As we continue looking at sin, I want to examine the idea that there is no right or wrong. There is a popular assent to this notion and instead of talking about black and white behaviour, all behaviour is classified as grey.

However despite it’s public approval, the Bible does not allow a grey category in the contrast between good and evil. Either you are with God who is good, or you are with Satan who is bad. Jesus teaches us this when he says: ‘Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven’ (Matthew 10:32-33). For God, there are only people who acknowledge Jesus or disown him. Another way Jesus makes the same point is by saying: ‘He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters’ (Luke 11:23). You are either with the good or you are with the bad. You are either sinning or not sinning. Fence sitting is not permitted.

Now this is not to suggest that there aren’t degrees of evil and good. Some sins are clearly worse than others. Ezekiel tells us this: ‘And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing–the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable”’ (Ezekiel 8:6). What is an example of a worse sin? Jesus says worse punishment will be given to those who do not believe his disciples (and him) than those who committed all kinds of evil in the ancient city of Sodom: ‘If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town’ (Matthew 10:14-15). But even though some sins are worse, all sin is categorically black and against God.

Now this is scary because when we look at our lives we know we are all automatically in the black category as we have all sinned and rebelled against God. So how do you get into the white category? Thankfully God allows us to be white if we repent of our sins and believe in Christ’s death for the payment of our sins. Jesus takes the punishment for our blackness and his whiteness is given to us when we repent and believe.

So what about you? Are you black or are you white? Or do you pretend that God allows grey?

Joel Radford