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Non-Catholics Section: Sin

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white bird (with branch)

Non-Catholics Section:

Sin ('Mortal'/Unbelief, Original, Forgiveness)

Sources: Various

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Think the Only 'Mortal Sin' for Believers is Unbelief?

Do You Reject the Concept of Original Sin?

Can All Sin Be Forgiven?

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Think the Only 'Mortal Sin' for Believers is Unbelief?

Reminder: Interpretation and application of Scripture should not be contrary to the perennial, official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Do not take Scripture passages out of context. Do not inflict harm on yourself or others, break laws, take unsuitable / incautious or inappropriate / drastic actions, or take figurative items literally. We are not responsible for any interpretation / misinterpretation, application / misapplication, use / misuse, etc. of Scripture (or of any other item).

Consider:

* Think persons are saved by faith alone? Click here

* Do you believe that you are saved and that you cannot lose your salvation? Click here

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Jesus that "whoever disobeys the Son [not whoever doesn't believe in Him] will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him" (Jn. 3:36)?

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture repeatedly emphasize the need to keep the commandments for salvation (e.g. see Mt. 19:16-17)?

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture speak of "work[ing] out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12)? 

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Jesus so often speak of being watchful and prepared (cf. Mk. 13:33-37)? 

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture indicate that salvation is so difficult? "For it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, how will it end for those who fail to obey the gospel of God? 'And if the righteous one is barely saved, where will the godless and the sinner appear?'" (1 Pt. 4:17-18) 

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Jesus tell us that few are saved? Do you mean to suggest that only few are able to keep their faith? 

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." (Mt. 7:13-14, emphasis added)

"Someone asked [Jesus], 'Lord, will only a few people be saved?" He answered them, 'Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough'" (Lk. 13:23-24)

"Many are invited, but few are chosen" (Mt. 22:14)

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture so often speak of the necessity of perseverance until the end? Do you really mean to imply that all these passages simply refer to persevering in one's faith? If so, why does Jesus say that "If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love" (Jn. 15:10, emphasis added)? Why does He not refer to faith?

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Jesus state that those who do not listen to the Church - not unbelievers - should be treated as Gentiles or tax collectors? (see Mt. 18:17)

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say to "Purge the evil person from your midst.", referring not to unbelievers, but to a brother who is "immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber" (cf. 1 Cor. 5:9-13)?

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture indicate that persons are excluded from heaven for other reasons? For example, consider the following passages (emphasis added):

Mt. 5:20: I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mt.5:21-22: "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa,' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna."

Mt. 6:14-15: If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

Mt. 7:21: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

Mt. 10:37-39: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Mt.13:40-42: Just as weeds are collected and burned (up) with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

Mt. 18:3: "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Mt. 19:16-17: "Now someone approached him and said, 'Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?' He answered him, 'Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.'"

Mk. 8:34-35: He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.

Mk. 10:15: Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.

Lk. 10:25-28: There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."

Lk. 14:26-27: "If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."

Lk.14:33: "In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."

Jn. 3:36: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.

Jn. 15:1-6: "Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned."

Rom. 8:13: For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Rom. 8:16-17: The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Rom. 13:2: Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves.

1 Cor. 6:9-10: Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal. 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph. 5:5: Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God

Heb. 12:14: Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

1 Jn. 3:10: In this way, the children of God and the children of the devil are made plain; no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother.

1 Jn.3:15: Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.

Rv. 21:22-27: I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and to it the kings of the earth will bring their treasure. During the day its gates will never be shut, and there will be no night there. The treasure and wealth of the nations will be brought there, but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any (one) who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rv. 21:8: But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

Rv. 22:15: Outside are the dogs ["a term of contempt", does not refer to animals], the sorcerers, the unchaste, the murderers, the idol-worshipers, and all who love and practice deceit.

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture indicate that persons are condemned for non-faith related reasons? For example, consider the following passages (emphasis added):

Mt. 12:36-37: I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

Jn. 5:28-29: Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.

Rom. 2:5-8: By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.

2 Cor. 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

1 Tm. 5:11-12: But exclude younger widows, for when their sensuality estranges them from Christ, they want to marry and will incur condemnation for breaking their first pledge

Jms. 5:12: But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your "Yes" mean "Yes" and your "No" mean "No," that you may not incur condemnation.

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture indicate that St. Paul 'excommunicated' a brother who was guilty of a non faith-related sin (see 1 Cor. 5:2)? Why did two believers die at the feet of St. Peter for lying (see Act 5:1-10)?

