Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brain Worms

Okay, the idea of brain worms is really gross. And they probably exist in nature but I don't want to know. Worms are disgusting, seriously. I hate the idea of them. But I'm titling this post "Brain Worms" because all the time over the past year I keep finding these ideas that are wormed (see?) deep into my mind that I just have accepted as true so not bother to think about again.

One occurred to me randomly in the shower yesterday. I had just gotten back from running, which is a time I do a lot of my deep thinking, so my brain juices were flowing. Suddenly, as I paused to let the conditioner really soak in (my hair has been so rough lately) the thought popped into my head, "Wait. Are all sins the same in the eyes of God?" This is just something I've always believed. I can't remember the first time I heard it and I can't count how many times I've repeated it, but I suddenly realized I have no idea why I should believe that. Where did God say that in the Bible? My 12 years of Christian school leaped into action and my brain began rifling through the Bible. And.... came up with.... nada. Nothing. I could see why some verses might make someone make that leap but none really stated that to God, all sins are equal. And why should they be? Why would it be reasonable, logical or acceptable to think that God looks upon a murderer or someone who has abused a child the same way as he looks upon a kind, generous person who just told a lie for whatever reason? Doesn't really make sense.

This is not to say that I think God's grace can't cover every sin, because I think it can. One of my favorite quotes is, "But all the wickedness in the world which man may do or think is no more to the mercy of God than a live coal dropped in the sea." (William Langland) I also always loved the part in The Hiding Place where Betsy ten Boom is dying in the concentration camp and says to Corrie that she must tell people that there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still and they will believe her because she had been in such a terrible place. (I'm getting choked up just thinking about it) So yes, I believe that God's love extends to the worst of sinners, no matter how uncomfortable that can make me feel. Let's be honest, some people, like Hitler, you want to say do not deserve grace. But that is God's department, not mine and the Bible seems to say that he is always faithful and just to forgive those who seek forgiveness.

The thing I take issue with is sometimes I feel like we only offer a God who seemingly is less caring and logical than us and can only see in black and white. Like there's a checklist and you're either naughty or nice, one or the other, hell or heaven. And if every sin's the same then no matter how you lived or what challenges you faced or anything else, you better have asked for forgiveness or it's hell for you. We would have higher expectations of any other authority figure. We would expect a just judge to examine the case from every angle. We would demand a parent love their child, treat them with compassion and see the big picture. If I  missed curfew when I was in high school because I just stayed out late with my friends I was busted. Grounded for the weekend. That's that. But if I missed it because I got a flat or something similar my mom isn't going to ground me for the weekend. Both times I broke the rules of the household but my parents would examine how and why I broke that rule before punishing me. I believe God does the same.

Additional Reading on This Topic


  1. You may find it interesting to look into the original word used in scripture to indicate sin. The words original definition is literally "to fall short" Christ speaks out and proclaims that "All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God" No person under the old covenant of the Law of Mosses is judged as being righteous, instead the law convicts the world of their evil and reveals the need for salvation. Christ came to bring the new covenant of Grace and to reconcile us with God, to wipe clean the sin that entered the world through Adam "through one man sin entered the world and through one man sin was taken out." Christ undid the curse of Adam, for all who will have faith in him, as there judge and savior. He has convicted us of righteousness through faith, just as Abraham was counted righteous by his faith (not good deeds or works). Sin is a state of being, not an act. God loves us and gave his only son to die for us, on the cross becoming and taking on the sin of the entire world past present and future. He died conquered and rose again, as his life was greater than the sacrifice needed for sin. So yes in a way all sin is the same because it is not an individual act but a division of us from God. Christ said he has removed your sins as far as the east is from the west and so you are free of all unrighteousness in him, in him you are righteous and holy, no matter what. Your sins are washed past present and future, nothing you ever do will change Gods view of you as being his child and joint ere in the kingdom of heaven. For Christ is the end of the Law for those who have faith in him. We are set free and forgiven, by true faith in him your name is written in the lambs book of life. God will forgive all who have received his son, and unfortunately all who have rejected his son will perish for they have turned there backs on God and decided to earn there salvation through good deeds, works, and self-righteousness. The Pharisees where regularly rebuked by Jesus Christ as he pointed out that they have broken all the laws just as much as any other man on earth. It is the people, who attempt to live a good life and believe they are able to please God with there acts that will be condemned to hell, in-fact some of the "holiest" ( in the worlds eyes) and nicest people will be condemned, because they could not have faith in the one and only doorway to heaven Christ. There is a scripture that states the we will be surprised by the people we see in heaven, and the people who go to hell. To believe you are a good person apart from him is to condemn yourself to have faith in your righteousness and perfection through him is to be saved.

    Sincerely, a messenger of God's will

  2. Hello Messenger, thanks for stopping by.

    I appreciate the time you must have put into writing this message. I am certain it is sincere and heartfelt.

    I wasn't trying to suggest that "niceness" equals salvation. In fact, I really wasn't trying to discuss salvation at all. My main point was that sometimes we have ideas that are part of our Christian culture that might not be strictly true. Yes, God is holy and we are all sinners. I have no trouble believing that there is no one who has not fallen short of the mark of God's goodness and holiness. I don't even have trouble accepting that people who are "holy" or "nice" would not be found in God's presence. I do, however, have trouble accepting the idea that God would mete out the same judgment on, for example, Hitler and Gandhi. That's not to say He doesn't, I have no idea. For all I know they are both burning for all eternity in neighboring pits. But, I hope that's not the case. For me, that doesn't fall within the realm of a good and just God. And yes, I could be believing something that's not true to make myself feel better but that's not an unusual human reaction.

    I'm not trying to claim definitive truth. This post was just something I was thinking about.