It is fairly common for false doctrines to blow through the church. Often they are not so much false as they are truth out of balance, which can be even more dangerous. One such doctrine seems to be gaining popularity in today's compromising congregations. The erroneous belief? The modern argument that all sins are the same. Shall we call this the equality of iniquity? It goes something like this, you can't judge someone for drinking alcohol because you eat too many cheeseburgers. Drunkenness and gluttony are both sins they would argue, so we are all sinners and one sinner cannot judge another. Taken to the extreme, some would also present a case for accepting homosexuality. How dare a church not accept homosexuals while it allows gossips and rumormongers. One sin is as bad as another.
What this boils down to is an excuse to sin. You are not perfect, I am not perfect. We are both sinners. My sin is no worse than your sin, so I can keep on sinning.
Don't get me wrong, God does hate sin. He hates big sins and little sins. He hates all sins. But, does he see them all the same? Not hardly.
W hen I want to know how God feels about a matter, I often go to the Old Testament. Hold on, some would insist, we don't live under the law; we live under grace. Yes, that is exactly right, but the God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New Testament. The Bible is clear. He has not changed. Some want to see God in the Old Testament as a rough and tough Wyatt Earp cleaning up Dodge City. The New Testament picture of God is more like the amiable Andy Taylor happily patrolling Mayberry.
Nothing could be further from the truth! God has not changed. In Malachi 3:6, he said, “I am the Lord; I change not.” Either that is true or it isn't. Need a New Testament text? How about James 1:17 which says there is “ no variableness, neither shadow of turning ” with God.
It is an indisputable fact—God does not change. The God of both Testaments is exactly the same.
So, did God see all sins the same in the Old Testament? Absolutely not. God gave laws concerning just about every aspect of man's life. The punishment for breaking the laws varied greatly with the various laws. Some required a financial compensation or an animal for a sacrifice. For some, the punishment was separation from worship for a season. The most heinous crimes like murder, witchcraft and sexual sins merited the death penalty.
In case there is still some doubt, read Ezekiel 16:52. God clearly says, “. . .for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they. . .” It is hard to skate around that one.
It is quite obvious that God did not see all sins the same and did not judge them the same. He has not changed. He still does not envisage sin equally. Some sins are more egregious than others. They take a greater toll on the sinner, the family and society. The punishment for all sins is not and will not be the same. The Old Testament certainly teaches us that and Paul reinforces it when he refers to some things as sins and others as weights that beset us (Hebrews 12:1). Neither are good, but they are not the same.
Jesus repeatedly told the Scribes and Pharisees that they would receive a “greater condemnation.” Equality of iniquity? I don't think so. He said on the judgment day it would be more tolerable for Sodom than Capernaum; more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than Beshsaida (Matthew 11:21-24). In the eyes of God, some sins are worse than others.
Habitually overeating is a sin, believers should avoid it. Is gluttony equal to sexual perversion? Not in a million years. God never destroyed a city for having too many McDonalds, but he surely sent fire and brimstone from heaven to consume one that had too many Sodomites.