10 Things I Learned When I Became Religious: (#1) Sin Is Relative

So, I’m Religious and getting there has been a strange experience, so strange in fact, that I’m pressed to describe it to others, so they can share in the abnormality of it all. This is just my experience and may not reflect what other people are experiencing. I am just sharing what I have encountered and what I have been told.

One thing I’ve learned is that sin is relative, this is to say that sin is not an absolute among Religious people.

I didn’t know this in the beginning and it caused huge arguments with fellow church goers because I kept pointing out bad behavior that I originally thought was inappropriate. But over time I came to realize that sin is only sinful as it relates to the following:

  • Individual Biblical Interpretation
  • Rules of Congregations / Denominations
  • The Mindset of the Person Sinning

To make it easier to understand I have categorized some of its complexity below.

The “Accidental” Sin: This was a hard one to understand because it has to do with motive. Let’s say a nonbeliever is doing something that is sinful, then we need to fix them because nonbelievers are joyfully doing sinful things on purpose. (BUT) If someone in a religious community is doing the same thing then it’s not really sinning since they don’t take joy in it.

How it was explained to me: I was told it’s a heart thing. Those on the inside have a desire in their heart to stop sinning but those on the outside do not. Those on the inside sin by accident due to unforeseen circumstances that were just too much to handle. They may also have been tricked into sin.

The issue I have with this: Both sides look the same. Same sins being committed, by the same people, year in and year out but a double standard is being applied against those who are nonbelievers. I decided to go with the Bible on this and not judge anyone. You live your life that’s your business I have no right to judge you.

Romans 2:1 — 2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

The “You Not Me” Sin: This type of sin is much more straightforward and easier to understand. This is where some openly engage in behavior that is counterintuitive to the religious doctrine they follow BUT they claim a sort of immunity due to reasons that transcend earthly understanding. 

How it was explained to me: There are things we don’t understand so, ignore the bad behavior in the church since those people are in positions of authority and leadership or they are following a calling that transcends common understanding.

The issue I have with this: It’s obvious people are hypocrites and are openly lying to justify doing what they want while at the same time pointing fingers at others. I decided to go with the Bible on this and see everyone as being in the same boat, no exceptions.

Romans 2:3 — 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?

The “Church” Sin: I noticed something I thought would be obvious once I became Religious, but it soon became apparent that this was a taboo subject, “Churches Dedicated to Sinning“. This is to say that, if my church is the true church then the church down the street must be a fake church spreading a false message on purpose since the message is not the same. You would think that this would be obvious but this is where it gets very strange, not only do we not say anything about them we literally count them as being part of us.

How they explained it: Everyone who believes will hear the correct message if they are basically part of the church. Focus on the real problem (non members). It will workout in the end don’t worry.

My solution: I decided to look up religion in the bible so I could once and for all know which church to follow and the answer was something I had never heard in church.

James 1:27 — 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

The “Special” Sin: On Sunday I kept hearing this word abomination, so I started learning more about it. As I asked questions people became very upset with me because I was asking about abominations in the church, not the abominations outside of the church.

How they explained it: Those are old abominations and can be ignored but the ones talked about in Sunday service are special sins because they are immoral and tear apart the fabric of society.

The issue I have with this:  Hypocrisy. You either believe what you are reading for everyone, including yourself, or you don’t.

James 2:10-11 — 10 You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. 11 The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period.

The “Larger” Sin: This came up a lot with marriage issues in the church. For example, if a husband was abusing his wife then the message was for the wife to do better. She was sinning because she wasn’t keeping him happy (Larger Sin), he would then act out by cheating, hitting, abusing etc. (Smaller Sin).

How they explained it: The point is that sometimes people sin, and it causes others to sin unwillingly. Larger sins cause smaller sins so the burden is on the larger sin.

The issue I have with this: Each individual is responsible for themselves so I’m not going to conflate individual sin and put unnecessary burdens on anyone for what someone else is doing. If your spouse is abusing you then leave them, because they don’t take responsibility and they can’t control themselves, don’t live in misery.

Galatians 6:5 — For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

The “Majority” Sin: This is the most obvious and ignored sin and is fully tribal in nature. As an example: If your congregation is on the heavier side then “Gluttony” will not be a sin in that church, in fact, they may even have food every Sunday in support of more eating. This is to say that if most of the people attending a specific church commit the same type of sin, then that sin will be removed from the talking points and generally accepted.

How they explained it: Surprisingly most people don’t entertain me with a response to this issue when I bring it up with fellow members. I just get brushed off laughingly with comments like, “It’s no big deal” or my favorite, “Stop being such a troublemaker”.

The issue I have with this: We can not pretend away our own bad behaviors simply because we all do it, that’s nonsensical. Our hypocrisy is making it hard for people to her anything we have to say.

Deuteronomy 12:32 — 32 See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

Categories: Unfiltered Literal Bible InformationTags:


  1. You got it 100% awesome post, open and honest. Great job

    Liked by 3 people

  2. First:Sin is defined as any transgression against your god.
    Second: Sin is a theological/religious construct/concept and has no bearing outside of this realm.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well of course this post is about my experience within religion, so the term sin is within the context of the post. I’m not speaking to other religions or non-religious perspectives.

