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Is ‘Sin’ Defined as Something that Harms Others?

In discussion about what constitutes a sin, it’s sometimes suggested that a sin is something that hurts people. And this definition does carry some weight. Think of the classic sins – murder, theft, unkind behaviour. Some people extrapolate from this, that behaviours that dont harm others, are not really sins. And so, some conclude, (EG God and the Gay Christian, p. 12) a healthy homosexual relationship is not sinful.

But are all sins hurtful to others? Being a drunkard is sinful, while not necessarily being harmful to others. Worshipping other gods is sinful, while not necessarily being harmful to others. Clearly, the test of whether a behaviour is harmful to others, is not a great test for whether a behaviour is sinful. More insight here. This principle is also highlighted in this interesting post I found today online. And the post illustrates another furphy too. That being that people move from being non-affirming of homosexual behaviour, to being affirming, as they grow and gain greater understanding. The author of the post testifies that he moved in the opposite direction.


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