But It’s Not Worse Than Any Other Sin! (Or Is It?)

My wife asks me why I get so worked up over homosexual sin. “You don’t get as mad about heterosexual sin,” she says. Well, that’s not quite true. All sin is damning. But I am unaware of any adulterers’ rights marches or fornicators’ lobbyists. (Well, maybe there are one or two; but when you see things like lobbying for the rights of single people, it’s so absurd that it’s not worth bothering with. And those greeting cards for adulterers never quite caught on, I’m guessing. Also, NAMBLA doesn’t count, yet. Most people still instinctively retch at the name, and justifiably so. We’ll see how long the rhetoric remains on the side of those who oppose NAMBLA’s “policies.” That’s a euphemism, in case you didn’t catch it.) Whatever sin is currently being paraded around as normal, that’s the sin that will receive the most attention. Whether it should or not is another question.

And, frankly, I think homosexual sin might indeed be “worse” than most heterosexual sin. I didn’t say more damning. Damned is damned is damned. But did you ever notice in the Old Testament how God prescribes punishments relative to the crimes? He doesn’t say “stone everyone,” or “pardon everyone.” Distinctions are made between, say, sleeping with your aunt or with someone of the same sex, and lying (as in, telling a falsehood). It is God who gives the regulations and the penalties for breaking them. And they are not all the same.

Homosexual sin fundamentally inverts the human sexual relationship as God created it. Heterosexual sin (still damning, remember), in a twisted, distorted way, still preserves that created order–“order” here meaning “the way it’s supposed to be.” The idea behind the idea that it might be okay to have a physical relationship with whomever you please, because it’s really the inner “love” that matters, is simply and irreversibly opposed to the way we are made. We are not souls having a bodily experience; we are “us.” Souls and bodies cannot be separated. What your body does, you do. What your soul does, you do. You are you, not some abstract “self” trapped in a physical body. Christians believe in the resurrection of the body, not the resurrection of the soul. Even if all sins are equally damning, does that mean that the darkness and gnashing of teeth are equally dark and loud in all corners of Hell? Speculation aside, some sins have more damnable consequences than others, and some sins tear more readily at the fabric of human society.

Timotheos

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9 thoughts on “But It’s Not Worse Than Any Other Sin! (Or Is It?)

  1. What I irritates me the most is not the specific sin so much as someone aggressively promoting the sin as non-sinful.

  2. This is veering slightly off-topic, but I think is a vvalid question to bring up.

    First, I’m not arguing that homosexuality is correct or not a sin. That’s the preface.

    But one thing that comes up rarely is that some people are born either intersex or some strange thing where they are “assigned” a sex after a birth defect, but it could be argued that they are actually of the opposite sex. What of these folks?

    Do these folks get a pass and get to choose whomever they want (as long as they are consistent in choosing the gender)? The “pass” they might get from us because we (and possibly they) don’t really have the knowledge to know which gender they properly are.

    I mention this because, well, it’s one of those hard questions and it’s not as uncommon as one might think.

    Thoughts?

  3. I don’t believe we can choose our gender any more than we can choose the genitalia with which we are born. What of the small percentage born with both? I don’t know, but the number seems negligible.

    It is a false understanding of the human person that leads one to think that my “inner gender” is different than my “outer sex.” The whole person is me. I’m not saying it’s an easy thing to deal with, but when the foundational premise is wrong, the ultimate conclusion will necessarily be wrong.

    Tim

  4. Sin, and wages thereof;

    We are talking about the abnormal influence of sin on the physical world (and human nature).

    Those born with abnormal physical traits fall into the same category as all other worldly problems and physical limitations. Being mis-categorized at birth is a human physical failing, not the failing of the individual who is miss-labeled. But it becomes the mis-labeled personís problem to deal with later in life.

    The big problems occur when people strive to re-label themselves as something they obviously are not. And pursuit of individual lusts and desires take them into other dangerous territory. Homosexuality, poligamy, drugs, alcoholism, etc, etc.

    The danger is in selecting a desire, homosexuality, and taking a path that is obviously not what God intended per our actual physical traits. However, Satan takes our selfish desires and twists them in any number of ways to make us think in ways we would not otherwise think, and lust after things we would not otherwise desire.

    If we follow these paths too far we will destroy ourselves, as well as destroying others along with us.

