I don’t understand how it’s fair or just that all of humanity got punished because Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Shouldn’t children be innocent when they’re born? Yet we are made to feel guilty for something we didn’t even cause? No one asked to be brought into this world and no one was responsible for their existence. So why do we have to suffer because of Adam and Eve? How is that kind and loving? Creating humans, knowing they will screw up and then punishing them all? I’m getting sick of Catholicism, seems like it’s nothing but guilting and shaming others. No one wants to be told they are evil and bad.
I don’t know about you, but it has never made me feel guilty.
I got a clean bill of health when I was baptized and never gave it another thought. Of course, at that stage of life, I’m not sure I gave much of anything a whole lot of thought.
Sure, I’ll be a good Catholic play along with the idea that we all share their sin (and I’m sure there are millions of pages of texts going back 2,000 years explaining why that is), but frankly, it’s one notion that I don’t put much faith in. Literally. Not much faith.
Maybe it makes more sense to ignore the sin part and frame it as: you need to go through particular steps in order to be a child of God, and they start with baptism, and we baptize because people aren’t naturally born into God’s family.
ETA: the real problem with the concept of original sin is that fringe people use it to justify painful childbirth. That’s an idea that can lead to bad decisions.
Who told you that you were evil and bad? What are you getting guilted and shamed for? Something Adam did or something you yourself did?
I’ve somehow managed to live several decades as a practicing Catholic and no clergy or religious person has ever told me I was “evil and bad”. Much less tried to make me feel guilty over Adam and Eve.
First, nobody should be making you feel guilty for the sin of Adam and Eve, we bear the side effects, but not the guilt.
Second, original sin transformed reality, damaging everything, and so it damages relationships, as well as health, and nature, including our humanity which we all ultimately inherit from Adam and Eve, thus this damage exists both in the world independent of us, and within our being as an inheritance from them (hence, in medieval theology, peace with God often correlated with peace with Nature, which is why St. Francis could communicate with animals). Sin corrupts the way we relate to everything (including our bodies) but we are still intrinsically good.
That’s the hand we been dealt, so deal with it, the Saints didnt complain, and now they are in Heaven.
The Adam and Eve story is allegory. It’s representative of the human condition. Living things die. Life on this earth has suffering. That doesn’t mean people have to screw up. Doing wrong and failing to do good are choices the individual makes, not a mandatory requisite of being human.
So because of the rebellion of the first humans, their descendants will suffer and die and have a tendency toward “sin”. But that tendency doesn’t mean a human has to sinful choices.
Like you, I used to be mortified that a good God could permit any part of creation to go to hell. But really, hell is considered to be an absence of God’s presence which results in burning pain.
As a recovering survivor of trauma, as I thrive more and more each day, I actually empathize with a God who has the boundaries to cut ties with part of beloved creation.
Sometimes people do not have our best interest at heart. they may not love us or like us or they may have mal-intent toward us, even though we love and care about them very much. When this happens in life, we have to take space from these individuals, no matter how much it hurts us to do so.
To me, that Adam and Eve story is an excellent reflection on having necessary boundaries to surround ourselves with those who truly love, care, and support us. Can’t be mad at a good God for having healthy boundaries.
It’s more than just an allegory.
EUCHARISTIC PRAYER :
“…as once you were pleased to accept the gifts of your servant Abel the just, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the offering of your high priest Melchizedek, …”
@jtwp5 : Your question makes perfect sense to me.
To deny the relevance of your question would be to deny the value and significance of Baptism, since the purpose of Baptism is to cleanse a soul of original sin.
But baptism is also not an absolute cure, either. The effects of the fall of both angels and man still exists.
These “effects” appear as temptations. Everyone has them, and so we all struggle to uphold the virtues. Yet we all fall again and again, and so we also have confession to help cleanse us of these lapses.
I dont know if I have an answer to your question, but I think it has something to do with the primacy of both Adam and Jesus.
Adam was the first man. He messed up, set a bad example, and it basically “confused” everyone. All he had to do was obey God. Simple. He didn’t. Then an infinite array of “problems” set in. The simple solution, i.e. faith in and obedience to God, was still there. But the doubt was too tempting to ignore, and so - when Adam bought into it - he set a bad example, and misery followed.
Enter Jesus many generations later. Despite these temptations - Jesus is the first to successfully suffer and bear all that sinful doubt, while perfectly maintaining His faith in God all the way through persecution and crucifixion. Hence, Christ redeems us by being the first to set a perfect example… and - from what the bible says - He wasn’t just the first, but the only…
In a way, while harrowing hell, I can imagine Jesus saying to Adam: “See? I told ya so…” as he then takes him to heaven…
My point is, if Adam and Eve had just believed what God had told them in the first place, then we’d have been okay.
Jesus shows us we can still redeem ourselves, and you can trust what he says. He came to bear witness to the truth. When we look at what our sins did to Him afterwards - starting with Pilate’s mockery… it gets pretty ugly… it’s still tough… but - if you really believe in what He says - we can also see a light at the end of the tunnel…
God’s Blessings to you!
@jtwp5: I do have one other meditation which might sort of help.
