Christians Teaching That All Sexual Sins Are Equal – Thoughts and Reflections
I found out that Janet Mefferd, (Christian personality – she had her own radio program until April 2015) – wrote this the other day, or today:
(Link): Predators, Dangerous Deviants & J.D. Hall by Janet Mefferd
Here are a few excerpts:
- You know the story by now, so I won’t rehash it. But on social media, I’ve been quite clear about my position on this rallying cry of:
- “Don’t judge Josh! He’s forgiven! Aren’t we all sinners? There but for the grace of God go I!”
- To this simplistic mentality, I have said: “There’s more to this than just that.” Josh Duggar may have been forgiven by God, but he also got away with his sex crimes at the civil level. Read the online news reports for more on how that happened.
- And a truly repentant sinner both repents before God and accepts the full legal consequences for any crimes he has committed, without equivocation, cover-up, excuse or carefully worded PR statements.
- So again, I called for evangelicals to stop all this cheap-grace garbage and start addressing the problem of sexual abuse in our circles with more screening, more reporting and more compassion for the victims.
- Now in airing my views on Josh Duggar out on social media, I apparently made some people mad. Par for the course; I am used to it. But soon, the barbs moved in a direction that really shocked me.
- Some people actually started telling me that we’re all basically sexual predators at heart.
- One follower informed me that “All 14-year-old boys want to molest girls.”
- He went on to tell me, “We have all committed sexual assault, if only for a second, if only in the heart.”
Before I continue, I would like to say that no, I personally have never, not once in my life, thought about, considered, or fantasized about raping or sexually assaulting another human being.
Me saying that I’ve never fantasized about sexually assaulting another person is not the same as claiming, “I am totally without sin and have never sinned.”
The Bible says that everyone sins and shows that they do so in their own way.
However, the Bible does not teach that all people are guilty of the same exact sorts of sins, or of every sin, or that all types sins are as equally severe as other types of sins.
I suppose the “Christians” saying these things – the ones claiming that everyone fantasizes about rape – must think they sound very pious, but they sound troubled and like lunatics. I do seriously think a lot of them probably need to visit mental health professionals.
You can visit that page ((Link): Predators, Dangerous Deviants & J.D. Hall by Janet Mefferd) to get a better, more thorough idea of what’s going on, but in a nut shell, we have examples of Christians – and there are a lot of them, ever since the (link): Duggar story and (link): Village Church story broke – who equate all sins.
As of late, on social media and on blogs, you can find some Christians saying off-the-wall things, such as, all Christian men think about rape, fantasize about raping women.
You can find Christians who are saying that a man having lustful thoughts (e.g., picturing himself having sex with a model he sees on television) is just as evil and bad as a teen-aged Josh Duggar molesting his four year old sister, or Jordan Root looking at child pornography images.
Yes, you read me correctly. There are Christians, self professing Christians, even some who work as preachers, who see no difference between consensual sexual activity (such as an extra-marital affair) and an adult man raping a child.
There are actually some Christians – some who work as preachers no less, and who say this on their blogs – that there is no difference between a person fantasizing about having consensual sexual relations with a movie star they find attractive, let’s say, and raping someone.
There’s a whole host of problems I have with this.
If you’ve been to this blog before, you know the deal. I am over 40, still a virgin, want to be married, was engaged once before, but I have never been married.
During this time and when I was younger, I’ve read a lot of writing from Christians about sexual purity and virginity.
When I was a teenager, Christians valued sexual purity and encouraged teens (at least the girls) to wait until marriage to have sex (I assume they were teaching boys the same thing, but who knows).
In the past few years, as I have noted on this blog with examples, even conservative Christians have decided to stop defending or promoting celibacy and virginity.
Instead, the conservative Christians – the majority of them, not the crackpot fringe, such as Quivering communities or the Duggar family – have been actually mocking and ATTACKING celibacy and the idea of remaining a virgin until marriage. (I have many examples on my blog, so I won’t cite them here.)
Many Christians on Christian blogs and television programs – I am talking about well known Christians – have been saying it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to maintain his or her virginity past the age of 25 or 30. Christians are assuming that anyone and everyone over the age of 25 has had sex or will have sex before marriage.
I just saw Christian TV host Pat Robertson make a comment similar to that about two or three days ago during a “Bring It On” segment of his program The 700 Club. I have other examples on my blog as well.
You have conservative Christian bloggers such as Tim Challies argue in one of his blog posts that “even fornicators are virgins now.” Yes, Challies actually wrote that, you can read about it (Link): here.
That is, Challies has erased any and all distinctions between being a virgin and being a fornicator.
Challies sees no difference between an unmarried woman who is a virgin and one who is having sex outside of marriage.