    Homosexuality is most dangerous in that it drags us into other sins. Once we embrace one infidelity it leads to embracing other infidelities, lusts, perversions, and sins. And once we decide that gender no longer matters, then it is an easy step to also disregard age, marriage, even family relations in pursuit of physical sexual gratification.

    Likewise, many homosexuals do not start out as homosexuals but come to this lifestyle through the paths paved with other sinful desires.

    >>>
    We can use this same argument and replace the word “homosexual” with any other sin. Alcoholism, hatefulness, arrogance, wealth, etc.

    >>>
    This is a good topic, btw, with regard to Lent, and our transition into Holy week. As we evaluate our worthiness (or lack thereof) to participate in the Easter celebrations and to embrace Christ’s resurrection.

  5. I mostly asked because I don’t know how pastors handle such a situation and how our doctrine tells us to deal with it.

    If someone is intersex, while that number is a negligible part of the population, to them it’s 100% if you catch my drift.

    In that case, what is the counsel? To go with their conscience if science can’t really definitively say that they are 100% male or female?

    Can of worms, possibly. But there aren’t many venues in which to ask. If anyone’s offended or troubled at the question, just leave it be, perhaps we shouldn’t try to answer it unless an individual with that problem asks.

  6. right on Timotheous!

    w/ regard to the people assigned a gender at birth, I don’t know if any of you have heard or read “As Nature Made Him” I haven’t read it myself but the substance of the book from its cover (I picked it up at a library once) is the supposedly real life tale of a kid whose parents had him “made a girl” after a botched circumcision. They raised him that way too. But from birth he never really bought into the whole thing and eventually discovered what he really was.

    Admittedly, his situation was different than being born a hermaphodite or whatever. But I think it does advance discussion on the topic.

    Dang it I tried to put the book url from Amazon but it won’t let me.

  7. It is a fair question David. Because the anomalies you speak of are heavy burdens these people must carry their entire life.

    But I’m not sure it is up to Pastor to sort out all of the details. I think all he can do is guide through the theological tangle. DNA analysis and doctors can help clarify the physical issues, while Pastor deals with the internal soul issues.

    (Not trying to put words in the mouths of any pastors.) But the point is that everyone has a burden(s) to bear, and Pastor helps people put those burdens into context. Some burdens are visible while others are not. But each burden reflects a way for Satan to tempt us down the wrong path.

    Each one of us here has a burden or two, if we really expore ourselves.

    It is very easy for Satan to make us angry at others and at God for our burdens. And once we become angry we are easily misled.

    Pastor helps guide us back to Christ, which helps us recognize our anger and frustration for what it really is, and that helps guide us back to the right path.

    >>>
    The example Steve-O mentions is a well documented story, and has also been discussed on TV (which is where I learned of it).

    This story is well documented because the doctors and sociologist wanted to ‘experiment’ and see if raising this boy as a girl would eventually turn him into a girl. It didn’t. In fact, it really messed him up emotionally. Provides us an excellent object lesson for what Doctors should not do when experiementing on people.

    The TV show was all about the physical damage, and touched only lightly on the emotional and spiritual aspects. I have never learned if this man ever found Christ.

  8. If I remember that person’s story correctly (apparently we all saw the same program), though “assigned” the female gender, he is apparently happily married to a woman.

    What made me bring this up is that one night at a bible study, this topic came up and several people in the group said that whatever was “decided for him” is what he is. In this case, my peers would have had “him” only allowed to marry another man.

    I thought their judgement was hasty and incredibly wrong-headed. Thank goodness they are not pastors.

    What frustrated me was not that I disagreed with them (though it did a little bit), but that they simply could not admit that it was a complicated problem that did require special care and thought to sort out. As Steve-O and Lawrence rather simply stated.

    Anyway, our world is so fallen that even our problems are layered like so much strata that we are at a loss to figure out what to do in our earthly matters.

  9. I agree with you Timotheous. And this is a subject that has rarely been elucidated. The real distinction is between unrepentant sin being punished for eternity–all sin being equal in this sense–and sinfulness in this life. God does indeed distinguish sins, in this life, that are more destructive than others. And sexual sins seem to be high on the list. St. Paul also has the same distinctions, it seems to me, in Romans and elsewhere in the New Testament.

    Too often we fail to draw this distinction. Thanks for noting the difference.

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