Sobornost wrote: Jeff is either Welsh or lives in Wales
All judgment for sin is evil. God imposed death (mortality) upon all mankind when Adam sinned. This has been the root cause of all subsequent evil in the world that man has done as a consequence of this mortal condition or weakness.
Many do not understand this, and even Bible translators have tried to correct Paul's writings, thinking that he made a mistake. A key misunderstanding is seen in the NASB translation of Romans 5:12,
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.
As translated above, it seems to say that through Adam, sin entered the world—because he was the first sinner. And then death came as a result of sin. Then, as Adam begat children, this death (mortality) spread to them as well—“because all sinned.”
We are left with the impression that Adam's children all became mortal because they sinned. The implication is that if they had not sinned, they would not be mortal. This is incorrect, and it is not what Paul was actually saying.
The Concordant Literal New Testament translates it this way:
12 Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death, and thus death passed through into all mankind, ON WHICH [eph ho] all sinned.
The Greek phrase, eph ho, means “on which,” and is the equivalent of “therefore.” It does not mean “because.” This is crucial, because we need to know what caused what. Did mankind become mortal BECAUSE they sinned? No, it is the opposite. Mortality was passed into mankind ON WHICH they all sinned. Mankind sins because they are mortal. Mortality is their fatal flaw, their weakness.
So the order of events is this: First, Adam sinned. God imposed the death penalty upon him, which we know as “mortality.” From there, we find that all of his children were born mortal as well. This mortality made them weak and susceptible to sin. Therefore, all have sinned.
This tells us that through Adam, sin entered the world, along with its penalty, death. Adam's sin was then imputed to all of us, not only to His descendants, but indeed to all of creation, which groans in travail because of it (Rom. 8:22).
Adam's sin was imputed to us. That simply means, we were blamed for his sin, though it was an act done outside of ourselves. And thus, we all had to pay the penalty for Adam's sin, which is death. This is why we are all mortal. We are not mortal because WE sinned; we are mortal because Adam sinned, and his sin was imputed to us.
By the same process, the righteousness of Jesus is an act done outside of ourselves, but which is imputed to us. Thus, we benefit from its effect-life, or immortality. We may illustrate the principle like this:
1. Johnny steals a cookie.
2. The whole class gets blamed for it.
3. The class must pay back with 2 cookies.
The trouble is, no one in the class has any cookies, nor do they know how to make them. But suddenly a smart new kid named Ricky comes to class. What a break! He knows how to make cookies! So . . .
1. Ricky makes cookies and repays the debt.
2. The class gets the credit for it.
3. The class is free to go out and play.
Johnny and Ricky have something in common. By one bad deed Johnny brought guilt upon the whole class, and so they all had to pay the penalty. On the other hand, by one good act Ricky brought justification to the whole class, and so they all benefited.
It seems to have similarities to Adam & Eve. Personally I think any intelligence that has the ability to make reasonably conscious/free choices will always eventually make selfish, rebellious (call it sin if you like) & unwise decisions. Any good, loving parent/God would want to help the being make better choices, even if it requires painful discipline. So Genesis, my children & artificial intelligence research all suggest to me the fall & subsequent URCindy Skillman wrote:On a purely observational basis, anyone who has had or spent much time with toddlers has seen the natural human propensity toward selfishness. Is this sin? Well, I suppose . . . no law, no sin. Still, it's hardly desirable behavior. Is this a sign of innate, original sin? Perhaps not punishable as active sin, because of the little ones' inability to understand, but it's rare that you see a wee one whose natural inclination is self sacrifice and preferring others over herself. Yes, they are often very affectionate and loving -- so long as they're getting their way!
What does anybody think of this? What does it mean?
Sobornost wrote:Finally, a Catholic sort of Protestant I may be, but I am still a Protestant..
Sobornost wrote: He - whoever he was - also went on to argue that fear of death is the primary cause of sin because it makes us anxious to preserve ourselves rather than give ourselves away.
In order to fully appreciate the scope of God's redemptive work in Christ, we must reevaluate our perspective on death. Western Christians have inherited an Augustinian view of original sin that deeply influences our understanding of God's redemptive plan. We are often unaware of this influence. However, we must never underestimate the following fact: The way we describe our problem ("original sin") deeply influences what we perceive as the necessary solution to our problem. In other words, our view of salvation is primarily shaped by our understanding of what exactly is wrong and what needs to be put to right.
Following Augustine's lead, Western Christians generally assume that death is God's punishment for sin. In other words, death is God's doing. Stated in the starkest of terms, Western Christians generally assume that daath is God's judgment on guilty sinners - God's punishment for sin. Though we attempt to soften the blow by assigning the devil as God's chosen instrument of death, the implications remain the same: God kills guilty sinners. And God is justified in doing so because of the guilt of sin. The "wages of sin is death" because God vindictively punishes the sinner for his or her sins.
The Eastern Orthodox view of our main problem ("original sin") and God's solution is markedly different. Sin is its own undoing; it contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. Sin is the turning away from the divine life and love, and its ultimate consequence is alienation and death. God did not create death; we brought it upon ourselves through our sin. God warned of death because death is not God's will: "for in the day that you eat from it, you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:16). Rather, communion, obedience, and the sharing of divine life is God's will.
