I think we can all agree that on a human level, we definitely see some sins as being worse than others. Cheating on your spouse is definitely seen as being WAY worse than, say, being a glutton and eating a whole cheesecake by yourself. But when God looks at our sin, does he see things differently than we do? Joey is a little busy at the moment eating an entire bag of Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups, but as soon as he's done, he'll share some thoughts on the matter.
So we talked about it on the podcast once (episode 15). No one can argue against the fact that certain sins have more disastrous effects than others. If I murder someone, Matt and Toby will have to find someone else to replace me. Maybe they can find a real fat person this time. If I looked at porn and talked about it on episode 32 (with Lecrae!), I’m going to be around another week to be made fun of by Matt and Toby. And while we’re at it, my wife will still have a husband and my kids will see their dad every day (2 things I couldn’t do from jail).
Since there are different levels of destructive consequences for sins, do you think that God, because He loves so much, may hate some sins more than others because of what they cause? Like, do you think God hates murder more than He hates cheating in poker? Or, do we deal with sins differently because we have to, but all sins are equal in the eyes of God? If this is true, is it problematic for us and/or the church to deal with sins differently when God does not, or is it a justified part of living in a fallen world?
A lady tweeted at us, saying she felt like there was nothing wrong with eating too much. I thought that was very curious.
It was very interesting to me because she was big in to human rights. I think she was a self-proclaimed “Christian Feminist,” pro equal marriage rights for the LGBT community, big anti-human trafficking (hopefully we all hate this, but unfortunately some of us don’t), and liked to be witty on Twitter. But, she didn’t understand that eating too many damn Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups could be wrong? I was shocked.
So I started reflecting on some things. One can honestly categorize sin into “Overt-Harmful” and “Covert-Harmful” sins. Overt-Harmful sins are the ones that the church feels compelled to speak against, discipline people for, and potentially close their doors to people who habitually do them. The harm is obvious! “You killed someone, dude!” “You cheated on your wife!” “You stole from an old lady that needs to eat.” “You. Sick. Bastard.”
Covert-Harmful sins don’t seem to merit as swift and stiff a response. You see it all the time. Obesity. There are many pastors who are fat, plain and simple. No one is asking them to step down until they lose weight. Pride. We all struggle with this one, but some of us are drowning in it. And yet many of us easily turn a blind eye from those who think they are God’s sacred gift to the church, like second to Jesus. I’ve seen it a hundred times, from some who lead thousands of people. And it’s been me before. Many are fallen. Workaholism. Many Christians are working too hard and their families are paying the price. Some of these folks even work for churches where this imbalance is not only encouraged, but required.
It’s understandable that we have to deal with Overt-Harmful sins, like murder, more harshly than Covert-Harmful sins. But it is a problem if we don’t deal with Covert-Harmful sins at all.
People claim that BadChristian is too soft on sin. To the contrary, (and this is Joey speaking) I feel that you’d be surprised how “anti-sin” we really are. We see it everywhere, its deceptive effects residing in readers’ comments that blast us publically, not even recognizing how sinful their mocking, demeaning words are for the whole internet world to see.
We not only see those whom are ship-wrecking their marriages and cheating their Christian brother out of money, we also see the worrier, the one that eats too many damn Reese’s, the one who spends what they don’t have, and those who are unteachable. And our conclusion? Well, I’ll tell you this much. It certainly is not apathy, disregard and turning a blind eye.
We believe the whole world needs a savior to rescue it from sin. When Jesus cried out, “It is finished,” He meant He had defeated sin, death and decay for good. That’s victory over all of our filthy shit; not just the sin that’s clearly in our faces, our Overt-Harmful sins, but Covert-Harmful sins just the same.
My hope is not that churches would start looking at all sin more equally; I understand how that’s not possible. It clearly appears that there are different levels of sin, given the severity of wrongness to the level it actually affects (hurts) us. It’s also reasonable to say that God sees some sins as worse than others for this very reason.
But, it’s also true that all sin is equal insofar as they all cause separation between us and God. While we need to recognize the different levels of sin in a practical way, we should remember that all sin, from murder to overeating, is the reason we need a savior.
With all this said, here’s what I think. If we can focus our message to the world with more of a “Jesus is here for you and is willing to give you everything in Him” message rather than a “here’s what you are doing wrong and here’s what’s going to happen if you don’t quit,” maybe more ears would be in tune? Maybe so. Maybe not. I do know that it looks crazy to the world when an obese dude is harshly and unlovingly yelling on a street corner with an anti-gay marriage sign, while his son is playing his last soccer game and wishing dad was there. Okay, I totally made up that last scenario. And I do really love Reese’s.
All little sins have the potential of becoming big sins. Jesus is the answer.