Theologically, Original Sin is the taint that all humans have from the sin Adam and Eve committed in the garden by disobeying God’s command not to eat from the tree of knowledge. Augustine states frequently that it is somehow passed on hereditarily whereas Calvin states it is simply a “fall from our original condition.” The doctrine of Original Sin can seem disgusting and hopeless for many. However most people who find it to be a major turnoff from organized religion see it as a doctrine, seperate and raised above others. When one discusses the fall and original sin, we must always begin with “original nobility,” or original righteousness.
We find original sin to be such a blemish on the overall doctrinal configuration of Christianity when we believe that God has created us with a fallen nature, or that by some means our original sin is passed on from something we didn’t do and therefore is unjust. I have heard many arguments that original sin was attributed to Adam, so why do we still bear a mark for something that he did? For if one person commits murder, all are not considered murderers. Why then do we find that the beginning of our lineage in Adam has caused us all to sin?
We find the answers to all of these questions not in the doctrine of original sin, but in the theological perspective of our created purpose. We must begin before the fall in order to understand the disordering of creation through the sin of Adam. We were created to be first and foremost in relationship with God, obeying His good commands so that we might fulfill our purpose of continually giving Him glory and honor above all else. Our created purpose is to love and cherish God above all else. For if we begin from the doctrine that we are all sinners, we do not know the ultimate sin that we have all committed. Indeed some most definitely say that i have not sinned! But we find the origin of Sin in Adam’s decision to follow his own judgement and turn his back on God. For we were created to be in perfect relationship with God, conversing and following his commands so that we might be living in his image. But we find that one simple turn from God’s command brought ruin to all mankind.
For original sin is simply a delineation from original righteousness, or fulfilling our original purpose. Now all of mankind, from Adam onwards, has himself on his mind before God and willingly chooses own glory over God’s glory. For all of us it’s not even a choice. When we are young do we not choose that which we find best suiting for us? Do we choose God’s glory over our own when we are a three year old stealing a toy from another toddler? There is now, through Adam’s decision to eat the forbidden fruit, an innate desire for our own glory over that of God’s. For this is what theologians point to throughout thousands of years of writings, this is indeed what God points to throughout the entire Bible, that indeed we no longer have a natural inclination towards God’s glory, but we have a natural inclination towards propogating our own best interest. For when i was created i did not put my relationship with God first, the reason for which i was created. For we were created to know God and to be in communication with him. How far has humanity fallen from our original nobility before the fall.
We find again that so many find the doctrine of original sin to be disgusting. But if we begin from our original purpose, to know and glory in God, and find that through Adam’s turn towards self-glory, the fall, we find that original sin is something we are all tainted with. For i have to force my mind day in and day out to be centered on God and his love in Jesus Christ for us. It’s not something that is natural. It is a decision that God continues to let me make daily in Christ’s gracious wake. For i was created to love God, and i find it so hard so often to love Him. I am tainted with the stain of original sin and fight daily for the purpose which God created me to fulfill, to love him and “hallow” his name as glorious above all else. May original sin not deter us from the faith, but may it kindle a zeal for God’s glory above all else in our lives. May it strengthen us to find the prupose for which we were created and may we burn with a passion that our own glory must be crucified, for we must “take up our own cross” in order to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and know God for who He is, the Lover of mankind.
(ORIGINALLY POSTED: July 16th, 2008)