt. It is a POV. In James it says, "Have you not become evil judges..." when we mistreat the poor, while pampering those we think might benefit us somehow. In that context it was putting the poor man on the floor, or looking down at them. Judging and dishonor are very close to the same things. When we honor someone we lift them up. When we dishonor someone we bring them down in other's eyes.

Well, we shouldn't go around dishonoring people. Jesus was actually honoring what people were calling "sinners" in Luke Fifteen, by placing a high value on them. In other words, if you look at it as Jesus was saying- a lost person is like a million dollar coin in the dirt- no less valuable than one on a mantle (what value can you place upon a son?), God ALWAYS sees the coin, self-righteous people ALWAYS see the dirt. And people intuit how we see them, which is why people tend to respond by being offended by the way some people look at them. It is actually because they are looking at them the wrong way. Always look for the gold, never look for the dirt. It doesn't mean the gold coin is where it should be, displayed on a mantle, but it always acknowledges the value.

Nateskate
11-11-2005, 12:20 AM
And they are good thoughts to ponder!

I think that church is for the edification of each other, actually, as mentioned in Hebrews 10:25. But I don't think that is the sole purpose of the church.

I have a friend who is Muslim, and lesbian. She tells me that neither is mutually exclusive of the other, and not knowing much about Islam, I wouldn't know, anyway.

I mentioned my friend to a few people who are really conservative, and they started into this line of "you know, she doesn't worship the same god, and I hope you told her so . . . you have a responsibility to tell her about Jesus . . ."

I told them that I felt my first responsibility was to show her love, right where she was. After all, isn't that what God does with us? And then, if she wants to hear more, I'm right here waiting. I want God to lead me in what to say, not some dogma that tells me what I should be doing.

When I discuss religion with other people, I want them to come away wanting to know more. And that it's not a "Giant Fist" waiting to smack them, but it's a God who loves them and desires them more than anything else. It's a relationship issue.

It's frustrating to me that (and I know I'm generalizing) churches seem to want to find out more ABOUT God but they don't want to know HIM and have the relationship with Him. That it's not about doing, it's about becoming, as we let Him change us into the people we were meant to be all along.
People can tell the difference between love, and conditional love. When Peter tried to put a limit on God's grace, Jesus erased it. Peter figured forgiving someone 'seven' times was a nice round figure. After that, he thought you should write them off. Jesus said "I tell you seventy times seven..." But he also said "As often" which means, 'without limit'. "...as often as your brother sins against you, and repents...forgive them..."

It basically is saying "Take a forgiving posture" in general.

Well, there is no doubt Jesus knew the sins of each and every person who had dinner with. But the only time he called them out personally, was when they were condemning others. It's not that he had no standards, and in fact he taught high standards. But he didn't go around exposing everyone's sins. It was when people were lifting stones, that he said, "He who is without sin throw the first stone." It leveled the playing field. It was not saying that God had no standards or expectations, but we didn't have the right to condemn others without condemning ourselves in the process. On the other hand we have the right to extend mercy. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy..."

"I say do not judge...with the measure you judge...you will be judged..." This did not mean to have no distinctions or standards of behavior, which was not the case. (See 1 Corinthians 5) To judge means to despise and hold in contempt. It is a POV. In James it says, "Have you not become evil judges..." when we mistreat the poor, while pampering those we think might benefit us somehow. In that context it was putting the poor man on the floor, or looking down at them. Judging and dishonor are very close to the same things. When we honor someone we lift them up. When we dishonor someone we bring them down in other's eyes.

Well, we shouldn't go around dishonoring people. Jesus was actually honoring what people were calling "sinners" in Luke Fifteen, by placing a high value on them. In other words, if you look at it as Jesus was saying- a lost person is like a million dollar coin in the dirt- no less valuable than one on a mantle (what value can you place upon a son?), God ALWAYS sees the coin, self-righteous people ALWAYS see the dirt. And people intuit how we see them, which is why people tend to respond by being offended by the way some people look at them. It is actually because they are looking at them the wrong way. Always look for the gold, never look for the dirt. It doesn't mean the gold coin is where it should be, displayed on a mantle, but it always acknowledges the value.