* How can the only 'mortal sin' for believers be unbelief when Scripture indicates that one can see his brother sinning? How can one see the sin of unbelief? It is impossible to look into one's heart or mind to see his true faith. "If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly." (1 Jn. 5:16-17)

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say that not all who say "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven (cf . Mt. 7:21, Lk. 6:49-49)? Does it not appear that if one sincerely calls Christ "Lord", he or she still believes? Those calling Christ "Lord" believe in Him, but may still perish for other reasons.

* How can the only 'mortal sin' for believers be unbelief when Scripture clearly tells us that the failure to do good works is a 'mortal sin'? For example, consider the following passages... (emphasis added)

Mt. 25:41-46: "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Jn. 5:28-29: Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.

Jms. 2:14-26: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called "the friend of God." See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

* How can the only 'mortal sin' for believers be unbelief when Scripture clearly tells us that the persons will be judged on their conduct (not their faith)? For example, consider the following passages... (emphasis added)

Mt. 12:36-37: I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

Mt. 16:27: For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct

Rom. 2:5-8: By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.

1 Pt. 1:17: Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one's works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning

Jn. 20:12-13: I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds.

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say that "Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying" (1 Cor. 11:27-30, emphasis added)?

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say that "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (Jms. 1:26-27)?

* How can a believer's loss of faith be the only 'mortal sin' without destroying any sense of justice? If there is now no recompense for evil deeds (not even purgatory!), there is no justice.

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say that "if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Rom 8:13)?

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say that the "angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous [and not the believer from the unbeliever] and throw them into the fiery furnace" (see Mt. 13:49-50)?

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say that those who do not obey (not those who do not believe) will pay the penalty of eternal ruin (see 2 Thes. 1:8-9)?

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say that the unmarried believers who could not exercise self-control would be condemned to eternal fire (see 1 Cor. 7:8-9)?

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say that the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient, not unbelievers (Eph. 5:6)?

* If sins (besides unbelief) ultimately don't matter, why all the exhortations against sin in Holy Scripture?

* If we are already forgiven for our sins or if they are "not imputed", why does Jesus instruct His followers to pray "forgive us our trespasses" (see Mt. 6:12, Lk. 11:4)?

* If we are already forgiven for our sins or if they are "not imputed", why would Jesus give the Apostles the power to forgive sin (see Jn. 20:23)? 

* If we are already forgiven for our sins or if they are "not imputed", why does Scripture indicate that there are still sins left to be covered? "My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." (Jms. 5:19-20)

* Think sin is "covered over" or "not imputed"? When then does Scripture say that sin leads to death (see Rom. 6:16, Jms. 1:15, Jms. 5:20)? In response, do you bring forward Romans 8:1-2? If so, do you not realize from the whole of Scripture that this refers to the ability to break the bonds of sin (e.g. to be released from slavery to sin), thanks to Christ's redemption on the Cross? It is clear from the statement made a few sentences down...

"For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Rom 8:13)

...that the phrase "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" isn't an absolute, unconditional promise, otherwise the fact that one who lived according to the flesh wouldn't die. Although the redeemed are freed "from slavery to sin", it is clear that they may re-enslave themselves by again committing sin (see Jn. 8:34, Rom. 6:16, Gal. 4:9, Gal. 5:1, 2 Pt. 2:19). 

Do you protest that no one who is begotten by God can sin (cf. 1 Jn. 3:9, 1 Jn. 5:18)? Do you not see that this refers to those who remain in God's grace? If one loses this grace, he surely can (and will!) sin. Have you not noticed that this very same letter also contains the following...?

1 Jn. 1:8: If we say, "We are without sin," we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 Jn. 1:10: If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 Jn. 2:1 (emphasis added): My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.

Have you not realized Scripture also says that...

Those who sin outside the law will also perish without reference to it, and all who sin under the law will be judged in accordance with it (see Rom. 2:12-13)

That those who sin should be "reprimand[ed] publicly" (see 1 Tm 5:20)

That the one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it sins (see Jms. 4:17)

And finally, rather than indicate that sins are already "covered", Scripture tells us that love covers sin (see 1 Pt .4:8).

* How is it that you believe there are no consequences for the bad behavior of humans? By God's design, there are consequences for all misdeeds of humans even in the daily affairs of life (e.g. if you eat too much you get fat, if you stay up too late you are tired, etc.). Wanting to think one can sin without consequence is - at best - wishful thinking. It fails to take into account that the entire bible tells us that there are consequences for sin. In fact, Christ's own coming is as a result of sin. How is it that you can think of Christ on the cross and think sins don't matter or that they go unpunished? How is it that Scripture tells us that "mercy and anger alike are with him; upon the wicked alights his wrath" (Sirach 5:7), but you think God now only reserves his anger for unbelievers? How can Scripture speak of God's justice and that "Each shall receive punishment for his sin" (Ezek. 14:10), yet you put aside justice, as if there will be none if one simply believes. How can you claim that the just judge will not make you answer for your guilt? How can you believe that you will not be punished for your sins? Is this not akin to the "delusion" Scripture speaks of? "For they live with the delusion: their guilt will not be known and hated." (Ps. 36:3) Scripture also says (emphasis added)...

