Are some sins deadlier than others? That is, do certain transgressions isolate us further from the life-giving love of God? While the Bible does in fact distinguish among types of sin, it’s not as explicit as some argue. So why are sins related to gender (homosexuality, abortion, divorce, etc.) magnified in today’s church culture?
Soon after I was married, the hubby and I joined a young adult small group at our Methodist church. As with all small groups, we began planning our first social before we’d even dug deep into the scriptures. The requisite sign-up for salads, desserts, and the dreaded main dish followed. Was anyone bold enough to bring along their friend Charles Shaw? Our pastor gently put the kibosh on it, explaining that Protestant churches like ours often didn’t serve alcohol so as not to tempt anyone. Well then, what the hell were we doing serving baked macaroni and pigs in a blanket to over-eating southerners? Apparently, alcoholism trumps gluttony.
And apparently, sexuality trumps all. A friend of mine recently enrolled at Fuller Theological Seminary and stumbled upon their “community standards”, seven in total. Three of them have to do with sexuality (marriage/divorce, sexual standards, sexual harassment). As a divorced woman, my friend must self-report her sinful status to the school in order to continue her studies. Are we really asking women and men to display Demi’s scarlet letter? It’s one thing to be transparent in our sexual shortcomings to our friends (bold) and our God (bolder). But to our academic institutions? Would we ask the same thing of gossipers? Of smokers? Of not-enough-quiet-timers? (I officially self-report that I did a half-ass quiet time while shaving my legs tonight.)
While some sins may be more severe than other, the grace given to the sinners should be unequivocally unchanging. Even for us mac-n-cheese-loving hussies.