Challies is not the only Christian I have seen do this, he is not the only one I’ve seen who has a very dismissive attitude towards virginity and celibacy. Al Mohler, Russell Moore, and Christian laypersons, make the same arguments and points on their respective blogs or pod casts or in the comment sections of Christian blogs or Facebook groups.
Goodness only knows exChristians, atheists, and secular left wingers and feminists make those same points already.
None of those groups champion or believe in virginity or celibacy. One liberal blogger referred to the concept of saving sex for marriage as being “silly.” (Yes, she did, you can read about it (Link): here).
So, you have conservative Christians de-valuing virginity and celibacy, and some go so far as to equate virginity to fornication.
Now, in light of the Duggar and Root pedophilia scandals, we see some Christians, including J. D. Hall, who are equating all sexual sin.
The Bible itself does not indicate that God views all sins as equal, not in the afterlife, and not in the here and now.
In the Bible, God differentiates between intentional and unintentional killing, for example.
If a killing was pre-mediated and/or intentional, God orders that killer to be put to death. If, however, a killing was unintentional, the killer was to be spared (but sometimes exiled).
From Numbers 35:15 -34
- These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills any person without intent may flee there.
- “But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death.
- And if he struck him down with a stone tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death.
- Or if he struck him down with a wooden tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. …
See how God prescribes a tougher consequence for the intentional killer vs. the guy guilty of manslaughter?
Jesus seems to treat adult sins against children more seriously or harshly than those against other adults:
- “If anyone causes one of these little ones– those who believe in me– to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
In Matthew 10, Jesus says:
- If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
There, in verse 15, Jesus indicates that judgement will not be as harsh on Sodom and Gomorrah as it will be for a town that rejects the disciples. This would further indicate that God does not view all infractions as being equal.
If God metes out differing levels of punishment, and the Bible says that God does do so, it stands to reason he views some sins as graver and worse than others.
When “Christians” such as preacher J D Hall proclaims everyone is a rapist (yes, that is what he told Mefferd), then what he is saying is that nobody is a rapist.
When Tim Challies says “everyone is a fornicator now, even virgins” he is saying everyone is a fornicator.
That is, to say that everyone is a rapist or everyone is a fornicator, to banish distinctions and severity, is to say nobody is really guilty if all are guilty.
Further, telling me that I, a 40 year old virgin, am a fornicator too (in what sense, in what universe are Hall and Challies living on?) is to remove any reason for me to continue abstaining from sexual activity. If I am being accused of being a fornicator, I might as well literally go out and fornicate.
And, following Hall’s views, fornicating (having sexual intercourse with a non-spouse person) is not worse than, say, a person viewing a pornographic movie.
If this is so, if a person having sex before marriage is no worse than a person having lustful thoughts or viewing a Playboy magazine, why bother practicing sexual self control at all, why not go and have sex outside of marriage?
I already know what apostle Paul says about sinning to make grace abound, so I don’t need to have that quoted at me, thanks.
Really, what Hall and these other writers do, is remove reasons for people to live holy lives.
There is no reason to be sexually pure if sexual purity is regarded as being no better or different from fornication, or if fornication is said to be no worse than a man having lustful fantasies about a Victoria’s Secret model on television.
I at first thought that Libby Anne – blogger at Love, Joy, Feminism blog (she was once a conservative Christian and is now an atheist) was a bit over the top or too simplistic in her stance that Christians do not distinguish between consensual sex and non-consensual sex.
However, after having seen the rantings of J D Hall and Christians like him, who do in fact equate things like child molesting with an adult looking at Playboy magazine, I am now more inclined to agree with Libby Anne.
You can read Libby Anne’s post here (at least I think this was the post; I may have the wrong one here):
(Link): How Christian Culture Excuses Sex Offenders
I do think there are SOME conservative Christians who realize that child rape is far worse than consensual fornication or looking at a Playboy magazine, but there is a sub-group who do view rape as being in the same category as a man and a woman who both willingly have an affair with each other on their spouses.
Libby Anne also has another post about how Christians minimize child sexual abuse.
If some Christians are busy saying that child rape is no worse than looking at Hustler magazine, you have other Christians, such as Matt Walsh, dismissing child sexual abuse as being a “mistake” – see the following post at Libby Anne’s blog for commentary on that:
(Link): When the Perpetrators Matter More than the Victims
I have never robbed a bank in my life.
According to logic such as J D Hall’s, however, all of us are guilty of robbing banks, whether we’ve actually done so, or just day dreamed about doing so. If that is so, why should I bother being a law-abiding citizen? Why should I not just run out and actually rob a bank, or mug a granny lady and steal her purse?
All I can do is re-iterate my wonder at it all: I’m being told – and being told this by people who claim to believe in the Bible, who say they are conservative Christians – that virtue (being a virgin or celibate) is no better than sin (fornicating).
I am being told – by some Christians – that fornicating is no worse than raping a child.
