|Original Sin||| Print ||
|Written by drk|
|Wednesday, 07 January 2009 13:57|
It was a surprise to me to consider this topic -- But one day, I dared to look at original sin and see if it were a doctrine of the Bible??? To my surprise, I couldn’t find mention of it anywhere in Scripture. Now what? It seems that every last shed of what I’ve ALWAYS believed is being shaken...
Maybe we just shouldn’t talk about these things. It’s confusing to restructure our beliefs. It’s MUCH easier to continue going on as before -- without questioning these troublesome areas. And, I’d be so much more accepted among my peers!!!
The purpose for me is to find TRUTH. What did God really say? Not, what did man say that God said? In questioning these “long held” doctrines, we are not trying to minimize the Gospel. These ideas are not meant to be any kind of “new” doctrine, but meant to vitalize our thoughts. The amazing thing about these revelations is that they make the sacrifice of the cross so much more meaningful and complete.
Original sin in a primary doctrine of the CHRUCH. This concept began in the third century. This is at the same time when the other TRUTHS were also lost (equality, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, apostles, etc.). There is no record of the early church believing in original sin.
Original sin is the idea that humankind was cursed for the sin of Adam and that now, every generation from that time forward inherited a curse and are held “guilty” for the sins of someone else. Reformed Theology says that everyone will spend eternity in hell (because of Adam’s sins) unless he/she accepts Jesus as their savior. That was Augustine’s idea -- he authored this doctrine from studying a mis-translation of Romans 5:12.
Martin Luther re-enforced this same doctrine of original sin by comparing mankind to a pile of cow manure! But, then he explained that a saved person is covered by a layer of snow so that the cow manure can’t be seen anymore! Well, of course we know that people aren’t and never were cow manuer. God VALUES each one of us. But most of us don’t know that.
Original sin. That’s what I’ve believed all my Christian life. At the same time, I’d been preching another truth... that “people” weren’t cursed at the fall.
What happened at the Fall, was that humans would have to work by the sweat of the brow and then die and return to the dust.
Hey, I knew that! Just the ground and the serpent were cursed. Seems like God forgot to tell us a really important thing right there -- if every future human being was going to be affected by a curse of Spiritual death forever. Perhaps this is just one of the greatest overstatments of all of time?
But nothing is said ANYWHERE about this generational sin that was to be perpetually transmitted to our children. Nothing is said about eternal damnation for every person becasue of original sin. It seems strange to me that God wouldn’t mention the gravity of billions of people going to hell because of eating from this tree. But, He didn’t.
What did God say about Himself? Exodus 20:5 tells us that God said He would punishd Israel for three or four generations for their backsliding. Then that punishment was over -- it didn’t last forever. But the verse doesn’t stop here... it goes on to say: “But I show love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” God didn’t intend for them to live forever in darkness becasue of their for-father’s sin. And Ezekiel 18:20 says that no longer are we accountable for the sins of our father’s.
Adam (being both male and female) was created to live forever on this earth. However, Satan was able to tempt them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:16-17 -- “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” or literally, in dying you will die). About 700 years after eating that fruit, they died. What we really inherited from Adam was DEATH -- it came to every human being.
Augustine’s translation of Romans 5:12 came from the Roman Vulgate. That’s because Augustine couldn’t translate Greek and he depended upon other scholars to do that for him. As we’ve studied in several other articles, these early scholars viewed any kind of sexual passion as having come from the fall -- from original sin. In Alexandra, Egypt, I found third century Christian paintings showing how they believed that the male and female sexual organs were a result of the fall.
Augustine believed that sex and even childbirth were a consequence of the fallen nature. They were the consequence of the Fall. He taught that they inherited evil throughout their entire being and that evil influenced every decision in thier life. They were evil because their birth resulted from an ungodly union of their fallen parents. Sex was HOW original sin was passed on from generation to generation.
Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because all sinned --” Augustine translated “quo omnes peccaverunt” at the end of this verse to read, “In whom all have sinned.” In otherwords, Augustine believed that we all sinned IN Adam. But the original Greek says, “because all sinned.”
