As you look at this nearly 30 year old list you will see that even back then many were very confused about sin, but at least it was assumed that sin was real. There are some things that definitely seem out of place. I have color coded a few combinations that really stick out from a Biblical stand point.
The Sin Index
see full info
4. Child abuse
5. Spying against your country
6. Drug dealing
7. Embezzlement - stealing money is worse than a man having sex with a boy?
9. Spouse swapping
11. Industrial spying
14. Not helping someone in danger
15. Sexual harassment
16. Misrepresenting what you sell
17. Taking drugs
23. Parking in handicapped zone - worse than living together unmarried?
24. Killing to protect your property
26. Cheating on your income tax
28. Cutting into lines - being rude is worse than porn?
29. Mercy killing
30. Unwed parenthood
31. Calling in sick when you're not
33. Reading/Viewing pornography
35. Explicit rock lyrics
36. Idle gossip
40. Living together without marriage
41. Capital punishment - this is a sin?
42. Premarital sex - not as bad as the execution of criminals by the government?
43. Lust in your heart
46. Telling a white lie
47. Not voting - this is a sin? They do have it way down the list.
49. Drinking alcohol
50. Nude sunbathing
51. Taping off TV or radio
- from Bible Illustrator
Results of a more recent survey simply recorded the percentage of people who thought certain things were sins. In that survey there were 13% who did not believe in sin; 7% thought spanking your child was a sin; 41% thought doing something to harm the environment (this one is probably higher now), smoking marijuana, and getting drunk were sinful; and Not speaking up if you get too much change back (63%) was considered to be a sin by more people than abortion (56%), Homosexual activity (52%, this is one that is being tracked and it has recently dropped to 37%, even Homosexual marriage is now approved (49%) by more than those who disapprove (44%). The most significant thing in this most recent survey though is to notice that among the oldest generations only 31% approve while in the youngest generation - those born after 1980 - 70% approve), pornography (50%), and sex before marriage (45%).
In all these surveys there is one thing that is conspicuously absent. I am surprised that telling someone else that something they are doing is a sin was not on any of the lists. They must not have asked about that. Though I did find one source that indicates 49%-67% think churches focus too much on rules which goes along with this idea. There is certainly a growing movement away from defining anything as sin.
So, what are your thoughts about the list above and the more recent stats?