Are All Sins Equal?

Tom Wallace

J. D.
Greear is the pastor of the Summit Church in Durham, NC and the 62nd President of the Southern Baptist Convention. He preached a sermon titled “How the Fall Affects Us All.” It was based upon Romans 1:24-32.

He was using a corrupt translation so he started out wrong. His first error was to make Romans 1:18 say that God’s wrath is against those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, when, in fact, it says “hold the truth in unrighteousness.” The Greek word means to have something in one’s possession and to hang on to it. It is not telling us that they are keeping the truth from others, but that they possess the truth yet live in unrighteousness.

  1. Statements Pastor Greear made in the message 

“We don’t get to choose our corruption”

He mentioned the list of sins in the passage and said we don’t choose which ones affect us. Everything on the list is a matter of choice, and we do choose to rebel against God’s precepts. He knows this to be true because he said, “We rejected God’s rule and substituted our own in its place.” This is done by choice; we choose where we violate God’s precepts.

“You can almost think of Homosexuality as an affliction and not just a sinful choice.”

He says homosexuals don’t choose those desires, but they do choose to give in to them. If we don’t have a choice, then we are not guilty.

Homosexuals are dealing with unanswered prayer

He said every Christian he knows who is struggling with same-sex attraction is dealing first and foremost with the question of why God did not answer the prayer to change them. It sounds to me that he is saying that it is God’s fault that they have not overcome their sinful desires. First of all, God did not make them homosexual. Satan tempted them with their desires, and they gave into them. God doesn’t tempt us.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: (James 1:13)

He compared homosexuality with an outburst of temper

He said this doesn’t mean that same-sex behavior is any more sinful than and outburst of temper
would be – or that envy or materialism would be any less sinful. It just means we don’t get to choose our weakness or our corruption. That means that gay and lesbian people are not worse sinners than other people. They are not a different kind of sinner than the rest of us. They just got affected by a different dimension of the curse.

The Bible appears to whisper when it comes to sexual sin

I know he is reading from a different Bible than I read from, but to say that God does not shout about sexual sin shows his ignorance of the scriptures.

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)


If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)

You will notice that those who lie with a man as they lie with a woman (homosexuality) are to be put to death. God does not pronounce the death penalty for materialism or religious pride.

We will become a person who will preserve the dignity of LGBT people

He says we will become people who will, for example, stand up and be among the fiercest advocates for the preservation of the dignity and the rights of the LGBT people because we recognize that gay and lesbian people are essentially just like us.

I can only take this to mean that we will not condemn their ungodly lifestyle, and we will accept things like same-sex marriage. We will not be able to say no when asked to participate in celebrations of their perversion. According to him, gay and lesbians are essentially just like us. He says they deserve all the dignity that anyone else deserves.

I think by now you have an idea of how this “preacher” thinks, and how distorted his interpretation of the Scriptures is. Remember, this man is the current president of the Southern Baptist Convention. That means what he says carries a lot of weight with a lot of “Baptists.”

He does have one thing right. He says that the biggest of the sins is that we have chosen to reject God’s ways and replace them with our own. This is, nevertheless a choice that we make, and we are responsible for the choices we make.

It is pretty obvious that he believes that all sin is equal, but is it?

  1. Is All Sin Equal?

Any sin makes us a lawbreaker.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10)

This does not, however, make all sins equal. The ultimate penalty for all sins is death. The consequences of sins are not equal, nor the punishment.

And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. (Luke 12:47-48)

Jesus taught that some sins are greater than others.

Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. (John 19:11)

Pilate was about to condemn Jesus to death because of his fear of the Jews. He knew Jesus had done nothing worthy of death. He actually said that he found no fault in Jesus at all. It is a pretty serious sin to condemn someone to death when you know he is not guilty of anything “at all.” Yet, Jesus said he that delivered Him to Pilate for judgment was guilty of the greater sin.

We live in the last days and we must take more care than ever to ensure that what we are learning is truly what the Bible says.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

We have reached the time when most people will not endure sound doctrine. They will seek out teachers that will tell them what they want to hear. These teachers will turn the ears of their followers away from the truth and turn them to fables.

The way they do it sounds so good to those who are not well grounded in the Scriptures.

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)

They know that if they use “good words and fair speeches,” they will draw large crowds. This means more prestige and more money in their pockets. They are serving their own bellies.

We are to mark them, which means to point them out so others will be warned. We are also to avoid them.