Unique
11-11-2005, 01:16 AM
"you know, she doesn't worship the same god, and I hope you told her so . . . you have a responsibility to tell her about Jesus . . ."


That statement tells a lot about what the people you were talking with don't know.


It's frustrating to me that (and I know I'm generalizing) churches seem to want to find out more ABOUT God but they don't want to know HIM and have the relationship with Him. That it's not about doing, it's about becoming, as we let Him change us into the people we were meant to be all along.

Sometimes I get the feeling that the members of the [church] body are terrified that the Holy Spirit will actually show up. How crazy is that? I want Him to show up. That's why I'm there. That's why we should all be there.

Jesus isn't going to walk in the front door - literally. He may come figuratively as 'one of the least of these'. You'd better hope that God the Father doesn't show up - human beings can't take being in the presence of God the Almighty. Remember what happened to Moses?

I believe the only way a human can truly have a fellowship with the Lord here on earth is through the Holy Spirit. That's why He came. Jesus said he would send one to be a Comforter to us. That's Him. Can someone please tell me why some churches seem terrified that the Holy Spirit will actually show up on Sunday? It baffles me.

kelker11
11-11-2005, 03:25 AM
Nate,

Just wanted to say thanks for both of the above posts. You have a depth of understanding where the scriptures are concerned that surpasses a lot of peoples--and it comes across in the way you pass your message on to others. I always enjoy reading your posts in this forum, but I especially love the insight you give. I learn something every time.

So thanks.

Di

Shwebb
11-11-2005, 03:44 AM
Can someone please tell me why some churches seem terrified that the Holy Spirit will actually show up on Sunday? It baffles me.
It's a control issue--some people really are terrified to relinquish control to Him. Ironic, don't you think?

And Nate, I like your metaphor of the gold coin. I don't believe in a wishy-washy sort of love, but in the way you put it--recognizing the value of the person, regardless of their circumstances. Love does have to have accountability attached, but I really think that when we meet people we need to be guided by God in how He wants us to approach others.

In accordance with the title of your thread, I think the answer to "what message should we send others?" should be "God loves you, and He wants to be with you." There's more, of course, but I think our message needs to start with that.

Puddle Jumper
11-11-2005, 05:02 AM
I dislike people who say God hates anyone for any reason simply because it's not true. There's that group of people who say that God hates gays (they actually use a slang term for gay). I'd love to pummel them to the ground for it because God doesn't hate anyone. The Bible says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God loves the lost sinner, if He didn't, Jesus would have never come. He loved us when we were lost, non-Christian sinners. It's why we are saved today.

Nateskate
11-11-2005, 09:49 PM
It's a control issue--some people really are terrified to relinquish control to Him. Ironic, don't you think?

And Nate, I like your metaphor of the gold coin. I don't believe in a wishy-washy sort of love, but in the way you put it--recognizing the value of the person, regardless of their circumstances. Love does have to have accountability attached, but I really think that when we meet people we need to be guided by God in how He wants us to approach others.

In accordance with the title of your thread, I think the answer to "what message should we send others?" should be "God loves you, and He wants to be with you." There's more, of course, but I think our message needs to start with that.

Yes, and I think what made me fall in love with Jesus was the fact that I realize he liked me. And I wasn't all that likable at the time. I wasn't a Christian, and had so much bitterness inside. But I noticed Jesus didn't badger people, or look down on people, he lifted them up. I actually fell in love with the Jesus I saw. But I think had I known the Jesus portrayed by some churches, I wouldn't have had a clue who he really was. In fact, that was a stumbling block to me.

