Explain Original Sin To Me Just One More Time

I get the general idea of this concept. I’m not asking about what it means. It basically means that Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden and thus the fall of man occurred. You can read more here if you want to learn more about the origin of that legend. No, what I want to know about is the reason any of this was allowed in the first place. Maybe some more learned Christian scholars can explain why sin was ever allowed and why any of us are held responsible for the actions of our ancestors.

The story goes, “God told Adam and Eve not to eat forbidden fruit. They did anyway. They were then cursed and so was all of mankind from then until the return of Jesus.” That’s the gist of it. So my question is, ‘why does this make any sense?” God supposedly created a perfect world and a fallen angel somehow ruined his plans. There are endless questions that follow, and almost all of them are “why?” Why would God allow an angel to fall if he was in full control? Why would he then allow that fallen angel to tempt and corrupt mankind? Why would God then curse his creation when he himself allowed that corruption? Why are we cursed today for something that happened way back in the beginning with the first two humans? We hear a lot of reasons why we need Jesus and why we need to turn to God. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We are doing, saying, and thinking things that were not part of God’s plan and therefore need forgiveness. We talk so much about what we have done wrong and how to make our relationship with God right again. What we don’t talk about nearly enough is how any of this makes any sense whatsoever and why we should believe it.

How could a perfect god allow sin if he was in fact perfect and in complete control? Is he not perfect or not in complete control? If he allowed sin intentionally for his own purposes, then why are we held responsible for sins committed? He supposedly doesn’t tempt us, but by allowing sin, is that not temptation? He supposedly despises all sin. We are told that it angers him when people fall victim to the temptation of sin. But if he allowed or even introduced sin into this world himself, then who is really to blame, us or him? Being the reason for sin or allowing it when you have the power to stop it is reason enough to accept some sort of culpability, yet the blame is shifted from God to us. Here comes that question again: Why?

We as mere humans do not have any ability beyond what we are given. If you believe in creation, then you need to accept that all we are and all the abilities we have are limited to what the creator allows. If sin exists, God allowed it. If we sin, God allowed it. If Satan rebelled, God allowed it. God is either weak or he isn’t. If he isn’t weak and could have stopped these things, then why did he allow them and then punish us as a result of us giving in to the temptation of the sin he allowed? Does he enjoy watching us suffer for crimes we either didn’t commit (original sin) or crimes we do commit (current sin) that he himself allows? ALL sin is, and always has been, preventable if God is who we are told he is. All-powerful is not a good descriptor if he can’t stop something from happening that he despises so much. All-knowing is not a good descriptor if he didn’t know Satan would fall and he didn’t know we would be tempted. Yet, the Bible describes both things as being true. Satan was able to rebel and God was unaware that his Garden tenants would eat from the forbidden tree. Incompetence does not justify punishment and weakness does not justify shifting the blame. So what’s the deal? Why is sin here and why is God okay with holding us responsible for his actions?(or inaction)

The only logical conclusion that I can come up with for this is that the Bible account is wrong. It’s simply not true. You cannot portray God as all-powerful and have him allowing sin at the same time. These two concepts are incompatible with each other. If you believe he is all-powerful yet you also believe sin exists, then you are admitting that it was all part of God’s plan to allow us to rebel against him in the first place. It was part of his plan to allow rebellion and then punish us all because of his allowance. You are saying that sin is a good thing because God is good and anything he says or does is good. Can someone please explain this to me? No one yet has explained this in a satisfactory manner. Nothing I have read online has been able to. No religious experts have done so. No pastor in my life could explain it. Everyone seems content dealing with the aftermath of original sin and not addressing the cause of it. I had issues with this as a Christian and I still have them now.

Free will is not an excuse. I’ve heard this before. Saying the angels had free will like we do and one of them chose evil over good is not a real answer. If angels had free will to choose, then why was evil an option? Why would rebelling against God be a choice that God made available, only to lash out in anger when someone picked it? Why would God create evil and sin just to see if someone would choose that over good? If he created that option, then why is he angry about it? It seems like we were set up to fail. He knew we’d sin as soon as the option he made available was offered to us, yet he allowed it anyway? If Satan chose the evil option (with freewill) supplied by God and then corrupted mankind with that evil, why was God surprised by it? Again, all-knowing is something God doesn’t seem to have going for him.

We are told that we are dirty, sinful, rebellious creatures deserving of death and we need Jesus for salvation. I ask again, who allowed us to be dirty, sinful, rebellious creatures in need of salvation in the first place? What is the root cause of sin? Is it those who ate of the forbidden fruit or the one who planted the tree?

