One of the most popular slogans in contemporary evangelicalism is this: “All sins are equal in the eyes of God.” I’ve heard this tossed about for decades, and defended time and time again. While those who use the phrase often mean well, the concept is flatly unbiblical. All sin is not equal to human beings, or to God.

The phrase, “All sins are equal”, is often used by those who are seeking to justify their own sin. Consider these actual responses from Twitter: “Don’t understand why you’re so quick to judge me, when all sins are equal; so much for family”; “If you think being gay is a sin, let me ask you something. Have you not done anything wrong in your life? All sins are equal. We’re sinners”; “All sins are equal. People tend to forget that. There is no bigger or smaller sin; being gay and lying, very equal”; “If you have sex before marriage, please don’t come on social media preaching about the wrongs of homosexuality. All sins are equal.”

We live in a Western culture which is obsessed with equality. In other words, we are a flat culture–egalitarian to the core. The usage of the phrase, “All sins are equal”, is attractive in such a cultural climate. It allows everyone to be lumped together into the same obedience category. No one is more righteous than another. While it is true that sin (any sin) is deadly and offensive to God, the Bible is also clear that some sins are indeed worse than others–intrinsically worse. That is, some sins are, in and of themselves, more grievous and odious in the eyes of God.

A classic example of this comes from the lips of Jesus, in the Gospel of John, when He refers to the betrayal of Judas. In this section Jesus is addressing the religious leaders. The text reads, “Jesus answered, ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin’” (NIV). Betrayal is a greater sin than going five miles an hour over the speed limit. Both are wrong, but one is REALLY wrong! There is even one sin (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit) that is so evil, that Jesus says it is unforgiveable. Clearly, all sin is not equal.

I could write more on this, but hopefully I’ve done enough to prompt your thinking. I’d highly recommend an article by Dr. Michael Kruger if you would like to read further. He is a first class biblical scholar who explains this a little more. Here is the web link.

by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor