Various levels of sin

Growing up in a southern baptist community, we were taught that there was only one level of sin. The phrase “all sin is as that of witchcraft” was one I heard many times directly from the pulpit. In essence, stealing your cousins favorite gum was the same as murdering your mother. Slapping a complete stranger the same as hitting your parent in the head with a baseball bat, etc.

Now from a philosophical level do you think that the concept of venial versus mortal sin leads to a flippant attitude towards venial sin? or do you think that the strict ‘all sin is equal’ rather creates an environment where a person is so doomed to failure that they feel there is no need in trying?

Sin is what separates humanity from God. It is through Christ Jesus that we can obtain grace and enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Everyone sins. The difference for Christians is that we have Christ. Are there different levels of sin? YES. The Bible is pretty clear on that. If your SBC church is teaching something different than that you need ask the minister to clarify.

And even though this may be true, for a non-Christian all sin is damnation. Without Christ even the smallest sin is damnation.

1 John 3:4-5
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

James 2:10
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

I no longer attend any sort of Baptist church at this point in my life. I cannot speak for any of the current pastors, but I do remember the preachers that formed my early experience with Christianity. I also remember that each of those experiences, from the Old Regular Baptist church, to the Free-Will Baptist church, to the Southern Baptist, to the Assembly of God… had a much different message at each one. It was confusing to say the least to grow up in an area where many preachers had the same bible, but gave a completely different view of sin.

My point is not which is correct, for I clearly believe the Catholic church has the correct view. It is more of a philosophical curiosity. Do you think that seeing sins as ‘venial’ can lead to thinking of them as something that one can do freely? Or do you see the opposite, that when one views sin as an iron fist, all sin being destructive and condemning you to hell, would create a sense of despair that one would not even bother?

Whilst it may be true that all mortal sin merits damnation some sins are objectively speaking more serious than others depending both on the type of sin and the person commiting it, for example missing Mass on a Sunday without a valid reason is worse than stealing candy bar and it is worse for a Priest to have an affair with his secretary than it would be for a laymen as the Priest has taken a public vow of chastity.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in the Spirit / Dignity of the Human Person, Mercy and Sin

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm

See also “The Profession of Christian Faith” :

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p7.htm

See also concupiscence:

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a9.htm

My advice is to move forward with Cathlicism and stop looking in the rear view mirror with the Baptist faith. You seem to be caught in the middle.

=bmullins;8803085]Growing up in a southern baptist community, we were taught that there was only one level of sin. The phrase “all sin is as that of witchcraft” was one I heard many times directly from the pulpit. In essence, stealing your cousins favorite gum was the same as murdering your mother. Slapping a complete stranger the same as hitting your parent in the head with a baseball bat, etc.

Now from a philosophical level do you think that the concept of venial versus mortal sin leads to a flippant attitude towards venial sin? or do you think that the strict ‘all sin is equal’ rather creates an environment where a person is so doomed to failure that they feel there is no need in trying?

That dear friend is 1. Not Biblical 2. Not God-like 3. Not even logical:o

I LIST the following for the sake of our READERSHIP

1John.1: 8 to 10 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If*** we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness***. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

**1John.5: 16 to 17 **"If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. ***There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal. ***

HERE IS THE ONLY MANNER GOD WILL ACTUALLY FORGIVE OUR SINS

John.20: 20 to 23" When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”

IMO::rolleyes: Humanites GREATEST failing is not reckonizing how God abhores ALL sin so that it ia “Just and Fair” responce as we now “live under grace” [Rom. 6:14-15]; that Mortal sins such as contraception, abortion, Missing Suanday and holiday Mass SEVER completely our persoanl relationship with God until we "repent; Convert; and Confess our sins.

Because of the New Age influence and its WIDE acceptance: Sin even by some
… “catholic”… [NOT] … theologians is denied as even a possibility. The idea that “something is WRONG ONLY is I say so; Don’t judge me and I woun’t judge you” is seductively easy and holds wide Appeal. Which is why [NO DOUBT; Mt. 7: 13-21] Hell is a LOT Bigger than heaven needs to be.:eek:

There is a completly wrong understanding of our personal importance and authority Vrs. Gods. Humanity basically has ONLY two choices: 1. We are in charge or 2. God is in charge; and the responsibility cannot be shared.

***Humility is required to attain ones own salvation BECAUSE Obedience to ALL that god teaches and commands are parts of what is necessary to do so. Obedience to ALl of the Commandments [catagories, not list of sins], Obedience to the Pope and Magisterium God personally choose, guides and protects on ALL matters of Faith-belief and practices and ALL Moral issues. There is MUCH bible support for these statements.

Willing acceptance of ONLY one class of sin, denies Both the manner we are Created [like God but in a unperfected manner] with a Mind, intellect, FREEWILL all permnately to our sous precisely so that we MIGHT freewly choose to know, Love, serve [by Obedience] and love God, and God’s absolutely necessary NEED to be fair and just. Treating all sins as equaly denies God this opportunity.

Isa.43: 7and 21*: “every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." AND the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”

Stealing a cookie from mom can’t be seen by God as serious and grevius as murder and abortion for example.:**shrug:

While ALL sin effect our realtionship with God; with HIS One Church and with each other: Mortal sins Do as they MUST; have a far greater effect on these relationships; most notably with OUR God. Amen!

God Bless you,
Pat

I’m not asking which is right. I know what the church teaches and agree 100%. I know from experience though that as a protestant that I felt it was stacked against us. That OSAS had to be true, or else… well every little misstep was a fall off the earth.

One of the criticisms that I heard of the Catholic church was specifically that the church taught venial sin, which made it alright to do all kinds of bad things. (Once I learned what venial and mortal sin really entailed, I realized the error of that claim.)

I was simply looking for a philosophical discussion from both sides potentially.

Well, you obviously understand the Catholic theology on the matter, and from a philosophical point of view I would have to agree with you in part. Obviously it’s better to be guilty of venial sins only than to be guilty of even one mortal sin. That sort of gets implied by definition. On the other hand, Catholic theology is fairly clear that we are intended not to sin at all. So the goal is to reduce all sin in our lives, not just mortal sins.

If faced with a person who was committing both types of sin, I probably would focus on the mortal sins first, because of their importance. But all sin, mortal and venial alike, is bad.

Both is possible, but i dont believe the prescence of venial sins (of and by itself) leads to a flippiant attitude. It allows us to keep priorities and reminds us that an immune system weaken by venial cannot fight the mortal. So on the long run it says ‘figh all sin’. When it is well understood and lived it does not lead to a ‘flippiant attitude’.
Ubenedictus

If venial sin is taken lightly, that is, not really that important, then we are not doing what we are told to do in the “Our Father”, namely, “thy will be done”. It is dangerous because it is more deliberate and in one sense very destructive of our will to be good. We become weak and when the moment comes for refusing to do something bad of real importance, we no longer have spiritual strength to refuse. All the while, unbeknowns to us, we are refusing grace which strengthens our will and enlightens our intellect.
In addition, we are responsible for what we do and are obliged to pay for what we do in restitution and reparation for all sin, either in this world or in the next in purgatory. In addtion to all of this, we may be leading our family members, friends, or co-workers in the wrong direction and giving scandal. And in the spiritual life it is a well known fact if one is not making an effort to grow then there will be a reversal because we never stand still in our faith, tho it may seem so at times. It will also very possibly take power away from our prayer life since the prayers of the just are heard more strongly than the prayers of the indiferent.

Just a lot to consider.

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