What’s The Greatest Sin Of All?

For most Christians, the faith, directly or indirectly, is about sin.  Whether it’s punishment for sin or forgiveness of sin, it’s about sin.

What is hard to understand is why certain sins become popular targets for a while and then fall into unimportance.  Then, another set of sins rises to importance.

We’ve had sins like alcohol, working on Sunday and sex before marriage high on the list, then fall to never being mentioned.  Today, homosexuality and abortion are marque sins.  History suggests they will fall away also.

All the while, there is something I would call sin that is not mentioned by conservative Christians.  It involves ultimate selfishness and harm to others.  It is the “sin” of abusing the environment.

While environmental concerns are preached about in many places every Sunday, the topic is considered a trick being played by liberals and government on the public.  Climate change is right before our eyes.

The idea that man is to have dominion over all other animals and the earth itself defies logic.  It defied logic because humans get their food from environmental conditions that make it possible to produce food.  To dominate animals and the earth in such a way as to limit the ability to produce this food must certainly be among highest ranking of all sins.

I realize it is hard to shift from thinking about one’s self to thinking about future generations.  Maybe reconizing focus on self as sin would change the world for the better.


57 Responses

      1. entech

        The greatest sin is giving Henry the chance to show off his database. The second is Henry lying about not having one.

  1. Candyman

    Jon, you don’t care about sin. You don’t even believe in God so, why would you care about sin? You didn’t even give an adequate defination of sin. I’m still trying to put two and two together here and I can’t! Let me ask you, why is sin important to you? What are you trying to accomplish? your goal or motivation? It isn’t to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ? This is all about you and your propaganda. What is sin’s middle intial? It’s “I”. This is all about you here isn’t it Jon? “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 We have all have fallen short of God’s standard of perfection. “for the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23 We all are going to die, oviously. This is not about a physical death! This is referring to a spiritual death a seperation from God. A spiritual death, meaning a spiritual septeration from God in HELL! aka “the Lake of Fire” Rev 20:15 which called the second death according to the Holy Bible which you are continually trying to make a mockery of here. If your going to talk about “sin” at LEAST get the defination correct! The only sin that will keep you out of God’s Kingdom is “blastphemy of the Holy Spirit” which is dening Jesus Christ the only thing that will save you from the Second Death. God’s provision for your sin. “Jesus Christ did not come into this world to condemn the world, but through Him the world might be saved”, John 3:17.A judge does not condemn you your actions or sin condemned you. Case and point…I love John chpt 8! aka as the women that was caught in the act of adulty chapter. Jesus was kneeling down writing in the sand. There has been alot of spectulation on what He was writing. But, notice He could have easily have itched whatever He was writing in stone or wood for all to see and remind the woman on a continual basis of the shame of her behavior. No, I think He wrote the offence in sand then after she left He erased it with His hand just like He does with us when we put our faith and trust in Him. “as far as the east is from the west so far He removed our trangressions from us” Psalm 103:12 Another observation is that we have all have been “caught in the act” of doing something unlawful. But, notice it’s not the judge that condemns anyone of us. It’s alsways our actions, our sin that condemns us! “Jesus never came into this world to condemn the world, but the world through Him might be saved” John 3:17

    1. Candyman 2:58
      First, thanks for expanding on your obviously sincerely held beliefs about sin.

      “You don’t even give an adequate definition of sin.”

      My impression is there is no such thing as “an adequate definition of sin”. What is considered sin varies from time to time and from place to place at the same time.

      For some reason, neglecting the environment is not considered a sin by some parts of the faith. As I wrote, it all the faith considered neglecting the environment a sin, we would all be the better for it.

