Can one sin be greater than other’s?

Hello!

Yesterday, i had to the most wonderful opportunity to witness to my best friend who began the Christian journey with me a year ago, but gave up. After talking to what Jesus has done in my life and answering her questions, she asked for podcasts that would help answer some tough questions she had. I sent her RZIM podcasts. After checking in with her today, she told me that she couldn’t be a follower of a religion that saw her sister (who identifies as a homosexual woman) as more sinful than her and her boyfriend. I attempted to explain to her that God doesn’t see sin the way we do, and sin is sin, and that her sister isn’t more sinful than myself. My question is, why is it that when we talk about homosexuality that we don’t talk about it in the scope that homosexual sins aren’t greater than mine, as a Christian woman currently engaging in abstinence? Is there a grading scale of sin? I do understand how inflammatory the topic of homosexuality is, but i feel that i do not know enough to communicate on behalf of my faith. How do i tell her that her sister is as loved as a person who lives a generally vanilla life? Is homosexual love more sinful than heterosexual love? While I do not condone homosexuality, am I wrong to attend a homosexual wedding? What is the role of the Christian in embracing the person and not the sin? I feel passionate about the subject because I see a population of people who feel like their sin would be above God’s power, but also that a lot of Christians treat homosexuals as “less than”.

Hi @IndyO. Thank you for your inquiry. Below are a few links from previous posts that I hope will be of help to getting answers for your questions. Some are not directly related, but may still give insight and understanding. I have found Sam Allberry’s books, videos and lectures to be outstanding. Without a doubt, the Lord has given him wisdom as Mr. Allberry is one who can personally identify with this struggle.

David Bennett is another favorite of mine. Like Sam Allberry, he is a fellow struggler. Another wise and godly man.

Lastly, is Rosaria Butterfield’s excellent book “Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” rosariabutterfield.com/

Many of these resources can be watched or shared with those who struggle. The grace, wisdom, love, honesty, understanding and kindness displayed in these videos and books was shocking to me and refreshingly so. While this is not my particular struggle (I have plenty of others :wink:) it changed my whole perspective and outlook with regards to “the heart of Christ for sinners and sufferers”.

Please let us know if you have any more questions. Thank you again for your post. May the Lord bless you as you seek to reach out to those He has put in your path.

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This is a really wonderful question, one that every Christian should reflect about regularly. So, thank you for asking.
To be straightforward, no, there is no grading system when it comes to sin. Because God is the standard for Holiness and any iniquity commited is in violation of His law, so sin is sin.
That being said, each sin differs in the amount of consequences it reaps. A white lie might not have the same consequences as murder or rape but both are still committed against God’s law.
Bible clearly says all have sinned and fallen short of glory. So no, there isn’t one who is better than other. I think you are right in clarifying that to your friend. We are all sinners, capable of the worst given the right circumstances and hence in dire need of grace and redemption.
When it comes to homosexuality, I affirm the same thing. It is a sin but no bigger or smaller than any other iniquity. And boy no, heterosexuality is not above homosexuality when God’s law is violated in heterosexual relationships. Bible clearly states that the marriage is between a man and a woman and sex is for a married couple only. Any deviation from that is sexual immorality and Bible condemns all of them. The reason church struggles so much when it comes to LGBTQ community is because their constant affirmation that homosexuality is not a sin.
That brings me to the last part of your question. I do not have any homosexual friends so I am not sure if I can offer any practical advice. But what I tell you is something I have learnt from other Christians and pastors who do and still continue to love them and care for them.
Please continue to love them as the Bible commands you to do so. But speaking truth to them in grace and gentleness is part of that love. Please be clear to them about your belief on their choice of lifestyle (I hope they can be tolerant of you in the same way they expect you to be tolerant of them) but be there for them in their time of need and do not condemn them out of your life. And attending a homosexual wedding, I wouldn’t recommend it as it might seem like you are condoning that marraige can happen between same sex but I will leave the choice up to you.
I do not mean offend anyone with this reply. I sincerely apologize if I have hurt anyone in anyway. I long to continue to love people God places in my life irrespective of their beliefs and choices, without compromising my own. Thank you

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Ammu!

Wow! What a wonderful and well thought out response. I needed to hear this. My only question to your response is, you said that “it may appear” that I’m condoning it. Is it more important to “appear” as something for people or does God know my heart? This is NOT a challenge to you, but just me thinking through this. Again, I’m so grateful to you for helping me through this.

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I am glad to be of help :blush:
Just to clarify, I didn’t mean by ‘appear’ to keep up appearances. I only meant that what you do and what you believe/preach may seem to be in conflict if you attend. But again, I agree with you. God knows our heart and that’s the most important thing.
God bless

I want to echo Marybeth’s suggestion of Sam Alberry. He has several articles, books, and podcasts on this topic and is an excellent resource and wealth of wisdom to biblically respond. I encourage you to seek out some of his material, even if it’s just a short podcast.

I appreciate your struggle as I’ve wondered the same things before. I had a wonderful boss that is homosexual (she’s since retired). When I found out she was getting married to her long-time partner, I cried because I couldn’t reconcile my faith with the lifestyle of this person that I admired and cared about. How/why could I care about someone so much whom my faith calls a sinner?

I think it was at this point when God really taught me that my role as a Christian in interacting with people who don’t know Christ like I do is simply to love them. Christ asks nothing else of us; especially when we interact with non-believers. What are the greatest commandments? As Jesus said ‘love God’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ This is what we are called to do.

Loving someone as God loves them requires us to speak truth in love to those who honestly ask. It’s entirely up to them what they do with that truth. And the truth is, as Ammu so succintly noted

We are all sinners and all fall short of the glory of God. If there was a sliding scale of sin, what need would we have for Christ? He is the perfect example showing how imperfect we all are and how much we need His perfect covering to enter into the presence of God. I could go on and on about this topic, so feel free to ask more questions as needed.

There is so much good information available on how to respond in situations and conversations like these. I encourage you to do a little more research, review the articles referenced above, and seek God’s wisdom and council regarding future conversations with your friend and her sister. Be in conversation with God regularly and He will provide. I pray that God gives you the wisdom, opportunity, and presence of the Holy Spirit to continue your own faith journey and encourage your friend do to so also. God Bless!

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