Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Thoughts on Original Sin - An Amendment to "Common Logic"

In my last post, I went over how I think Calvinists end up blaming the sin nature (they call it original sin) for man's sin, not the sin itself. But I do need to clarify.

Romans 5:18-19
Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

I can't argue with that. Clearly, mankind's righteousness is shot because of what Adam did. However, I am still wary of the "original sin" versus "actual sin" concept. Take a look at this.

Ezekiel 18:1-4
The word of the LORD came to me: "What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:
" 'The fathers eat sour grapes,
and the children's teeth are set on edge'?

"As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die."

Notice that part: "the soul who sins is the one who will die". Ezekiel 18 goes on to say that if there were hypothetically a man who were perfect in every way, he would surely not die. It then speaks of the son of that man, supposing that son turned from his father's righteousness into wicked ways. This man, according to Ezekiel 18, would die. Then it moves on to the son of that wicked man. If the son was also hypothetically a righteous man, then he would not die. If there were still an "original sin" resting on this man from the sin of his father, that would not be true. The fact is, God clearly will not damn us for the sin of our forefathers. Yes, the iniquity of the fathers will be visited on the children unto the third and fourth generation, like Exodus 20 says. It happens in the form of AIDS to entire populations after adultery is committed. But no one will die for sin he did not commit.

Many Reformers point to Romans 5:12-13 to say that every man committed Adam's sin with him.

Romans 5:12-13
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.

Frankly, I don't see how this says that every man committed Adam's sin. It does not say that every one of us was there committing Adam's sin with him. If we were, the hypothetical man in Ezekiel 18 who keeps all of the commandments would still be damned, because Adam sinned for him.

I view it more this way: Adam committed a sin, and all men were made sinners, because now we have to fight against sin and can't win. It's an uphill climb that none of us can possibly do for ourselves.

We are damned for Adam's sin in the sense that because he sinned, we now have the disease of sin and cannot possibly get out of life righteous. Adam's sin causes us to commit our own.

But the point I am making is that we did not, as some believe, commit Adam's sin with him. When Jesus judges the sinners of the world, I don't believe He will add to their list of offenses: "eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

All I would really like is a change of terms. Sin nature is a common term, and I think it is far more accurate than "original sin".

The truth is, original sin was originally a Catholic doctrine, and they taught that the way to get rid of original sin is baptism. In other words, you must be baptized to be saved.

The thief in the cross was not baptized. A Catholic might say a man like that still had original sin.

Also, we know that Jesus' blood covers ALL of our sin, not just actual sin. If baptism covers over any of our sin, then Christ's blood did not cover it. Christ's life was not just given to forgive us, it was given to us to heal the entire disease of sin.

In the Bible, a lot of focus is given to wrong choices and a bit less focus is given to sin nature. In Calvinism, a lot of focus is given to sin nature, and very little/none to wrong choices.

I rather like this article.

This is a rather nice article with a dash of humor. The writer is Reformed and makes a good case for sin nature, even though he does call it "original sin".

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