However, when I was reading Angela's blog-which always serves up some food for thought on faith-I began thinking about sin and I decided I would write about it this Sunday. I know. I am surprised too.....sin is a big topic. It's kind of controversial.
You should know that I personally am a Christian. I have no specific denomination-I don't even attend church (because I can't find the right one, there is nothing wrong with church)-I'm just the plain old Christ following kind of Christian. All of my beliefs are based solely on my personal interpretation of the Bible and the message and words of Jesus and don't represent any specific church, Christianity in general, or really anyone besides myself. And sometimes Hubby.
That being said, back to sin. Let's get a couple of the basics out there. I personally believe that everyone sins, and that any and all sin is equal because it all separates us from God.(James 2:10) That's right, I believe that Mother Teresa was a sinner and that lying by omission is just as bad as adultery. On the plus side whether you are Joan of Arc or Joe the Crackhead I believe all you have to do is ask God's forgiveness and you are freely saved through God's grace(Titus 3:5, Romans 3:22-25).
So here's my question-why are some sins more taboo than others?
I have a thought on this. I think it has way less (if anything) to do with God and the Bible and more to do with people and their natures. It is much easier to say, "Well sure, I'm a sinner" if you can follow it up with "but I'm not as big a sinner as that guy" or "but it's only a little sin". As far as I've read the Bible doesn't support that kind of thinking, but you see it in every church, in an astounding number of Christians.
People are ousted from congregations and ostracized often from the Christian community (by fiery judgment or by being frozen out) for being gay, living together and/or having a kid before you are married, having substance abuse problems, having an extra marital affair, etc. .....but no one gives you the cold shoulder for cheating on your fourth grade spelling test, calling in syck (fake sick), thinking lusty thoughts, or even something like shoplifting. These are all seen as sins, but the first set often meet anger and cause personal rejection in the Christian community and the second set are, when discovered, treated as no big deal. Why is that?
My personal opinion is that it's all about the size of your sin. I like to call them pocket sized and no crap sized sins. A pocket sized sin is something that is not immediately obvious-and therefore cannot be immediately judged. Someone usually has to know you personally before they'll find out that you lie, cheat, shoplift, or whatever and by the time they get to know you well enough to know that, they're more inclined to "go easy" on you.
It's easy to see and judge the no crap sized sins. You see a man kissing another man in your church you know they're gay. Living together before you're married is just as obvious (there is a whole house where you both live and all), and people who have children out of wedlock have a walking, breathing testament to their "sin" (Yes, I'm using quotes in this instance, but I'm not going there right now, maybe another post someday. Probably not.)-there's no hiding your 12 year old.
It's easy to see someone's no crap sized sins and allow yourself to think that your sins are not as bad, but that's simply not true. Your sins are just secret, that's all-but let's not forget that NO ONE'S sins are kept secret from God. We all fall short of Him, and none of us are worthy on our own. We all require grace-the amount or frequency of which is inconsequential. The point is that we couldn't do it on our own.
I'd also like to put one last thing out there-do you think Jesus has favorites? Do you believe that Jesus likes/loves say Billy Graham more than He loves an unwed teen mother or a lesbian?
So if it's our goal to be like Him in all of His ways, how can we pick favorites? How can we attempt to justify our own sins by condemning the "bigger" ones? Can't we just agree that all of us are unworthy and rejoice together that we are saved by grace? In that spirit, why wouldn't we open our hearts and congregations (as applicable) to people with the no crap sized sins? We know that's really what Jesus would do, because that's what He already did!
In the end, Jesus loves you unconditionally-so why not love other people flaws and all, and allow the judgment to come from the only One who is qualified to judge us?
Just my thoughts. Happy Sunday.