The point was made in another thread that equating sins that aren't equal otherwise makes sense, because they're both sin, and all sin is equal as sin.
Ok. I can track so far.
However, this raises a question in my mind. Now, setting aside the fact that we do believe that certain sins are worse than others - for instance, we do believe that homosexuality is worse than gossip. We might say we don't, but we're usually lying if our actions mean anything - are there in fact some sins that are worse than others?
I take Jesus' words on adultery and murder as my starting point here. I think Jesus was being rhetorical, but most probably won't go with me there. That is, I do believe lusting after someone is failing to love them, and hating someone is failing to love them and so both are sinful, but I don't think that Jesus meant one is actually guilty of murder and adultery. However, let's say he did mean that equation literally.
Is there not a point where we, as humans, have to say that an affair is worse than lust? Meaning, if I'm married and I have a coworker and things get to a certain point where I've thought about sleeping with her, but I collect myself, get my act together, and don't sleep with her.... isn't that a victory? Wouldn't it have been worse if I had actually slept with her? Shouldn't we say that having an actual affair would be worse?
Shouldn't we say the same for murder? I can hate someone and want to kill them all I want... isn't it a victory when I decide against killing that person?
To put it in more important terms....
Wouldn't it have been a victory if Hitler had only desired the Holocaust, but never carried it out?