One sin not greater than another


Where did this line of thinking come from? I was taught when I was young in a protestant church that in God’s eyes sin is all the same. Sin offends God and is all the same.

This is in contrary to grave sins and venial sins.


I think all sin seperates us from God, but a child taking a cookie without asking is not the same as someone murdering someone in cold blood is it?


Even Jesus said there were some sins greater than others when He was being questioned by Pilate. Pilate asked Christ “Don’t you know I have the power to free your or have you crucified?” and Jesus said, “You would have no power of me if it weren’t given to you from above. Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

Scout :tiphat:


I think Oblaidon was asking where did the erroneous belief come from. He himself doesn’t subscribe to it. Right, Oblaidon? :thumbsup:

I don’t know where it came from. I suppose the best place to start would be to look over Luther’s teachings to see if he made the distinction or not.

What do you think?


I’m guessing it comes from here:*James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.*But unfortunately, to interpret this as all sins are equal renders this passage incompatible with the rest of Scripture.

And the Haydock commentary explains James 2:10 liks this.


Though this is just speculation, It seems more like an attack on Venial/Mortal sin…Something Many protestants have issues with.To accept that there are some sins that do not totally separate us from God flies in the face of the Snow Covered Dung hill. This is because the Dung Hill mentality says nothing we do is good enough, and is a complete insult to God. Not until Christ covers us do our actions matter…

However… if it is possible to commit a sin and it NOT separate us, it sort of means we are not so morally corrupt that nothing we do matters, and thus, the idea that we are complete degenerates, which is a common Protestant theology, no longer holds weight…

However, Scripture says otherwise… Scripture talks about sin that does not lead to death… (Venial) It also talks about a sin that completely separates you from God, with no sacrifice left. (Mortal)

In Any case… there is ample scriptural support for Venial/Mortal sins…

Just my two cents

In Christ


Yes, Verbum Caro, I came across this idea in a book. It reminded me that I had also been taught this by a Sunday school teacher. I was just wondering who came up with this.

Maybe I should write the author and ask exactly where in scripture does it say this.


The more important question to address here is whether or not you really believe that there is any sort of sin which doesn’t separate you from God, and then consider whether you truly believe that there are differing ways to remove that separation based on the type of sin.


So it seems that the size of the sin doesn’t determine WHETHER a person is guilty.

A deacon put it to me this way. If he offered you a sandwich and he said, “There is a little fecal matter in it” you wouldn’t eat it. No matter HOW small an amount. ANY amount is too much.

It is the same with God and sin.


Umm… my what I have seen is this. Revelation 21:27: but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any (one) who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Since all sins make us unclean, no matter what sin you do makes you unclean, so all sins are equal in making you unclean. It doesn’t matter what sin is done in regards to other sins, because it leads to being unclean.

That’s what I have heard about it (mainly from teens though so not scholars.)


Sin makes you unclean, but not all sin separates you from God… Thats in the bible…

Ability to enter heaven at death is different from being separated from HIS grace

IF you are unclean at the time of death, God will clean you by covering you with his blood, Cloaking you in a white robe, or making you hid in Christ…

In Christ


My personal belief is that my salvation through Jesus cleanses me from my sins. If it weren’t for an act of God which takes away all of my sins, I know for certain that I’d never be able to catch up with, atone for, repent for, or confess, all of the sins I commit. I doubt many of you would be able to do it either.

[edit] Also of note – scripture says that the wages of sin is death. It doesn’t specify just mortal sin, or exclude venial sin. It just says “sin”. Any sin will separate you from God.


The scriptures say “the just man falls seven times a day”.

If a person sins seven times a day why would he be just as the scriptures say?

Because a just man could venially sin seven times a day.

Seven venial sins would not separate the man from god–he’d still be just just like the scriptures say!


1 John Chapter 5 verse 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*.

Not all sin are equal.


In the OT some sins led to death, for some you had to sacrifice a bull, for some you had to sacrifice a goat, etc. This demonstrated to God’s people that different sins were greater or less than other sins.


No one answered my point – particularly you, Jerry-Jet.


Sin keeps us from heaven, however that doesn’t mean that all sin is equal in its gravity toward God nor others.
Even Jesus tells Pontius Pilate that Herods sin is greater than Pilates in John 19:10-11.

10"So Pilate said to him, "Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?"
11 Jesus answered (him), “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason** the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” **


In theory then…if venial sins don’t separate you from God, then there’s no need to be in the Roman Catholic Church unless you’ve committed a so-called mortal sin.


If you live in Theory, then sure. Get Baptised, cleanse original sin, and white-knuckle your fallen nature for the rest of your life. (Good luck with that. I will sincerely pray for your perserverance and purgation.) I live in the real world, a whole lot of sacramental assistance is gratefully accepted.


I have no idea where the idea came from but mortal/grave sins are definitely greater than venial sins.

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