      1. Candyman

        first of all Jon, the term “sin” is not anything you should be associating yourself with. You don’t believe in it. Use approiately be using the term “unlawful” Sin is NOT your term! I don’t own the term either, but I believe in its accurate defination not my based on my words, based on the documented historical accounts of Jesus Christ. You don’t associate yourself with Him or His teaching even though you are a direct beneficary of His doctrines here in the US. Unless, your willing to ask Him in your life and repent of your sins. Turn around 180 degrees from where you are right now. You may not have another chance. It is appointed for everyone to die once, then the judgment” Heb 9:27. This good ol’earth is going to be destroyed according to the Scriptures and a New Earth and New Heaven will be the dwelling place of God and His people. Filling His promise of making all things new as in the beginning of creation. So, let’s go ahead and spend billions and trillions of dollars trying to clean up the enviroment? Good, investment wise investment, correct? Especially since EVERY other nation in the world is virtually non-compliant with fossil fuel emissions or the like. Let’s invest into the enviroment when Medicare and the Social Security System is on the virge of collaspe with our trillions of dollars in deficit as far as the eye can see. Give me a break, man. What planet do you live on anyway? Own up to your beliefs and stop using terms not associated with your religion.

          1. Candyman

            being “judgemental”? you may want to read 1Cor 2:15 “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment”. Not judging Jon here. He professes NOT Christ, but he wants to use Christian terms in his blog. I take issue with that. WHo’s he trying to fool?

    2. entech

      Wow, all that when a simple Google would tell you In Abrahamic contexts, sin is the act of violating God’s will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God. Sin has been defined as “to miss the mark” (Augustine) You got it right in the beginning if Jon doesn’t believe in God sin is meaningless (different from right and wrong). I would imagine that the reason for bringing it up is that it is important to you and you (generic you) keep trying to get law based on it. So fighting to protect ourselves from sin has a totally different meaning for the atheist.

      A lot of the commentary is to show how arbitrary and nonsensical and literal interpretation can be, stoning for collecting firewood on Sunday, indeed.

      1. Candyman

        ENTECH; JON DOES NOT BELEIVE IN GOD as a matter of fact he goes out of his way to share this with as many people as he can! It would only be logical here for Jon to stop using faith based terms in which he despises! The only logical narrative he needs to be communicating is one of secular humanism! Jon didn’t leave himself any other option available to himself. Unless he is, of coarse, a Closet-Christian fearing the Second Death which all people whose name is NOT found written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” will be cast in the “Lake of Fire” for eternity.

        1. If I don’t believe in fairies, am I prohibited from talking about them? I thought this was a free country; you know, liberty and all that.

          1. entech

            Of course you can talk about fairies, but you have to talk about them in a language that children can understand – children being the only ones that really believe.

            By the same token it would be pointless talking to some religious people in scientific terms, you have to talk to them in terms they can understand, hence the use of faith based terms.

          2. Candyman

            Jon has his own voice and his own religion. Let him use his own terms and own religion. He should seek to know and understand it because he will be asked to give an account prior to his Second Death. It about time he starts so he can be well versed before God. “it is appointed unto man to die once, then the judgement” Heb 9:27 “for man shall give an account of every idle words that proceeds from his mouth. By your words you will be aquitted and by your words you will be condemned” Matt 12:36 …other people have made ref to the unpardonable sin? It’s Matt 12:31 “And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven”

          3. Candyman 5:49 “Matt 12:31 “…every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”

            I would ask this. If you were a cult leader, and needed to control the people you had laid claim to, not only control them physically, but control their minds as well, how would you do it?

            You would figure out what really frightened them, spiders, snakes, but universally, death. Then you would set them up with a phony story that you knew their deaths would be TERRIBLE. There would be only one way to avoid this terrible death. It would be for the victim to pledge total alligance and devotion to you.

            To approach such control using critical thinking, you would be suspicious of such threats. One would look for possible self interest by the person(s) making the threat.

            To accept such threats, carta blank, is to yield to the oppressor. I happen to prefer the critical thinking route. Anyone else can make his/her own choice.

