Verses Misused to teach Original Sin

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Inspector Javert, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Inspector Javert

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    There are a number of verses misused to teach a doctrine of "Original Sin". By that we mean an inherited wickedness which renders us either already guilty prior to having personally sinned, or, a view that “sin” is an inherited genetic trait specifically passed down from our fathers. Now, it is not denied that mankind inherits flesh..which is inherently weak and subject to lust and subsequent sin. Also man inherits a world full of temptations, and a propensity to do that which is wrong. Similarly, we are given a will…which (by definition) means that we inherit a desire or drive to do that which pleases US, and not necessarily what pleases another (namely God). But that does not mean that sin itself is a genetically passed trait which renders all infants inherently guilty or in need of salvation.
    Sin is the transgression of God's Law. The Scripture defines it this way precisely:
    1Jo 3:4
    Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
    It is not a gene. It is not a physical defect. It is a willful disobedience to revealed Law. It is something one DOES, not something one IS. "Original Sin" as believed to be an inherited defect has no foundation in Scripture. And some verses misused to teach that falsehood are exposed here.
    Here are a few of them recently cited and an explanation of how they either
    1.) Simply do no such thing
    2.) Often teach exactly the opposite:
    The one most commonly cited is probably Ps. 51:5

    A.) Psa 51:5
    Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    However, does this teach that sin is an inherited genetic defect? Well, provided those who use this verse in this way are willing to teach that that same physical defect can be physically removed by scrubbing it away with a hyssop plant, then they will be being consistent in their hermeneutic. Here are some other statements which taken as definitive facts about how sin operates which MUST ALSO be believed if they want to use vs. 5 this way:
    Psa 51:7
    Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    Do adherents of Original Sin claim that I can be cleaned with a particular plant? If not, then you aren’t being consistent with your interpretation of this passage.
    Psa 51:8
    Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
    Did God physically break David’s bones? If that is not your claim, then you are picking and choosing how you interpret this obviously poetic literature and making one clause to be a pseudo-scientific/ physical claim, and relegating the parts you don’t like to mere poetry….
    That’s not how to interpret the work.

    B.) Jer 13:23
    Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

    Interestingly, this passage directly contradicts the notion of Original Sin. It tells us that our nature has been defined and is the way it is because of what we have DONE…not because of how we are Born. See the qualifying clause: “accustomed to do”
    Obviously, a man’s skin is as it is because of genes, as is a leopard’s spots. But our propensity to do evil as a matter of our nature exists not because of genes…but because of what we are ACCUSTOMED TO DOING. This verse is telling us, that those who have become accustomed to sinning have so ordered and defiled themselves such that it has BECOME natural to do evil….just as it is natural at birth for a leopard to have spots.

    C.) Eph 2:1-3
    And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
    We are dead because of our sins…

    Wherein in time past ye walked
    Notice that sin and our death in sin is because of how we have WALKED….it is something we have done, not a treatise on how we are genetically born.

    according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation

    Our “Course” is a direction we have chosen to take. Our “conversation” is a description of how we have acted, neither is an inherited trait.

    in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

    Why were we “by nature” the children of wrath?.....because of what we have DONE, because we Fulfilled the lust of the flesh (which we do inherit) how we have WALKED, our COURSE and because of our CONVERSATION, all action verbs describing things we do, not a state of being.

    D.) John 3: 3-5
    Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.


    This one is interesting….presumably, it is being brought up because it has been already assumed that we have sin in our genes and are therefore in need of being “born again”. While this is consistent with the notion of Original Sin (actually most verses used are)…it certainly doesn’t ESTABLISH it. If a view of Original Sin as commonly taught is ASSUMED then this verse appears to re-enforce it. However, it is a leap in logic to say it teaches it.
    All flesh has corrupted it’s way upon the Earth, and Christ’s Kingdom is Spiritual. Therefore, the corrupted flesh is insufficient to be with God, and God who is Spirit insists that man be born “again” of the Spirit. However, does being born of the Spirit somehow UNDO the birth of water or flesh? If not, then Original Sin still remains, and man would still not be able to be with God. Is “Original Sin” completely REMOVED at the point of re-birth? If not, then whatever the purpose of re-birth is, it isn’t strictly to remove a physical trait. If being born again removes that Original Sin, than those who teach the second-blessing are correct…..there is no reason why men, now no longer tainted with it, need sin, and should be perfect. Why, after all, is the so-called “old nature” still with us?

    Because it is a matter of habit, not genes.
    Because it is a matter of possessing weak flesh (an inherited trait)
    Because we still have a “Will” and a “will” is by definition something which seeks the desires of it’s possessor and not another.

    It is at minimum a stretch to assume Original Sin simply from these verses.