87 thoughts on “Explain Original Sin To Me Just One More Time

  1. Ben, you are really getting to the root of my deconversion here. I asked these same questions for years before I finally came to the same conclusions as you. There’s a paragraph in my deconversion story that sounds almost word for word like some of what you’ve written here. Great questions.

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    1. I think most of people who deconvert from Christianity have had these questions. I also think that many people who are still actively in the Christian religion have these questions, but ignore them because they present an issue for their faith. To call the issue of sin a “stumbling block” as some do, is to not do it justice. For me, sin even existing, is enough for the entire story to fall apart. The question of sin simply has not been answered adequately for me to consider it to be plausible.

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  2. My initial answer to your question(s) Ben would be simply a Bronze Age system of ruling/governing of illiterate masses by the intelligent (literate) elite.

    Throughout human history from the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and really until the decline and fall (to symbolism only) of monarchies, most all “supreme rulers” or “kings” were considered God-sent or Divine in order to control kingdoms and subjects. If you make/coerce your subjects into believing they are inferior, then governing them and making them do what you want is much easier.

    Also, as a footnote, during the Bronze Age and Iron Age (in most civilized empires/kingdoms) the masses or subjects believed that writing (on stone or papyrus) was from the Gods. Afterall, THEY (peasants) had no idea how it was done or how to do it. They believed what they were told. Enter orthodoxy. πŸ˜‰

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    1. Yeah for most of history our leaders were above us, and you never dared question why they do things. The Christian God is certainly a personification of our rulers during a much more ancient time. Although you could certainly argue that Yahweh was built upon earlier deities, that wouldn’t surprise me.

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      1. Indeed TCA. I just didn’t want to leave Ben a dissertation of customary sociopolitical patterns from the Stone Age. Although Ben probably would’ve been fine with it… given his perfection of pedantics. LOL 😜

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  3. There’s been a GREAT misunderstanding on this issue for thousands of years. Adam and Eve didn’t get in trouble because of “original” sin. Nope. God got pissed at them for committing “unoriginal” sin. “Eating that kiwi, after I said not to eat it,” God said to Adam and Eve as he was kicking them out of paradise, “was the most UNORIGINAL thing you could have possibly done. I mean, COME ON!!! I said not to, and you did. Whippee, frickin’ do!!! If you were gonna sin, you shoulda done something to REALLY piss me off, like have a threesome with a goat or something. But, NOOOOO!!!! You idiots had to go and bore me and, OMG, do exactly what I said not to do! BORING!!! Listen, you guys are outta here. Go on, get! I need real creative sinners in this Garden of Eden so as not to get bored, not idiots who want to sin but can’t come up with a gawd damned original way to do it! Unoriginal thinking, you two. Goodbye!”

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    1. It was unoriginal wasn’t it? I’ve got kids so I too know what children will do before they do it. If I give them a choice between fruit and cake, I know they will go for the cake. I can’t be mad at them for choosing what I knew ahead of time would tempt them. Now if they chose the fruit, that would definitely be original and not what I expected at all.

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    1. Thanks. I’d love to hear your take on it as well. More people discussing this might get some people to actually stop and think a bit instead of just accepting confusing stories as being fact when there’s nothing to back them up. Studying any subject should give you more answers. Studying religion usually just gives you more questions.

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      1. Yep there’s explaining things versus explaining away things. People do the second thing when they aren’t able to do the first thing, like in religion πŸ˜€

        I will write a post on this sometime in the next few weeks.

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  4. Here’s the take I was guided with, and it was the only way for it to make sense to me, although it turns out to be one more explanation in a long list of excuses. It was necessary and part of the plan to allow sin in the world. Gods commandment was intended to lead to disobedience, for through disobedience and breaking the law of god was the only way we could be separated from god’s presence. We could not be adequately tested in the presence of god, so through sin (disobedience) god was able to withdraw himself from us. Without the law there is no sin or punishment, so the law in effect, was a larger part of the plan to test the heart of man. Complete obedience leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It reeks the embodiment of slavery. It took a lot of years to bend my mind to justify all this and I got tired. According to the Bible, who says there is no other way? Satan, the liar. There was another way we just didn’t take that course. I don’t believe any of this but thought the perspective was compelling enough to me to stay with it for so long. Turns out a simple thing has to have such a myriad of explanations, then depending on where you were born to in life requires even different explanations.

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    1. I often heard that there “couldn’t be true love without a choice.” I get that. If you try to force love then it isn’t really love. But to pretend to be surprised and angry, knowing full well what people would do and allowing it just makes no sense to me now. I once bought into it, but using sin (which God hates) to test us is one thing. Saying sin was never in God’s plan and Satan disrupted the perfect plan by his rebellion is quite another. Was sin ordained by God or was he surprised and angered by it? Saying either of these is right is disturbing. Saying God created evil or sin for our ultimate good goes against what churches teach. Everything being so confusing leads me to believe that maybe, just maybe, it was all made up. πŸ™‚

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      1. Maybe? Lol. God doesn’t hate sin, he invented it. How else can so much misery be created to enjoy for his pleasure? You ever read Zandes book, “On the problem of Good? You want to. Trust me. You want to.

