Monday, April 9, 2012

Where is Original Sin in Genesis 3?

The idea of Original Sin is something that I gave up a while back. The doctrine of Original Sin states that when Adam disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, sin entered into the cosmos. Since every human being came from Adam and Eve, everyone is infected with the sin of Adam. That is, everyone is born a sinner and condemned to hell for all of eternity because Adam ate an apple.

That "sin nature", which we are all born with, completely separates us from God, unless we believe rightly about God and Jesus (the Bible, baptism, music, virgin birth, atonement, resurrection, and the color of the walls and carpet in the sanctuary depending on what version of Christianity you are apart of).

In short, we are born separated from God and we stand condemned before God until the day, when we repent and ask Jesus into our hearts (or however you want to phrase the conversion experience), our sins can be forgiven now because God has already taken all of God's wrath out on Jesus when he was on the cross.

I wont go into ALL the reasons I don't hold to Original Sin (maybe another time), but I will point out that the doctrine of Original Sin is not found in Genesis 3, the so called "fall".

Neither Adam or Eve died after eating the fruit, which is what God had originally said the consequence would be ("you must not eat from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die").

"But God meant a spiritual death" you might say, but that's not what the text says. It's funny how literalist all of the sudden like metaphors.

Adam and Eve were not separated from God. The most commonly used illustration of "Original Sin", and how the whole gospel works for that matter, is a picture of a great chasm with God on one side and humans on the other in which neither, God nor humans, can cross no matter how much they want to.

However, that is not the picture Genesis 3 paints for us. After Adam and Eve sin, God immediately comes looking for them calling out, "Where are you?".

God searches until what was lost is found.

God showed mercy on Adam and Eve before they "repented". There was no repentance and were no confessions made before God sewed together the animal skins and clothed Adam and Eve. Up to that point there had only been excuses and both guilty parties blaming their mistakes on each other and even God ("the woman YOU put here with me"...). Then, in the first verse of chapter 4, Eve gives birth to a son... "with the help of the Lord".

That's right, God helps/blesses Adam and Eve. It appears that Adam and Eve are still in good relations with God even though they sinned and Jesus hadn't shed any blood yet. Could it be that God forgave Adam and Eve simply because God loved them and wanted to forgive them?

This isn't to say that there weren't consequences for what Adam and Eve had done. For apparently we now have to work for food, women experience pain during child birth (although we have found some loop holes thanks to modern medicine), and snakes no longer have legs (I confess, I couldn't even write that one with a straight face). But it doesn't appear that God COULDN'T get to Adam and Eve... because God did get to Adam and Eve.

I Believe in a God that leaves the ninety nine in order to search out and find the one lost, a God who stops at nothing until the lost coin is found, and a God who forever waits to see His lost son coming home over the horizon so he can run to welcome him.

I believe in a God that can do whatever God wants,
and nothing, not death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation can separate us from the love of that God.

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