I want to burst a bubble, a myth that to be a Christian, we have to be confrontational. That's not so. Jesus multipled fish for everyone. He transformed water into wine for everyone. He healed ten lepers, and nine went off and forgot him. Only one came back. For thirty years, he was the guy next door, though some people suspect he was doing a great deal of things not recorded. The reason we know that is because when he started his earthly ministry, they said, "Ain't he the guy next door, Mary's kid...his brothers and sisters are our neighbors?" (Paraphrased) They were shocked, and surprise to see this "Jesus" was suddenly in the market place teaching.

Well, that meant he went to picnics, and worked side-by-side with these people without making an issue of everything under the sun. Some Christians don't realize that, and everywhere they go there is contention. There is a needless abbraisiveness, and in some cases immaturity.

They would fair so much better checking the prophet suit at the door, and honestly ask themselves, "Do I love this person?" And back away from the only answer to that guestion is to pigeon hole then into a confrontational corner. Jesus let people see him. He went about helping. He worked without drawing attention to himself.

Now, certainly there is a time and place for opening our mouths, and being honest about what we believe. But I think graciousness is indeed, a very Godly quality.

Do I love this person? Do I see value in this person? Do I see good in this person? Or is it conditional, and I will be controlling/confrontational and coersive? If I love this person, my thoughts are about their needs. "For God so loved the world that he "gave". Love gives. Love gives sacrificially. Love may require being a shoulder to cry on. Love may require keeping our mouths shut- love does not seek its own. Love may be doing what they like to do- Prefer one another...do not think only of your own needs...

Jesus loved Zacheous first. The disciples didn't even know who Jesus was or what his mission was. He allowed them to come along for the ride for quite awhile before he said, "Who do you say that I am?"

Huh? Jesus wasn't badgering and throwing stuff at them..."Do you believe in me yet, come on....if you want to be with me...you had better drop right now and commit..." No, he wasn't like that. He let people see what he was about. And after John chapter six, they came to a cross roads. Some disciples stayed. Some went. But the point was that he wasn't pushy. He was approachable. When people said, "Heal my daughter..." He didn't say, "Have you surrendered to me? No, he didn't make qualifications like that. The fact that he cared and loved, and surrendered himself, made others want to surrender.

Just more thoughts. Thanks for your post.

Nate.

Betty W01
01-14-2006, 12:23 AM
Can someone please tell me why some churches seem terrified that the Holy Spirit will actually show up on Sunday? It baffles me.

When the Holy Spirit shows up (and I've been in church a number of times when it's happened), man loses control and the HS takes over. This is unacceptable for many people, who want to know what's going to happen, what they're expected to do, and when it will all be over, so they can go home and eat. Allowing the HS to take control of a meeting is scary business, but man, your life will never be the same afterwards!

Betty W01
01-14-2006, 12:28 AM
I dislike people who say God hates anyone for any reason simply because it's not true. There's that group of people who say that God hates gays (they actually use a slang term for gay). I'd love to pummel them to the ground for it because God doesn't hate anyone. The Bible says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God loves the lost sinner, if He didn't, Jesus would have never come. He loved us when we were lost, non-Christian sinners. It's why we are saved today.

I once saw a newspaper picture of a church group confronting a homosexual group, armed with signs that read "God hates gays." It made me weep. I'm so tempted to have a t-shirt made up that says, "God does NOT hate gays. He hates SIN. He LOVES gays. He just hates their SIN." I can think of a number of occasions on which I'd wear it. (And no, not to church. At least, not to the one I attend. I can think of others, though....)

I'd also like to have one made up that says, "Homosexuality is a sin. So are a lot of other things. Thrown any good stones lately?"

Ralyks
01-14-2006, 05:40 PM
I agree that Jesus did all these things, but John the Baptist did not. There are different types of people, different varieties of spirit, and different callings. We don't all have to interact with the world in the same way to be good Christians. Despite the popularity of "What Would Jesus Do?", I think it is a largely irrelevant question. He was the Son of God, and what he would do in any given situtaion may or may not have bearing on what I should do. Maybe he should overturn the tables of the money changers, but I certainly don't have that authority. I think a better question is, "What would Jesus want ME to do?" Maybe he wants YOU to go to parties. Or maybe he wants YOU to live secluded in a monstarey. There is no single way to serve God.

