What’s So Bad About Sin, Anyway?


Several years ago MTV did a special series on the “Theology of Sin.”  I didn’t see it.  But John MacArthur tells about it.  The series was built around the Medieval list of “The Seven Deadly Sins.”  Pride. Covetousness. Lust.  Anger.  Envy. Gluttony.  Sloth.

MacArthur writes that it was ‘an entirely humanistic rationalization that portrayed sin as something that wasn’t evil.”  They used “sound bites” from cartoon characters, quotes from interviews with celebrities and clips from movies to make their point.  Here’s some of their responses. 

“Pride is a sin?  I wasn’t aware of that!” Questioned Queen Latifah.

Actress Kirstie Alley agreed, “ I don’t think pride is a sin…I think some idiot made that up.”

“Lust is what I live for.” proclaimed a rocker from the group Areosmith.  “”It’s what I got into the band for…”

Rapper “Ice-T” opined that anger is necessary.  “You have to release this tension, because life brings tension.”

The Michael Douglas character, Gordon Gekko, in the movie “Wall Street” said, “Greed is good.”

The MTV narrator, Kurt Loader asserted, “That we are dealing with compulsions.  The Seven Deadly Sins are not evil acts, but rather universal human compulsions that can be troubling and highly enjoyable.”

According to MTV sin is not based on an absolute moral standard.  It’s a matter of personal preference. Individual taste.  Everything is relative.  Today ’s tolerate culture says, “What’s sin for you, may not be sin for me.”

This post and the next two are in response to a reader who asked me to write about sin.  He had a specific question I will address later.

What is Sin?

I believe in God.  I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  And I believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God.  Therefore, I do not believe sin is subjective.  There is an objective standard by which we can determine right and wrong.  Good and Bad.  Wickedness and Righteousness.  Here’s what sin is.

(1) Transgression of the law is sin.  The Bible ”Whoever commits sin  also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (I John 3:4).  The rule of law is fundamental to any society.  It provides stability.  Insures Orderliness. Sets standards.  Spiritually this is true as well.

Christ has a law (Gal. 6:2).  Paul affirms we are under the law of Christ (1 Cor 9:21).  Jesus in fact,  condemned those who practice  lawlessness.  (Matt. 7:21-23).  The law of Christ is the doctrine of Christ.  When we violate it, we sin (2 John 9-10) Sin is bad because it disrespects Christ.  And disregards His law.

(2) Unrighteousness is sin.  This refers to things that are morally wrong.  Immoral thoughts.  Immoral actions.  Immoral lifestyles.  The Bible says, “All unrighteousness is sin (I John 5:17).  How do we know what is morally right?  God has revealed it in the gospel (Romans 1:16-18).

The Bible makes it clear that unrighteousness is a work of the flesh.  (Gal. 5:17-23).  Christians are warned against engaging in unrighteous behavior (Rom. 1:20-32; 6:13; 1 Cor 6:9-11).  Fornication. Adultery. Homosexuality. Lasciviousness. Lewdness.  All of these are sin.  They are an affront to a holy, righteous God.  They are incompatible with His nature.  And inconsistent with our profession of godliness.

(3) Failure to do good is sin.  “Therefore, to him who  knows to do  good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17).  It’s not enough to just obey the law and stay pure.  God created us in Christ to do good works.  When we know to do good, have an opportunity to do good, and refuse to do it, we sin.

(4) Violation of your conscience is sin. (Rom. 14:23).  The conscience is an internal, moral regulator.  It may condemn or excuse.  When it is properly taught by God’s Word, it convict us. Correct us.  Or censure us.  It’s bad to violate our conscience because we undermine our integrity.  Our honor.  Our virtue.

MTV is wrong.  Hollywood is off course.  The world’s reasoning is fallacious.  There is such a thing as sin.  And as we will discuss in the next two posts.  Sin is bad.  Sin hurts.  Sin destroys.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Sin

11 responses to “What’s So Bad About Sin, Anyway?

  1. David

    You are up and at it early. Look forward to the next two posts.


  2. julie davidson

    AMEN, Bro. Ken…right on the money…also looking forward to the next two posts! in His love, Julie


  3. Pamela Riddick, Lilac Rd. Church of Christ, Leitchfield, KY

    Thank you Ken, very good post, looking forward to the following 2.