    E.) Jer 17:9,10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
    This one would be simply laughable, if not so tragic: Presumably, the strength of it is that it mentions one’s heart, which is something which (at least physically) exists at birth. But it BLATANTLY refuses to allow the preceding verses (7and8) to place it within it’s proper context:
    Jer 17:7-8
    Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
    Here, a man who has done that which is good, becomes a certain SORT of tree….namely, one which bears GOOD fruit. Notice the actions described. In verse 9 and 10:
    according to his ways
    according to the fruit of his doings.

    Compare them to the presumptively GOOD trees which bear GOOD fruit in the preceding verses, which are ignored:
    the man that trusteth in the LORD….
    For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters…. neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

    Yes, a man is known by the fruit of his doings….and a man who trusts in the Lord bears GOOD fruit. How, then is this verse claiming that Adam’s Ribonucleic Acid imparts a sin defect at birth? The passage is straightforward, simple, and it not only DOESN’T teach Original Sin…..it specifically denies the doctrine.

    F.) Isa 64:6
    But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
    By now, it should be clear that sin is a description of people’s Goings, ways, doings, actions, choices etc… This verse, like some previous one’s reinforces that sin is not a genetic defect…but a description of actions. It speaks directly Against the notion of Original Sin as often believed here is what it says of sin:
    we all do fade as a leaf
    our iniquities…… have taken us away


    Original Sin, as commonly taught is not Scriptural. It is a fact that because of Adam, like Adam, because we are mankind, we have inherited flesh, a propensity to sin, weakness against temptation etc…and like Adam, we all do fade as a leaf. Like Adam we all like sheep do “GO ASTRAY”. Adam’s sin brought physical death, corruption and sickness into the world. We all like our fathers have a will and bent to do that which is evil.
    But, sin is not a genetic defect; children are not born guilty of having committed it.
    It is a conscious choice all men make when they know the law, and choose of their own free will (which we also inherit) to do that which is right in our own eyes.
     
    #1 Inspector Javert, Apr 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2014
  2. Inspector Javert

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  3. Winman

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    Yes, where are all the folks who are going to refute this heresy?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Inspector Javert

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    It appears that proponents of "Original Sin" / "Original Guilt" have no Scripture to pose to defeat this claim.....

    If they did, they would demonstrate it.


    When they attempt, I stand ready to exegete why NONE of the beloved "proof-texts" will support their claims...
    Indeed, most of them will actually DENY their doctrine.

    Anyone have SCRIPTURE which proves that children are guilty of committing sin at their conception, or SCRIPTURE which state in no uncertain terms that we are all tainted with the sickness of sin at the moment of conception?

    Can any taker show from God's Word that sin is a genetically passed condition from the male R.N.A.....instead of a WILLFUL disobedience to God's (already revealed) Law as the Scriptures describe it...

    Show me your verses....and I'll demonstrate verse by verse why your doctrine doesn't hold...and NEVER DID.

    It's Manichean heresy....a belief that matter itself is, or can be, inherently "good" or "bad" and that makes it a Medieval superstition tatamount to believing that Black Cats are familiars for witches....

    It's time the Church divorce itself from this Medieval superstition and accept the simple definition of sin as God clearly revealed in His Word:
    1Jo 3:4
    Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

    B.T.W :

    For those witches who think that only MALES pass on the "sin-gene"....

    NOW that we can scientifically ISOLATE genes...won't we be able to remove that in the near future???
    Once we are indeed capable of isolating and then removing certain strands of R.N.A....

    Won't we then be able to remove this superstitious "sin-gene" that Adam has?
    If it's a PHYSICAL DEFECT....man can SAVE HIMSELF from sin...via genetic re-engineering.

    Folks, if it can be removed by man alone within the next 50-75 years (and any particular strand of R.N.A. will easily be removed by then)....than the grace of God is of none effect.

    Think about it.
     
    #4 Inspector Javert, Apr 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2014
  5. InTheLight

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    Thanks for posting this. Interesting.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    Anytime I have laid out a post like this it gets ignored. Don't hold your breath.
     
  7. JamesL

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    It seems that the OP blurs the distinction between the body and spirit. Or maybe there is a misunderstanding of the doctrine of Original Sin? I could be wrong as to those points, though. Maybe some clarification is in order?

    Is this post written from a Traducian standpoint? That would best explain the seeming lack of distinction. However, Traducianism lends support for Original Sin

    I do not support the notion of Original Sin, as it has enormous problems regarding Christ. This heretical notion gave rise to the Immaculate Conception, and denies the scripture which declare that Christ was made like us in all things

    But the position stated in the OP has its own issues - at least as far as I understand the arguments
     
  8. Inspector Javert

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    Thanks James for your insights.... I hold no illusions that everything in the O.P. is perfect and without flaw, as far as your last statement:
    You may be right, I believe my arguments and exegesis are sound, but I may have missed something...if I've erred somewhere, please lemme know. :thumbsup:
     
  9. Inspector Javert

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    Yeah...I know. I've seen such before.