If virtue has no value, and all sins are equal, what is the point in even trying to be good or do right?
And what on earth is the point in Jesus’ words such as,
- Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
And why are these passages in the Bible, if how a Christian lives is of no import, if God supposedly views all sins as being the same:
- On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?
- Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.… (1 Corinthians 6:8-10)
I do agree that parts of the New Testament teach that God can and does forgive sin and bestow grace, but there are instances in the New Testament where things like this happen (Link: Acts 5):
- Ananias and Sapphira
- 5 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself,but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
- 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
- 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
- 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
- “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”
- 9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
- 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
If the church age is about showing grace, even to the most vile of sinners, why did God kill off this husband and wife over a financial lie? Where is the grace and forgiveness in that particular story?
And why is Paul telling these church people to discipline sexual sinners, if all sexual sin is equal and fine and dandy, and Christians are supposed to just show grace, mercy, and love and forgiveness to sexual sinners?:
- Dealing With a Case of Incest
- 5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.
- 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?
- 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this.
- 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 5)
Do you know what J D Hall would tell the apostle Paul at this point?
- “Stop issuing those commands! You too are guilty of incest, even though you’ve never actually committed incest, Paul! How dare you instruct that church to toss that man out of their midst? You used to murder people, Paul, and Jesus forgave you for that, so it’s not fair or right that you are punishing other people, holding them accountable! You are being self-righteous.”
The Bible may teach that all are sinners, but no where does it teach that all sins are equal in seriousness (see my examples higher up the page in how God views manslaughter vs murder for example), nor does it say that grace means letting a sinner completely off the hook for the consequences of their sin.
A sinner, if he robs a bank, will have to go to trial, and the judge may sentence him to jail time.
Here’s what the Bible says about that (Link):
- Submission to Governing Authorities
- Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
- 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?
- Then do what is right and you will be commended.
- 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
- 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
J D Hall may be a preacher, but he’s not a good one. He’s incompetent. Of course, Janet Mefferd is right in that Hall is also a bully. He is not qualified to be a preacher.
It’s not just Hall, of course. I’ve seen many other Christians the last several days act as bleeding heart apologists for child molesters Jordan Root and Josh Duggar.
All sins are not equal. All sins are not deserving of equal punishments. Our own justice system recognizes this, and the Bible does as well, as I outlined farther above.
Stealing post-it stick notes might get you fired from your job, but not jail time. Robbing a Texaco gas station, however, may get you jail time.
Only a buffoon would argue the following:
- 1. stealing office supplies from your job is AS wrong, or severe, as holding up a gas station, and God also views it that way;
- 2. because everyone is a sinner needing grace, ergo, the gas station robber should be given hugs, understanding, and hot cocoa, but pay no jail time for his deed, but only receive forgiveness, grace, pats on the back, and gum drops
As a woman who was waiting until marriage to have sex, who is over 40 now, who is still a virgin, and who is seeing Christians say virtue has no merit and that all sins are equal, this gives me further impetus to chuck my virginity and have sex (before marriage) as soon as I get my next steady boyfriend.
I also can’t help but think of all the children who may be molested because of these simpleton, naive Christians who are too open towards people who sexually prey on children, who, in their race to show how loving they are, extend open arms to known pedophiles.
The J D Halls and Christians who think like he does are warped, very warped and sick individuals.
The other day, Chris Rosebrough, Christian pod caster, tweeted a link to one of J D Hall’s blog pages about Duggar, one of the “we’re all sinners, so stop criticizing Duggar already” type of responses, the type I am commenting about on this page.
So is Rosebrough drinking this Kool-Aid too? If so, he needs to repent of that and stop associating with sin-levelers such as Matt Chandler and J D Hall.
There is nothing biblical or godly about diminishing and watering down child sexual abuse and asking the rest of society to treat pedophiles with kid gloves, even the pedophiles that supposedly “repented”. There is nothing biblical or godly about the attitude or teaching that all sin is equal in severity or harm it causes to other people.
I may be a sinner, but no, I am not a sinner who molests children.
Do Christians not realize or care how damaging, demotivating, or dangerous their idiotic “all are sinners, let’s act as though child molesting is no worse than using a cuss word” view point is to some people and to society?
Stealing Post-It notes from your job is a sin and can send you to Hell. A man fondling a little girl is a sin that can send him to Hell. However, the Bible teaches that stealing office supplies is not AS evil as molesting children and therefore does not merit as heavy a punishment in this lifetime.
See also (off site link): Are There Degrees of Punishment and Reward?
- But if there are degrees of reward in heaven, will there likewise be degrees of punishment in hell? Yes indeed. On several occasions, when speaking of eternal torment, the Bible mentions those who will suffer to a lesser or greater degree. And each time such a reference occurs, the punishment is proportionate to the opportunities missed.
