Different kinds of sin?


#1

What is the difference between mortal sin and the other kind? I've seen "mortal sin" mentioned on this website, but I have been raised protestant and I'm not sure what the distinction is. I learned that, without faith in Christ, any sin sends us to Hell.
Thanks for your time,
Curious Lutheran teenager.


#2

A mortal sin is one which (if not forgiven before death) condemns one to Hell. A venial sin is one which can be forgiven after death in purgatory (though it is of course good to repent of venial sins during this life). It should be noted that deliberately remaining outside of the true faith is itself a mortal sin. It should also be noted that one who dies in original sin only (meaning that the guilt of original sin has not been remitted but one has not committed any mortal sins) would go to Limbo, a state of perfect natural happiness (most theologians would say that no one actually dies in such a state, however that is another topic).


#3

vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P6C.HTM


#4

JM's reference to the Catechism is the best place to start.

Mortal sin is, in a nutshell, a thought or act that is deliberately offensive to God.
The Catechism places three conditions that must be present - but what they boil down to is that you have to know it's a sin and you choose to do it anyway.

A venial sin is a sin against charity. Usually where the matter is not grave (swiping a pencil is not the same as swiping a car) or where we "react" (without thinking first) etc.

All of that said, what Mortal sin really is - is a deliberate and total breaking of our bond with God. Because of this complete separation, the Church requires that we both repent and confess all mortal sins.

This dual step process mimics baptism in that it requires both an inward change (repentance) and an outward confession. Through this we are reconciled to our Lord.
So where Baptism is an initiation an initial conciliation between us and God, confession is a restoration and re-conciliation between ourselves and God.

Hope this helps a little

Peace
James


#5

Couple of notes - clarifications.....

[quote="devoutchristian, post:2, topic:317149"]
A mortal sin is one which (if not forgiven before death) condemns one to Hell.

[/quote]

The key here is actually "repentance" for it is only through repentance that we can receive forgiveness.

A venial sin is one which can be forgiven after death in purgatory (though it is of course good to repent of venial sins during this life).

It should be noted here that repentance for venial sin is necessary in this life as well. Obstinate refusal to repent venial sin increase the gravity of the sin for it brings in other and more serious components.

It should be noted that deliberately remaining outside of the true faith is itself a mortal sin.

And one has to know what the true faith is and consciously reject it for this to apply.

It should also be noted that one who dies in original sin only (meaning that the guilt of original sin has not been remitted but one has not committed any mortal sins) would go to Limbo, a state of perfect natural happiness (most theologians would say that no one actually dies in such a state, however that is another topic).

I don't think this is actually taught anymore. Limbo was never an official doctrine of the Church.

Today I believe that we simply teach that we do not know what becomes of such souls but leave them to the mercy of God.

Peace
James


#6

Would think that reflecting on the effect of our sins is also good to recognize to the subject of sin...

To steal an tangible item is seen as a sin, but that canbe or could be correected by a repayment or restitution...

But to steal ones good name, gossip about them, or to tell lies on another to attain wealth or advancement is a sin that is not forgiveable. For it is like spreading feathers, to go and pick them ALL up again, and make it all right and correct can never be done...
You can, and most like wont eve attmept to go restore ones good name ever again...

the Catholic Church is direct from God through Jesus, and when people came to divide and seperate people from God they have commited a sin that is Mortal sin, that they should consider is unforgiveable...mortal sin...

Its is very good to come to directly recognize sin is that which strips away your or others Charity of Heart... when we do some act to another and it strips away our charity towards others or their charity towards others, its a mortal sin.....

to repent is to correct and return our charity of heart, and their charity of heart as well..renewl, mission. or repent...

alienation, elimination of our charity of heart and the hearts of others must be healed, it cannot be reasoned away... or it is a mortal sin....


#7

[quote="graciesings, post:1, topic:317149"]
What is the difference between mortal sin and the other kind? I've seen "mortal sin" mentioned on this website, but I have been raised protestant and I'm not sure what the distinction is. I learned that, without faith in Christ, any sin sends us to Hell.
Thanks for your time,
Curious Lutheran teenager.