      With that said:

      I think we are all here, in the world, experiencing life through different cultures and philosophies which makes it important to share our experiences in a way that allows others to gain perspective of the human condition.

      On a universal level we can all understand frustration with hypocrisy within our own tribal systems, work environments, cultural circles, religious or non-religious organizations and so on.

      I think it’s important that we honestly share these limitations to dispel the illusion that any one grass is greener than all the others.

      Just a thought


  3. Sin is not a physical object that is known, so the only evidence of its existence is through experience in relation to the understanding of it.

    This is to say, “is trauma real”, it’s real to the understanding of trauma and the person experiencing it but not to anyone who does not have direct knowledge of the person’s experience. This is the same for anything that is paradoxical in nature.


    • I dd not suggest that Sin is a physical object but asked for evidence that sin was real.
      Once more.
      Sin is considered to be any transgression against your god.
      That’s it.
      Ergo, do you have any evidence of sin/ that sin is real?


      • That is the evidence but you can’t except it because you don’t acknowledge Christianity, why is that difficult for you understand.

        Try this:
        Adultery is a sin
        Christians acknowledge it as a sin
        The government does not acknowledge sin
        The government acknowledges Adultery
        Adultery is not physical so cannot be produced in a court of law
        A person can be convicted in court of Adultery without any physical evidence, they can use witnesses testimony
        Christianity uses witnesses testimony in proving Adultery as a sin
        Sin in the church can have a direct effect on financial markets and resource time management, which are tangible, without involving the law or court system


        • Again, Sin is a theological construct. deemed any transgression against your god

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sin is both what I described and what you stated but it is not solely what you stated because it is used in more than one religion.

            Your focus is most likely only on Christianity because you were most likely raise on it before you became an atheist but mine is not. So your view is locked into only one religion.


            • Yes it is exactly what I stated – a transgression against your god. However, for your benefit I shall expand it.
              Sin is a theological construct and is considered to be any transgression against the Abrahamic god.


              • Let’s explore this. You raised the subject of adultery. On what basis to you consider it to be a sin?

                Liked by 1 person

                • This looks interesting, I may have missed your response the first time:

                  I view adultery from my perspective in 3 ways:

                  My wife has made it clear to me that it’s a violation of our marriage and I have come to believe it would be a violation of her if I were to commit adultery. I am convinced this is true from talking to her and now believe it myself.

                  The Bible teaches me that adultery causes damage to the body and distance from God. I am convinced this is true from watching the effect it has had on friends and family over the years, both physically, mentally and in relation to religious connotations. I am convinced the Bible is correct on this given what I have seen over the years.

                  Proverbs 6:32
                  32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding; he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
                  Jeremiah 3:8
                  8 And I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

                  The law has demonstrated that adultery can be a crime with punishments consisting of fines and jail time. I am convinced of this given the number of people that have been fined and incarcerated over the years.

                  Massachusetts: Considered a felony with a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to three years.
                  Oklahoma: Fines of up to $500 but also incarceration for up to five years.
                  Idaho: A felony that comes with a fine of up to $1,000 and as much as three years in jail.
                  Michigan: A felony and a Class H offense
                  Arizona: Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days behind bars.
                  Florida: Up to two months in jail and be charged up to $500.
                  Illinois: Up to a year in jail for both cheaters.

                  So the way I perceive adultery is the following due to my own personal experience, understanding, and observations:

                  1 — Violation
                  2 — Physical Deterioration
                  3 — Criminal Offense

                  The way you see me is always through your bias and limited perception of what I must be in relation to your understanding. This is why I often say to you that our discussions are a waste of time. Since you only see one thing (religion), then you force every concept through that limited spectrum and call others liars if they don’t line up with how you perceive them.

                  This will be obvious in your upcoming response but you won’t see it.


                  • Why do you consider the bible should play any part in your view of adultery?
                    Would this view of adultery change in any meaningful way if the bible were not part of your worldview?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • You Stated — Why do you consider the bible should play any part in your view of adultery?

                      My Response — That seems self explanatory

                      You Stated — “Would this view of adultery change in any meaningful way if the bible were not part of your worldview?”

                      My Response — If you remove any aspect of anything from a persons understanding or experience it would have an impact and in some cases a major impact.

                      So most likely it would but I don’t know in what hypothetical way it would.


                    • So it would be fair to say – or self explanatory – that the indoctrinating effects of the bible/christian dogma have definitely played a part in shaping your view of adultery.


                    • I already posted a full response on my view of adultery. It was very detailed and should explain fully my view without a need for repeating myself.


                    • Yes, I read it.
                      You use the bible to support your beliefs. The question was how would removing the bible from the equation affect these beliefs.

                      You seem to be alluding that its removal from the equation could very well have adverse effects.
                      That is somewhat disturbing.


                    • Asked and answered not sure what you didn’t understand since you didn’t point it out.


                    • I have no idea what you’re taking about now. If you want to introduce new topics just say do.


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