    3. entech

      Case and point…I love John chpt 8! aka as the women that was caught in the act of adulty chapter Never mind what he may or may not have been writing in the sand, the real speculation is why it never showed up until some few hundred years later

      1. Candyman

        few hundred years later? the issue here is not what wasn’t written in the sand. The issue was the SIN that the woman was caught in the act of doing. The rulers of the law, Scribes, wanted to stone her. Jesus silenced them simple by saying “whosoever of you is without sin cast the first stone” John 8:7 “But when they continued asking him, he lifted himself up and said to them, Let him that is without sin among you first cast the stone at her”

        1. entech

          the issue here is not what wasn’t written in the sand.
          The issue is that it was “added” hundreds of years later, it never happened.

  2. Humans have an inate need to organize and categorize. That need moves forward through spirituality.

    Hence the need to rate sin.

    A thousand years from now, someone’s holy book will have determined wearing the color blue is worthy of eternal damnation.

    1. Wolfy32

      Actually it’s the color is purple. I have a cousin that attends a “Christian” Church (not sure what denomination) in Minneapolis, and no one is allowed to wear the color purple, because purple is the devil’s color… (Revelations talks about the lady in purple that is the blasphemer of Christ, wearing all the sins against Christ.).

      So… Yes, there are some that believe colors ad damning!

  3. Brad

    The worst sin, according to the scriptures, is the love of money. According to 1 Timothy 6:10, it is the root of all evil. That particular piece of scripture is incredibly unpopular among a lot of right wing Christians. The reason is obvious: they support a political party that is completely submerged and committed to the love of money, and thus the root of all evil. So in order to get around that inconvenient bit of scripture they have to ignore it and focus on gays or abortion or some other scapegoat issue.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. I find the abortion issue a puzzle from that standpoint. Few get up in arms about traffic accidents or worker safety even though many are killed as a result. The focus is always on the sanctity of life as it pertains only to abortion.

      1. Candyman

        have any of you read Matt 12:31? And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven”

  4. Brad

    “This good ol’earth is going to be destroyed according to the Scriptures and a New Earth and New Heaven will be the dwelling place of God and His people. Filling His promise of making all things new as in the beginning of creation. So, let’s go ahead and spend billions and trillions of dollars trying to clean up the enviroment?”

    This right here is a great example of why right wing Christianity is one of the greatest threats to life this planet. Believing that delusional fantasy is what will doom all of us if we allow it.

    And these are the same people who call themselves “pro-life”. They are absolutely bent on forcing women to have children, and for what? So that more people can suffer and die when the Lord waves his magic wand and destroys this planet?

    1. Candyman

      saving the enviroment and killing inocent, helpless, defenseless unborn children? You do have a depraved mind, don’t you?

      1. Brad

        I have never killed one single unborn child, and I never will. Go take your baseless accusations somewhere else.

  5. Michael Ross

    “I realize it is hard to shift from thinking about one’s self to thinking about future generations. ”

    Especially if you have been instrumental in killing off the next generation to the tune of 60 million.

    1. You may want to notice that the earth’s population has been growing very fast in recent history so we really are not endangering our species, are we? I think humans are done their jobs to populate the earth and now we can concentrate on all of us getting along.

      1. Candyman

        “To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?”
        II Cor 2:16

      2. Michael Ross

        So that’s why we have legalized abortion on demand. To reduce the surplus population. Scrooge would be proud.

        1. My comment was in regard to your contention that we are killing off the next generation. Clearly, that is not actually happening. I said nothing about using abortion to actively reduce “surplus” population, nor would I condone it.

          1. Wolfy32

            Yeah, the latest predictions are that we’ll be between 9 and 10 billion people by 2050.

            However, I agree with realist in that abortion is not the best population control. I think actual precautions / protections and education would be far superior.

          2. entech

            Wolfy, yes prevention is the best way.
            I think actual precautions / protections and education would be far superior.

            The problem is there are far too many that think all of this is sinful as well. Note how most topics about contraception almost immediately equate it with abortion.