    That's fine as far as it goes, and doesn't bother me until the point that the opposition IVARIABLY claims that Scripture is on their side, (and they string a list of addresses with no exposition).

    But....you argue verse by verse and line by line....
    And no one wants to refute you.

    That scares me.
     
  10. Van

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    Hello folks, I am a proponent of "Original Sin." But let me define "Original Sin" so we will not be discussing some other strawman construct. Adam sinned in the Garden, and this sin was volitional, he knew what God had commanded and he violated that command knowingly. Now as a consequence of that sin, God separated Himself from Adam, figuratively He banned Adam from the Garden. And as a consequence of Adam's sin, He altered spiritually Adam and Eve. So the consequence of Adam's sin is not passed genetically, or biologically through either the father or the mother. Now many do hold that view, but it is unbiblical.

    God caused the "many" which refers to everyone but Christ, to be made sinners. Yet they had not done anything good or bad. So to be made sinners refers to being separated from God with a corrupted human spirit. Thus by nature, we are children of wrath.

    Now, having defined the biblical doctrine of Original Sin, lets consider the verses supposedly misused to support the doctrine.

    1) Sin is a transgression of the Law. But is sin limited to only the transgression of the Law, or are there other kinds of sins, such as treating others differently than you would treat yourself? Yes.

    2) Sin has consequences, such as the wages of sin is death. Sin causes a separation from God. So to be with God, we are alive, and to be separated from God is to be dead. Thus to be conceived in iniquity, one is conceived in a separated from God state, even though the person has not done anything good or bad.

    3) The idea of Psalm 51:7 is David had sinned (gone into Bathsheba) and was asking for forgiveness. Hyssop apparently was a plant used in ceremonial cleaning, and is used interchangeably, so David is asking to be cleaned so he is purified. The Old Covenant practice, where a sin offering or ceremonial washing results in forgiveness for past sin has no application to the doctrine of Original Sin. By the works of the Law no flesh is justified. Zip.

    4) The idea of those seeking to nullify the doctrine that the many were made sinners, is that the verse which says David was conceived in iniquity can be dismissed as simply having no basis in fact, because the passage uses figurative language. The rule most people apply is if it makes sense, seek no other sense, and never dismiss scripture as nonsense. God chose the words and was saying something important.

    5) It is certainly true if we are accustomed to sinning, we are likely to continue the habit. But to deny we are by nature children of wrath, and only become sinners when we sin after the age of accountability, cannot be supported biblically.

    6) Not to put to fine a point on it but "by nature" refers to a condition or state, not a learned behavior.

    7) We must be born anew spiritually, not physically. The reason is to overcome spiritual corruption.

    8) To be predisposed to sin does not mean a person through faithfulness to God cannot behave righteously.

    9) No question that sinning is doing, acting, thinking and so forth. That proves "A" but does not prove "B", that as a consequence of Adam's sin, the many were made sinners, conceived in a sinful separated from God and spiritually dead state.

    At the end of the day, the OP seems to be showing that Original Sin is not passed genetically, and that it does not result in Total Spiritual Inability. But it goes too far and denies we were made sinners, separated from God, and by nature were children of wrath.
     
  11. exscentric

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    I've probably been under my rock to long but have never ever heard anyone say original sin was transferred via genes.
     
  12. Inspector Javert

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    You probably have, and may not have even recognized it as such:
    It's not said in so many words....

    But, if you hear someone claim that Christ HAD to be born of a virgin without a human father....

    That's exactly what you heard.
     
  13. exscentric

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    You may have an interpretation problem on yer end if that if your belief.
     
  14. Inspector Javert

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  15. Inspector Javert

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    If not an interpertashun probrem...

    if's a I knows where de's-a- is comin' from probrem....
     
  16. Van

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    1) Figuratively, the banning from the Garden illustrates the separation caused by sin.

    2) When Adam sinned, then both Adam and Eve's eyes were opened. That was not a physical transmission, but a spiritual one. The verse is Genesis 3:7.

    3) Those without biblical support resort to name calling, it is a stupid practice.

    4) You have disqualified yourself with needless name calling, clearly violating the rules of posting.

    5) To be made sinners is an action of God.

    6) The sin of those without the Law is described in Romans 2.

    7) Simply saying scripture does not say this or that is without merit. Ephesians 2:5 says we are made alive together with God. Now what would be the state of someone before they were together with Christ. My answer is not alive, therefore dead.

    8) The Bible is consistent, and so what Paul teaches is consistent with the inspired words of David.

    9) The charge that to be consistent I must support universalism is twaddle.

