Everyone knows the major “sins” from the Bible. Don’t steal, kill, cheat, covet, etc.
But what about the less obvious sins? If you grew up in a conservative Christian household (like I did!), you may have learned that some actions weren’t appropriate for Christians.
For example, I was definitely taught that “you don’t smoke, drink, cuss, gamble, or spend time with those who do.” But, are those actually sins??
This is where it’s important to go straight to the source (in this case, the Bible) and find out whether or not these behaviors are actually wrong in God’s eyes.
No matter your personal preference (and I still prefer not to do most of these things myself), here are 10 things the Bible never actually prohibits as sin.
While there’s no question that smoking is terrible for your body and should be avoided for health reasons, there’s nothing in the Bible that says it’s immoral.
Yes, you can cite 1 Corinthians 6:19, which says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”
However, if you do, then this makes eating greasy cheeseburgers, drinking soda, or enjoying too much birthday cake a sin too.
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'” — Luke 7:34
While the Bible does warn against becoming drunk or living a drunken lifestyle (Proverbs 20:1, 1 Peter 4:3, Ephesians 5:18), nowhere does the Bible say that Christians can’t or shouldn’t have alcohol in moderation.
The Bible tells us that Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine and that Jesus drank wine himself. King Solomon advises his readers to drink wine with a joyful heart (Ecclesiastes 9:7), and the apostle Paul instructs Timothy to drink wine to help his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23).
Some Christian denominations even serve alcohol at church events, whether that’s wine at communion or beer at church league softball!
See Also: Should Christians Drink?
While some Christians believe that gambling is a sin (either because it’s poor stewardship or because it’s often associated with other immoral behaviors), nowhere does the Bible say that gambling is wrong or should be avoided.
Should it be avoided? Possibly. Is it prohibited in Scripture? No.
“And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment” — 2 Samuel 6:14
Some Christians even go so far as to say that dancing is immoral, as it can cause others around us to stumble. However, the Bible tells us that King David danced joyously before the Lord, and he called a man after God’s own heart.
See Also: How to Have Joy in Any Circumstance
“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’
But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” — Matthew 5:31-32
Some Christians believe divorce is always a sin under absolutely any circumstance.
While it is true that God hates divorce (Don’t we all? It’s a painful, awful process!), there are times when divorce is the most biblical, loving option, and Scripture does make exceptions in certain instances.
See Also: Is Divorce Ever God’s Will?
6. Wearing Tank Tops or Leggings
“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” — 1 Timothy 2:9-10
The Bible does explicitly say that women should dress modestly in passages such as 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:3-4. However, these passages weren’t using the word “modesty” the way we often define it today.
Instead, the message the Bible intends to convey is that we shouldn’t be showy or flashy in order to draw attention to ourselves.
There’s a big difference between wearing shorts and a tank top because it’s hot out and purposely wearing fancy clothes, braids, or expensive jewelry in order to flaunt your wealth and status.
See Also: Does God Care What You Wear to Church?
“Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” — Leviticus 19:28
There’s one verse in the entire Bible that seems to prohibit tattoos (Leviticus 19:28), but it isn’t as straightforward as it initially appears.
However, this passage (Leviticus 19) records specific laws God gave to the Israelites living under the Old Covenant in order to discourage them from being tempted into the common pagan practices of their day.
This rule was written for a specific people in a specific culture. Read it in context, and you’ll quickly understand why it doesn’t apply to us today.
(Unless you also plan to follow all of the laws about sacrifices which are included in the same section.)
8. Missing Church on Sunday
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” –Hebrews 10:24-25
Contrary to what you may have heard from your parents, it’s not actually a sin to miss church. In fact, “church” wasn’t even a concept people in Jesus’s day would have known about. It wasn’t until the book of Acts that people began to meet in homes together to share communion and pray.
While there is no literal written sin against missing church on a Sunday, the idea is that neglecting to meet with other believers does not encourage your faith to grow. It’s helpful to keep church as a #1 priority in your schedule rather than make excuses and miss out
See Also: Is Going to Church Really Necessary?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” — Philippians 4:6
The Bible includes these words from Paul and even words from Jesus himself about not being anxious, but what does that exactly mean?
Anxiety can fall into 3 major categories. Anxiety can be a chemical imbalance in your body, which definitely isn’t sinful. In this case, talking to a counselor or physician is best.
Another form of anxiety is the result of sinful choices. If you lied to your boss about something, you may feel anxious about being found out. That form of anxiety is a direct consequence of your sin, not the sin itself.
The last form of anxiety is from not trusting in God and His providential care. This type of anxiety exposes the doubt in our hearts that God can actually provide and care for us. While not an actual sin, anxiety is a response to potential sins in our lives.
10. Celebrating Halloween
“One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.” –Romans 14:5
This is a debate that many Christian families struggle with year after year, and for good reason. Some do not celebrate, citing its pagan origins, close ties to witchcraft, and obsession with all things gross, gory, and evil.
Others focus not on the ways Halloween has been celebrated in the past, but on the opportunities to spend time with friends a family or invite others to a church trunk-or-treat event.
The main focus should be whether or not you are convinced in your own mind. Just as Romans 14:5 says, we may not view one day as more or less special than someone else, but we should be 100% sure what we choose to do is because of how we want to honor God.
If you don’t feel like celebrating Halloween, great. If you do, great! Just make sure you are respectful of others’ choices.
See Also: Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
Yes, Christians Should Judge. Here’s Why.
Of course, this article isn’t to say Christians should never judge. On the contrary, the Bible actually says we should.
Here’s what the Bible says on the matter, why Christians should judge others (at times), and why you probably should too.
Oops! These 10 Popular Bible Verses Don’t Mean What You Think
Unfortunately, these verses are far from the only ones Christians and non-Christians often misunderstand.
Here are 10 popular Bible verses people love to take out of context, completely distorting their original meaning in the process.
You Won’t Find These 14 Biblical “Facts” Anywhere in the Bible!
Want even more Bible misconceptions? There are tons of them out there!
From Eve and the apple to Jonah and the whale, you might just be surprised to find out the Bible doesn’t include the details you think it does!
Incredibly Common Sins You May Not Know You’re Committing Right Now
Did you know you could be committing sins right now?
As defined by various religious and moral traditions, Sins are actions or behaviors considered morally wrong or offensive. While many people are familiar with the more well-known sins like lying, stealing, or greed, there are several lesser-known sins that people may not realize they’re committing.
Skipped Church Today? Why Christians are Opting Out of Regular Sunday Services
Did you make it to Sunday church this morning? If not, you’re not alone.
A recent Lifeway Research study identified some common reasons why Christians are skipping church these days — and some of the reasons might be surprising.
Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Yet, for these Christians, there are several very good reasons why they might miss any given Sunday morning.