Betty W01
02-21-2006, 02:36 AM
Good answer, sky. And actually, I have a necklace that has the letters WWJHMD? on it: What Would Jesus Have Me Do? I designed it myself and it's just for the reason you said.

Puddle Jumper
02-21-2006, 11:09 AM
I once saw a newspaper picture of a church group confronting a homosexual group, armed with signs that read "God hates gays." It made me weep. I'm so tempted to have a t-shirt made up that says, "God does NOT hate gays. He hates SIN. He LOVES gays. He just hates their SIN." I can think of a number of occasions on which I'd wear it. (And no, not to church. At least, not to the one I attend. I can think of others, though....)

I'd also like to have one made up that says, "Homosexuality is a sin. So are a lot of other things. Thrown any good stones lately?"
I find it amazing that if you try and say homosexuality is a sin, those who support homosexuality will label you a homophobe and if you try and say that homosexuality is no worse a sin than any other sin because sin is sin in God's eyes, many opposed to Homosexuality will condemn you for it. It's like they try and demonize gay people.

I think many Christians have a hard time understanding that homosexuality is no worse a sin than any other sin because it's a sin they've never felt tempted by. It's easy if you've never felt tempted by a particular sin to look at someone who does struggle with it and say, "Wow, there must really be something wrong with you because that doesn't tempt me." And so it can be easy to treat gay people like a disease.

The whole topic is like a bad stomachache to me. It makes me sick to see the gays pushing their agenda. It makes me even more sick when so-called Christian leaders help their cause by saying things like God is okay with this sinful lifestyle, because according to them it's not sinful.

I can't stand Oprah ever since watching her episode right after Ellen came out about being gay and seeing her shoot down a little teenage girl in tears trying to say that the Bible says this is a sin and Oprah very sharply told her that her God accepts everyone. I can't watch Oprah now because of that. My God accepts everyone but that person has to be repentant and acknowledge that they are sinners and strive to overcome it. The way Oprah said it made it sound like she had fashioned an idol god for herself. Because she was just all supportive of Ellen.

It seems hard, especially in the media, to find people who think like we do on this subject. That homosexuality is a sin but gay people are not any worse than any other sinner, because sin is sin and we've all sinned. We've all been found wanting and unable to save ourselves.

theengel
02-21-2006, 05:19 PM
Yeah, but think about something...you wouldn't say that killing your children is no more of a sin than homosexuality (speaking of the act of course...not the temptation).

There are degrees of sins, and there are different types of sin. Killing (for example) is a sin simply because God says it is a sin. There's nothing in the nature of killing that makes it a sin. Heck, God kills every day...and God commanded his servants to kill in the Bible.

A lie, on the other hand, is an abomination. A lie, by nature, is sinful...something contrary to God. God cannot lie, and doesn't permit others to lie.

Now as for the degrees of sin, me bearing false witness against my neighbor is much worse than me telling my mom that I didn't take a cookie. And a man cheating on his wife isn't as bad as a man cheating on his wife with an underaged minor...well maybe it's just that there are two sins involved with that one...but you get what I'm saying.

Where does homosexuality fall in this. Of course it's fornication. But it is a greater sin than fornication in the natural sense...because it leaves the natural uses of the body. Again, I'm talking about the uses...not the temptation. Our organs have a use...and they only work between a man and a woman.

There's one other point here. Homosexuality is seeking acceptance. Most other sins are not. My son does not come home from school telling me that it's OK to steal. But many kids are coming home and telling their parents that it's OK to commit sodomy. There's no reason not to expect some vigilance in the matter.