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    2. I was taught something along the same lines. God doesn’t want robots so would rather have us choose to love him, instead of being forced, like Hell isn’t a means of coercion at all… But when you consider that a simple action of Adam and Eve led to the world being ruined, you would have to wonder, surely there must be a better way?

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      1. I think most of us were taught that at one time or another. I can see the validity of a statement like that. Anything forced won’t produce honest and true responses. I do think there’s a difference between not wanting robots and creating something like sin with the foreknowledge that ALL will sin (and fall short of God’s glory), putting all the blame for sin on us, and then punishing those who commit acts of sin. Most internet searches I performed on whether or not God created sin came up with this response: “God could not have created sin because he hates sin and it goes against his nature.” So if he didn’t create it, he certainly must’ve allowed it if we are to believe it exists. The Bible is clear on God’s position when it comes to sin, but silent on who initially created it or allowed it. Satan is merely a scapegoat; choosing an option freely given to him by his creator and then forced to bear the blame.

        There are too many theories about it and far too few answers. The Bible explicitly says one thing about God’s view of sin (he hates it) and then we are left to come up with our own explanations (excuses) as to why it exists and why God allows something he detests so much. I agree with you. Surely there must be a better way.

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      2. Yeah the Bible isn’t clear on who created sin, but I’m going to blame God for that lol. God set Adam and Eve up to fail and made them (and everyone else) bear the consequences. Secondly (although this might be debatable), Adam and Eve supposedly didn’t know good from evil beforehand, so they were essentially tricked by an all knowing God.

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      3. Ben, that comment-reply (to TCA) is a very good portrayal of going thru the logical processes of the machine/God’s machine and the nature of the machine-maker. Excellent work there Sir.

        Now, to anyone reading your progressions, thinking critically and as neutral and impartial as is possible by humans, ask yourself this: “If I remove the machine-maker of this contradictory system/machine that as a whole does NOT run or function smoothly, what does that removal do to life, to humans, to all animals all living species on this Earth, anything that is sentient?

        Do things run and interact with each other much more logically? There is of course many, MANY further questions to ask and explore, but the HUGE benefit of thinking from a different paradigm, a different blueprint at least allows the probability/possibility that your own perception and thinking model (taught to you by others from over 2,000 years ago!)… umm, MIGHT HAVE BEEN WRONG! πŸ˜„ Oh, go figure. 😏

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  5. I have to be honest, it is after midnight and so I skimmed through rather than fully carefully reading this post. It seems to me part of the issue is that you are personifying evil. Evil is not a thing any more than darkness is. Choosing good or evil is not like choosing apples or oranges. It isn’t like choosing blonde over brunette. It is more like choosing to skip a meal when Alain Ducasse is offering to cook. God has said, I have the perfect life planned out for you. But I am not going to make you live it. If you want it, this is what you do. And then sin is doing something else.

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    1. God has said, I have the perfect life planned out for you. But I am not going to make you live it. If you want it, this is what you do. And then sin is doing something else.

      How did “God” tell you this KC? And does “He” say it exactly the same way all the time to every single human being on the planet?

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    2. It’s not about choosing good or evil. Right or wrong. Apples or oranges. It’s about having the choices to begin with. We have a choice to do right or wrong, correct? Where does the wrong choice come from? The same place the right choice comes from. Seemingly from God. If there are options in a world with a single creator of all things, then all options are made available from that creator. Our choices should come as no surprise to such a creator as he would know our choice ahead of time and also that he himself created us to be weak and susceptible to sin in the first place. I’m more concerned about his anger and wrath as a result of our choices, not the choices themselves as God supposedly provided them for us to begin with.

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      1. “We have a choice to do right or wrong, correct? Where does the wrong choice come from? The same place the right choice comes from. Seemingly from God.”

        If by that you mean God has created us with agency, the ability to impact our world, the ability to create, and the freedom to choose how we might act out that freedom than I will not disagree.

        “If there are options in a world with a single creator of all things, then all options are made available from that creator.”

        Indirectly. If I create something that has the ability to truly create, I am only indirectly the creator of my creation’s creations. (That doesn’t sound as complex in my head as it looks on the screen) Personally, I do not hold to such a deterministic view of the world. I don’t believe we are simply some sort of complex system unable to go beyond its original programming.

