This is a reflective post for those who don’t mind being asked to think a little. It is a follow up to a post from a couple of weeks ago. Consider that the following is written in James 2:1, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” Even so…
Ever noticed that different acts of sin are many times thought of and/or treated different? Sadly, I have personal knowledge of the following…
Churches that will not ordain a man as a deacon if he has been divorced, but they WILL ordain a man who’s wife is a gossip. Second, a church leader was recently arrested for DUI, yet was allowed to continue serving as a leader in the church without any discipline what so ever from the congregation (Even though his arrest was detrimental to the reputation of the congregation and the faith). Third, a man was re-elected as a deacon and put in places of leadership even though he was convicted of a felony (A pardon was granted, but the reputation of the church was tarnished significantly in the community), but a man who was suspected of questionable behavior (Also a deacon and teacher) was asked to leave the same church.
Continuing with my question, which is worse? Adultery or greed… Homosexuality or taking revenge… Fornication or homosexuality or lust… Injustice or hatred… Lying or stealing… Drunkenness or idolatry… Pride or coarse humor… Gossiping or cheating… Hypocrisy or bitterness… Favoritism OR…?
Before I suggest a few Scriptures to consider… I have some thoughts. First… in God’s sight all sin is equal in that it is a transgression of His law. In that context, all sin will be punished by Him equally. Second… while all sin is equal as a transgression, not all sin has the same consequences in this life. Example: Both murder & speeding are breaking the law. However, for murder the penalty is prison or death… for speeding it is a ticket. Same in the strictest sense, different in punishment. I guess at this point I have to admit working through a few issues… with the previous passage from James ringing in my ears.
Now for a few Scriptures for reflection…
James 2:10 Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Ephesians 4:22 Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let NO corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.
Final thought… I’m still ruminating on all this and don’t have answers to my questions yet. Any help out there??