Is Homosexuality a Super Sin?

We've studied theology for quite a long time. Even though we're not from the Catholic tradition, we understand the difference between venial and mortal sins. But apparently, Protestants have their own gradation of depravity now. In a recent interview with NPR, President of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly, suggested that Evangelicals have wrongfully labeled homosexuality as a "Super Sin." But his fatherly chastisement opens up the discussion as to what could be included in this particular category.

Are these the sins that take place in a super market? Or perhaps people wearing body-suit tights and a cape can only commit them. Then again, Super-sins might only occur when you increase the size of your fries at McDonald's. It's really hard to say. But one thing we know for certain from Jim Daly…homosexuality can't be a Super Sin.

No, homosexuality is just like any other regular sin. If you go over the speed limit, you're a law-breaker, and therefore, you're in sin. If you throw litter from your car, that too is a regular sin. Cheat on your taxes? Sin. Download music from a friend's iPod? Sin.

But what might Daly consider a "Super-Sin?" If there are any, he's not specific enough to list them. Here are a couple of possibilities that we believe might make the cut.

Going over the speed limit while beating your children? Super Sin! Keep the litter in your car and throw your wife out the window? Super Sin! Cheating on your taxes while simultaneously cheating on your wife? Also Super Sin! Downloading music from a friend's iPod while snorting coke, watching porn and cussing? Super-Dooper Sin!

There are gradations in sin (Jn.19:11) just like there are gradations in the consequences people face for engaging in them. When a culture disregards natural law and order (Rom.1:18-22), God hands them over to further depravity (Rom.1:24-27). This leads to God storing up wrath for individuals (Rom.2:4).

The point is rather simple.

It is one thing for a non-Christian to balk at the Special Revelation found in Scripture. You wouldn't expect them to even want to carry out the Bible's demands, because they don't have a relationship with the Father. But when that same person turns a deaf ear to general revelation - common sense if you will - the rot has already set in.

When a society orients itself to disorientation, when they call evil "good" and good, "evil," when common sense is no longer common, and when natural law is replaced with unnatural lawlessness, we suggest that God's judgment is probably around the corner. Just think, Sodom thumbed their nose at God just like America has, and the last time we checked…things didn't turn out too well for them.

So, is homosexuality a "Super Sin?" Of course it isn't.

But we can't allow Evangelicals who are trying to build bridges with the homosexual community to either redefine sin or downplay the significance of this unfortunate lifestyle.

Put simply, you can't have your "Kate-and-Edith too." And while it isn't a "Super Sin," we shouldn't forget that it was singled-out in Romans as one of the final nails put into a culture's coffin. By equivocating homosexual behavior with other illicit heterosexual behavior as Daly has, we give too much ground away. Homosexuality does more than disregard Scripture; it cuts against the grain of logic, order and common sense. It may not be super, but it sure goes deeper.

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Ken Hutcherson is a former NFL player and senior pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Washington state. Pastor James Hansen is a teaching pastor at Antioch Bible Church and is academic dean of Imago Dei Institute.