        “Our choices should come as no surprise to such a creator as he would know our choice ahead of time”

        There is a world of difference between knowing the outcome and predetermining it.

        “I’m more concerned about his anger and wrath as a result of our choices”

        Me too. I have very serious problems with a concept of an angry, judgmental God eager to destroy us for a collection of choices we had no choice but to make. That is not how I see us and it is definitely not how I see God.

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    3. But when you look at what sinful actions are, they are negative actions, not merely the absence of good (or God’s plan however you define it). Stealing from someone isn’t the same as ‘not giving them something’, for instance.

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      1. You could also say that darkness isn’t just the absence of light. Look outside. It really, truly is dark out there. That’s very real.

        Is it? It all depends on the perspective. What is stealing? It is taking something from my neighbor to enrich myself. What is the good? What is the light? To love my neighbor, to not covet, to trust God will supply, to work honestly and diligently. If I choose to do these things, if we all chose to do these things. There never would be any theft. If we choose light, there is no room for darkness. It exists only as potentiality.

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      2. Hmm you seem to be sidestepping here a little. You’re saying that evil isn’t a ‘thing’, but merely the absence of good. I’m saying that the absence of good alone is not evil, and that evil is a ‘thing’. You could give me examples to prove your point like you did, but I could give plenty more examples of my own which go against that.

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  6. “We are told that we are dirty, sinful, rebellious creatures deserving of death”

    Says who? Not Jesus. He says that if we simply head back home we will be feted as the most honored of guests.

    Jesus concedes that it’s the same sun that rises on the evil and the good, the same rain that falls on the just and the unjust. Seemingly, he doesn’t understand the “mystery of evil” any better than we do. He simply says we are to do good anyway, to pray for those who would do evil toward us, to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, love those who don’t love us back.

    Jesus shares in the suffering of those he meets, and repudiates the belief that suffering comes from sin. To follow him, we would have to do likewise: to encounter the other as brother or sister, to show mercy, and with God’s grace to alleviate their suffering.

    Condemned to an unjust death, abandoned by his friends, Jesus cries out in anguish at God’s absence, as the psalmist did, as we do.

    There is no satisfactory pat answer. All we can do is strive to practice what Jesus taught by his example.

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      1. Side-stepping and doing a diversionary dance is a common tactic of not wanting to play on a fair, level playing field, i.e. the desire to keep an advantage… usually of “mystery.” Kingdoms Collide (above) did the exact same thing; he/she couldn’t or wouldn’t answer very simple questions, but instead makes it more complicated than it really is. πŸ˜–

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    1. Damn this thread got way out of hand lol. I’m not going to speak for Ben as to what he believes in Jesus, but all he wanted to know was HOW do you know Jesus was a real living person? Like YOU PERSONALLY.

      Many people believe in Jesus because they believe in the Gospels as a reliable source. But to most non-Christians, the Gospels are unreliable on their own since they’re inconsistent and many of the events (eg Jesus birth) are improbable based on HOW it was written. Also, the Gospels were written quite a bit later after the events supposedly happened. The Gospel of Mark is the earliest gospel but was still written 70 years after. Imagine if people only started writing about World War 2 now? Before then it was all oral tradition. There would be quite a few inconsistencies I would imagine.

      ANYWAYS, we would have to look for evidence outside the Bible for information on Jesus. Here this is where the evidence gets somewhat murky. I’m not saying I don’t think he was real, but that the evidence which claims who he was is ‘left to be desired’. There are many Bible scholars who think he was a real person, but they can’t agree on the details of his life, except he was baptized by John the Baptist and crucified, that leaves a lot of unknowns. I am not sure how these scholars do their research though so can’t comment much more on that.

      You know what would convince me though? Archeological evidence of his life. Unfortunately, we don’t have any of that, and that’s a somewhat red flag for me.

      Anyways that’s my thoughts on the whole Jesus thing. Have a good day.

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      1. Out of hand indeed. It got off topic just a little bit (sarcasm). But I’m glad to see that my question was understood and answered, even if not by the original person that was asked. πŸ™‚

        I agree that archaeological evidence would help a lot. Something else, outside of the one source we have, would help to corroborate the stories we’ve been told. But there are no other accounts of Jesus’ life, his thoughts, words or deeds. Again, this post had nothing to do with Jesus or any of those things. I’m happy to answer what questions I can answer, even if off topic, but the post was basically about sin, where it came from and the consequences of it. The story of original sin has nothing to do with anything that Jesus was ever quoted as saying. I certainly never said it did or even insinuated it.

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  7. Just trying to provide a little perspective, letting Jesus be Jesus. The Calvinist/Augustinian hellfire and brimstone seem a tad overdone in your post. As well as the anthropomorphism.

