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Original Sin

July 19, 2015

Stained Glass Window, Collegiale Notre-Dame de Dinant (Collegiate Church of Our Lady of Dinant), Belgium: “Adam and Eve Driven from Paradise” (13th Century), Author Vassil (CC0 1.0 Universal PD Dedication)

The concept of original sin is a thorny one.  Some believe in a Creator and the story of creation as told in the Book of Genesis.  Others believe firmly in evolution.  Some view men and women as basically good.  Others fundamentally disagree.


We can argue over terminology, dispute the innocence of babes, and debate the origins of the flaw in our nature. But most people would agree that mankind is – at least in a global sense – flawed.

Depending on your viewpoint, that may or may not be a statement on morality.  It is without question a description of the human condition.

We are capable of creating paintings and sculptures of surpassing beauty. We have literature and poetry to our credit, along with philosophy, medicine, and science.  We are not unfamiliar with altruism. Some sacrifice their very lives for the sake of others.

Rarely though has there been a generation without war, even to the point of genocide. Never has crime been absent from the human experience – rape and murder included. Add to that poverty and hunger.

Good and Evil

The dichotomy plagues us as a species, whether we choose to believe in God or not. We may prefer to avoid examining the moral dimension to this. A few may go so far as to argue for the benefits of selfishness or the evolutionary basis of infidelity.

We need not, however, worry about imposing “artificial” concepts of good and evil on a child who has been molested. S/he will attest that they exist without prompting. Human beings may not be able to identify the ultimate good.  Generally, however, we can recognize evil when impacted by it.

The question of good and evil is as profound as any that exists on earth. Those who have suffered greatly may turn from God in grief or rage, viewing Him as the source of their pain. In the end, however, He offers them the greatest consolation.


Those of us who see ourselves as “good people” may actually have a more difficult time than the so called great sinners of the world recognizing that we need a Savior.  They at least know the emptiness of their lives.  What is there we have to atone for?  We take offense at the thought.

Righteous in our own eyes, we are blinded by pride.  It does not occur to us that God’s standards for righteousness may be higher than those we set for ourselves.

Yet, at the very moment of sin, we are shown God’s mercy. Contained in His curse on the serpent was the promise of a Redeemer, who would restore the relationship between God and man. Christians know that Redeemer to be Jesus Christ.

“ ‘And I [Yahweh] will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel’ ” (Gen. 3: 15).

Father Almighty, we acknowledge You as our Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Before ever You placed the first star in the sky, You had a plan of Salvation in place. You knew that mankind would choose evil over good.  You knew that infinite grief would come to You, as a result. And still You brought us into being. How can we comprehend such love?

We cannot hope to meet Your standards for righteousness, Father. Clothe us instead in the righteousness of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. We rely on Your mercy, in this as in all things.


My thanks to Wally Fry whose blog Truth in Palmyra inspired this post


  1. Thanks Anna for the mention. You have written a good post here. You are so correct, we can argue the doctrines of original sin, total depravity, and the whole thing until we are blue in the face. It does, however, ultimately boil down to the facts you presented; we can never measure up. At some point in our lives, we will all become accountable for the sin nature we were born with as well as the specific sins we commit. You hit the important thing, though, and that is that all of this can be erased, no matter how we define it, through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross.

    Nicely done.

    • Thank you, Wally! Considering how careful you are to present the Word accurately, I take that as a high compliment.

      • Well Anna, my views on the total depravity of man might be considered puritanical by some, because I absolutely believe in that doctrine. But, on the other hand, that doesn’t mean we have to beat people about the head with it all of the time. Know what I mean? You chose to concentrate on the solution to the problem, not just the problem. The world needs that too.

  2. Excellent article Anna. I love the term flawed, and how you are using this to point to our need for salvation.

    • Thank you very much, Nicodemas. I think, as Christians, we sometimes fall into terminology that non-Christians do not understand. That can make biblical concepts more difficult to grasp than they have to be. Not that I would ever want to substitute “my” theology for the Bible’s, of course.

      • Excellent observations Anna. I agree, that we need to talk a different language without losing the message. Peace.

    • Hi Nicodemas

      Great point you made there. We can impart the correct message without simply bludgeoning people with it. More than anybody I would be the first to say we have to teach the message of sin, repentance, and forgiveness. I would say that until we realize our lost state, we can never take advantage of any of those things. But, we do sometimes lose touch of the good news part of the message. We focus exclusively on sin and judgment and forget the vast love that repairs all of that.

  3. Planting Potatoes permalink


  4. Dear Anna, you spoke the truth in love in this writing. You have a precious heart and His love in you is evident. ❤ Keep listening to His voice and sharing,


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