Ken wrote: all sin leads to death. all sins are mortal sins.
Most may already know that verse, but let’s quote it for clarity:
For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, life everlasting, in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23 DRB)This does not specify - whereas 1 John 5:15-17 does:
15 And we know that he heareth us whatsoever we ask: we know that we have the petitions which we request of him.
16 He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask.
17 All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death.Clearly there are at least TWO TYPES OF SIN HERE! One which is “unto death” and another which is “not to death.” Just because Scripture is not specific about types of sin in one place, that does not mean where it IS specific in another place that the latter is wrong. No, Ken is wrong here - not all sins are mortal sins, as verse 17 makes clear, “all iniquity is sin. AND there is a sin unto death (mortal).”
I would also add, Romans 6 is more about sin in general and along with the concept that we ALL have sin due to our First Parents (Original Sin) and the wages of that Original Sin is death, we ALL die (though there has been at least a couple exceptions to that rule in Enoch and Elijah). So what Ken has done is take a general statement and attempted to contrast that with the more specific example I have provided him with.
Ken continues: James 1:13-14 – when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
Let’s look at the text itself again, and we’ll use the NASB:
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.Well, Ken appears to be off a verse here, as 15 says what he said:
15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.There’s no delineation here - but where there IS delineation, we cannot ignore it! Plus what is being described here would also fit the definition of a mortal sin! The conception of lust itself is not sin, but it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death - for a sin to be a mortal sin it must be a grave matter, one must know ahead of time it is a sin and then go forward or accomplish it with that full knowledge. THAT IS a “sin which is unto death!”
True believers, when they sin, will repent and confess sooner or later.
“True believers” fall into sin all the time. Those who do commit a “sin which is unto death” (mortal), and do NOT repent prior to death (say an untimely accident or heart attack) will likely perish in everlasting torment (I cannot say what God in His Mercy might do, and/or if at the moment of death that person was contrite and given a chance to repent, etc., only God can make that final judgment on a soul).
I believe this “True believers” statement is along the lines of “once saved, always saved” (OSAS), which is also a false teaching, but is not the topic of this article, so I will refrain from further comment at this time.
so I John 5:15-17 has to mean "commiting a sin that does not lead to physical death"
Like I Corinthians 11 – those that were judged and God killed.
Well, 1 Corinthians 11 is talking about those who are “among you” and yet are in “schism” and/or “heresy.” It is among THOSE who are “infirm” or “weak” and/or “sleep,” for they are dead to Christ, even though (being among you) testify that they are “true believers,” but they have followed a lie and believe in a lie and thus will face the Judgment.
I Cor. 5 – Paul says he delivered him over for the destruction of his flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of Christ Jesus.
(God's judgment in killing the person - as in His judgment on Saul in I Samuel. It is not clear to me whether or not Saul was a true believer.
Those are good examples of what John means, “a sin unto death”.
Well, 1 Cor. 5 deals with St. Paul warning them against intermingling with those who claim to be fellow Christians, yet they are participating in sexual immorality (specifically mentioning one whose sin is worse than even the pagans would endure - one who sleeps with his father’s wife), that we are to shun them, we are not to associate with them - not even eat with them.
As for Saul, in 1 Samuel - he most certainly was a “true believer” - but he lacked faith. He did not trust in God’s Divine Providence in regard to his kingdom.
So, whereas in the case of the one who sleeps with his father’s wife, that’s definitely a mortal sin. Saul visiting a medium - well, that was expressly forbidden by God’s Law - so that too would be a mortal sin. Yes, these are good examples of sins which are unto death, though in either case - the sinner could repent and be forgiven of their sin.
Christ saves completely. Hebrews 10:10-14Let us look at this passage too:
10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.Yes, the Sacrifice of Christ was once for all! Catholics do not dispute this at all! Catholics also see God as not limited by our linear sense of time for God just is, period. God sees ALL time in the present. He sees the past, the present and the future all at once because He is outside our man-made concept of time. This is why we see each act of God as an act which exists in eternity. The Mass, therefore, is not a new and/or repeated sacrifice - but “taps into” that eternal Sacrifice of the Cross, which redeems the world. This passage is also referring to the Old Testament sacrifices, not the once-for-all-time Sacrifice of Christ.
the believer who sins, confesses and repents constantly; walking in the light.
This statement appears to come from out of nowhere, but we would agree here! And since ALL believers sin - ALL believers should make use of the means by which Jesus provided His Church for the forgiveness of sins - namely through His bishops (or those whom they have so empowered/given faculties). Jesus, speaking to His First Bishops - the Apostles, and to them only (they were alone with Him at the time) told them that whatsoever sins THEY forgive are forgiven - and sins they do NOT forgive are NOT forgiven (John 20:23). By-passing this authority is contrary to Scripture - and thus Protestantism is fundamentally devoid of forgiveness of sins. Now certainly God could, and I mean COULD as in POSSIBLY, not hold those who in their ignorance, which is through no fault of their own, culpable for this avoidance of this Sacrament. Those who are reading this and/or articles like this one, in my humble opinion, would no longer be able to claim such ignorance.
there is no venial and mortal sin distinction in Scripture. (in the RCC sense) That was a later historical development was wrong and unbiblical.
We have already proven this statement to be false, so I won’t repeat myself here.
some sins are worse in their consequence and affects, of course. Real murder is worse than hatred and anger, but hatred and anger are the roots of murder, and make us guilty, but the consequences are not as bad.
What consequences could you possibly be referring to? If you are consistent in your belief, there are NO consequences for the believer who repents! For one who does NOT repent, the consequence is eternal damnation!
Back to the point... Scripture tells us there are two types of sin, one which is unto death and the other is not, therefore the concept of mortal and venial sins is not a later historical development nor is it not biblical. Since the Catholic concept is scripturally based the only way it could be “wrong” is if Scripture is wrong. I posit that it is Ken who is wrong, not Scripture and not the Catholic Church on this matter.
In the spirit of the Holy Family (JMJ),
PS- I was able to repost this article because I had it in Google Docs - but the comments got zapped when Blogger reset back to a time prior to the original posting of the article.