Difficulties accepting interpretations of adam and eve

I am having difficulties accepting the interpretation of adam and eve. First and for most, I do not deny that humans sin and are wounded. I’m struggling with the cause and who is responsible for it… Adam and eve sinned, therefore all of humanity is effected and wounded by it and damned without Christ…It;s like, hey wait a minute…I am going to hell because of what someone else is responsible for? Raises questions, why do we all suffer because of their act? If they didn’t do what they did we would be in harmony and without sin. I feel that there is legitimate reason to place blame on them. In other words we would not have personal sin if it wasn’t for their original sin. Now as a result we are all damned, bad, evil people because of what they did and need a savior. We are a victim of their act and get blamed for something out of our control. “blaming the victim”. I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something. If anyone has any thoughts please assist me with this, thx.

Adam and Eve were created in a sinless state of original justice, and yet they fell from grace. None of us would have done any better. So it is not as if we are without any blame. But no one is condemned to Hell without an unrepentant actual mortal sin of their own choosing.

Pope Pius IX, in the encyclical Quanto Conficiamur Moerore, taught that no one is punished eternally, unless they have committed a deliberate sin.

“Because God knows, searches and clearly understands the minds, hearts, thoughts, and nature of all, his supreme kindness and clemency do not permit anyone at all who is not guilty of deliberate sin to suffer eternal punishments.”

The CCC teaches much the same thing: “God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end.” (n. 1037)

The Church doesn’t teach that we are all “damned, bad, evil people” because of Adam and Eve’s sin. She teaches that in addition to a wounded human nature, Adam and Eve lost the supernatural gift of sanctifying grace not only for themselves, but also for all their descendants. This grace was not a part of human nature; it was a gift added to their human souls by God.
Jesus atoned for man’s sins (original sin and subsequent personal sins). Because of His atonement, we can experience redemption - the restoration of God’s supernatural grace/life - a restoration of union with Him. God restores this supernatural gift of life when we are baptized. The Church teaches that we must be in the state of sanctifying grace in order to enjoy the beatific vision in heaven.
1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:[INDENT]Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.
2000 Sanctifying grace is an habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love. Habitual grace, the permanent disposition to live and act in keeping with God’s call, is distinguished from actual graces which refer to God’s interventions, whether at the beginning of conversion or in the course of the work of sanctification.
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P6Z.HTM#59
[/INDENT]We lose sanctifying grace when we freely choose to commit a sin we know is mortal/grave. If we later repent of that sin and confess it, God restores His life of grace to our soul.

If you haven’t read it, I would suggest reading the Catechism section on the creation and fall of Adam & Eve. It’s only a few pages – paragraphs 355-412
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P1B.HTM#K

Adam and Eve is written to show us why we are inclined toward evil. Why we have a fallen nature. How sin entered into the world. How man listens to the evil one. How sin looks good as the fruit looked good. And what happens after we sin against God - we become separated from Him.

There really was a first man and a first woman - even scientists will tell us that. To delve into the story as you would want to do will bring up more questions than answers. We should use this story to learn what it has to teach us - going further is pretty futile.

Ron Conte is right. God made man. Told him to obey. Man didn’t obey. None of us do. God provided a solution, Genesis 3:15. The seed of the woman will overcome the seed of the serpent. Jesus.

Will be following with interest.

Fran

Please do not be offended by what I am saying next. It is just a simple truth that perhaps nobody has ever said to you. And I am sure that you will understand and not take offense as we are all here for answers, even if they are incredibly obvious.

Your point of view is that of a little child who still sees things as a game, and has a need for things to be ‘fair’. Sin causes damage. Sin has consequences that can’t be undone. That is the real (grown up) world. God gives us a part in creation. He gives us free will. We have the ability to sin and cause everyone else harm. So did Adam and Eve. The story is about how everything we do that goes against God directly harms not only ourselves but everything and everybody. It is not even punishment. It is the fact that we have a part in creation for better or for worse.

This is true, but keep in mind, humans were designed this way by God, we did not have to be ‘hardwired’ for sin, he is God, he could have created us any way he liked. There is a huge difference in obedient little ‘robots’ versus a being that is NOT hardwired to sin.

Just imagine a world if no one was wired to desire sin?!!