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    1. You are still avoiding the question. The question was how do you know what Jesus thought, said or did? The answer to this question will help me understand your perspective a little better.

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      1. I’m not sure quite what kind of “answer” you’re looking for. My comment obviously is based on my own finite and fallible knowledge and understanding of the Judeo-Christian faith, exactly as your comments and others’ comments are based on your/their own finite and fallible knowledge and understanding.

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      2. What I am looking for is the answer to the question of how do you know what Jesus thought, said or did? Simple question. Looking for a simple answer. If you have finite and fallible knowledge and understanding of the Judeo-Christian faith, that’s great. But it doesn’t tell us what Jesus thought, said or did. That comes from one very specific source. So how do you know? Knowledge of the faith doesn’t provide specifics such as those in my question. If you can quote Jesus, talk about what he would or wouldn’t do or even what he would or wouldn’t say, there has to be a source for that. What is your source (or sources) that let’s you know what Jesus thought, said or did? Very simple question.

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      3. I have no super-secret sources other than the same ones you have — the same fables, legends, fairy tales, allegories and hearsay, as well as twenty centuries of inspired thought, reflection, scholarship, exegesis, commentary, debates, teaching, and preaching. But you knew all that, so I’m not sure what the point of that exchange was.

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      4. The point was that you are telling me my view was wrong (or at least too fire and brimstone) based on what Jesus did or didn’t say. But we don’t know what he did or didn’t say, do we? You can’t argue against someone’s view with your own view and then admit you can’t back up your statements because of all the sources you just listed. Saying “let Jesus be Jesus” means nothing if we don’t know who Jesus was, what he thought, what he said and what he did. If you say we do know that, then I wanted to know how you knew. Your sources are not evidence that shows what Jesus really thought, said or did. It all boils down to opinion and feelings. It is your opinion that the stories you’ve heard about Jesus are true and have merit so you believe them. You then share them as a response to my post which was about God creating sin and then holding us accountable for it. If we share the same sources, then you can understand why many people reject them. “Fables, legends, fairy tales, allegories and hearsay” are all tossed out by anyone who is looking for truth. They are simply unreliable. That’s why I asked how you knew what Jesus thought, said or did. Instead of going through all of this again (which I don’t think benefits anyone) you could have simply said, “I don’t know.” Believing in fairy tales, fables and legends is your prerogative. I’m not judging. But don’t try to tell me what Jesus thought, said or did as if it was truth when judging my post. Because the truth is, if Jesus really lived, no one knows those things. All we have is hearsay.

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      5. The Christian faith is based on God’s word but I’m not interested in having a Bible debate with you again as you refuse to admit that the Bible is the source of the Christian belief system. Your comment just affirmed that you accept those stories as the basis of your faith. Instead of “Bible” you instead say “fables, legends, fairy tales, allegories and hearsay” which comprise the Bible. Same thing. Different wording. I wasn’t saying you weren’t describing the Christian faith. I was asking how you knew what Jesus thought, said or did. The answer to that question cannot be answered without one specific source. If one tries to say they know the answer and it can be found outside of the Bible, many people would be interested in hearing about it. If not, then it’s your opinion versus my opinion. It’s my acceptance or rejection of those biblical stories. I just object to having someone tell me what Jesus would have said or done because you obviously cannot say you know that with any degree of certainty. Your “Says who? Not Jesus.” statement is 100% personal opinion.

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      6. No, it’s not simply a matter of opinion. Can you cite a single source of any kind whatsoever claiming that the alleged Jesus ever said we are dirty, sinful, rebellious creatures deserving of death?

        But yes, at some point we have to use the brains God gave us and embrace the “uncertainty” you so dread. Nothing worthwhile is “certain”. IMHO, it’s absurd to make that your overriding criterion.

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      7. That’s funny because I never made the claim Jesus said those things. You are asking me for sources that back up a claim I never made. That’s an interesting tactic. Perhaps you need to reread my post or understand this; the Christian religion isn’t solely about Jesus. The Bible also has an Old Testament where God the father makes a lot of things known. The Bible is the source of the tenets of Christianity. The Bible makes the claim that we are sinners and rebellious and yes, deserving of death. Romans 6:23 clearly says “for the wages of sin is death”. Jesus didn’t have to say it for it to be in the Bible or to be part of Christian teaching. What about the “dirty” claim I made? James 1:21 says, “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” Should I have said filthy instead of dirty?