    10) Most people accept there is a difference between nature and nurture. What is it when you mush things together, oh I know conflating. Well one of us is certainly conflating and nullifying and so forth.

    11) The verses I have presented make my case. That the many were made sinners can be in scripture. That iniquity causes a separation can be found in scripture. That Eve's eyes were opened by non-physical transmission of corruption can be found in scripture. Saying that Original Sin cannot be found in scripture is without merit.

    12. God made the many sinners, in a sinful separated from God state, corrupted so that by nature we are children of wrath.
     
  17. Winman

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    Nothing figurative about it, being banned from the garden fulfilled God's curse that they would return to the dust as it denied them access to the tree of life. But nowhere does it say God cursed Adam's descendants so that they would be born spiritually dead.

    They now understood between good and evil which made them accountable. Thus, they spiritually died, being convicted as sinners. This is passed down to Adam's descendants, but it takes time to develop, newborn babies and little children are not born knowing good from evil as shown in many scriptures.

    Deu 1:39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

    These children did not yet know between good and evil and were not punished for their parent's sin. They were allowed to enter the promised land which is a figure of heaven.

    Isa 7:16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

    This scripture shows a little child does not at first know to refuse evil and choose good.

    So, man became as God, knowing good and evil when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, but this knowledge takes time to mature, just as no child is born knowing how to walk at first.

    He simply said your view was stupid. I agree.

    Yes, but there is another explanation for this word "made". It doesn't necessarily mean Adam's descendants were physically or spiritually transformed into sinners.

    What I personally believe this scripture is saying is that Adam and Jesus became the legal precedent for those who committed similar actions as they did afterward. This is a common practice in law, and what I believe Paul is describing in Romans 5. For those who sinned as Adam sinned, they were judged or made "sinners". This is a legal term like felon. As Adam was made or judged "a sinner" when he transgressed God's law, all men after him who transgress God's law are likewise made or judged as "sinners" and sentenced to the same punishment as Adam was, which is death.

    Rom 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

    Do you see here how being a "sinner" is a legal term descrbing a specific judgment? It is like being called a "felon" which describes a certain type of criminal who has committed a more serious crime than someone who has committed a misdemeanor only. Persons who commit a misdemeanor are called a "misdemeanant".

    This is the purpose of a "legal precedent" to provide fairness and consistency in law, to treat all violators of similar crimes (but legal actions as well) equally and fairly.

    Likewise, when one believes on Jesus as Jesus trusted his Father to raise him from the dead, these persons are judged or made "righteous" which is a legal term, and are given eternal life as Jesus was.

    Your view is not consistent, because you impute Adam's sin UNCONDITIONALLY to all men, while you impute righteousness CONDITIONALLY to those who believe on Jesus. This violates Paul's form of argument where he treats both halves of each verse equally.

    My view treats each half equally and does not violate Paul's form of argument as yours does.

    Yes, and it says they died because they violated the law written on their hearts. Paul does not so much as mention Adam here.

    Yes, but this scripture does not say a person is born dead. In fact, it says we were dead in trespasses and sins wherein we "walked" and that we "fulfilled" the desires of the flesh and the mind. This in fact proves that we are not born dead. This is also reinforced by Romans 9:11 that shows newborn babies have "done" no evil. Sin is an action, it is a knowing transgression of God's law as Adam performed in the garden.

    No one is questioning the Bible, we are questioning YOUR interpretation of the Bible.

    No, Inspector Javert is perfectly correct, to be consistent you must support Universalism. You do not support Universalism, because your interpretation is inconsistent, you impute Adam's sin unconditionally to all men, while you impute Jesus's righteousness conditionally to only those that believe. This is inconsistent with Paul's form of argument that treats each half of these verses in Romans 5 equally.

    Then you must believe men do not have a sin nature, because Romans 2 says "by nature" men do the things contained in the law.

    Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

    To be consistent, you must believe man's nature is to obey God's laws. Therefore, man is NOT born with a sin nature.

    As I have shown, there are other interpretations for these verses, interpretations that are consistent with Paul's form of argument of which yours are not.

    No, God fairly and justly judged all men who sinned as Adam did as "sinners" and sentenced them to death, he likewise fairly and justly judged those who believed on Jesus as Jesus believed on the Father as "righteous" and gave them eternal life.

    Rom 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
     
    #17 Winman, Apr 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2014
  18. Inspector Javert

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    Van......
    Nobody has called you any names.

    That accusation, which you managed to complain about twice in the same post is a false accusation.
     
  19. Inspector Javert

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  20. Van

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    To equate "dealing" with "dismissing" is to seek refuge in personal incredulity.

    When a person is conceived in iniquity, are they "in Adam" i.e. dead, or are they "in Christ" alive? If in Christ, where nothing can snatch us out of his hand, how were they made sinners?
     

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