Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No Original Sin!

The idea of original sin isn't just Biblical, it's absolutely necessary to avoid a number of really strong pitfalls. Below is a list of some reasons why original sin is foundational to Christendom.

1. If people start perfect and gradually go bad, at what point does a person cross over the threshold into the unforgivable age, typically called the ‘age of accountability?’ If it is different for everyone then what is the average age of the population? Does a really big sin like murder when you are young count more than other smaller sins? How much sin does it take for God to finally say, "Enough!" Are teenagers liable for their sins? Are preteens? Toddlers? If the first sin committed is at age one then how is that different then a baby being sinful? 

2. If everyone starts without fallen natures then why is sin so universal? Why is every last society, man, woman, and child broken?

3. Why, if the Bible is sufficient in giving us everything we need to know, does God refuse to disclose the age of accountability? Why would He withhold critical information on salvation? How come none of the inspired writers wrote anything like this concept?

4. If babies go to heaven because they don't understand (or don’t knowingly commit sin) then what's to stop adults from getting a free ride on the same train? If God is willing and able to turn a blind eye to wicked creatures in one case why might He not do so elsewhere?  Since ignorance does not count against us, is all we need to forget about our sins to be saved? This is tantamount to insisting that Jesus was superfluous, and His death for our sins was merely a nice idea, not an essential event.

5. A man without original sin is a man capable of achieving salvation. But scripture does not allow us of this, instead speaking in the strongest terms of our moral inability and fallen hearts: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Is 64:6, Eph 2:8,9) For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

4. This directly contradicts scripture: “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies" (Ps. 58:3). “Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 51:5). Man does not become a sinner when he sins, he sins because he is a sinner.

5. A clean slate has no need of grace. If you have no sin, then you have no Christ, for no sin means no grace. If kids are sinful then Christ may offer his grace, but if they are born free then they are born free from a need for Christ in God.

6. Men can be, and are sinless.  This one goes way back to a British monk named Pelageus, whose heresy is thus:
(1) Adam was created mortal, and would have died even if he had not sinned;
(2) Sin injured Adam alone, and not the whole human race (hence no original sin)
(3) Infants at their birth are in the same condition in which Adam was before the fall;

(4) Infants, as well as others, will obtain eternal life; 
(5) Mankind neither died through Adams death or transgression, nor would rise again through Christs resurrection; 
(6) The law had the same effect as the gospel in leading men to the kingdom of heaven;
(7) Even before Christ came that there had been sinless men.
So if man is not morally culpable for his sins, even as a child, and dies, then he dies perfect.  If you believe point 3 then logically point 7 must be true. 

The idea of being personally evil and repulsive is so appalling to the flesh, to the sinful nature that it seeks to be free of original sin.  But we must suppress this desire to justify ourselves and instead insist that people are tainted to the core, and God is a merciful God to have sent the Bleeding Christ to swap our situation for His.


Adam Colbert from Jesus on the Web said...

just commenting on a few aspects of Pelageus' argument.....

(1) Adam was created mortal, and would have died even if he had not sinned

i don't see where the Bible even makes the claim that Adam was created mortal. "from dust to dust" occurred AFTER he had fallen, correct? before that, it was simply "from dust" with no "to" or am i mistaken?

(3) Infants at their birth are in the same condition in which Adam was before the fall

again, i don't see where the Bible makes this claim. "same condition"? according to the Bible, Adam was created in a manner qualitatively different from babies. God Himself gathered dust and breathed into it to make Adam. and Eve was made from Adam; even Adam and Eve were made differently from one another, let alone babies after them! it's like, you can't make two identical cakes by following different recipes and cooking preparations lol.

i know you don't agree with Pelageus in the first place, but i just wanted to state how i saw the argument to literally break down from the beginning. and even if premise one passed by us, the argument breaks down again "by the time it gets to" the actual birth of infants (a whopping two premises after the first lol).

anyway, i just wanted to pass along my thoughts. i'll quit before Pelageus frustrates me even more lol. i enjoy the posts i've read! :)

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