The Seven Deadly Sins

What is sin? Is homosexuality a sin? How can my sins be forgiven? Will God forgive me?

According to the Roman Catholic church, there are two types of sins:

  1. Venial sins, which are relatively minor, and
  2. Capital (or Mortal) sins, which put one in danger of eternal damnation.

The traditionally-held Seven Deadly Sins are, in order of seriousness:

  1. pride
  2. greed
  3. gluttony
  4. lust
  5. sloth
  6. envy
  7. anger

The Pope recently laid out seven brand-new Mortal sins, in case you’re worried about keeping track.

Interestingly (for non-Catholics), these sins aren’t necessarily all that bad on their own. They’re considered bad because they’re considered ‘gateway sins’:

It is not then the gravity of the vice in itself that makes it capital but rather the fact that it gives rise to many other sins.

Catholic Encyclopedia

According to the Roman Catholic church, the remedy for Mortal sins is penance. Until penance is accomplished, the sinner is “deprived of grace…until the disturbance of order has been restored by penance“.

Here’s why I don’t buy any of this: it doesn’t match what I read in the Bible. I don’t see penance being taught in the New Testament. Reparations, maybe…but that’s making things right with another person. Penance is making things right with God.

The simple message of the Bible is that we’re unable to make things right with God on our own…that’s why Jesus, the central figure of the Bible, died. He did for us to do what we couldn’t do for ourselves: pay the ultimate penalty for sin.

One might say that Jesus’ penance forever removed from us any need for our own. Here’s what 1 John 1:7 has to say about our sin:

if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

That’s good enough for me!