Is sin just sin or is there more involved? A glass of water can quench your thirst. A rip running through the waves at the beach can wash you out to sea and drown you. Both are water. Some have attempted a wise saying in the form of 'Sin is sin, you know. It's all sin to God.' Well, I don't believe that and I don't think God does either. Jesus' redemption covers all sin. I want to make that clear. None are beyond His loving salvation. But all sin is not the same. I am not saying there is a hierarchy of sins. But speaking sharply to your wife is not on the same level as having an affair with another woman. Kicking a chair is not the same as kicking a cat.
Christians can take great offence at sexual sins. Yet be amazingly off-hand about the sins of capitalism; of valuing people and things in terms of money and of their apparent acceptance of the notion that private greed can produce public good. Christians can be confidently supportive of the status quo and the sense of entitlement the 'quo' bestows on themselves. There are unbelievers who are more sensitive to social injustice than some Christians and there are unbelievers who are more spiritual people than Christian conformists. Paul notices that there are people whose hearts know God even if their mind does not know Him personally
Adultery is particularly destructive. Father abhors spiritual adultery and spiritual prostitution just as much as adultery in marriage. Both were birthed by the father of unfaithfulness and lies. All adultery is a form of dilution. Dilution of truth, relationships and union with God and ourselves. Adultery in the family has a similar effect to adultery in the family of God. Good things are perverted. Good people have their influence distorted. Intelligent people can spend a life-time promoting a false gospel based on false premises. Adulterers take refuge in lies. Adultery promotes lying. Lies can be used as social lubrication. And they can be institutionalized as the truth. Any identity less than Christ your life will make you smaller than you are and warp the lives of others.
‘They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer’ Acts 2.42 NIV.
FACES OF ABUSE
Like Saul of Tarsus we can abuse people in good conscience should we be blind. We can abuse people by doing nothing or actively participating in any mind-set, practice or belief system that leaves others less than they could have been. The easiest way to pervert one's witness and deny the life of others is to participate in an extra Jesus identity. There is no message, no truth that is not the doctrine of the Jesus and the apostles.
Oppression, repression and all forms of exploitation are abhorred by God. We exploit people when we withhold the truth for our own benefit or perpetrate our version of the truth as of it is God's. We can multiply lies in the name of God because we are naive, smug or brain-washed. Or we can do it because we are too indolent to examine our own beliefs. Don't anaesthetize your inner man or kill the spirit of those less able than yourself because your identity in some ministry or denomination is more important to you than your identity in Christ. You can only have one husband. More than one is adultery.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God’ Matt 5.8 NIV.