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3 Misunderstandings By Christians

Updated on June 28, 2019
Hilary Hsieh profile image

Hilary Hsieh is the granddaughter of a Presbyterian pastor. She attends the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, and regularly serves at church.

Disclaimer

The statements written in this post are based on my personal experiences, beliefs, and interpretation of the Bible. These are by no means the only misunderstandings, but I did not want to make this post too long. I may add more in a separate post if readers enjoy this. I am heavily generalizing here, but my encounters are all true. Feel free to agree or disagree with my viewpoints in the comments below!

Source

1) Adversity is God's Punishment

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

My Experience

One day, there was a shooting at my university, and a student was harmed. A few days later, a pastor was preaching on the lawn outside the student center, claiming that the shooting was a result of the student's sins. I was struck by how blatantly wrong that was, and nearly threw a Bible at his head. Alas, I'm writing this article instead.

Verdict

Many Christians often attribute misfortune to punishment for sins. However, that is untrue. The only punishment for sin is death/eternity in Hell, as stated in Romans 6:23 above. The sole cost of sin is death.

Adversities do not stem from sins. Instead, misfortunes and challenges in a Christians life are God's way of strengthening you and building your faith. Without struggles, trials, and tribulations, no one would need God. God allows bad things to happen in order to test you and build up your faith. By no means are they punishments for your sins.

For example, Job was severely tested in the Bible, losing his wealth, children, and more. His friends mocked him, blaming his struggles and tragedies on his sins, claiming that he is receiving divine retribution. However, both God and Job know that he is blameless. All of Job's miseries are instead a result of God allowing Satan to test him. Despite being nearly perfect, Job was afflicted by catastrophe after catastrophe. God gave him the strength to endure, and Job was rewarded in the end. God's planned trials will be difficult, but you will emerge from the storm stronger as a result.

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2) Some Sins Are Worse Than Others

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10

Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.1 John 3:4

Let's start this off with a definition of sin. A sin is the act of disobeying God. This can range from screaming, "JESUS CHRIST!" when you stub your toe to murder, or even eating the fruit that led to the eternal damnation of the human race. All sins are equal. There, I said it. Maybe they are not to the government, but they are in the eyes of God. No matter the sin, they are all the act of disobeying God, which is the first and ultimate sin. No matter what, the wage of sin is death.

What is implied in 1 John 3:4 is that sin is an active violation of God's laws, otherwise known as disobedience to God. Every time we transgress His boundaries, we commit a sin. The cost of any and all sins, regardless of transgression, is death.

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3) We Can Condemn Each Other's Sins

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Romans 3:23

My Experience

Here's another story about crazy preachers at my university. This man stood out even amidst the large population at the student center. He was surrounded by a mob of angry college students, and he wore a bright red sign declaring, "YOUR Whoredom has caused YOU to err. REPENT NOW to the GOSPEL! Hosea 4:12 ." For reference, Hosea 4:12 states, "My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staffs gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore." Interesting, but nowhere does it say that the students led themselves astray with their own whoredom. But I digress.

I was horrified by both his atrocious grammar and his message. He was calling girls who wore shorts whores, among more amusing choice words. By condemning her (and others among the crowd), he was placing himself in a position of superiority where he did not belong.


Verdict

Only God can condemn us. However, we can advise each other when we see each other straying from the path of God. Despite this, we must keep in mind that we have neither the right nor the God-given authority to condemn others. Whether or not someone has committed a sin is for God and God alone to determine. As we are all born in sin, we are in no position to chastise each other. Instead, we must look inwards and improve ourselves first before attempting to guide each other.


Closing Thoughts

While these points may seem quite disheartening (i.e. we are all equally bad in the eyes of God), we must always remember that there is hope. This truth can never be overstated or misunderstood. We have Jesus Christ, who died for all of our sins. No matter who we are or what we've done, our sins are washed away, past, present, and future. Now, I am by no means endorsing intentionally disobeying God. When we choose to walk the path of Christ, we are also choosing to stay on that path through trials and tribulations, rain or shine. Whatever happens, God is by our side, and we can do everything through Him who strengthens us.

What is your opinion on this article?

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    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      4 weeks ago from Washington DC

      Hilary, I can only admonish you NOT to cling too tight to your disagreement, allow yourself room for finding out that you may be in error.