There is no record of the early church believing in original sin. Before a synod of bishops in 416 AD, Pelagius debated Augustine about this issue and Augustine won. Pope Innocent 1 denounced Pelagius’ view and agreed with Augustine..
The first new thing to notice in Romans 5:12 is that sin entered the WORLD and not humans. What we inherited from Adam was the fallen world and the possibility to interact with it.
The devil is the prince of this WORLD -- while the EARTH is the Lord’s.
Please read the verse again and follow this progression: Physical death was the vehicle that brought sin to the WORLD. Most of us can agree that our world is full of sin. That sin causes many good people to desire to sin. Death REIGNS over this world (and all humankind - Heb. 9:27) and will be the last enemy overthrown (1 Cor. 15:26). Therefore, we have all sinned. Our life in this world causes us to sin. If we yeild to temptation, then sin is birthed -- or comes alive (Jms. 1:14-15). The wages of sin is death (Rom. 5:23). The person who sins will die (Ez. 18:20).
James 1;14-15 tells us that each one is tempted when HE IS CARRIED AWAY and ENTICED by HIS OWN LUSTS. Lusts lead to sin and “brings forth death.” James says that when lust is “conceived it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
Oh, but Jesus! He came to forgive our sins and provide (1 Cor. 15: 21-23) for our future resurrection from the dead!
We were born innocent and without a curse. We learned to sin as we grew older and become vulnerable. For this sin, we have a Savior.
Reformed Theology says that because of “original sin,” all babies are born in sin. They use the term, “the total depravity of man.” That means that we are born inherently corrupt and completly evil. They teach that every baby is totally selfish and self centered and therefore totally alien toward God.
We might wonder if we truly are born this evil, then how do we have a free will to choose right? Well, we can’t be inherantly evil and also have a totally free will to make good decisions. These two extremes are not possible. Our free will is given as part of humanity’s created likeness and image of God (Deut. 30:19). We still have it.
Yet, most theologians insist that babies are born in sin. But, if a baby should die young, we somehow have an escape clause for them. We don’t seem to really “believe” what we teach. Augustine created a “lower estate” place called LIMBO for those babies. Augustine also taught that we had to be baaptized before we die in order to not go to hell because of original sin. We might wonder about all the aborted babies born under this so called curse of depravity.
Ecclesiastes 7:29 says that God made men upright, but they sought many devices. It is our own choice to follow evil or goodness.
God KNEW Jeremiah in the womb and ordained him a prophet BEFORE HE WAS BORN (Jer. 1:5).
When repenting for adultery with Basheba, David said that he had been brought forth in iniquity. Was that statement meant to apply to all births? Did David mean that we were all conceived in sin? Or was this just his was of stating that his sins were wrong? Remember, David also said that he was “cast from birth,” and that God had been his God since his mother’s womb (Ps. 22:9-10, 71:5-6).
What about John the Baptist? He was ”...filled with the Holy Spirit while in his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). So, was John born with original sin? Or was he filled with the Holy Ghost? If the inheriting of this “sin” does not apply to ALL people, then it cannot be a doctrine and we cannot say that all people are born with “original sin.”
Jesus told us that babies came into the world spiritually alive! He told the disciples to become converted and become like children in order to enter the kingdom (Matt. 18:3) for that kingdom of heaven belongs to them (19:14b). He said that infants had perfected praise (Matt. 21:16). Kids are in close contact with God and their angels continually behold His face (Matt. 18:10). Jesus NEVER taughtthat people were born evil or had a basically wicked nature when they were born.
It seems therefore, that babies are born with a basic knowledge of God. They have a natural desire to love God. If we believe that kids are evil, then we’ll spend all our time trying to get rid of the evil. Our actions will help to release negative behavior in them. On the other hand, if we see the good in our kids, then we will focus at enforcing that good. Kids always tend to live up to our expectations.
Well, it has to be one way or the other. We either have original sin when we are born or we don’t. Babies who die young either go to hell because of their sin -- or they are born innocent. What we’ve seen so far, is that it is most likely that people are born innocent. We are born in the image of God -- just like Jerimiah told us. We develop and LEARN about sin because we are vulnerable to the life this world. We yield to temptation. All have sinned (Rom. 3:23). It is for OUR OWN sin that Jesus died.
