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Seeing Sin Rightly

When we point out the sins of the wicked world we live in, sometimes our own personal struggles or opinions slip in and cloud our words. I have heard people speak against drunkenness as though it is the most grave sin ever. Yes, it is a grave sin (no question about it!), but it is not more grave than abortion. Not all grave sins are of an equal degree of evil. When we have a personal experience that has impacted our thinking it can make us become more harsh than is necessary.

Another factor in this is the issue of knowledge--if someone does not truly know that a sin is grave, then their personal culpability is lessened (though not eliminated). Also, we must deal with the fact that some sins are more addictive than others--the person at fault when someone becomes addicted to a sin, might be the person themselves, but that does not change the fact that certain addictions (as determined by the Church) have a lesser degree of gravity (while never ceasing to be sinful).

This is all to say, in American society today we have to deal with numerous forms of sodomy. They are regularly in our face, and those who promote these evils (and they are evil; please read St. Paul's letter to the Romans, chapter one, if you have even the smallest doubt about this!) are very vocal about it. Yet, regardless of how repulsive or death-loving that the practice of sodomy is, we have to keep it in proper perspective. Which, do you think is more grave: to reject the clear testimony of the gospel, or engage in sodomy?

According to our Lord Jesus Christ, sodomy (while still a grave sin) is not as evil as rejecting Christ directly. Read what our Lord said in the gospels:

"And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you" (Matthew 11:23-24).

Of course, there is a difference between these two cities in that the Sodomites in Genesis chapter 19 had not seen the testimony of Christ in their own lifetimes, whereas those in Capernaum had. Yet, Jesus says clearly that Sodomites would be willing to repent if they saw Christ, whereas the direct and immediate rejection of Christ is far more evil because it is more blinding to a person's individual state before God.

I have known people who struggle with "same-sex" sins and many of them are truly repentant and hate what they are doing. They truly do want to cease sinning and learn to obey Christ. As much as we may feel distaste for that sin, we must recognize that when a person says they refuse to accept the clear testimony of our Savior, that is far worse in the grand scheme of things (and therefore, should be more repulsive to us!). So then, call a sin what it is: a sin. Just make sure that you see sin the way that our Lord sees it. After all, every sin can be forgiven, except the sin of the final rejection of Christ.


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