Shwebb
02-21-2006, 10:15 PM
I don't think God really differentiates much about types of sin. Sin is sin.

Society, however, does. For instance--our society, on a primitive level, depends on heterosexuality to reproduce; therefore, homosexuality would be discouraged, even outside of religion.

theengel
02-21-2006, 10:43 PM
I'm not really much of a bible thumper. To me, it would seem obvious that since we have varying degrees of guilt, so our sins would have varying degrees of weight.



And we can't say that since society weighs our crimes, that means it's an invention of society. After all, society is made up of people, and people naturally are inclined to punish crimes according to the severity of the crime...and this natural inclination is put there by God. Besides, we are made in the image of God.



But since this is a christian forum, I don't see why I shouldn't quote a few verses to support my evidence-




1 John 5:16 says the following: "If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death."


Luke 12:46,47
"That servant who knows his masterís will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

"Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin." - John 19:11

Mt:23:14:
14 Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour the houses of widows, praying long prayers. For this you shall receive the greater judgment. (DRV)

And last but not least-


"And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous..." - Genesis 18:20

Shwebb
02-21-2006, 11:23 PM
Okay, I understand from where you are coming.

But the Bible also says "The wages of sin is death." There's no such thing as dying less. The end result is the same.

theengel
02-22-2006, 12:01 AM
As in, "the result of sin is death"...we all must die because we sin. At one time, man wasn't meant to die. But because of that little peice of fruit, now we all die. This clearly points to sin in general, as opposed to individual sins. Because there are some sins that do not lead to death.

And there's another spiritual way to think about that passage...

The wages of sin is death (of the soul...hell). Jesus died for us. As the New Adam, He renews our creation...allowing for salvation.

Puddle Jumper
02-22-2006, 09:27 AM
Yeah, but think about something...you wouldn't say that killing your children is no more of a sin than homosexuality (speaking of the act of course...not the temptation).
What you and I think and how we "rate" sin isn't going to be the same as God. If we read what the Bible says, it doesn't matter what the sin, sin is sin and all sin leads to death, so whether your only sin was to tell a "little white lie" only once in all your life or to murder a thousand people, both people are doomed to the same fate.

The Bible does say that where sin increases grace increases all the more. But I would wager an educated guess that that means number of times sins, not the content of the sin. There is only one sin the Bible seems to rank as being worse than all other sin and that's blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Not murder, not homosexuality, not lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, etc...

It's natural for us to consider murder to be among the worst sins because it's physically ending another person's life. But nowhere in the Bible have I noticed that God ranks murder as being worse than other sins. In fact there are times we read that He commanded His people to slaughter (murder) people including women and children. He commanded His people to do this to claim their Holy Land and I believe they didn't completely obey. And throughout the Bible we see that there can be no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood.

We rank murder as being among the worst I think because we hate death. After all, humans were originally created to live forever, death is like a plague or disease. However, God sees physical death in a completely different light. Only through physical death can we be reborn into eternal beings. But He did forbid murder because it's motivation is hate and hate is sin because hate is the opposite of God.

So we may think of murder being worse but that's not how God sees it, at least from what we read in the Bible. Unless you can point to a scripture to say otherwise.


There are degrees of sins, and there are different types of sin.
Different types of sin obviously. But where are you coming up with this degree/ranking system? And if this is a catholic belief that has something to do with purgatory I'm not going to buy into it.


Now as for the degrees of sin, me bearing false witness against my neighbor is much worse than me telling my mom that I didn't take a cookie. And a man cheating on his wife isn't as bad as a man cheating on his wife with an underaged minor...well maybe it's just that there are two sins involved with that one...but you get what I'm saying.
Again, where are you coming up with this ranking system? I don't see it anywhere in the Bible.


Where does homosexuality fall in this. Of course it's fornication. But it is a greater sin than fornication in the natural sense...because it leaves the natural uses of the body. Again, I'm talking about the uses...not the temptation. Our organs have a use...and they only work between a man and a woman.

