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Does Islam cause terrorism?  Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Moral Equivalency Applied Islamic History 0409.htm

Is the Bible Godís Word?  Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Is the Bible the Word of God.htm

Why does God Allow Evil?  Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm

Is Christian teaching from ancient paganism? /Bookhtml/Paganism influence issue article Journal 013003.htm

Should Godís existence be proven? /Apologeticshtml/Should the Bible and God Be Proven Fideism vs WCG.htm

Does the Bible teach blind faith?  Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Gospel of John Theory of Knowledge.htm


Is the Doctrine of Original Sin True?


Should we believe in the doctrine of original sin?Although the Bible reveals that we arenít born with the guilt or stain of Adamís sin on us, we are born into a fallen world that promotes sinful tendencies among all people.


As explained in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve were successfully tempted by Satan, who was speaking through a serpent or snake.Once their eyes were opened by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they knew they had sinned.  They hid from God when He visited the Garden of Eden (v. 8, 10), which showed they knew they were in the wrong.  Eve was deceived, but Adam wasn't, according to Paul (I Timothy 2:14). So what were the consequences for their descendants because of their sin?Eve was condemned to have more pain in childbirth and her husband would rule over her.Adam was condemned to the hard work of making a living from the earth that God had cursed as a punishment for his sin.But these arenít spiritual punishments, only physical ones.They did die because of their sin eventually, which would be a spiritual punishment, not just a physical one.


Would it be just for God to condemn people for a sin that they didnít actually commit?This is the basic problem with the doctrine of original sin, which maintains that all human beings are born with Adamís sin assessed against them.In Ezekiel 18:20 God proclaims a basic moral principle:"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.ĒSo if we take this directly and literally, the son of Adam, Seth, was born without sin or guilt on him.Seth wasnít condemned to die from birth because of his fatherís (Adamís) sin.


However, have people been born with intrinsic tendencies to sin?We find in Ecclesiastes 7:29:ďTruly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes."Similarly, God made everything to be good in the beginning, before Adam sinned (Genesis 1:31):ďAnd God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.ĒNotice that the heart of man is evil ďfrom his youth,Ē but not from his birth (Genesis 8:21).So people arenít born with the guilt of Adamís sin on them nor are they born with an innate tendency to sin.Instead, it is acquired after birth because of the influence of Satan and the evil world around us.


In this context, itís important to examine the key text used to justify the doctrine of original sin.As Paul explains in Romans 5:12, "through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." Notice those last three words.†† This text has often been cited as absolute proof of the doctrine of original sin, yet it contradicts it when carefully read.Notice that it doesnít say, ďbecause he [i.e., Adam] sinned.ĒSo all men die because they all sinned (cf. Romans 3:23; 6:23), not because of the first manís sin.


However, itís important to examine two verses that appear later in the same chapter of Romans (verses 18-19):ďTherefore, 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. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.Ē†† These verses are actually much better, on the face of them, for proving the doctrine of original sin than verse 12 is.However, we shouldnít try to contradict the principle of Ezekiel 18:20 here. What they mean is that people are born into a world cut off from God and his direct influence.They become sinners not directly because of Adamís sin being assessed against them, but because all of Adam and Eveís descendents are born into a world in which they end up sinning because of the influence of Satan, the evil world civilization around us, and our acquired evil human nature since birth.After all, notice that all people arenít actually justified or made obedient by Christís sacrifice until they have the faith to accept it, which obviously a majority of the worldís population hasnít done.So we canít take literally this statement that everyone is presently justified by what Jesus did.


Although the doctrine of original sin is false, it is true that the human race is indeed born into a world cut off from God, which makes it very easy to sin.


Eric V. Snow



Click here to access essays that defend Christianity:  /apologetics.html

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Why does God Allow Evil? Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm

May Christians work on Saturdays? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Protestant Rhetoric vs Sabbath Refuted.htm

Should Christians obey the Old Testament law? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Does the New Covenant Abolish the OT Law.htm

Do you have an immortal soul? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Here and Hereafter.htm

Does the ministry have authority? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is There an Ordained Ministry vs Edwards.html

Is the United States the Beast? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Are We the Beast vs Collins.htm

Should you give 10% of your income to your church? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Does the Argument from Silence Abolish the Old Testament Law of Tithing 0205 Mokarow rebuttal.htm

Is Jesus God? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is Jesus God.htm

Will there be a third resurrection? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Will There Be a Third Resurrection.htm



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