Saturday, June 2, 2012

Original Sin

Augustine (354-430)Original Sin
Augustine was the author of the disastrous Church doctrine of original sin that would become orthodox dogma for more than a thousand years.
Reinterpreting Jewish scripture, Augustine said that the disobedience of Adam was an inherited human trait, a sin transmitted in the act of procreation. He thus arrived at the conclusion that all people are sinners from birth. No longer was sin solely the result of conscious individual choice.
With pitiless fanaticism, Augustine extended the guilt of Adam's transgression to every new born baby.
"Unconscious infants dying without baptism are damned by virtue of their inherited guilt."
– St Augustine (Newman,Manual of Church History, Vol. I, p. 366).
New born babes were sinners like the rest of us! There was no escape. Unbaptised babies would burn in torment forever, said the wise bishop. Moreover, the individual could not remove sin by himself no matter how "righteous" he might be; only within the embrace of Holy Mother Church could he be "saved."
"It was just, that after our nature had sinned ... we should be born animal and carnal."
– Augustine (R. Seeburg,History of Doctrine, I, p338)

Judaism’s Rejection Of Original Sin

Saint Augustine (354-430) was the first theologian to teach that man is born into this world in a state of sin. The basis of his belief is from the Bible (Genesis 3:17-19) where Adam is described as having disobeyed G-d by eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. This, the first sin of man, became known as original sin.
Many Christians today, particularly members of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian Churches, subscribe to this belief. They maintain that the sin of Adam was transferred to all future generations, tainting even the unborn. Substantiation for this view is found in the New Testament (Romans 5:12) where Paul says, "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. By one man's disobediance many were made sinners."
Christianity believes that only through the acceptance of Jesus that the "grace" of G-d can return to man. A Christian need only believe in Jesus to be saved; nothing else is required of her.
The doctrine of original sin is totally unacceptable to Jews (as it is to Christian sects such as Baptists and Assemblies of G-d). Jews believe that man enters the world free of sin, with a soul that is pure and innocent and untainted. While there were some Jewish teachers inTalmudic times who believed that death was a punishment brought upon mankind on account of Adam's sin, the dominant view by far was that man sins because he is not a perfect being, and not, as Christianity teaches, because he is inherently sinful.

The Unbiblical Doctrine of Original Sin

The Christian Doctrine of Original Sin is a commonly held dogma theorized originally by Augustine of Hippo ("Saint Augustine" -- November 13, 354 - August 28, 430). This dogma says that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit a "sin nature" entered them and all of their future descendents. Because of this "original sin" they believe that everyone is conceived/born "a sinner" and destined to Hell (a related unbiblical doctrine) unless they get themselves "saved" according to the group's definition before they die:
For Catholics and Orthodox Christians this means that unless one is a member in good standing of the Catholic and/or Orthodox Church they will be eternally lost: "Outside the Church there is no salvation" (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus). The Catholic Church is moderating this view today as the prophets foretold in preparation for the coming global religion.
For most other Christians this means that unless one "accepts Jesus as personal Lord and Savior," is "born again" -- and according to some groups unless one meets various other conditions (for instance certain words must be said upon baptism, one must speak in unknown tongues, one must accept certain beliefs (the Trinity etc) one must live a good life and so on -- one goes to Hell upon death. All such views are based on the belief that the "sin nature" is inherited by all humanity from Adam and Eve's transgression. Various groups explain this in different ways.
The biblical doctrine of yetzer tov and yetzer ra rejects this view. Everyone has to make the same choices placed before Adam and Eve. Will we yield to our positive or negative impulses? A tzadik (righteous person) is one whose good outweighs the negative. As Micah says:
Micah 6:6 "With what can I come before ADONAI to bow down before God on high? Should I come before him with burnt offerings? with calves in their first year? 7 Would ADONAI take delight in thousands of rams with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Could I give my firstborn to pay for my crimes, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" 8 Human being, you have already been told what is good, what ADONAI demands of you - no more than to act justly, love grace and walk in purity with your God.

YetzerA technical Hebrew term for human "inclination" to do good (yetzer ha-tov) or to do evil (yetzer ha-ra).

High Priest of Sin
"Augustine's primary spiritual task was to remove the stain of sexual desire. He thus became the great theologian of guilt and sin but, as is often the case, he remained blind to the price that others had to pay for his righteousness."
– Bishop J. S. Spong (Born of a Woman, p216)
Pure thoughts!

Sins R Us!

The Church has devised a remarkable catalogue of sins:

Original and actual Sin

Original: the act of disobedience by Adam. Inherited at conception but – for the lucky ones! – remitted in baptism.
Actual: a voluntary act of individual will.

Mortal and Venial Sin

Mortal: intrinsically, always and absolutely evil, e.g. blasphemy.
Venial: pardonable, excusable (can even include killing!)

Capital, Cardinal and Grave Sin
(see Deadly Sin)

Material and Formal Sin

Internal Sin ("Thought crime")
delectatio morosa, the pleasure taken in a sinful thought or imagination even without desiring it;

gaudium, dwelling with complacency on sins already committed.

desiderium, the desire for what is sinful.
Habitual sin
– in a state of sin until grace restored by penance.
Sins of commission and omission
Sin of commission is a positive act contrary to some prohibitory precept.

Sin of omission is a failure to do what is commanded.

Everyone has to make the same choices placed before Adam and Eve.

[1] The Unbiblical Doctrine of Original Sin 

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