Mary Anna Thomas

18 Actions Disapproved by Society But Not Explicitly Labeled as Sins in the Bible

The Bible is a moral compass for many people, especially in times of need. While many passages in the Bible are relevant to everyday life, some have been misinterpreted over time. Here, we explore 21 actions that are frowned upon by society but are not directly condemned as sins in the Bible.

Living Together Before Marriage

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Living together before marriage has become increasingly common, but some religious people consider it a sin. While The Bible discusses adultery and sexual immorality outside of marriage, it doesn’t explicitly talk about cohabitation before marriage. 

Lying For Personal Gain

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The ninth commandment in Exodus 20:16 states, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” While the Bible condemns lying under oath, there is no mention of not telling lies for personal gain. White lies, within reason, are often necessary and aren’t always something to feel guilty about.  


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The Bible doesn’t directly mention gambling, but some interpretations view it as fostering greed and materialism. Excessive gambling can lead to addiction and financial ruin, but the odd dabble in the lottery is not a huge sin in the grand scheme of things. 

Plastic Surgery

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The Bible emphasizes inner beauty, but cosmetic surgery isn’t explicitly condemned. Societal views are divided regarding cosmetic surgery, with some embracing new technology and others favoring natural beauty. From a religious perspective, if a person is happy to have surgery and isn’t under pressure to do so, it is not a religious sin.

Excessive Interest Rates

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Several passages in the Old Testament speak against usury, particularly in relation to lending money to fellow Israelites. While The Bible prohibits excessive interest rates, financial systems rely on them. Therefore, the only real sins committed with interest rates are when predatory lenders exploit borrowers.


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The Bible emphasizes the importance of using words to build others up rather than tearing them down. Ephesians 4:29 urges us to avoid “corrupting talk,” while nobody should spread hate and negativity, everyday gossip is not necessarily a religious sin. 

Disrespecting Elders

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Honoring one’s parents is often mentioned in The Bible, and respect for all elders is a common societal norm. People who disrespect elders are not generally the best people, but it is questionable if it is a sin.

Public Displays of Affection (PDAs)

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Love is at the heart of any religion, and while The Bible encourages respect, it doesn’t condemn PDAs. However, public displays of affection can vary greatly depending on culture. What’s considered appropriate in one place might be frowned upon in another. 

Working on Sundays

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According to the Bible, working on Sundays, also called observing the Sabbath, should be a day of rest.  Exodus 31 and 35 outline specific restrictions on Sabbath activity for the Israelites, including prohibitions on working, but modern work schedules may not always allow for Sundays off. As it is difficult for some people to avoid working Sundays, they wouldn’t be deemed sinners by most religions. 

Eating Certain Foods 

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The Bible offers some dietary restrictions, as seen in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, which outline restrictions for the Israelites. However, restrictions are not for everyone, meaning that in the modern world, only people with certain cultures and religions choose to eat “taboo” foods such as pork. 

Wearing Revealing Clothing

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There are no specific rules about what constitutes revealing clothing in The Bible. However, some passages touch on modesty and decency that Christians use to inform their views on dress.

Bad Manners

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The Bible doesn’t have a rulebook for manners, but respectful social etiquette is expected in modern society. While you won’t be deemed a sinner for being rude, you may see your friendship circles dwindle.

Not Recycling 

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Recycling is a modern concept that would not necessarily be mentioned in The Bible. It may be seen as a sin not to recycle, but as we all have environmental responsibility, it could be seen as a modern sin. 


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The Bible has no specific rules about profanity, but some interpretations discourage coarse language. Socially, cursing can be seen as disrespectful and unprofessional, especially around elders, but most people would not overthink overhearing people who use foul language. 

Lack of Work Ethic

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Laziness may be seen as a sin in the modern world, as people frown on others who aren’t pulling their weight. However, while the Bible promotes diligence and hard work, they do not condemn a lack of work ethic as a sin.

Not Vaccinating Children 

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There is a debate in modern medicine as to whether to vaccinate or not. For example, almost 20% of Americans hesitated to take Covid-19 vaccinations. The Bible doesn’t mention vaccinations, so it cannot be seen as a religious sin, despite what some may proclaim.

Drinking Alcohol

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Many religious people believe that drinking alcohol is a sin, but this is not explicit in The Bible. Some readings frown upon being drunk; however, they also mention “wine as a gift from God” (Psalm 104:14-15, Ecclesiastes 9:7) and are associated with celebration and enjoyment.

Strong Emotions

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The Bible doesn’t say that experiencing strong emotions is a sin. In fact, the Bible acknowledges the full range of human emotions throughout its stories. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul tells us to “take every thought captive to obey Christ,” meaning that we should be mindful of our dark thoughts that may lead to sinning, but having strong emotions is not a sin in itself. 

Skipping Church

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You may be frowned upon for not attending church every week, but you are not sinning. In Hebrews 10:25, readers are told about the importance of gathering together with regular attendance to provide opportunities for growth. Still, you would not be deemed a sinner if other commitments were more important now and again.

Saying “No”

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It is common for religious people to do whatever they can to help others, but sometimes, we don’t have the resources. Saying “no” may feel bad, but it doesn’t mean you are a sinner. 

Disagreeing with the Church Leader 

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The Bible encourages discernment and critical thinking (Philippians 1:9-10), which means that you are unlikely to be accused of being a sinner for disagreeing with religious leaders. You should feel no guilt for speaking your truth if you are respectful and do not cross boundaries. 

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