It may sound strange, but think about a wild horse… and compare it to one that has been captured and is being broken in… It doesn’t have to be a horse, though… It could be almost any wild animal - even a bird or a squirrel… because my meditation speaks to our animal nature…
Try offering a bird or a squirrel a handout. They’ll look at it, and they’ll want it, but they’ll be afraid of you. Then they wont take it because they dont know they can trust you. Chance are - if you’re really offering them something charitable - there’s no threat at all, so logically it should all be fine… But, nope, those crazy critters just won’t take the charity… they haven’t really learned to trust…
Adam and Even weren’t like us today… I imagine they must have been pretty vulnerable to temptation; and, when offended by Satan, highly reactionary to it…
On the other hand, what we see in Jesus is more like the horse… He’s not a horse that needs domesticating, but he comes to us willing to play ball… He makes it through, and so now we know…
So society will try to ride and break you… and, eh, yeah… you gotta bear the cross, like a horse would a rider… but this is what we call civilization…
The “odd” part is still probably… if we were in heaven, a lot of this “hazing” and “breaking in” - which we do to try to establish trust and redemption here on earth… I say, in heaven, it’s probably unnecessary, since we are back with God at that point…
Yes we all suffer because of the Original Sin .
We all die because of the Original Sin .
I share your thinking @jtwp5 .
I am pleased you have asked the question .
How would we react if a judge were to condemn to death a man who was guilty of murder , and was then to tell his sons and daughters that they were also to be executed because of the sin of their father ?
I have read the Book of Job and have found there is no answer which would satisfy my reasoning .
Everyone knows it was Eve who bit it first. Therefore it’s all her fault. I resent the two people remark it’s sexist.
(PLEASE REALIZE THIS IS INTENDED TO BE A JOKE).
Every time we sin, we do the same thing Adam and Eve did.
Yes. Jesus gave us baptism to remove our original sin, so we are not punished for what Adam and Eve did.
However, all of us have a sinful nature, just like that of Adam and Eve. Our own sinful natures in the more contemporary time cause evil and suffering in the world. We aren’t somehow these perfect beings who are suffering only because Adam and Eve did something once, we’re suffering because of ourselves.
“But Jesus, who in this vision informed me of all that is needed by me, answered with these words and said: ‘It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.’
-Julian of Norwich 1342-1416
Tell that to your mum and dad. And if you ever have children, then you can explain why you bought them into this world without asking their permission.
How do you think we are “punished”? We are born with disordered desires because, like any genetic disorder, it was passed on to us through our parents. This isn’t punishment; it’s the natural order of things.
Adam and Eve lived in Paradise. We are not told how long they lived there. They feed off the “Tree of Eternal Life” (who is Jesus Christ) while in the garden. To keep receiving the fruit of the Tree of Eternal Life, they had to abstain from the “Tree of knowledge of good and evil”. When they are of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they gave up eating from the Tree of Eternal Life. Why? Well, God tells us that evil will not last forever. God has put a time limit on evil. As a personal experience our time limit starts at conception and ends at death. We have from our birth until death to experience good and bad and make a decision on what we will follow. This choice is ours. Since evil cannot continue eternally (because God said so) there will be a time where evil is ended, and we will receive glorified bodies, a glorified earth and have life without evil.
Now, look at Jesus and Mary. They were born sinless. Yet, they experienced good and evil. They both lived through good and evil attacking them. Yet, they stayed steadfast and chose good. Their physical bodies were limited to God’s time limit from conception until death. We uplift their earthly lives and strive to their spiritual lives through this journey of experiencing good and evil. Let us not tire and remember to choose good.
It should never be about us. God brought everyone into this world for a reason, that’s the journey we take with Him each and every day. To discern what His will is for our lives we have to have a relationship with Him. Jesus came to save us from original sin, biggest expression of love to ever unfold. All He asks in return is for us to bear our own cross, follow him and live out His will for our lives. Nowhere did He say it will be easy or that we’ll always understand His plan, hints why the word mystery is so often attached to God, we won’t always understand what He’s up to. He tells us we will be hated for following Him, and that we’ll endure suffering along the way. Each of us have to live our lives to do His will, and understanding His plan of salvation is a vital part to living out His will for our lives. To state no one asked to be brought into this world is casting doubt on Gods redemptive plan, instead ask Him to show you His will for your life, it has a meaning and a purpose. He does make it clear that in the end, he who lives out Gods will, that it will be worth it.
The story is an allegory. It never happened, according to Dr. David Anders and Father Mitch Pacwa. It’s what we can learn from it that counts. Don’t take it literally. Read the Catechism and talk to your priest. I am a Protestant who has fallen in love with Catholicism directly as a result of the teachings which allay all my old fears such as those you’ve stated. It is an awesome faith. Listen to the piece linked below from about the 42 minute mark. Blessings to you.
The existence of evil is necessary in order for the existence of Love to make any sense.
We all have free will, the ability to choose Love (with implicit sacrifice), or evil with no sacrifice (but with disastrous results).
God helps us overcome temptations to do evil, if we ask for his help.
Yes, we are punished if we don’t ask God for help, and do evil instead of good.