- Those who are blessed with numerous opportunities to obey the gospel and still reject it will receive greater condemnation than those who have little or no occasion to accept Christ. Jesus echoed this sentiment in His rebuke to the inhabitants of the cities of Bethsaida and Chorazin.
- [Begin Scriptural quote]:
- Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
- But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
- And thou, Capernaum, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt go down unto Hades: for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have remained until this day.
- But I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee (Matthew 11:21-24, emp. added).
Edit. Then we have the Southern Baptist’s “Biblical Womanhood” site’s authors (whom I wrote of previously (Link): here) pretty much denigrating virginity or saying that one’s virginity doesn’t matter in the overall scheme of things, in comments such as (source: Debunking The Purity Myth):
- Have we presented a woman’s virginity as an indispensable aspect of her worth?
- Sadly, Valenti’s observations on this point are often quite accurate. While many have rightly taught that one’s virginity is a gift to their spouse, the reverse message of a girl being “damaged goods” who no one worthy would want to be with often accompanies it, a message that denies the power of God’s grace to heal, forgive and transform.
- To the young woman reading this with a past she wishes she could forget, please know that every person on the planet is “damaged goods” needing God’s forgiveness. You were worth so much to the God who created you that He came to buy you back by paying the price for your sin on the cross. (2 Cor 5: 21, Col 1:14) Your purity, your wholeness, and your identity can be restored in the redemption of Jesus Christ.
- Have we equated virginity with purity? Do we mistakenly emphasize refraining from sexual activity at the expense of communicating a lifestyle of purity that is created, guarded and decided in the heart? Do our high school and college students know that, while they may be abstinent virgins, they may not be pure? (Matt. 5:27-28)
Astounding. Christians, even conservative groups, are falling all over themselves to reassure people that virginity basically has no value, and sex prior to marriage is not a big deal.
For one thing, again, in my case, in light of these posts and Tweets of theirs about Duggar and so on, they have only increased my resolve to go ahead and have sex prior to marriage soon as I get my next steady boyfriend.
And good for Janet Mefferd for standing up to Hall.
Following link: hat tip to @DefendTheSheep (on Twitter) which is where I first saw this:
(Link, off site): Are all sins equal? The dangers of leveling all sins from Musings of a Christian Psychologist
There was another point I wanted to make for this blog entry, but I am not feeling well this evening and may turn in soon, and cannot recall what it was. If I can recall what the other point was I wanted to make, I will edit this post to add those thoughts later.
(Link): Marriage Made Into An Idol by Christians, Christians Who Believe Christian Men Are All Potential Rapists – Examples of these and other Topics
(Link): Pro-Rape Pastor Defends Church’s Hiring of Child Rapist – Adult Singles: Dump the Equally Yoked Teaching
(Link): A Response To J D Hall’s Vomit-tastic Post about Village Church’s Handling of Certain Members, Covenants, and Marriages
(Link): Where Are America’s Virgins? Discouraging the Virtuous / Sex and Never Married Single Christians / Virginity Virgin by Julia Duin
(Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol
(Link): How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)
(Link): Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – Easy Forgivism
(Link): When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments
(Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals”
(Link): Pat Robertson says ‘Virginity Has Nothing To Do With Marriage’ and Says (Paraphrasing) ‘Virginity Was Fine For Mary But Not Applicable For Any Other Christians’
(Link): Christian TV Show Host Pat Robertson Disrespects Virginity – Says Pre-Marital Sex Is “Not A Bad Thing”
(Link): Douglas Wilson and Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – No Body Can Resist Sex – supposedly – Re: Celibacy
(Link): Biblical Balance in Teaching About Sexual Sin – don’t white wash and downplay sexual sin, but don’t continually beat people up over it
(Link): I thought Christians “worshipped” virginity? Guess not: TLW (True Love Waits) Spokesman Says TLW Will NOT “Elevate Virginity” – Life Way to Relaunch “True Love Waits” Campaign
(Link): Joshua Rogers of Boundless / Focus on the Family Attacks Biblical Teaching of Virginity Until Marriage
(Link): Depressing Testimony: “I Was A Stripper but Jesus Sent Me A Great Christian Husband”
(Link): I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse To Be A Virgin – (Secular Editorial Defends Virginity – More Rare Than a Unicorn Sighting)
(Link): Preacher: ‘They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Hot SEX Lives’ – and once more, never-married celibate adults and their experiences, wisdom, and input are ignored
(Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner
(Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity
(Link): Older Christian Singles and Celibacy (There Are No Consequences for Sexual Sin)
(Link): More Magical Christian Thinking: If you have pre-marital sex you won’t get a decent spouse
(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity (they attack both concepts)
(Link): Article: Our Born-Again Virgin Bachelor – Secondary or Spiritual Virginity
(Link): The Christian and Non Christian Phenomenon of Virgin Shaming and Celibate Shaming