Mortal vs. Venial Sins

Hello! I am reverting back to the Catholic faith and had a question. I was reading something online yesterday about sin is sin is sin in God’s eyes. Where did the basis of different levels of sin come from? Is there scriptural evidence to support this?

I mean, to me, logically and rationally it makes sense that (lying) telling my boss I have a headache as an excuse to call in sick when I am perfectly fine is different than murdering someone.

I am sorry if this has been asked many times before. Thanks!

In addition to 1 John 5:16-17, mentioned in the link provided in Bookcat’s post, also consider the words of Jesus:
And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. (Luke 12:47-48)

Also Paul noted there are sins that keep one from the kingdom of God…

(if one does not repent etc of course).

Thank you! That explains it perfectly. I wonder why then, protestants have such a hard time with venial versus mortal sin and simply equate all sins together equally.

It’s because Sola Scriptura leads to selective scriptura. They cherry pick verses that they think are more relevant and make doctrines out of them.

That may stem from the emphasis of Protestantism on forgiveness from God. Yes, all sin is sin, and all sin is evil and unjust, but that should not at all mean that lying and murder are “the same” or “just as evil.” Murder takes away the life of an entitled, dignified human being, but lying is a (sinful) offense.

Matthew 5:22 But I say this to you, anyone who is angry with a brother will answer for it before the court; anyone who calls a brother “Fool” will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and anyone who calls him “Traitor” will answer for it in hell fire.

Psalm 19
“From presumption restrain your servant and let it not rule me.
Then shall I be blameless, clean from grave sin.”

As a parrallel thought …
“There is often more danger in making light of little faults than of great sins.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola

I never wanted to believe this, because I did this, but it is so true.

While Lenten has the technical answer correct on how they got here, I can give you a real protestant perspective in case you run into it.

From the protestant mindset, Jesus’s death was a penal substitutionary atonement. This means that Jesus death and suffering took on the sin’s of the entire world by the punishment of God the Father. God the Father then sees the punishment He inflicted on His Son, and Jesus, who is our mediator, stands in our place. Therefore, by believing in Jesus Christ, God the Father no longer sees you and all your sins, but Jesus.

Because Jesus paid for all sins, it does not matter to God the Father what the sin was. All sins are equal, because all sins are paid. Martin Luther summarized grace as snow on a dung heap. He viewed grace as God covering over our sin and just like dung, sin is sin. They look at the verse in Romans 8:1, “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” and apply that to everyone who confesses Jesus is Lord.

Here are the ramifications which protestants have not dealt with:

  1. God the Father is Love and always acts in love, but the cross was anything but a loving act for the Father.
  2. Forgiveness is a trait of a God that loves, but without Jesus, God the father cannot forgive.
  3. God must be a dualistic masochist to kill Himself.
  4. There is no justice for Jesus, because it was God the Father who unjustly killed His son.
  5. By God the Father looking at Jesus instead of us means we have no ability for the Father to see us directly. If all He sees is the Son, we are invisible.
  6. There is no justice for humanity, because the same forgiveness can be given to the murder and the victim. The only justice belongs to the Father alone, not even the Son.
  7. Grace becomes a covering for sin, and not an active force of God to prevent sin.
  8. Sin does not need to be fought in this world, therefore, the role of the church is not to knock down the doors of Hell, but to feed the flock.
  9. Those who strive to be holy are just wasting their time.
  10. What you do on this earth does not matter.

The only concern of a protestant is saving a person from Hell, not saving them from a worthless life.

I hope that summarizes the thought and impact.

Num: 15 29-30.

Peace and God bless

Yes. 1 John 5:16-17…

If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. ***All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.

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