        You seem to be picking and choosing again which parts of the Christian story you want to accept. From what I gather, you want to focus solely on Jesus and the nice aspects of the religion and ignore the rest. You can certainly do so if you wish but that doesn’t make these words printed in “God’s word” go away. Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:17-19 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

        God’s law (made by God the father) was accepted by Jesus and he himself said he would honor it. You can choose to not believe any of that, but don’t try to say it isn’t in there. Again, I never said that Jesus said any of the things I wrote about in my post. You made the claim that I did and then asked me to back it up.

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      8. Can you cite a single source of any kind whatsoever claiming that the alleged Jesus ever said we are dirty, sinful, rebellious creatures deserving of death?

        That is a difficult conundrum primarily because after 325 CE and certainly after the 5th-century in the Roman Empire and Catholic Church, we do not have the entire body of evidence to say whether Jesus directly or indirectly spoke about sin, death, and judgment — if we exclude John 8:32; 8:34 and 9:39-41 (maybe Matthew 26:28?). All we have otherwise is an incomplete, amputated canonical Bible constructed by men in the 4th – 5th centuries of Hellenistic bishops or “Church Fathers” well removed from 1st-century CE Judea and Second Temple Judaism/Messianism. These problematic pieces the Gospel editors/copyist compiled is what we have left to deal with (from only ONE cultural viewpoint: Rome) when we FAIL or refuse to put all contextual variables into place with Jesus’ lifetime and ministry/reforms.

        There is a more expansive method we can indeed utilize (to paint a better, more accurate picture of Yeshua) that 3rd thru 4th-century Gentile Greco-Roman men determined we today do not have the critical-thinking skills to do on our own. It just all depends on how genuine one’s curiosity to know, to understand better what ancient Bronze Age men decided to cloak.

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      9. “But don’t try to tell me what Jesus thought, said or did as if it was truth when judging my post.”

        No, sorry, but it’s perfectly valid to rebut your argument with contrary information from your same sources.

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      10. You think it’s valid based on your assumption that I was claiming Jesus said things I never said he did. I talked about what the Bible said and you said Jesus never said that. Are you saying the Christian story only has one character, Jesus? You do realize that things were said before Jesus and after him right? And also that other people spoke too, such as Paul?

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      11. You said my β€œSays who? Not Jesus.” statement is 100% personal opinion.

        To the contrary, it is fact not opinion UNLESS you can correct me by citing where that quote is attributed to Jesus. I gather you concede my original point that Jesus did NOT say this.

        Jesus IS the Word of God. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Way, Truth and Life. Yes, the Christian faith is Trinitarian, and Biblical authors were inspired, but Jesus is the final pastoral authority.

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      12. Once again, I never said Jesus said it. You make that claim. If all of the writers were inspired, by whom were they inspired? God? Jesus? The inspired words I spoke of are in the Bible, seemingly approved of by the trinitarian God. By your claim above, Jesus is the final authority, yet he allowed those words to be inspired and written down for all future generations. He must have approved of them then, correct? But because he himself didn’t say them, you reject them? Do you reject all the writers of the Bible who don’t quote Jesus directly?

        When I said “We are told that we are dirty, sinful, rebellious creatures deserving of death and we need Jesus for salvation.” that was my quote. Did I ever say someone else said it? Did I insinuate it was a direct quote from Jesus or anyone else? No. Not once. It was a summary of different messages we are taught from the Bible. I even cited sources for you that corroborate MY QUOTE in another comment. You seem to be ignoring anything that doesn’t fit with your argument and then acting as if you just proved your point. I’ll share again for you:

        Dirty: James 1:21
        Deserving of death: Romans 6:23
        Rebellious: Isaiah 30:9
        Of course there are several more examples like these that can be found in the Bible, but these will do for now.

        Someone allowed these words into the Bible. Who was that? God? Jesus? Man? They are in there. I didn’t make that up and I certainly never said it was a quote from Jesus.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. I didn’t forget. I have my answer by the other party refusing to answer. It’s just that at some point I need to step away and do “real world” stuff with the family. I think I devoted enough of my time to this dance.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Couldn’t agree with you more! I had to do ALL OF THE WORK myself because my professors at RTS (seminary) diverted me and diverted me, ad infinitum. And even R.C. Sproul ignored my simple questions by diverting me back to the merry-go-round. It has never stopped since. LOL

        As a result of their laziness, the more I dug into 1st-century CE Judea, Syro-Palestine, Jerusalem, and Second Temple Judaism/Messianism (Jesus’ contextual birth and life), the more it became obvious the massive gap and anti-Semitism that Hellenistic Rome had for Jesus’ heritage and thus begun the detachment and complete severing/amputation Hellenistic Roman Christology (traditional Apotheosis) obtained from Second Temple Judaism/Messianism and Jewish Sectarianism. In the end, when one goes outside the canonical, Hellenistic Gospels and Epistles into the FULL contextual history and the large body of INDEPENDENT evidence — and of course the lack of evidence supporting the said Gospels/Epistles — it is glaringly obvious how impactful the Roman Empire truly was in all of its provinces, particularly in 1st – 2nd century Judea-Syro-Palestine!