AUniversalist wrote:Death was not a physical consequence of disobedience to God's command but a spiritual one. Spiritual death is not a dead spirit or destruction of the spirit, but is mindset in which one lives in perpetual fear. It is death because those who live in fear and doubt can never truly live. They die unsure, they die in fear, they die in that which they do not know, they are blind, veiled and constantly in anger and frustration.
The gospel is that what we don't know doesn't hurt us, in fact we can live by faith and not by sight and that perfect love has come and drives out all fear and we can walk confidently knowing that doing good and remaining humble has no regrets and that one would not want to do the things which brings us back into doubt and hopelessness anymore.
Alex Smith wrote:Thanks Dick. I like the Eastern view, summarised by Ware, but must admit I haven't looked into this as much as I would like.
I think we live in an imperfect world & are born imperfect, generally rebellious, people, although still God's children, made in His image (implying inherent worth). I don't think we can get out the situation we're in without the Holy Spirit's help, often using rehabilitative punishment/discipline.
It's interesting that most Western Christians have softened Original Sin (e.g. children no longer just go straight to hell).
BirdOfTheEgg wrote:I really like this, because this speaks to me a lot, and is part of how I got converted to Christianity.
I was, essentially, converted by Hebrews 11. It's a bit of an existential crisis vs crisis of morality. When you want to do X, Y, and Z, but those things appear to be illogical and not supportive of personal survival or pleasure. When you're trying to figure out what IS wrong, and WHY it's wrong, and your view is faded.
And trying to find a home.
I believe faith is a much more loaded word than just "Oh, I believe in God". It's more akin to what Lewis described as Joy.
Tbh, I'm largely not going to accept this. I do not, will not, view children (in the basic sense) as active sinners. Developmental processes do not make them sinners, because they do not control their own development, so saying a child is a sinner because they are going through an ego-centric phase is really not smart. I guess I'll make a thread on my view on sin sometime to explain. Child corruption is a special topic of mine and if you are going to call children sinners I assure you we are all doomed because we can barely get even there. There's a reason Jesus said that to children belongs the Kingdom of Heaven, because they're not sinners, and put in a proper environment, they would be fine. I believe children will stumble a lot, and not resist corruption very well, and that is their ancestral sin. But not the fact that they think the world disappears when they close their eyes, that's a developmental phase.Sobornost wrote:Children are indeed sinners – if you’ve been a parent or worked with young children you will know this all too well.
Children are born innocent and pure in the sense that they can discern a lot of things correctly if you let them. How many times I've seen a child make a completely logical request and a parent shut them up. This breeds sin, and destroys faith. Parents raise them in their crooked way, and parents actually make most of their children very, very evil, because they give them false information, and lying creates evil. Lying to children is not cute. Then you have this evil kid who becomes an evil teenager and you have to have society whine about them and fix them.
This implies disobedience is fundamentally negative. This is false by any method of deciding anything that I can possibly use. Blind obedience is the #1 (I'm serious) cause of all evil in this world. The Nazis were caused by obedience, of one ignoring the strife of another. Wars are caused by obedience, of the blind soldier and the spineless citizen. Various disgusting things are obedience of the flesh, greed is obedience to money. We are slaves of the one whom we obey, and we if obey anything but God we are led to evil acts, because all other authorities are faulty. The disobedience of God in favor of authorities with no authority is the evil.AUniversalist wrote:Indeed a child is born innocent but when a child disobeys, they disobey on lack of knowledge to the command that they were given.
This relies on a rather literal reading of Genesis. I would want to have more details regarding Genesis before jumping to such conclusions. For me, Genesis is not significantly better than Revelation in terms of degree of metaphor.AUniversalist wrote:No different than Adam and Woman being commanded not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, they had no idea what the command meant, nor did they have any experience on what it meant to die.
Jesus had no intention of destroying Mosaic Law. He quoted from it, and said it would not pass away. Instead, Jeremiah says it is to be written into our hearts.AUniversalist wrote:Jesus came to show us that what religion taught us about sin, has been wrong and He died to destroy the Mosiac Law that set itself against man and claiming to be from God.
No, I do not believe we are already justified and sanctified from my reading of the Bible. One is justified by faith, which is regarded as righteousness, and this saves. One is sanctified through baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, which drives a person to avoid sin, and become without blemish, and these are the royal priesthood.AUniversalist wrote:If you learned what sin was from a religious system, you probably don't realize we are already justified and sanctified and the punishment of the Law is not real.
I remember that one Eastern Father - St Iraeneus - interpreted Adam's sin as result of weakness and immaturity, and looked on the process of redemption as being, in part, a process of growing up (as with the history of the species, so with the history of the individual I say).
New International Version (NIV)
24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
BirdOfTheEgg wrote:I believe corporal punishment definitely has a place but few people seem to know where that place is. For most people, corporal punishment becomes continual, while it should be an, at most, occasionally enforced. It's like the Hebrews never learned about positive/negative reinforcement and stuff, overall that Proverb reeks of the times. It was probably all they knew back then.
Any other thoughts on how this relates to the education of children? – There was another interesting article in the UK press today that chimes with Anthony’s insight (above) into punishment and resentment.
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