There's one other point here. Homosexuality is seeking acceptance. Most other sins are not. My son does not come home from school telling me that it's OK to steal. But many kids are coming home and telling their parents that it's OK to commit sodomy. There's no reason not to expect some vigilance in the matter.
Though it's interesting because the only sin we read about in Sodom was homosexuality and God destroyed that city. In the New Testament it says that homosexuality is the result of a depraved mind. And there are tons of passages all throughout the Bible forbidding all kinds of sexual immorality from homosexuality to having sex with animals to committing adultery, etc...


I'm not really much of a bible thumper. To me, it would seem obvious that since we have varying degrees of guilt, so our sins would have varying degrees of weight.
You're not a Bible thumper in that you don't know much about the Bible or that you don't like to use it to defend your position or what?

It may seem that way but your level of guilt does not equate sin. If it did I would never be forgiven of my sins becuase I still have moments where I feel guilty of past sins which have been forgiven. God fogives and forgets. I receive forgiveness but I can't just forget like God can. So whereas God no longer dwells on what I did, it's harder for me to let go of the guilt even though the Bible tells me I have no right to feel guilty for what God has forgiven.

Concerning 1 John 5:16, I take this from my NIV Study Bible notes...


In the context of this letter directed against Gnostic teaching, which denied the incarnation and threw off all moral restraints, it is probable that the "sin that leads to death" refers to the Gnostics' adament and persistent denial of the truth and to their shameless immorality. This kind of unrepentant sin leads to spiritual death. Another view is that this is sin that results in physical death. It is held that, because a believer continues to sin, God in judgment takes his life.
Of course if we go back to what Jesus said in the gospels, the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and I would wager an educated guess that the "sin that leads to death" is in reference to blasphemy of the Holy Spirit if it can not be forgiven.

Luke 12:46-47 is figurative language regarding the end of times.

John 19:11 refers to Caiaphus, a Jewish leader who denied the Messiah. Yeah, I can see where that would be a more serious sin in God's eyes.

Matt. 23:14 - yes, the Bible does tell us in other places as well that those who teach will be judge more harshly and if you mislead people astray that's very serious.

However, in all the verses I see you quoting that there is a ranking system of sins, I see that the worst sins here are blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, misleading people away from God while making them believe they are serving God, being in a position of leadership under God and demanding the death of God's Messiah and handing Him over to death, and homosexuality.

Of course the one of homosexuality being the last verse you quoted about Sodom and Gomorrah really isn't showing a rank, just that this city was so sinful and full of sin that it grieved God. All sin grieves God.


Because there are some sins that do not lead to death.
The wages of sin is death. All sins lead to death, physical and spiritual. Some sins, such as murder, lead to a faster death. For our sins we are all condemned to eternal death.

theengel
02-22-2006, 10:15 AM
I never saw anything in the Bible telling us that if the Bible doesn't spell it out word for word then we shouldn't beleive it.

The Bible doesn't give us a chart. But, as you admitted, it does point out that some sins are worse than others.

Puddle Jumper
02-23-2006, 03:59 AM
I never saw anything in the Bible telling us that if the Bible doesn't spell it out word for word then we shouldn't beleive it.

The Bible doesn't give us a chart. But, as you admitted, it does point out that some sins are worse than others.
For the record, as my earlier post shows, I was not supporting your claim but was opposing it. Again, I don't see Biblical support for much of what you said.

theengel
02-23-2006, 04:32 AM
Bible does tell us in other places as well that those who teach will be judge more harshly and if you mislead people astray that's very serious.


Harsher punishment would indicate a worse crime. I think most people would draw that conclusion. The bible doesn't have to spell EVERYTHING out...as a matter of fact, it doesn't spell everything out. If it did, we wouldn't have 1000+ religions saying they go strictly by the Bible.

And what do you mean the Luke 12 is figurative. What idea do you think the text eludes to?