        You have to go elsewhere to see and learn all of this because traditional Catholicism and more so all Protestant institutions are not interested in the least. They choose to keep on their horse-blinders and tunnel-vision. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  8. If β€œfables, legends, fairy tales, allegories and hearsay” should all be tossed out, then what was basis for your original post?

    And what’s the basis for your claim that β€œfables, legends, fairy tales, allegories and hearsay” do not contain truth? It seems obviously false.

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    1. I wrote the post to show the flaws in the story based on the source material. I wrote that my conclusion was that it wasn’t true. Did you read the post or just skim through it? I wasn’t saying the Bible was true and I just rejected the teaching. I was saying that the story of original sin was problematic and made no sense and that’s why I rejected it. It is a story written with many contradictions and flaws. I made no claim that the sources were reliable and that I simply disagreed with the message.

      You need to stop twisting my words. I said these types of sources are tossed out by people “looking for truth” not because they do not contain truth. I never claimed that they contained no truth. There certainly might be some truth to them , but there isn’t enough proof. I said they were “unreliable.” Hearsay may be completely true or contain some truth but it is UNRELIABLE. That’s why it is inadmissible in most courtrooms today. Someone might be telling the truth about a murder but is their word enough to convict someone? To accept someone’s word as truth there needs to be evidence. Something credible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read your post through a couple of times, and it seems to talk about a couple of quite different things, viz., on the one hand, the doctrine of original sin (which has a wide range of interpretations, and isn’t accepted by the Orthodox at all); versus, on the other hand, the more general problem of why God permits evil in the first place.

        Now, these are both fascinating theological/philosophical questions, but the temptation in an esoteric debate is to take our eyes off the prize, namely the Lord Jesus. Hence my modest effort to restore some perspective.

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      2. And that’s fine for you to add your thoughts. But truth be told, we don’t know about Jesus beyond stories and personal convictions. His words are debatable because we cannot verify them and they were written down decades after he supposedly said them. We cannot know for certain what he said or what he did. There is but one single source for those things and it is a source that is not verifiable. We’re left with faith. Faith is not evidence and faith is not proof. Faith is saying that we heard the stories and accepted them. It’s not an esoteric debate as much as it is a search for truth. Finding truth is not taking our eyes off of the prize. Truth is the prize. If Jesus is the prize, if he is the truth, then we should all be able to know that and agree upon that based on the evidence we have. And we don’t. The evidence (of any kind) is not there. Not empirical evidence or any other type. We have words that we have been told and we are supposed to accept or reject them without any outside sources. That’s a tough sell for a lot of people.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I think we’ve trod this ground previously. Very little that matters in life can be reduced to facts and data. Some things we only know by the light of reason and discernment.

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      4. So how is it you know the Trinity is true? How have you discerned that? How do you know Jesus is the Alpha and Omega? What was the light of reason that revealed that? How did you determine that Jesus was the way, the truth and the life? Without facts and data, how was this discerned? What light of reason led you to these conclusions? Clearly I’m not privy to the same abilities as you so please do share.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. What’s the tough sell — the love your neighbor part, or the love your enemy part?

        And what exactly is it that people have that they judge to be better?

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      6. The stories are fine and people can accept the moral lessons as being beneficial. The tough sell is proving they came from God as told in the Christian tradition. (Bible)

        Liked by 1 person

      7. How would you “prove” they were from God? More importantly, what does it MEAN to be “from God”?

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      8. You can’t prove it. That’s the point. To say stories are divinely inspired implies that they are “from God.” Did you not say Biblical authors were inspired in such a way?

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Wow. I’m stopping here because the thread has gone way off on a tangent. I thought your original question was simple and easy to answer — and I believe it is. Good luck Ben. πŸ˜¬πŸ˜„

        Liked by 2 people

      10. Simple indeed. But things get needlessly complicated when someone doesn’t want to answer a question. This thread certainly did go off on a tangent, didn’t it? I don’t expect to get an answer to my original question at this point. I was being patient and giving the opportunity to hear any and all answers but at this point I have becone tired of the same runaround.