You and Franenfurter are right of course. I think what ejp123 wants to know is why WE have to pay for ADAM’S sin. We can theologise about this all we want to, in the end there is no answer. We cannot know why God did things the way he did. The bible explains how things are, not necessarily why they are.

I must say, I don’t understand your last sentence.

IT WOULD BE A NICE WORLD!!

Fran

The word is concupiscence to sin, not hard wired to sin. A tendency to sin does not equate to hardwired to sin. We still have freewill and conscience not to sin. If we were to be hardwired, we won’t have a choice but to sin. But we are not compelled to sin so you can safely eliminate that hardwiring thingy mindset.

God made us to enable us to choose, and not pre-program us like little robots. Don’t keep on blaming God. Just say YOU prefer to make mankind your way, which I think will not be program error free anyway, whichever form it takes. If you wish to upend God, then show convincingly how you would make a superior being, what hard wiring would you be doing and why you think you can make a better Adam/Eve than God. Can you make one with freewill and can do no wrong?

Are you saying that mikekle believes God made us to sin??

I’ve never heard that before and hope he clarifies.

That would be blaming God for our sins and would make us sinless and the whole bible useless… Not to speak of Jesus’ sacrifice!

Fran

No, that is not accurate, we ARE wired ‘for’ sin, in that, sinning, whatever form it may take, whether it be a sexual desire, drug abuse, cheating, lying, etc brings with it pleasure, the resistance to these things are tough, thats why so many people fall, its in our nature to desire things that ARE sinful, as its enjoyable, pleasurable.

sin satisfies our instant gratification, doing what makes us feel good versus whats best for us morally, in other words, if there were no consequences, people would take part in sin all the time. Our physical bodies responses to sin are pleasurable, it is not as pleasurable to resist doing them though, thats the tough part, fighting your own nature, my point was, our brains, the way they are wired, the way these sins give such pleasure, were made this way by God, Im not trying to take the blame off us, Im just saying, we were created this way for a reason.

Lets say human sex was not pleasurable, like some animal species, how many people would be committing the sin of extramarital sex?

Yes, Fran…you are correct. As I said in the original post, I am not denying personal sin our wound, and to add, our responsibility for our actions. However, I think with adam and eve in the equation, it can actually detract from personal responsibility. ex, If adam and eve did not sin I would not be sinning. So perhaps there is an element of fairness in there. However, someone said that if we were in their position we would not have done any better. I have heard that interpretation as well. meaning that adam and eve are our representatives, and we would have done the same.

But some of the worst kinds of sins, are the sins that brings others into sin - makes it easier for them to sin. That kind of sin unleashes evil into the world. It can’t be undone. It is like trying to unscramble eggs.

So your concern about Adam and Eve making it easier for people to just blame their sin on them instead of having responsibility is in fact part of the effect of their original sin. They took the knowledge of good and evil on to themselves. Now everything is all scrambled up. That is our fallen world. People can’t even tell what is right or wrong anymore at all.

We can be thankful that God gave us a very easy way to remove our blame for this original sin (Baptism) but we can’t shake off the effects of it.

Of course, ejp, I know you’re not denying personal sin. Think of it like this: Adam got a stain on his body. A big stain. He passed that stain down to his sons and they to their sons, and so on. This would be the sin nature or concupiscence. The inclination toward evil. But this inclination is held to a minimum (we will always sin - not sinning is impossible) once we come to know Jesus and accept the sacrifice He made for us and His grace.

I hope you’ve read the CCC no. 355 and forward. You won’t get your answer from here though. Adam was the first man and through Him all mankind lost his relationship with God, with himself, with others and with nature. It teaches how man listened to the serpent and didn’t obey God. These are the types of lessons you’ll learn from Adam and Eve. It’s just to show that sin entered the world.

Do you know the concept of Adam being the first man and sinning, and Jesus being the first NEW man and saving us from sin? That would be interesting. You might even get close to your answer. Or at least, an answer that might satisfy you.

God knows we all would have chosen the fruit. It looked good. Why not? We’re all sinners. Maybe it’s as simple as that.

Fran

I think you’re just talking about the sin nature or concupiscence. This will be coming up a lot in this thread - it always does when talking about Adam and Eve because it’s the sin that they promulgated.

If you use the term “wired for sin” it makes it sound like God purposefully made us so that we would sin. That’s not true and He wouldn’t be a good God in that case and instead we know that God is love so we cannot have that conflict.

