Earlier I posted on Tumblr that I was wrestling with some scripture today. I was looking at 1 John 5, in particular, verses 13 and following. I was reading and it really raised some “red flags” for me when I read about “sins that lead to death” and “sins that do not lead to death.” It is pretty upfront about the fact that there are sins that just do not lead to death.
Now I don’t know if it is because I grew up in a Pentacostal type church back ground or just bad teaching (even through a few years ago), but I was always told that sin is sin is sin. EVERYTHING deserves death!!!!!!!! If you stub your toe and you curse (not using God’s name in vain, just something like “Hell!”), if you died right then, you would burn in Hell. Or, as I use so often, if you are a 3 year old and you pick up a MoonPie and walk out of the store (yes, you just stole a MoonPie) then you will rot in the flames of fire. Of course these are lesser sins when compared to murder or rape or the like. But the standard was set up in a sort of Hell, Fire & Brimstone kind of way. It was more like I lived life to escape the sulfuric singe, the firey inferno of Hades. I don’t think that is the kind of fear that Proverbs talks about…
Now, in no way does this go against Romans 6:23 that “the payment of sin is death.” Even in the Old Testament, the sacrificial laws were in place and for each type of sin required something to die. It may have been a couple of doves or something as big as a lamb or bigger, but payment was still required. I guess the leadership that I sat under focused more on righteous living and then the sins that led to death.
By no means am I saying that sin is okay. Even the apostle John in 1 John writes in chapter 5 that “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” We should live for God not out of obligation but out of the freedom from the bondage of sin..taking comfort that the work of Christ and the love of God has caused those who believe in Him to be set free from the chains of sin. When I read that today, it really helped me see a little that it is SO important to seek the Truth of the bible for yourself. So many passages in the Bible are misconstrude or overused to the point of “well, my bible just opened there by itself, almost like God wanted to tell me something from there.”
So I wonder how many were taught something that now you find is not very biblical?
What are YOUR thoughts?