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      11. You were extremely patient Ben and gave ample time and opportunities for some answers to very simple questions. I empathize with your frustration; I’ve been there too many times to count since my deconversion in 1991. LOL

        I will give some kudos to Loy; at least he didn’t attack you personally, your character or whatever, like many Christians (Fundy-Evangy) do. Thumbs up there. πŸ‘

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Then we should not use them as a way to show God exists or that Jesus is Divine. We can take stories and use them for teaching, but that is not in any way supernatural or having anything to do with spirituality. We can’t defend our faith with stories that aren’t from God because if they aren’t from God then they are from us. Human stories of morality are not going to be accepted by all. People differ and agree on very little. If stories could be proven to be from God and everyone agreed God exists, then they would be universally accepted. But we can’t prove that so we don’t all agree. People see these stories as lessons that may work for some but not others. Again, we’re human so we tend to disagree a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re never going to get unanimity, but reason can be a powerful unifier. But if people take different paths up the mountain, that’s okay too.

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    1. I accepted them because I trusted those who taught them to me. My parents first and later, the church. I rejected them when the doubts I had became too much to ignore and I explored then. It was the trust of people I loved that caused me to believe. Same reason kids fully believe in Santa. People they trust told them the story was true.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I read the Bible without being told what it meant by someone else. I examined my prayer requests and found none were answered. I studied the history of the Bible and saw the changes made from the earliest copies to the most current. I found that without the Bible there would be no way I’d know any of the stories. Even the oral tradition has the same original sources so it has the same issues of reliability. I found no record of Jesus’ divinity outside of the Bible. If he was who the Bible says he was, people would have taken note of it yet all historical records from that period in that part if the world are silent on it. Mentioning his Divinity outside of the Bible would add to the credibility of the story. For me, it’s all a story. I prayed to be shown otherwise but it never happened. I relied heavily on prayer first and research second. What I found was Jesus wasn’t answering prayers and he was nowhere to be found outside of biblical stories. Where does belief come from without some sign or proof when you no longer believe? Unanswered prayer and a Jesus-less historical record left me with silence all around. It was pretend I still believe or admit that the stories I was told were just stories. If Jesus or God wanted me to believe then unanswered prayers is a bad way to let me know.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. To desire truth is to desire God. The lifelong pursuit of truth is a continuous prayer (said Edith Stein, the first German woman to earn a Ph.D. in Philosophy).

        I think God answered your prayer by getting you to accept that it’s all just a story. Stories are all we have to work with.

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      3. If it’s all just a story then who’s to say any of it’s true? Is Jesus real? How can we know? Is God real? How can we know? I can see reasons to believe in a creator or an afterlife but they are still beliefs based in my own observations and feelings. That doesn’t make me right. How can we know anything is real beyond our personal beliefs when it comes to God if it’s all a story? A god is different than the Christian version of God. The possibility of a god being real just requires belief. The Christian version with Jesus requires a bit more convincing than just a feeling.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. As you rightly say, we don’t know, at least not in the sense that we know our phone number. All we can say is what our best judgement is at a point in time. But we can rely on that judgement pending new information, and we can begin to form durable convictions.

        I don’t think we have to figure out everything at once, or tackle the tiniest stuff first. As long as we are feeling our way toward the truth as best we can, then we are drawing closer to God.

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  9. Happy those who meditate on Wisdom,
    and fix their gaze on knowledge;

    Who ponder her ways in their heart,
    and understand her paths;

    Who pursue her like a scout,
    and watch at her entry way;

    Who peep through her windows,
    and listen at her doors;

    Who encamp near her house
    and fasten their tent pegs next to her walls;

    Who pitch their tent beside her,
    and dwell in a good place;

    Who build their nest in her leaves,
    and lodge in her branches;

    Who take refuge from the heat in her shade
    and dwell in her home.

    –Sirach 14:20-27

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  10. It’s just a story, Ben. Nothing more. Nothing less. Something made up by ancient people to try and explain their world.

    Not to worry. You’re doing just fine. Your spirit has been freed from the guilt by association and you can “boldly go where no man has gone before” … without fear or trepidation!

    Live long and prosper!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know that it’s a story and you know it’s a story. I just wanted to share the noticeable problems with it because some people don’t realize that. I’m not trying to convert, deconvert, change minds or influence. I’m merely sharing what I have learned and what I’ve observed. People can do what they wish with that information. I hope at the very least, they think about it what I’ve shared and where I’m coming from.

      Thanks for the encouragement and well wishes. May you live long and prosper as well. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Christianity is not about a book. It’s not about history. It’s about two or more gathered in his name.

    Those who idolize a book, or who are scandalized by history, surely miss the point.

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    1. Matthew 18:20 is where you find that quote you used about “two or more gathered”. It is a quote from Jesus in the Bible. Yes, a book. The same book you continue to quote from to support your faith and yet say isn’t important enough to base a religion on. Jesus supposedly said it. So…

      How do you know what Jesus thought, said or did without using the Bible?

      Liked by 2 people

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