Sin City

What is the most sinful city? Is it something you ever thought about? What cities may come to mind? Las Vegas? New York? Miami? Chicago? Los Angeles? Does it matter? Well it does to WalletHub. The financial website did a study of a 180 cities to determine the most sinful. Las Vegas was the most sinful, while Pearl City, Hawaii was the least sinful. In case you were wondering, Buffalo was ranked the 78th most sinful city.
How did they even begin to determine this? The study states, “In order to determine the most sinful cities in America, WalletHub compared 182 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across seven key dimensions: 1) Anger & Hatred, 2) Jealousy, 3) Excesses & Vices, 4) Greed, 5) Lust, 6) Vanity and 7) Laziness.We examined those dimensions using 39 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of sinfulness.”
What would be the purpose of such a study? What could be accomplished by knowing this information, especially because religion is being kept out of it? Simple, sin costs. According to the study, “...at some point, we all have to pay for our vices. Gambling addiction, for instance, leads to over $100 billion in losses for U.S. consumers every year. In 2018, identity theft and fraud took a toll of $14.7 billion. And every year, smoking burns an over $300 billion hole in Uncle Sam’s wallet.” The Daily Valet, reporting on this study, also added, “we tip the scales in obesity rankings and every year sustain over $200 billion in losses as a result. Plus, Americans began 2019 with over $1 trillion in credit card debt.” It makes sense that a financial website is doing a study to see the financial costs of our vices and what we can do to help limit those costs.
It is interesting to note that this study supports the Bible’s teaching on sin having worldly consequences. Yet there is much that is defective, or shall I say “sinful” about this study.
First of all, the volume of sin can not be measured, nor should we try too. As soon as you try to quantify the actions of humans, you lose the heart of the matter (pun intended). You are then taking a legalistic and humanistic view of sin. The Bible teaches that sin is a nature that stems from the heart. Our actions are just symptoms of a much deeper problem. So, when measuring sin by actions, you are limiting it to only things you can see. Sin becomes an external action to control, rather than an internal problem that can only be solved by God.
What is the most ironic part of this study is its examination of the costs of sin. With all the focus on dollars, they missed the biggest cost of all...your soul. Who cares what it costs the U.S. for your stealing, when it costs you your very life! That is why Christ died on the cross because that is sin’s ultimate price! If our sins only amounted to a debt in dollars, Christ would have wrote a check. But He didn’t. He died because sin’s expense is so much more than the billions and trillions of dollars it costs society.
This is what happens when you view sin in an unbiblical manner. You end up valuing it incorrectly. This study shortchanged the price of our sin. Even after all of this scientific analysis they still have not come to the real truth about sin. And not seeing the real charge of sin will end up costing you.
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