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A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith

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Sin and Crime: What's the Difference?

An explanation...


It can be very confusing when coming across the concepts of sin and crime. At first glance, they appear to be one and the same thing, however, there are key differences.

A sin is an act against the laws of God.

A crime is an act against the laws of the government. 

A crime will always be a sin because to break the law - regardless of what it is you've done - is discouraged in the Bible:

'Obey the government, for God, is the One who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.' Romans 13:1-2

However, a sin is not always a crime. For example, the Bible condemns adultery, and Christians view it as a sin, however, it is not a crime in the UK. Nobody will be arrested if they commit adultery.