Ex. 20:7: "You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain."

Prov. 16:5: Every proud man is an abomination to the LORD; I assure you that he will not go unpunished.

Prov. 17:5: He who mocks the poor blasphemes his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

Prov. 19:5: The false witness will not go unpunished, and he who utters lies will not escape.

Prov. 19:9: The false witness will not go unpunished, and he who utters lies will perish.

Prov. 28:20: The trustworthy man will be richly blessed; he who is in haste to grow rich will not go unpunished.

Wisdom 1:11: Therefore guard against profitless grumbling, and from calumny withhold your tongues; For a stealthy utterance does not go unpunished, and a lying mouth slays the soul.

Sirach 7:8: Do not plot to repeat a sin; not even for one will you go unpunished.

Nahum 1:3: The LORD is slow to anger, yet great in power, and the LORD never leaves the guilty unpunished. 

* If the only 'mortal sin' for believers is unbelief, why does Scripture say that those who are lovers of the world - not unbelievers - are enemies of God (see Jms. 4:4)? 

* Does it not trouble you that the idea of a believer being saved no matter what sin he or she committed outside of losing faith never occurred to the Apostles or the earliest Christians? Doesn't it trouble you that it is not biblical? 

* Why is it that Scripture repeatedly shows that:

(1) God has an interest in what man does

And 

(2) That God often punishes sin and attempts to turn people back from a sinful path

...but you now argue that God no longer punishes sins of believers (other than loss of faith) or seeks to turn them back from a sinful path? We are now expected to believe that He no longer cares about the sins of believers (besides loss of faith) - that He simply "covers them" over or fails to "impute them" to the sinner? How is it loving for a Father to ignore the sins of his children? Scripture tells us that those who don't endure discipline are "not sons but bastards" (see Heb. 12:8). 

* How are we expected to believe that the sins of believers (besides unbelief) no longer matter, that they are simply "covered over" or "not imputed"? Even disobedient angels did not escape God's wrath! Scripture also indicates that "every transgression and disobedience received its just recompense" (Heb. 2:2) and that "the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality" (Col. 3:25), yet we are supposed to believe that all sins (except unbelief) are now simply "covered over"? Are we really expected to ignore the whole of Scripture that God's wrath is enkindled towards those who disobey Him, and instead limit punishment simply to sins of unbelief? Are we supposed to discount the great seriousness of sin that Christ discussed in Mt. 18:6-9 and Mk. 9:42-48?

* What gives you the idea that sins of unbelief offend God more than all other sins? What gives you the idea that God will tolerate all other sins besides unbelief? What gave you the idea that God forgives sins without your even asking to be forgiven?

"Scripture foretells that they shall be blessed, saying, 'Blessed is he to whom the Lord imputes no sin.' It means one who has repented of his sins, so that he might receive from God the remission of sins, and not, as you and some like you in this deceive yourselves, saying that though they be sinners, since they acknowledge God, the Lord will not impute sin to them." (St. Justin the Martyr, c. 155 A.D.)

Do You Reject the Concept of Original Sin?

Consider:

* If you reject the concept of original sin, what do you suppose occurred in Genesis Chapter 3?

* If you reject the concept of original sin, why do you suppose Jesus came? Why was the human race in need of a redeemer if not for original sin?

* If there is no such thing as 'original sin', why does Scripture say that death entered the world because of the devil (see Wisdom 2:24)?

* If there is no such thing as 'original sin', why does Scripture say that "In woman was sin's beginning, and because of her we all die" (Sirach 25:23)?

* If there is no such thing as 'original sin', why does Scripture say that "just as through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned" (Rom. 5:12)?

* If there is no such thing as 'original sin', why does Scripture say that " in Adam all die" (1 Cor. 15:22)?


Closing Quotations...

"Oh! Terrible page of man's history! It alone explains to us our present position on the earth." (Dom Gueranger)

"Adam was brought into being; and we were all brought into being in him. Adam perished and in him all perished." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 389 A.D.)

"The sin that is contracted from another, viz. original sin, can be remedied by an entirely extrinsic cause, as in the case of infants: whereas actual sin, which a man commits of himself, cannot be expiated, without some operation on the part of the sinner [e.g. repentance]." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)

Can All Sin Be Forgiven?

Click Here For 'Can All Sin Be Forgiven?'

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