  4. Renee' Clark

    This is the battle I have with my children. Society is teaching tolerance, therefore, these behaviors and mindsets are viable options. It is not hurting anyone so it is ok. Not so, says the Lord.


    • Thank you for your reply Renee’. This is a battle I too have had and HAVE with my children, and a sibling…my youngest is 22, my sibling is 56. It breas my heart to hear her ‘preach’ that more tolerance is needed-and hear my son agree…GREAT post Pastor Ken. Covet prayer for them both, and myself-for wisdom & courage, to answer…


  5. Stephen Segrest

    Dear Ken, thanks for taking on this topic this week. I hope you understand that I truly feel that God has sent you to us to be a “teacher”, and I am one of your many “students”. I hope you also understand that from a “student”, that “struggling with” is very different than “questioning” something. I also feel a deep obligation through my Faith to “understand your perspectives” even if I may not initially agree. I can always buy you a “Nerf Baseball Bat” and you can “bonk” me on the head when you visit Tampa.


  6. Mara Lynn Woods

    I am new here, and not one to stir things up, but I would like to offer a slightly different view on your posts about sin for consideration.

    You say you believe the Bible and that you believe Jesus is the son of God, but you do not say you believe His sacrifice ended the enmity between God and man for all time. Sin is no longer the thing that separates us from God–it is whether or not we believe we have been made Righteous through the blood sacrifice, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sin is disagreeing with what God says about us–He says we are made perfect (righteous) through Christ!

    I am not advocating a life of sin. On the contrary! God provided us a way to escape the consequences of sin through Jesus Christ, and by accepting His provision we are given His Grace (power, and ability) to avoid sin. Telling me sin is wrong is nothing I haven’t heard before, but humans are not really capable of avoiding sin altogether. We all sin, believers or not. But that sin isn’t separating us from our loving heavenly father, and he doesn’t look upon his beloved children as lowly sinners–not since Jesus died for all the sins of mankind.

    If we are enveloped in Christ, He is completely covering us with his righteousness and we are no longer compelled to live as the old sinful man/ woman we once were. God looks upon us and sees only Jesus. THAT is a motivator for a person to come to the saving knowledge of Christ–not to placate an angry God, but so we can relate to a loving father who only wants to bless us and love us unconditionally. THAT connection is what Jesus did for us!

    Focusing on a person’s shortcomings, their sinful nature, their bad behavior or choices is a surefire way to turn most people away from God. It doesn’t bring a person to repentance. Most people are really longing for a close relationship with someone who will love them unconditionally, but when we paint God as an angry God or one who is offended by our sin, we are guilty of falsely representing our loving Father. He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world, but to save it. Jesus did His part, now we just have to believe it and accept His provision to be forever separated from a sin-filled life, and forever included in God’s family.

    That is the Good News of the Gospel!


    • Mary Lynn   Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.    I agree with a good bit of your post.  The reason for the three posts was because a reader asked me to write about sin.  You’re comments look like good “fodder” for a follow up these in my Friday column.    Thanks again for your thoughts.  Keeping reading!  And sharing with others!   Ken

      Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 preacherman@weliever.net web site: http://www.weliever.net/ blog: http://www.thepreachersword.com/ Church web site:  http://hickmanchurch.com/




    • Mara Lynn, Not to take the place of Pastor Ken in answering you-but more a viewpoint of my own to answer. Yes, Jesus died to save us from our sin! But that doesn’t give us lisensce to sin-(please excuse my spelling..lol. I know licsense looks wrong-but not sure why:). Sometimes we must live w/the EARTHLY consequences of our sin. For instance…say a person attempts suicide. Now suicide is a sin, not unforgiveble-but a sin. If a man attempts to blow his head off to end his life-and fails, he must live with the consequences of shooting a gun into his head! (This is a real-life example). This person did NOT sucseed in killing himself-but he must now live the rest of his life with shot-gun pellets in his brain. He has sought, and received forgiveness for this sin-and someday he will be WHOLE again, and be w/Jesus and the rest of us, out of time, and into Eternity! He has been FORGIVEN, and WILL BE made whole again someday…I trying, in my own clumbsy way, to say that TIME is different from ETERNITY. In Heaven, there IS NO TIME, but on earth-there is. So while we are still HERE-in time, we sometimes have to live with the consequences of our actions…meaning we reap what we sow here. Pastor Ken-I look forward to your answer to Mara Lynn’s question…please excuse me for weighing in when not asked…


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