Original Sin


There was an article recently written in a Catholic periodical in which the author stated, “…God could have created a different world, but He did not, He created this one…” . Taking a look at that statement in its simplicity I would like to address it with this: He did create a different world but then sin entered the picture. This entrance of sin into the picture is what Church teaching calls ‘Original Sin’. This sin became the gateway for evil into the all good creation. Coming from the perspective of the Church I would like address this topic from both a scriptural and tradition perspective:
1) There was, in fact, a primordial event in which that took place at the dawn of creation which was a rebellion against the good that God had given in favor of some good which they themselves thought they could have outside the good of God.
2)This one event has affected all events throughout all time including the present. This is because: a) We all sinned in Adam and are all guilty. b)God Himself is Transcendent in all time and place. Thus that relationship that was harmed then has been affected in all times and places. The event of Original Sin is like the stone cast into the water that ripples in and through all time.
3) Man is the sole author of sin. Scripture, makes use of allegory yet has within it deep and abiding truths. Chapter 3 of Genesis gives the account of the fall. Note one thing God states with great clarity, “…what have YOU done…?” The direction of His statement is entirely to the person in the action making the responsibility for the action their’s. It is the force of the you that makes the person responsible for this. We cooperated with the serpent and perhaps entered into the sin of the devil.
4) They were tempted by the serpent and fell. In the words of scripture “We were tricked…” Temptation came and they fell. This might mean we were less culpible and perhaps more readily able to be forgiven because this was not a self willed event, but had a third party .
5) To ‘Know Good and Evil’… This is not simply knowledge as we know it to be. Knowledge here may refer to actual experience of good and evil rather than a mere intellectualization of it. It is real to the world not merely a concept.
6) The effects were immediate and are still present to us today: a) Note shame for sin enters. They were always ‘naked but are now ashamed’. Sin carries with it this sense of shame.
b)Note the loss of objectivity. She made me…He made me… the serpant made us… Where is the objective truth in this story?? Where it always is: with God. He stands as the arbitraitor in this event rendering judgement… and his judgement is both good and just… it will also happen again at the end of all time. Note the end of the story God sees their nakedness and in love forms clothes for them… hence the relationship is not entirely destroyed (Good News!) .
7) Man is at odds with the creation He finds himself in. The woman and the serpent. He strikes at her heel and she strikes at his head…the man tills the earth among thorns and thistles… It gets worse: Cain and Abel brother against brother… and death abruptly enters the picture in murder and the pro-life cause begins!!
8) The effects of all of this are readily felt today: Brother v Brother… Palestinian and Jew… Iraqi v. American…
What do you think men like Hitler, Stalin or even those two boys at Columbine heard… Do you think they heard the whisper “…and you shall be gods…” .
Ultimately God is in no way responsible for the evil we find in the world, that is to say he in no way authored it we do that by our own free will. The thing is that He is in no way responsible for it but took responsibilty for it upon the CROSS. That was and is the end of evil’s story. GK Chesterton once said, "Original Sin is the only thing that can be proven in Christianity, just look out the window! Peace.



Well said.


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