This is an actual response to a post from one of the online debate groups I frequent. The misconception of the meanings of the Biblical scriptures is so wide-spread I had to write an entire post to explain it to some of the people in the group. Someone asked if I would post it here so I did, and left it in its original form…
This post is a response to Allan D Griffin’s post about the original sin. Well thought out post too, as are all of his. I just want to clear up a couple of misconceptions. Apologetics is about more than debating or giving reason for the Gospel message. The other thing I want to clear up is the Gospel message. The first common misconception is about sin and what that actually is. The other is about the Gospel message and what that actually is. The two are not only related, they are absolutely the same thing.
There was no sin until man ate the fruit of the knowledge of sin, or “good and evil”. The misconception is that sin is an action. Adam “sinned”, he did not commit a crime, or as Allan tries to convey in his post “do something wrong” (and did a pretty good job too. I am surprised that it wasn’t brought up by a theist)
The action of eating was not a sin. Nor was there “disobedience to a command”. Why? Because it wasn’t a command. It was a truth statement just like the Gospel message is a truth statement. “If you do X, Y will be the result”, period. This is what God “told” Adam. God didn’t “command Adam not to “do” something””. You’re thinking of sin as an action, or as Paul explained, “transgression of the law”, which it isn’t. If it were then we would not be “born in sin”. God’s very first words to Adam were not “you screwed up!”, because he didn’t screw up. Screwing up is an action. His very first words were, “who told you that?”, or “you did X (eat), and Y is the result”. (knowledge) The result was just as God said it would be. Death. Finite existence. Physical finite reality (or a death sentence awaiting judgement in a spirit prison), which is what physical reality actually is. This was not a “punishment”. This was a protection. Sin is a condition, not an action. You call it naturalism. It’s death. It’s a prison.
The next thing God did was to say, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” Where do you suppose the thought that “God is keeping you from the goodness of this tree, and punishing you” came from? This lie (or “counterfeit” information) came from the same source, or person that lied to Eve. God is not punishing us. Think what would have happened if man would have eaten the tree of life and lived forever “in this condition”. <—-That would be hell? No, that IS hell. This is not a punishment either, but if you choose to die in this condition your death will be final. The same “person” that told Eve what he was not supposed to tell is also telling YOU that God is “punishing you”. The judgement will be carried out on the transgressor, not man. The transgression was committed against man, not by man. So Allen is very much right.
The Gospel message is the reversal of the original true message God gave Adam. If you do X, Y will be the result. Sin is a condition. You call it naturalism. The original condition of man was spiritual, and the Gospel “X” is the opposite of the original statement “X” and doing X reverses the condition, or reverts it back to the original. I’ll explain.
God said “if” you do this, “this will be the result”. The result is a condition of man who is finite, carnal, trapped in spirit prison (flesh), and dead. “If you do this you will die” This is what the term “die in your sin” means. When man gained the knowledge of sin and death he “learned” a different condition or state of being. Naturalism, or “physical, finite existence” Look around at this life you are calling “natural”. And you also call it life. I didn’t think life had graveyards. It is as God said it would be. It was the truth.
By contrast, the gospel message is the same message in reverse, and if it (X) is “done” reverses the condition (or reverts it back to its original). The opposite of death is birth, thus the saying from Jesus that you must be “born again this time of spirit” (so the saying “you were born in sin” is “you were born in flesh, prison, bondage”)The misconception is that this is a “step up”, or different “better condition” when in fact it is a step back.
Back to the original condition or state of man. Spiritual.
Man was originally created in a perpetual state of birth continually, eternally. This is why naturalist can’t “see” evidence of anything spiritual unless they actually become spiritual. You can’t see anything from the grave. What you think is “life”, isn’t.
Here is what it looks like.
If you do X, Y will be the result.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
If you do X, Y will be the result.
“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and asked Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we “do”?
Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the REMISSION OF SINS (or do X. for the reversal of the condition), and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Y)
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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again from above. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, “We” speak that we do know, and testify that we “have seen”; and ye receive not our witness.
I can’t hand you my eyes.
This is why I read only the King James Bible. Other translations have changed the word “remission” to “forgiveness” so it reads be baptised for the “forgiveness of sins”, which is from the same “person” that likes to tell lies. I don’t need forgiveness for something he did, and he is trying to pin the rap on you right now. I’m not buying his lies, but you can if that’s what you want to do. Not recommended.