Southern Baptists andOriginal Sin...Or the Lack Thereof

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by APuritanMindset, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. APuritanMindset

    APuritanMindset
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    From the Baptist Faith and Message:

    By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.

    Does this deny the idea of original sin? If so, isn't this promoting a form a semi-Pelagianism, which was condemned as a heresy a long time ago? If so, doesn't something need to be done about this?
     
  2. Johnv

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    I don't remotely see how this excerpt from the BF&M denies the concept of original sin.
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I didn't really what Pelegianism was until I did a search and found this article on it:

    http://www.woodhavenpres.org/semi.htm

    Interesting how subtle the Catholic Doctrine seems to have crept in. Thoughts? Persecutions? :D

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. APuritanMindset

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    By saying that man's nature is "inclined toward" sin and that one is not a sinner and in need of salvation until they are capable of moral decision. If sin is there from the time of conception (Psalm 51) then this excerpt denies original sin by saying that we are not sinners until we are able to choose to sin.
     
  5. Johnv

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    The satement says that man has inhierited "a nature and an environment inclined toward sin". Is this not the concept of original sin? Sounds like it to me. As far as the statement "as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation", are we not made so from our beginning? Probably an agruement that goes more along the lines of "age of accountability".

    I think to view this statement as denying original sin is a bit of a stretch. I see what you're saying in regards to this specific excerpt, but contextually overall, the BF&M does not in any way compromise the concept of original sin.
     
  6. APuritanMindset

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    But the implication of saying that it is only "inclined toward" sin is that there is a slim chance someone could be less inclined to sin than someone else and that even other people could have the ability to live a right life on their own. And since the nature and environment are only inclined toward sin, what is to say someone can't live a right life on their own by fighting really hard to not sin?

    Plus, if you read the Scripture texts they have chosen to go along with the chapter on man, you'll notice the passage from Genesis that says that the thoughts of man's heart is only evil continually is not mentioned. And if they were trying to promote original sin, wouldn't that be a prime verse to back the concept? I would say it is a VERY good one.

    But it seems they are not so worried about being right so much as they wanna make sure they don't tell people what right doctrine is so that the church can remain autonomous and be able to be free from any form of creed or standard to follow for doctrine. (This paragraph is just my opinion)
     
  7. OldRegular

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    It certainly does not deny "original sin" though "inherited sin" is a better term. Please note the statement: Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.

    It is likely that "inclined" is a poor choice of words but that does not negate the above statement.
     
  8. LadyEagle

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    Well, one thing I have been told on this board is:

    Original Sin is not through Adam's seed.

    That is not, however, what I was taught and have always believed, according to the Bible.

    I only bring this up because the doctrine of Original Sin seems relevent to the Divine Blood issue, which I have been assured here on the board by nearly everyone that Jesus had human blood, not divine, and that was probably O+.

    Unfortunately, nearly all the old threads about the Virgin Birth and Divine Blood, etc. are now deleted.

    But this one managed to survive:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/3/2265.html#000002
     
  9. APuritanMindset

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    But even that doesnt say that we are born dead in sin. It gives the impression that before we reach an "age of accountability" we are in some kinda of bubble. That we are not born sinful but born good until a certain time when we turn bad. That doesn't sound like original or inherited sin to me.
     
  10. Aaron

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    No. The Doctrine of Original Sin states not only that we are born under the condemnation of sin, but that we are partakers in the eating of the Forbidden Fruit because we were in Adam's loins.

    I agree with that doctrine by the way, and yes, the Baptist Faith and Message not only compromises it, it denies it.
     
  11. MTA

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    There are a few exceptions I take with this statement:

    1) Eve was tempted, but Adam willingly sinned; he was not tempted.

    Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

    Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:


    2) We inherit a sinful nature and our inclination to sin exists because of that nature; it is not something we grow into. Our environment is sinful because of man's presence and influence, not because of anything inherent in it.

    Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

    Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

    Gen 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.


    3) Until a person is convicted, they are not accountable for their sin and they remain innocent until they become accountable.

    Rom 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
     
  12. stevec

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    You're picking nits. Try reading it at face value instead of with an agenda.

    "Inclined toward sin" does not imply one could be less inclined, you are assuming that and you know what happens when you assume. It means we (man) tend toward sin as opposed to tending toward goodness or holiness. A plain (agenda-less) reading makes this quite clear.
     
  13. Johnv

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    I must agree with stevec here. The OVERALL position of the BF&M supports the concept of original sin as we generally understand it. However, when one reads an uncontextual excerpt with an agenda, one will find whatever one chooses.
     
  14. MTA

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    What agenda?

    What is the difference between being inclined toward something and tending toward something? I think your terms are pretty much synonymous. I would hope that your interpretation is true, but unless you have documentation, your interpretation is also an assumption. (And, you know what happens when you assume . . . right? [​IMG] )

    Unfortunately, the statement is ambiguous and the Bible clearly shows that, at least to my satisfaction.
     
  15. APuritanMindset

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    I didn't read it with an agenda. I was doing the lesson in the Basics for Baptists book that we're going through in our men's study at church and this is the doctrine the book was pushing. It avoided all mention of original sin and even glossed over the idea of even being inclined that way. I take issue with that greatly in light of Scripture.
     
  16. untangled

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    It supports original sin. Clearly. I've never met a Southern Baptist that didn't believe in original sin.
     
  17. stevec

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    You lost me. There is no difference, they are synonymous. My point was that the original poster was picking nits by claiming that inclining (or tending) toward a sinful life was different than being sinful. I say they are just two different ways of saying the same thing.
     
  18. APuritanMindset

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    If it supports original sin so clearly, how come they didn't word it such that there is no way possible it could be misconstrued? I don't think the BFM is trying to support original sin. I think they are trying to be unifiers or keep the church an autonomous body by not telling them exactly what correct doctrine is.

    And I've never met an SB that didn't believe in original sin, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. And with the wording the way it is, it does leave that possibility open.
     
  19. APuritanMindset

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    You lost me. There is no difference, they are synonymous. My point was that the original poster was picking nits by claiming that inclining (or tending) toward a sinful life was different than being sinful. I say they are just two different ways of saying the same thing. </font>[/QUOTE]I don't think they are the same thing at all. See, I am inclined to listen to Marilyn Manson, but I don't act on that inclination. What's to say someone is going to decide not to act on their inclination to sin? The door is wide open for someone to interpret it that way simply because the doctrine is not clearly spelled out the way that it should be. I am not sure how it "should" be worded, but I think the way it is worded leaves too many doors and shows a sign of weakness. Plus, it shows a theological error from a Biblical perspective.
     
  20. MTA

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    APuritanMindset:

    I agree with you. The statement, as written, sends an ambiguous message on key doctrine. If it was intended to be explicit, it should have been written that way.
     

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