The fact that Fort Hood's Major Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of murder raises a couple of questions (to raise the question of the 14th victim, a child in the womb, is only to pile on for the sake of a political agenda). People are ready to "throw the books" at the Jordanian Psychiatrist.
Without politicizing the issues involved in judging the Major, I raise a question of a different nature, as once posed by Theologian H. C. Heffren: "Are there such things as big sins and little sins?"
Dr. Heffren suggested "most people regard murder as a great sin, whereas to tell a little “white” lie is regarded of little consequence." He proceeded to answer the question with this line of reasoning: There is a danger in this reasoning. In the first place there is no such thing as a “white” lie. Furthermore, this places the emphasis on the deed committed rather than on the One against Whom it is committed. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO AND TEACH them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19). No doubt some sins are more abhorrent to God than others but all sin “is the transgression of the law” and “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
"Perhaps our best counsel," concluded this studious friend, is to "at all times . . .consult 1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not, And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” An Advocate is like a lawyer who pleads our case, who stands by our side. Christ is our Advocate (italics added).
Not to be ignored is a related question, "Can a person sin against God without doing anything?" Author-Minister Heffren further reasons thus: "In James 4:17 we read, “Wherefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not to him it is sin.” There is such a sin as “the sin of omission.” Thus, sin may be committed by doing something wrong, or it can be committed by disobeying what is right, or failing to obey God in our duty to Him. In this connection he urges us to read Romans 8:7-8 in which the old KJV reminds us “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: and it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, so then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” A carnal mind is one that is worldly, or sensual; not spiritual. It is as mind dominated by the flesh. Paul says, “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” ( Romans 8:6--THINGS MOST SURELY BELIEVED/Heffren/1977).
So sin is not only a wrong act, but it is a state of mind that is not subject to God’s rule, but rather disobedient thereto. In other words, sin is not only what you do but also what you are.
Rather than quibbling so much about the pros and cons of sin's existence or non-existence, we need to deal more realistically with the fact that we are known by the things we do--we are what we do, as well as what we may think, feel, or theorize.