Original Sin

One of the most common beliefs in the church today is that people are born sinners. It started with Augustine, and John Calvin really helped to advance that theory. You can see it today in the TULIP acronym under “Total Depravity.”

The problem? That belief is completely, utterly wrong.

Let’s think about this. We know that Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That is one of the key verses advocates of this doctrine (known as original sin) use. And at face value, then yes, everyone who has ever lived has sinned. What they are doing, however is taking the verse out of context. Jesus is part of all, is He not? And He did not sin (Hebrews 4: 15). “But He doesn’t count!” my opponent says. “He was God!”

I’m not saying He wasn’t. But He was also fully man. Therefore, my opponent’s argument is severely weakened.

Another reason I cannot believe in original sin is this:

The Psalmist said God formed him in his mother’s womb (Ps. 139: 13). And since there is nothing that makes him special from any other man, it can be reasonably concluded that all people are created by God—this miracle begins at conception. (I’m not going to go into abortion here.) So if people are born sinners, what other choice do we have than to say that God created us sinners? But God cannot have anything to do with sin, so that poses a problem. Also, Genesis says we were created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26). God does not sin. He can be tempted (Deut. 6:16), but He cannot sin, as it goes against His nature. The original sin advocate is therefore forced to accept these two beliefs: “God created man in His image” and “Man is born a sinner.” These are contradictory. For if man is created in God’s image, and man is created a sinner, then God is a sinner. As stated, this is unbiblical. The more correct belief is this: “Man is born with the capacity to be tempted, and it is man’s choice whether or not he will sin.”

The doctrine of original sin also makes God a tyrant. If people are born sinners, and they are naturally inclined to sin, what right does God have to condemn them for the way He created them? He has none. So advocates of original sin have to come up with a way to decorate their cruel God with acts of love, saying that God, in His sovereignty, can act however He wishes. Which is true, but as God is also just, and condemnation of one who cannot help his actions is unjust, that claim falls flat.

Original sin advocates also say that Adam was some sort of figurehead for the entire human race, and since he sinned, we are all condemned as sinners because of that. What does the Bible say, though? Ezekiel 18: 20 says, “The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” In other words, we are all responsible for our own sin. Adam’s sin was Adam’s sin, not his descendants’. What Adam did, however, was open up the way for all to be tempted.

Before I go, I will include this last argument. If all are born sinners, then what of the babies who are stillborn, aborted, or die in infancy? The original sin advocate has no choice but to say that these must go to hell. They’re dishonest enough to come up with an excuse (age of accountability), but it’s a contradiction. Sinners, if they are not redeemed, must go to hell. The original sin position must include infants in this.

But infants do not sin. Those who have no knowledge of right or wrong cannot sin. They must be taught right and wrong, and before that time, they are innocent. It is when they are able to make a moral choice (“This is right and I will do it” or “This is wrong but I will do it”) that they are held accountable.

I cannot accept the doctrine of original sin. My sense of justice that God gave me recoils at such a thought.

3 thoughts on “Original Sin

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Concerned Servant

    I apologize for the double-post. You can delete the previous one if you wish, but I needed to repost it to rectify a formatting error.

    Kreig, as I thought more about what you’ve written here, I felt compelled to reply to it. I hope that again you take me seriously, that you read all I have to say, and that this further demonstrates to you what I’m saying. I’m going to address only two points, because I think two are all that need to be addressed right now.
    You have attacked the use of Romans 3:23 specifically by those who promote the doctrine of Original Sin, saying that it makes no sense considering that Christ was fully God and fully Man. You call it foolishness, and say that it “severely weakens” your opponent’s argument. Do you have an alternate definition for “all”? Regardless of whether or not you believe in Original Sin, the verse _Still_ says that “All” have sinned, and it is not the only verse that says it. _You_ make the very _same_ exception for Christ that you say weakens your artificial opponent, attempting to show him as foolish in his logic. This is not just a misuse of logic, this is hypocrisy! 1 John states that anyone who says he has no sin deceives himself. Would you say that Christ was lying if He had said He was without sin? Would you count Christ as part of the “all” in Romans 3:23? Do you believe that Christ sinned? Of course not. And yet the Bible says many times that all have sinned, and that through Adam all men is condemned.

    Romans 5:12
    “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…”

    Romans 5:18-19
    “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

    As for your belief that the “age of accountability” is absolutely necessary for us to defend Original Sin, it is in fact not. Actually, very many people who believe in Original Sin believe that the “age of accountability” is false, and that there is no such thing. Why? Because it is not supported in Scripture. What we _do_ believe, by contrast, is that all men regardless of age or state, are considered by default guilty before God:

    Romans 9:10-13
    “And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, ‘Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.'”

    We also believe that God can save whomever He desires, regardless of age or state, as is demonstrated by John the Baptist who was regenerated in the womb:

    Luke 1:41-44
    “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.'”

    But who is saved and who is not we can no more determine than in adults, because babies are merely ungrown men; we can only trust that God is in control and exercises His will. All the more logical that Christ would not be an ordinary man with a sin nature, as He was not born by a human father, but was born of a virgin. The stance of Original Sin is not as unjust as you have tried to make it seem.

    In your fervor to prove something that you did not like wrong, you have only shown yourself to have acted as a hypocrite, and to have made generalizations and assumptions about your opponents that are in many (even most) cases, not true. You triumphantly underline your accusations with, “My sense of justice that God gave me recoils at such a thought,” attributing your hypocritical statements and generalizations to God!You have given yourself the authority of Scripture, assuming that as you are perfect, and your supposed God-given sense of Justice are equal to infallibility. And yet your sense of justice failed to alert you to the flaws in your own judgemental and prideful zeal.
    This has been a very frank, and perhaps even harsh “comment,” but I appeal to your conscience and any love of God in you to pay attention to what I say. Don’t blind yourself to something that will destroy you. I pray that God gives you the grace to see it and look at what you’ve done before you are drawn further away from Him. You may think that you are drawing closer to God, but you are only drawing closer to yourself. God bless.

  3. Figured I would add this in response to your saying that we have made God a tyrant:

    Romans 9:14-24
    “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
    19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
    22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”

    So do you call God a tyrant for what He claims to do? In the Old Testament, for one man’s sin, God had the earth swallow up his entire family. Was God unjust? To test Job, God let Satan kill all of his children. Was God unfair? Are you now the judge of what would be fair or just for God to do? Do you now blame those who simply believe what God has shown in His word?

Bark at me