The narrative has once again reared its head.
We saw it with great prevalence in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage.
We were told not to judge because the homosexual’s sin was no worse than when we lose our temper with our kids, gossip, or tell a white lie.
Now in the wake of the Ashley Madison we are hearing it again everywhere.
We shouldn’t judge because the 400 + men and women in ministry who opened accounts on a website that helped them have an affair haven’t committed any worse sin than we have.
First of all, it is not we who judge when we call their sin a great offense against God, their wives or husbands to whom they vowed fidelity, and their children. It is God’s Word that judges their sin in many places when it repeatedly condemns sins of a sexual nature.
Here are 3 reasons why the sins of those on Ashley Madison are not like other sins
1. Sins of sexual nature are more serious sins.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18 (emphasis mine)
Sexual intimacy binds us physically and spiritually to each other. Paul called it a mystery. It is a holy act and reserved for marriage alone, but when engaged in outside of the boundaries marriage and distorted in a way to illicitly bring other partners into that union by way of affairs, polyamory and polygamy is a distortion of a holy thing!
- Lying is not a distortion of a holy thing.
- Anger is not a distortion of a holy thing.
- This is why sexual sins are more significant.
2. There is a difference between intentional/habitual sins and unintentional sins.
To pay a lot of money to sign up on a website and arrange to have an affair is very intentional!
In the Old Testament we don’t find a sacrifice for intentional sin. Furthermore, in Hebrews 10 it says:
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth,there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:26-31 (emphasis mine)
When we look at the Old Testament sacrifices, we see that there is no sacrifice for intentional sin. The Bible is clear about this, when we receive Christ as the propitiation for our sins, we no longer have the right to do what want, but are obligated to live according to the dictates of His Word.
We are literally in covenant with Him. A covenant that was signed in blood – the blood of Jesus Christ that He willingly shed on our behalf as the payment for our sin!
By willfully choosing to sin after accepting His willingness to pay the price for our sin, is to sink to unfathomable depths of ungratefulness for His sacrifice!
It would be like our friend choosing to pay $10,000 in parking fines that we accumulated, and then going out the same day to accumulate more fines…on purpose.
John addressed this strongly when he said,
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 1John 1:6 (emphasis mine)
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:4 (emphasis mine)
Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. – 1 John 3:6
Choosing to intentionally and habitually sin is literally walking in sin. The problem with those who choose to walk in sin is that they have chosen not to walk with Christ. There is a huge difference between unintentionally doing something that offends the Lord and willfully choosing to do something we know he hates and that nailed His only Son on the cross!
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Romans 6:1-2 (emphasis mine)
The problem with intentional and habitual sin is that it shows a distinct lack of fear of God and a complete disregard for Jesus’ sacrifice.
If we can purposely do that which offends God and nailed His Precious and only Son on the cross, there is not only a deep and serious problem in our spiritual life, there is a distinct lack of the fear of the Lord.
The fear of the LORDis to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate. Proverbs 8:13 (emphasis mine)
In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil. Proverbs 16:6 (emphasis mine)
The fear of God reminds us that God sees, God knows, and God will tell!
3. Confession and being caught are not the same.
There is a significant difference in the heart when the Holy Spirit leads us to a place of repentance that happens upon confession, and being caught in our sin.
Being caught means we are still in the act of our sin and conviction – while may be occurring – is not in sufficient measure so as to bring us to a place where we, of our volition, freely confess our sins and repent. In fact, many people who are caught go on to continue their sin by another means, proving that confession and repentance never occurred at all.
To be sure, being caught can be the blow it takes to lead one to genuine confession, but showing remorse for being caught does not always mean confession has actually taken place.
All sins are not equal, but all sins require a Savior and they all need God’s grace and forgiveness
Please understand, I am not saying that sins that are not sexual in nature are insignificant.
All sins separate us from God.
All sinners need a Savior.
All sin causes a breakdown in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Yet, while all sin is offensive to God, there are sins that are significantly more offensive than others. Much as it is offensive to me when my husband is angry with me. But the offense I feel to that could not possibly compare to the offense I would feel if I discovered his name on the Ashley Madison website.
The two cannot be equated, because they are completely different in nature.
They are both offensive.
They both cause a breakdown of relationship.
But the latter is significantly more offensive than the former.
It doesn’t negate the fact that the former is offensive, just as the fact that God rates sexual sins as more offensive to him as other sins doesn’t mean that the other sins are unimportant to Him. No, they are! They most certainly are! All sin is serious to God because all sin separates us from Him.
All sin needs God’s forgiveness and grace.
This is the good news!
While sexual sins are more offensive to God, the same grace that cleanses us from sin will cleanse these sins as well…
and that grace makes us equally forgiven under the blood!
Stop by tomorrow to read my post “3 Reasons Why Grace Must Have Balance“
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- Rosilind, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together they live in the country with their 2 active boys where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an Associates of Practical Theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of A Little R & R where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.