[/quote]

Now of course it is to be noted that it is not simply "mortal sin" and "venial sin" that is involved....

Jesus came that we may have life --true life in him.

As he began his ministry he taught "repent and believe the Gospel!"

Salvation comes from Jesus Christ.

Granted He can work outside of the normal way of hearing the Gospel and explicit Faith and Baptism et al ... there can be those even who have never heard the name of Christ ...never encountered the Church or even any Christian ...who will come to life in him in ways we do not see .....but it is important to note that he is the Way.

"Happy are you who believe!" (cf 1 Peter 2:7). Let us turn to Jesus! He alone is the way that leads to eternal happiness, the truth who satisfies the deepest longings of every heart, and the life who brings ever new joy and hope, to us and to our world."

~Homily at Yankee Stadium by Pope Benedict XVI


#8

To clarify, all mortal sins are deliberate but not all deliberate sins are mortal. It is possible to commit a deliberate venial sin.

Not necessarily. Being obstinate in a venal sin is not grave matter.

Thus the word “deliberately”.

The Church teaches that if someone dies in a state of original sin they would go to limbo. What is uncertain is whether or not anyone actually dies in such a state.


#9

Scripture already distinguishes between different kinds of sin, including those that are mortal:
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. 1 John 5:16-17


#10

Had to give this some thought, but I now see that you are right.
That said, I would still hold that deliberately committing - even small sin - increases the seriousness of the sin.
(Note I say seriousness - I mistakenly said “gravity” in my earlier post - more on this below).

Not necessarily. Being obstinate in a venal sin is not grave matter.

Here I disagree. Being obstinate in sin IS grave matter for it violates the first and greatest commandment To Love the Lord Our God with all our heart and mind and strength.
Being obstinate in sin is something separate from whatever the venial sin might be.

Gossip may or may not be a mortal sin…But it is sin…and if this is pointed out and one obstinately refuses to stop gossiping (or at least honestly trying to stop)…then the root sin is not Gossip, but a rejection of God’s sovereignty.

Of course, like the word “deliberate”…“obstinate” implies a decision made with knowledge. Thus the knowledge exists that this is offensive to God and the free choice is made to do it anyway. The gossip might not be “mortal” but what about the deliberate and obstinate rejection of God’s sovereignty?

Thus the word “deliberately”.

YES - This is the thing that we must always keep in mind when having these conversations. I’m glad you pointed this out.
In another recent thread the OP used the term “defy” which, like deliberate and obstinate, cast a much different perspective on the conversation than terms like “accidental” or “habitual” etc…

[quot]The Church teaches that if someone dies in a state of original sin they would go to limbo. What is uncertain is whether or not anyone actually dies in such a state.
I did a word search in the Catechism for “limbo” and came up empty. Could you point me to the document where limbo is taught?
Thanks…

Peace
James


#11

[quote="graciesings, post:1, topic:317149"]
What is the difference between mortal sin and the other kind? I've seen "mortal sin" mentioned on this website, but I have been raised protestant and I'm not sure what the distinction is. I learned that, without faith in Christ, any sin sends us to Hell.
Thanks for your time,
Curious Lutheran teenager.

[/quote]

Basically a mortal sin is any of the sins listed in Galatians 5:19-21 with full knowledge it is a grave sin and full consent of the will to do it.

Here's the verses in Galatians 5:19-21 from the New Revised Standard Version:
"19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
Footnotes: Galatians 5:21 Other ancient authorities add murder

Envy is only a grave sin if it gets to the level of desiring to seriously injure someone for their stuff. Factions are relating to officially separating from the Catholic Church after you know it is the one Christ founded, Anger/quarrels/jealousy is only a grave sin if it reaches the level of desiring to seriously injure someone. Dissensions/strife is when you freely reject the teachings of Christ according to what the church keeps throughout all time. (Cafeteria Christians, founders of new sects)


#12

Of course.

No. Obstinacy in sin increases the seriousness of the sin, however it only is grave in itself if the sin was already grave. Of course habitual venial sin disposes a soul to commit mortal sin more easily, but it is not itself mortally sinful.

