Is an egalitarian view of sin fallacious?

An interesting article crossed my Facebook feed the other day and raised an interesting question: if all sins are equal, in regards to Christ’s atonement, then why are some treated as worse than others, specifically homosexuality? The article came from Dr. Robert Gagnon of Pittsburg Theological Seminary. Dr. Gagnon is probably one of the greatest apologists when it comes to defending traditional marriage (uh, such a terribly redundant phraseology) from the Scripture. Here is a great presentation about the issue and here is a discussion between Gagnon, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church, and Dr. John Corvino, and if one listens carefully, you will hear the “me-me-me” dronings of both Bishop Robinson and Dr. Corvino as they plead a case built on emotionalism.

Anyway, back to the question, which plays hand in hand with one of the biggest “objections” to Christians appealing to the Mosaic law to make moral appeals, which is something that Christ did: why are some sins considered worse that others? Well let’s just think for just a second, some crimes are worse than others: driving under the influence is considered markedly worse than speeding, yet both are crimes; murder is much worse than simple assault, yet they are both crimes. If sin is a crime against God’s law, then there is logically a measure of gradation in severity.
One of those commands that gets plucked out, sans context, is Leviticus 19:19d,
“You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together.”
The context of forbidding the practice of wearing interwoven fabric was that the Canaanites did so under superstitious reasons, like protection from evil spirits. Since the Israelites were supposed to be differentiating themselves from those pagan practices, they were to shun interwoven fabrics. This could be called a misdemeanor offense that resulted in the destruction of the article.
But how doe that stack up against something that invites execution, like Leviticus 20:10-16, where adultery, incestuous relationships, homosexuality are so prescribed. We could call them the most severe felonies, which is why they invoke the most severe penalties.
These distinctions, which seem ridiculous and barbaric to us, were necessary to make and call for such enforcement because God takes all sin seriously. Dr. Gagnon points that out in his article:
[…]Christ’s universal coverage of sin through his death on the cross does not mean that all sins are equal in all respects but only that all sins are equal in one respect: They are all covered. If they were not, no one would enter the kingdom, for God is so holy that any sin would disqualify a person from entry if moral merit were the basis for acceptance.

 That is an incredibly important distinction to make, that the fact that Christ’s atonement for all sins doesn’t mean that all sins are equal. Paul highlights this, in Romans 1, fact by pointing out the fact that homosexuality is the highest form of rebellion against God because those who are engaging in it are rejecting 1) the fact that God has made his image bearers as male and female, and 2) that when those two image bearers are brought together the full image of man is revealed by the joining of the sexual spectrum.

The problem is that many people have made such a large issue of the severity of the violation that is incurred by those engaged in a homosexual lifestyle, that they can overlook their own sin.

Dr. Gagnon’s article is a great read and should really be taken up and really considered by all thoughtful believers as we stare down the barrel of the radical homosexual advance.


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