  6. Dan T

    As noted in the original 2011 “Worst Sin” post, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt 12:31) trumps “love of money”, abortion, homosexual relationships, etc. – that is the only one that won’t be forgiven.
    Blaspheming the Holy Spirit means you decide you can do without God, and God agrees let you. And that’s not a big leap for Pharisees or Atheists to make; “Pharisees” being those who say they want to please God, but are more concerned with showing they are good enough by themselves without needing God’s intervention.

    Jon’s and Brad’s arguments are (rightfully) against the modern day Pharisees, just like Jesus’ statements were. The difference is, both Atheists and Pharisees have the same problem – neglecting to look at the only sin that fundamentally severs the relationship between Creator and created.

    So while I still hold that the aforementioned contenders for worst sin (in this and previous decades) can destroy the life God designed us to have, focusing the fight there attracts easy $$$ from both sides, and gives strong evidence to the truth of 1 Timothy 6:10.

    Signed . . . a recovering Pharisee who has dabbled with the line between questioning and blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

  7. Ray

    The agenda here, as always, is 1) turn people away from religion, and 2) turn religious people away from traditional values/social issues.

    Let’s not fall into the trap of believing that some sins are minor and need not be corrected. That’s the false premise behind this topic.

    Here’s another one: social liberals have pushed the issue of gay marriage for a decade or more and they’re now having some success. Then, they’ll turn around and ask why the ‘sin’ of homosexuality is receiving so much attention, when they are the ones who brought the issue to the forefront in the first place!

    1. Wanna B Sure

      Ray; Good points. Let me just add another third: create doubt. — There are two contexts to “doubt”. 1. is ” What does this mean?” and 2. “How can this be?” Generally, #1. leads to understanding, and #2. leads to unbelief. #2 is the goal of this blog. Once #2. is accomplished, no other topic is relevant or necessary.

      1. entech

        As you would expect, I view it a little differently, and speaking for my own ‘agenda’:
        The aim is not so much to create doubt but to show that doubt is possible, that there can be other readings. Asking what does it mean and how can it be are the same question from different angles, follow wherever it leads.

        There are other agenda:
        To ridicule the possibility of doubt and prevent thought and analysis. To force everything through the veil of scripture.

        1. Wanna B Sure

          Re. “..are the same question from different angles,”; Yes, but those “different angles” have different emphasis. The “how can this be”, most often contains an element of disagreement already in the question. The result is predictable.

    2. Ray 12:53 “The agenda here, as always, is 1) turn people away from religion, and 2) turn people away from traditional value/social issues.”

      One thing I like to make believers aware of is they are incorrect in saying nonbelievers have no objective, third party, sources of values/morals. What I often point out is Christian do not either. Both groups use their practical experience and logic to avoid behaviors which are self destructive and destructive to society and encourage responsible behavior.

      In this blog, I’m encouraging Christians who behave irresponsibly toward the environment toward responsible behavoior by incorporating it into their religious views. You, and all others, are free to assign whatever motives or “agenda” you wish. I appreciate having your perspective posted here.

  8. Doug


    Sin is any lack of conformity to or transgression the law of God.

    Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment. He said, “The first and breast greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.” Then The Lord added, “On these two commandments hang the entire law and prophets.”

    Apparently, love of God and other people fulfills the law of God. If love of God and others are the greatest commandments, then the greatest sin is not to love them.

    Jon, you claim to believe that God does not exist. Therefore, either you are one of the greatest of sinners, because you cannot love and obey God if you don’t believe He exist, if He does in fact exist, or you can’t believe there is any such thing as sin, if God is not real. It would appear your comments, while having the appearance of wisdom are really quite silly. You are suggesting that others are wrong for acting inconsistently to a standard you don’t believe even exist or is real.

    Strange, very strange.

    1. Doug 12:58 Thanks for the first time post.

      “And the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.”

      To me, that reenforces the case for being a good environmental citizen–“your neighbor” being not only the person nearby who needs clean air and water, or, it is the person who comes in the next generations. That would make religious people who oppose strong environmental laws major league sinners.

      Please explain why I am wrong about that.