      Since you said "keep the faith" may I remind you that FAITH is the process of finding evidence and substance (Isa. 28:9-12 & Heb. 11:1) to support your beliefs and to find such evidence one has to remain open to being in error in everything they have not found proof of. Thus, I return it to you,

      KEEP THE FAITH my sister.

      NatureBoy

    • Hilary Hsieh profile imageAUTHOR

      Hilary Hsieh 

      4 weeks ago from Georgia

      Thank you for your kind comment, Elijah NatureBoy.

      Though I disagree with your statement that "there are no sins," I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I will continue work according to the Holy Spirit and the words of the Bible.

      Keep in faith,

      Hilary

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      5 weeks ago from Washington DC

      Greetings and welcome to Hubpages Hilary. I found your "3 Misunderstandings By Christians" to be a very spirit led post, thank you from the depth of my heart. Your post appeared to be the spiritual message of the Bible rather than the condemning perspective of traditional Christianity. They are not seeker of truth but drinkers of the milk (the religious teachings) from the breasts (religious preachers and teachers per Isaiah 28:9-12) rather than using grace as Jesus the Christ, the latter Christ and everyone who survives the end of civilization must do, per Isaiah 7:14-22.

      Although sin is written throughout the Bible it is not anything God see us doing. According to Isaiah 45:7 (KJV) God, in the present tenses, do everything from created darkness and formed the light, make peace and createing evil therefore it isn’t our works but God working through us. See Luke 71:20-21 for more conformation. Unlike Jesus the Christ, Christians has to be born again, how many does one know without a testimony of a conception, what they did during gestating, what their trivial was and what they came out of as Roman 1:20 tells us it follows. I am the only one I know and http://prop1.org/protest/elijah/book#birth.htm contains it.

      In Genesis 2:20-24 you should see there are no sins, everything is done for God’s purpose as I’ve explained in “Why Be born Again.” That allows every human or woman to experience both sides of every attribute and embed them in our life-forces so once we are "Born Again" into man we'll have it brought back to our remembrances (John 14:26). Christians don’t recognize the Bible indicates we reincarnate like Dan. 12:13 & Rev. 6:9-11, 14:13 and 20:4-5 show. So follow what spirit gives you and be prepared for man-en-mass to come against you testing you to reject the truth spirit is revealing you. Take courage and rejoice because the time is short and our spiritual growth must be done fast in order to be 5 (% of earth’s population) of the 10 virgins to enter Armageddon for replenishing Rev. 21’s alternative world (v.1) with alternative bodied people (v.4) and no sun (v.23).

      Again I want to thank you for your well thought out analysis of your subject matter. Continue to allow Spirit to guide your understanding and it will protect you from those who call themselves what they walk not according to as those who were first called Christians in Acts 11:1-26 did.

      Remain in Peace,

      Elijah NatureBoy

    • Hilary Hsieh profile imageAUTHOR

      Hilary Hsieh 

      5 weeks ago from Georgia

      Thank you for your thoughts, Katanoia.

      For the second point, about the different types of sins, I have had no exposure to your way of thinking. I will be sure to do my research and come to my conclusions through reading the Bible and prayer.

      For the third point, yes, I am trying to say that it is possible to confront without condemning. We can recognize sin within each other, and we can help guide and advise each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. However, repentance is something that only God has control over. We simply do not have the power or authority to make someone repent.

      Once again, thank you for your thoughts! This was my first hub, and I am looking forward to writing more advanced and detail hubs once I have more experience.

    • Katanoia profile image

      Katanoia 

      5 weeks ago from Metro-Atlanta

      Hi Hillary. thank you for your hub and for your thoughts, and for your faith. I offer the following comments in a spirit of Christian love and fellowship which I extend to you. I do agree that you have identified three basic misunderstandings about sin, temptation, and condemnation of sin. However, I also think that the second and third misunderstanding need some expansion and/or clarification, because as is, they appear to leave out some important points.