“the souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only … immediately descendinto Hell, yet to be punished with different punishments.” taught by the Second Council of Lyons.


#13

I believe that isn’t referring to limbo but rather different levels of hell. Limbo wasn’t for those committing mortals sins.


#14

I think that the problem we may be dealing with here is that you see obstinacy as a component of the lesser sin, where I see obstinacy as indicating a separate sin.

To use a parental analogy…A parent wold be much more upset over a child’s willful and obstinate disobedience than they are over the specific disobedient acts.
in other words, it’s one thing for a child to not share his toys with his brother…It’s another thing to tell his mother, “I Won’t and you can’t make me”.

“the souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only … immediately descendinto Hell, yet to be punished with different punishments.” taught by the Second Council of Lyons.

Maybe I’m too dense…but I don’t see this as teaching “limbo”, at least as it was described to me many years ago.
When I was in School we were taught that Purgatory was like hell - but temporary - and Limbo was more like heaven, but without the beatific vision. It was the place where unbaptized babies went who were innocent of any personal sin.

Peace
James


#15

A person who is continuing --even deliberately and repeatedly – in committing a particular venial sin —is continuing committing that venial sin. Certainly not good and there such can lead a person to take the step of committing a mortal sin. But such is not a mortal sin.

Continuing to commit a particular venial sin is not per se a “rejection of God’s sovereignty” by nature venial sin doe not reject such.

Now if one say committed along with such a grave sin of pride (pride is often venial in the life of a Christian) --I mean a grave sin of pride – then yes that would be the sin of “rejecting the sovereignty of God”.

If what is meant by “obstinately refuse” --is what I just noted --then yes.

Or one does some venial sin – say starts small thefts in order not to get into too much civil trouble --but does it “out of hatred of God” …well then yes that is grave…

But if one means simply that they do not repent of a certain venial sin but continue in doing it --such is yes venially sinful and worse than if they struggled against it and there is a danger for it dispose one to end up committing a mortal sin.

CCC

1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul’s progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace it is humanly reparable. “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.”

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#IV


#16

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

  1. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

  1. When does one commit a venial sin?

1862-1864
1875

One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.

vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html


#17

[quote="JRKH, post:14, topic:317149"]
Maybe I'm too dense...but I don't see this as teaching "limbo", at least as it was described to me many years ago.

When I was in School we were taught that Purgatory was like hell - but temporary - and Limbo was more like heaven, but without the beatific vision. It was the place where unbaptized babies went who were innocent of any personal sin.

[/quote]

Hell simply means that one is seperated from God. The Council said that those who died in original sin only would go to Hell, but would be punished differently then those who died in mortal sin. Since one who is not in mortal sin does not deserve to be damned, there must be a state of being where they would neither be saved nor damned (if there are any souls who actually die in original sin only).


#18

Thanks BC…
I am still struggling to reconcile some of these matters. I hear what you are saying and I read what the Catechism says…but my heart tells me that there is something wrong - disconnected.
Certainly it can be my own failing to understand - but in most places where I have struggled with a Church teaching, my heart does not trouble me. When trying to understand these issues of sin it is a different matter.

That said…You made some good points in your post and I think that we are approaching it in a similar way.

But something stated in the Catechism that gives me trouble is this: "Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin"
I suppose that I need to consider why a deliberate and unrepented sin would be considered venial…My first thought is a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of the thought or act. It’s difficult to repent of something you don’t know is wrong.
Also - there is the matter of the object of the sin (stealing a pencil vs stealing a car)…
Obviously I need to ponder these things further. Unfortunately I get distracted in my life and mostly wind up pondering these matters here with you and others.
So - I appreciate your patient comments.

To me - the significant question is whether the reason one continues to (knowingly) sin is from weakness or from obstinacy.

Peace
James


#19

If I may, a venial sin is a sin that, for one thing, first of all doesn’t fit the criterion of “grave matter.”


#20

So - can you provide the criterion for “Grave matter”?

Peace
James


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