Years ago, I was watching an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond." It was one of the later seasons, and Amy's very religious parents had just discovered that she was being intimate with her boyfriend, Robert, before they were married.
While justifying her actions to her parents, Amy said, "He stays over quite often, and I've decided that it's not a sin."
I've thought about that line often throughout the years, "I've decided it's not a sin."
The problem is that humans do not decide what is and is not sin. God does. The very definition of sin proves this.
The Greek word for "sinned" in Romans 3:23 literally means "to miss the mark". Sin is missing the mark of God's standards.
Sin is disobeying God's law. "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4).
Sin is transgressing or violating laws God has put in place.
Where can we find God's laws? In the Bible.
Hence, sin is disobedience to God's Laws, as found in the Bible.
This means that if the Bible says something is a sin, it is a sin.
Even if society says it's ok.
Even if everyone else is doing it.
Even if a popular Christian teacher says it is not a sin—if the Bible says that it is a sin, then it is a sin.
As my friend Carol Menditto said on a recent episode of "Girl, That'll Preach": "The Word of God will never lower its standards. It does not change. When asking ourselves if something is sin or not sin, we always need to go back and ask, 'What does the Word of God say.'"
That’s the solid truth—believing that we get to decide what is right or wrong or sin or not sin is a complete and utter lie.
As Christian woman, we need to be so aware of this lie because so many of the popular Christian women writers and speakers are spreading it. They are funny, they are authentic and more than willing to share from their hearts. However, if what they are teaching you is against the Bible, then it is a lie.
If someone says it's okay to do something that the Bible says is sin, they are a liar and a false teacher.
Don't listen to them. God doesn't change and His Word doesn't change.
Humans don't get to decide what is sin, only God does.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."