  9. TarGOST

    A constant theme of attempting to modify other’s thoughts and behavior runs through this blog.

    Yet the hard right is the group so often accused of “imposing its will” on the freedom-loving left.

    How queer.

    1. TarGOST 4:21 Thanks for the first time post.

      “A constant theme of attempting to modify other’s thoughts and behavior runs through this blog.”

      You are correct, I and others argue there is not evidence of a god and we challenge believers for evidence other than the Bible. Unlike believers, we don’t have the option of a threat of hell. Nor, can we promise a heaven. We can, however, promise when one’s life is over, he/she is dead.

      We suggest there is a moral obligation to leave the earth with as much and one can for future generations.

  10. Candyman

    Jon, honestly I can appriecate what you are trying to say. That is why you need to know the New Testament and it’s teachings. But, you beleive or adhere to it’s precepts. However, you feel the need to throw the words such as “faith”, “sin” “unpardonable sin”. However the “natural man” can’t know or understand spiritual teachings from the new testament because he is spiritual discerned, wherefore he uses terms that he is unable to know or understand their intended meaning. ” The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” I Cor 2:14 and “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Cor. 4:4 That’s why it’s important to study know your doctrine. “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” I Tim 4:16 and “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15 The issue hear Jon you don’t profess Christ in word or deed, therefore you don’t know the Truth and the Truth has not set you free and you are to the above. That’s why I “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” I Peter 3:15

    1. Candyman 10:53 “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God…cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

      If I follow you, it is impossible to understand the spirit if you don’t have the spirit. This circular logic is exactly why nonbelievers make light of the faith. God is real because God says he is real. The Bible is the truth because the Bible says it is the truth.

      What you believe and why is up to you. I hope you can understand the reasoning you use is foreign of someone engaging in critical thinking. I’m sure you don’t use this kind of logic elsewhere in your life.

      1. Candyman

        why would you follow any man? Why not try to follow Christ? He said “follow me and I will make you fishers of men” Matt 4:14. Circular logic? still w/out excuse… consider your enviroment…”For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools> Romans 1:20-22

    2. Wolfy32

      There’s also a flaw in this thinking I’m surprised That Jon missed. I’m a believer, yet, I do not believe I have any greater insight than non believers, because I am judged the same as non believers, and because I believe that God’s judgements will fall on me just as much as the next believer or non believer. I believe God has a purpose that exists beyond all of our understanding.

      So, that said, your arguement is next to impossible because, you say that all unbelievers are unable to discern the truth. Unable to understand the spiritual teachings. Well, then, how did “you” come to understand the spiritual teachings. My understanding is that ALL humans start out as unbelievers. And therefore none would be able to discern the spiritual truth? How do you come to understand something that you are automatically blinded against.. Never to come to an understanding unless you have the understanindg, which you can’t have unless you have it?

      It sounds good initially, Christians are open to having this understanding that “no one else has” yet, we are told to make sure everyone understands it.. Well which is it, no one has it? everyone has it, some do, some don’t?

      Is it genetic, something we can test for? Bible interpretation gene or something?

      It’s a highly circular arguement and if it is true that you have to have understanding to understand the bible, then how do you know you have the “gift” of understanding? What if your blessed understanding is actually wrong and someone else has the more correct blessed understanding?

    1. Wolfy32

      Agreed, maybe Christ’s entire purpose was to actually not spiritually erase humanities sin, but to erase the concept of sin from humanity… And everyone interpretted it wrong…

      Based on his actions, he stood up for the sinner, numerous times tried to dissipate pre-judged, prejudiced situations. His example was simply “Oh, you made a mistake? Well, try making less mistakes in the future by learning from this one.”

      In many ways, it seems like Christ actually tried hard and failed. Humans what justification to judge people (Gays, racism, abortion, people in power, poor people, rich people, elite people, governments, and so much more) and Christ may have simply been saying all along…. Stop judging people as sinners. You’re no better than them. So stop it.

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