So what did Paul say about “original sin?” Nothing. Paul never mentioned it. Notice, in Romans 7:9, Paul said something very interesting: “And I WAS ONCE ALVIE apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died.” When was he alive? When did he die? Did Paul say that he died because he inherited original sin? No. He said that he died (this had to be a spiritual death since he was still living) when (after) sin BECAME alive. Sin became alive when he knew the commandments about what was sin and what was not.
Paul says that “sin became alive” in his life. It deceived him (Rom. 7:11). Sin is an active force that leads to death (Rom. 8:12). There seems to be a spiritual death in addition to the physical death. This spiritual death comes gradually upon us because of our choices.
From these Scriptures, we can begin to understand that we aren’t born with a sin nature. We notice that sin crouched at Cain’s door (it wasn’t inside of him) -- and he had the choice of whether or not to kill. Cain experienced natural emotions against his brother. But it was not “sin” until he gave into that anger and eventually killed his brother. Cain yeilded to sin -- he wasn’t born that way. Sin was active, nearby, and alive.
We are born basically good, having a possibility to learn negative character traits early in our life. We can be susceptible to our memories, to our parents ways of handling situations. We can be influenced at an early age to respond incorrectly. We learn incorrect problem solving techniques from others around us.
With our free will, we find that only Christ can provide us with forgiveness and cleansing (1 Jn. 1:7) from our mistakes and learned weaknesses.
Isaiah 64:4 is often used to keep reminding us that all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags -- but that’s not talking about EVERYTHING that we do is totally depraved. Reading in context, verse 5 tells us how God is willing to respond to righteous deeds. This was directed to a rebellious people who had turned away in rebellion and this verse was not intended to be used towards all people for all time to remind them of their negative ways.
Ephesians 2:1-3 says that we are “by nature children of wrath.” Yes, we have all fallen away into temptation and sin. But we were not born that way. Our sinful nature grew and became tainted as we encountered the world.
Romans 3:10-12 shows us that men have TURNED ASIDE from their initail/first estate of loving God. Now, there is none righteous, not even one. We “fall short” because WE SIN (Rom. 3:23). We turn away. We miss the mark (literal definition of sin). That doesn’t necessarily mean that we all miss it all the time... but that we all sometimes miss it and turn aside.
When we teach “original sin,” it’s really difficult to present the Gospel to a “good” person who lives his life fully giving to others liberally. They know that they are not inherently evil ALL the TIME. But, they can understand that they occasionally have made mistakes that need forgiveness. This new outlook causes a wonderful evangelistic effectiveness. Charles Finney preached that we are responsible for our own sins -- and that isn’t the fault of Adam!
The doctrine of original uses guilt as the motivator. Everything we do is wrong because we are carnal and there is none good -- no not one. The doctrine of Christ is that of love. Salvation is not a recovery from a curse that is not our fault, but a revelation that Jesus is raised from the dead -- for us. And if we confess Jesus with our mouth and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved (Rom. 10:9).
What is sin? Whatever is not of faith is sin (Rom. 14:23). Sin is knowing what is right and then not doing it. That faith is our own conviction before God (14:22). And This verse continues that we should be happy when we do not condemn ourselves in what God approves. That means we can live our lives without guilt and condemnation. This allows us to find a loving God that cherishes His creation and longs to be with us. We know that if we confess our sin (1 Jn. 1:9) that He forgives us.
Most people are basically good. Every culture searches for a God. Each culture has a moral code and expectations to obey it. People (even in what we consider “wrong” religions) are generally searching for TRUTH. (Of course there are certain religions and practices that are clearly condemned.) But we understand that many are blinded from the truth.
Forgiveness and salvation mean that we can embrace the God kind of life. It means that we can stop questioning our motives and relax knowing that God really does love us enough to die for us and set us free to be like Him.
If women aren’t the cause of the curse -- because there was no curse put on people and no original sin -- then, all the theological debates about women and men end right now. Equality is the standard from the beginning.
Eberle, Harold, “Precious In His Sight” Winepress Publishing, WA
|Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 12:25|