      For example, in your second misunderstanding "Some Sins Are Worse Than Others" You illustrate the connection between sin and lawlessness, using 1 John 3:14 in your hub. However, in the closing chapter of the same Letter (1 John 5:16-17) he warns the community about sins "If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, [and]* there is sin that does not lead to death. (NIV) [some translations have "but' for "and"], which suggests that there is a difference in degree, if not in kind, of sins

      This is what is meant in Moral Theology in the division of sin into "venial sin", that does not lead to an immediate rupture of our relationship with Christ, and "mortal sin" that does so lead to an immediate rupture with our relationship. Both are sin, and violations of God's will for us, and as such need repenting from. But some sins are "harder" to repent from, either because of the extremeness of their action, or because they represent a habitual action that has deformed our character, both of which need pastoral care before they can be acknowledged before God and the Church.

      And then, we have Mark 3:29 which speaks of a "sin against the Holy Ghost", which will not be forgiven. That in itself suggests that some sins are worse than others. I could

      In your third misunderstanding: "We Can Condemn Each Other's Sins" you say that only God can condemn, and for we who are in Christ there is no condemnation. And I have to agree that the street preacher in question was out of line on any number of counts. But, are we not called in the Great Commission to preach the Kingdom of God, repentance and forgiveness of sins? How can we do this if we do not confront people with their sin and call them to repentance? Is it possible to confront without condemning? I guess what I am asking is: is it possible to confront without condemning?

      I apologize if I seem to be making a lot of distinctions, that's just the way my mind works (okay, that and the fact that I'm in a M.A. Philosophy program with a Christian Wisdom concentration.

      Keep the faith, my sister in Christ! I look forward to more hubs from you as well!

    • Jack Jenn profile image

      Jack Jenn 

      5 weeks ago from Nelson Bay NSW Australia.

      Hi Hilary,

      I was hoping that it was the way you have explained and no apology is necessary as it was my misunderstanding of reading 'between the lines' in what you were trying to say. I am often guilty of jumping to conclusions before proper examination. If there is a next time and I certainly hope there will be, I will try to do better.

      I have just realised that this is your first post on HubPages and I sincerely apologise if you are discouraged from my comment - that wasn't my intention and I hope I haven't dampened your enthusiasm for Jesus, I never want to be guilty of that. I also hope you will continue to post your work here on HubPages and you will find on your journey that there are many good people here who will encourage you but there are also 'those others' who aren't really interested in what you have to say and I'm sure you understand what I'm saying.

      OSAS means Once Saved Always Saved and there are many who believe in that false analogy. Most who believe this also believe in a pre-trib rapture, which is so wrong and unfortunately, those who believe in pre-trib will discover to their horror, that they are totally unprepared for what is coming. Believing either pre, mid or post-trib doesn't matter one way or the other as long as you are a believer and continue to do so, it doesn't affect your salvation but being a pre-trib believer means they probably won't survive Tribulation as they won't be spiritually prepared to face it thinking we won't be here.

      I hope our paths will cross again Hilary.

      Again my best regards,

      Jack.

    • Hilary Hsieh profile imageAUTHOR

      Hilary Hsieh 

      5 weeks ago from Georgia

      I am unsure what OSAS is. According to Google, OSAS obstructive sleep apnea, which I am sure I do not have. Now, my meaning behind saying that future sins are washed away is to imply that Jesus died for humans who believe in him up until the end of time. Of course, if you reject Jesus, you also reject his blessings of forgiving your sins.

      Thank you for your comment. I meant the "past, present, and future" statement as way of expressing God's eternal love and power. During the time Jesus died, he died for the sins of me and you, along with everyone else, who have not yet been born. That is why I included future in my statement.

      I apologize for the misunderstanding, and thank you for your comment!

      Regards,

      Hilary

    • Jack Jenn profile image

      Jack Jenn 

      5 weeks ago from Nelson Bay NSW Australia.

      Hi Hilary,

      Reading your article I found myself agreeing with all that you've said - until I came to your closing thoughts where you say that our sins are washed away, past, present and future.

      That is NOT completely true. In saying that future sins are washed away, i.e., forgiven, suggests to me you are a believer of OSAS.

      To suggest that future sins are forgiven is giving people the idea that you can sin after being saved because nothing can remove you from His hands. There is only one sin that is unforgivable and that is rejecting Jesus, the one who gave salvation to you. And if you continue to wilfully sin with no remorse because you wrongly think you are saved, can and will LEAD to that exact condition.

      Meaning you no disrespect Hilary as it may have been an oversight on your part.

      My best regards,

      Jack.

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