Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Original Sin

Here's a topic that confused me for many years.  The thought is pretty straight forward.  We are taught that man is born with original sin.  Consequently, we are born sinners.  In essence, we are paying the debt for the sins of our forefathers.  Naturally, others have argued this point and the concept was modified to imply that we are born "unsaved".  Since we are devoid of God's grace at the time of our birth, we are sinners.  (My twist on the current justification.)

Leave it to the apostle Paul and later church leaders to add this idea into the collective belief system.

If we were to accept that we are paying for the sins of Adam, then I would simply argue that Jesus claims to have washed away that, and all other, sins.  So, anyone born after the death of Jesus would be cleansed of the original sin.

If we take the more modern definition of original sin being the absence of holiness, I have to ask: Did God create me?  Am I not a son of God?  Are we not all children of God?  What holiness, then, do I lack from my birth/creation?  We are taught that when we are born, God breathed life into us.  How imbued with holiness do I have to have to avoid the state of the "absence of holiness"?

The absence of holiness implies that human nature, in its natural state, is undesirable or somehow deficient.  Man is not a being God gave free will to, but rather something God allowed to be created imperfectly.  This seems illogical to me.  A loving god, filled with compassion, creates an object and withholds God's love and compassion?  This borders on contradiction.

Perhaps "original sin" is something created by Paul to scare people into a moral alignment.  If Paul's implications were insufficient, then Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, pushed this invalid doctrine along further.  Calvin's total depravity caused us all to be condemned to hell before we have a chance of redemption.  What could motivate a person (other than riches and fame) to propose an idea where God places man in hell and expects man to struggle out of it?

Original sin presupposes man is a failure with a chance of redemption.  In the inquiry: Is man inherently good or evil, the proponents of original sin must stand on the side of evil.  I cannot agree with this.  If anything, man's nature is neutral and loved by God.

No comments:

Post a Comment