Let’s get free will in there. He gave us free will. We could will to choose either good or evil. Every step we take requires a decision for the good or for evil. We’re born with Original Sin which is taken away at baptism; but the effect of original sin remains with us forever. The inclinations to sin. You can say it that way instead of your hard-wiring idea.

Christians believe Jesus takes care of this sin nature. I hope you know about that. You wrote “raised catholic” and I’m never sure what this means.

Fran

Yes, I do know that, regarding the raised catholic status, I was raised by my parents in the catholic church, during my late teens, to mid 20s, I resisted church, I hated going and wanted nothing to do with God. Once I reached my late 20s, I started recognizing the void in my life and God needed to fill it, nothing else could.

I am catholic now, but disagree with some of the catholic interpretations of the bible, I was going to a pentecostal church for awhile there, and still feel drawn to it in a way, as that was the only church were I saw the members actually living accordingly and really want to be at the service, at my current catholic parish, I see most people start checking their watches if mass goes a little over an hour, seems like many are just going thru the motions every week, but I keep going back to the fact that Jesus himself founded the catholic church, NO other religion can make that claim.

As a result of this conversation I’m finding that I am having strange thought processes about the topic. I don’t know if they are catholic or not, right, wrong or in between…so here goes

I want the wound to be my own, caused by me if you will. A result of my own choices. I don’t like looking at it as a result of someone else’s fall. I want it to be a result of my fall. I feel like I can take more ownership of it, therefore feel more motivated to do something about it. It also makes me feel more confident in my relationship with christ to call it my own and not the effect of another’s choices. By looking at it this way, I feel like I can go to Christ more confidently and say “this is mine, my wound, caused by my fall.” Otherwise, if I include adam in there, it makes it easier to blame him. I don’t want to blame.

Hi Mikekle

Didn’t mean to get personal. I always wonder if “raised catholic” that means “agnostic”. You know, you were raised catholic, but do you accept it? Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Some people like to be at Mass and some go for whatever reason. It’s good to go and participate. Plus, we could receive communion at each Mass, that’s nice too.

I love your analogy of the hole being filled up. Augustine said that too. I used to tell my catechism kids that we all have a God shaped hole in us that only He can fill.

Paul spoke about the sin nature a lot. Catholics like to call it concupiscence. Which I’m really sorry about because I HATE TO TYPE THAT WORD! But it’s all the same thing. What Adam passed on to all.

Take care
Fran

The wound is your own ejp. By His stripes, we are healed. WE means all of us. We all are sinners. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There’s non righteous, no not one.

We each have to decide on our own if we wish to follow God or not. That’s really what it all boils down to. Who cares how sin got into the world? Was there ever really a man called Adam? We know for sure there was a first man that God created. The story is an allegory. I think you’re taking it too seriously. As some do.

Don’t worry about what Adam did. Worry about what YOU do. You must take responsibility for your own personal sins. Original Sin was done away with at baptism. Why are you still thinking about it?

Reread the story of Adam and Eve again. Look what happened after they both ate of the forbidden fruit. God asks Adam why he ate it. Adam blames Eve for giving it to him. God asks Eve why she ate it. She blames the serpent for tempting her to eat it. They’re all blaming each other. God threw them out of the garden because they were each PERSONALLY responsible for the act - just as you are responsible for yourself. Adam no longer has anything to do with your sin.

You can go confidently to Jesus with your sins. They are your sins.

I mean, SIN had to get into us somehow. Do you think God put it there?? No. Well the story of A and E is just an explanation of how it got there. Take it for that and then leave it alone. Would you have preferred that God create us not to sin? Not to choose to sin or obey Him? He wants our love. Our love has to be freely given or it’s not love.

Re the motivation to do something about it. What motivation do you need? Jesus died for your sins. It’s a gift. Accept it, thank HIm, try not to sin and go on. I kept telling my catechism kids that many times they would fall on their way to God’s kingdom. You get up, you keep going. Jesus is there waiting for you, ready to forgive YOUR sins.

They are personal ejp. They are yours. It is your choice.

Fran

I care! I think we all should. I recall once reading or hearing something like- “To understand the redemption you need to understand the fall”.

Over the years, it’s amazed me how much is contained in those first 3 chapters of Genesis; all the insights that I’ve received from those 3 chapters. It’s as tho it contains the seed/s, so to speak, for all the rest of Scripture.

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