Thursday, 28 April 2016

Was eating the forbidden fruit a venial sin?

Here I am into answering three persons at once. Jim Rigby, who implies it was on any decent standard and that the God of the Bible who punishes original sin would be a moral monster if he existed.

Phil Robertson (whose article* quoting and answering Jim Rigby I am reading) who is distorting the doctrine of original sin. Because he is a Protestant.

And one commenter who discusses the French Revolution.

Jim Rigby, as quoted:
“I received some bad news this week. Apparently, because I don't believe in a literal resurrection, I'm not really Christian…

As I share meals with my family, I have to face the fact that while they are enjoying the heavenly banquet, I will be screaming in unending torment along with Jews and Democrats and the evil college professors who teach evolution…

My accusers explained to me that I had it all wrong. They said I did not understand the gospel. You see, the earth was once a paradise. The dinosaurs were actually gentle and friendly. But then Adam and Eve stole a piece of fruit. God got very angry. So God invented cancer and hemorrhoids to punish human beings for our treachery…

And God's righteousness is infinite, so God couldn't just forgive us or teach us how to do better. What might seem to some like a first time misdemeanor of shoplifting fruit, was actually an irreversible irredeemable sin…

So God decided to barbecue us eternally for the mistakes of our ancestors. But God has a son named Jesus who asked God to abuse him instead. And so God killed Jesus in our place. And we call this story, the "good news."

Oh, and we have to LITERALLY believe Jesus' corpse got up…”

My comment:
Sure, Jim, if you don't believe the Resurrection, the rest is folly. St Paul said so quite a while ago.

You argue that eating the forbidden fruit was normally speaking a venial sin, it would have been that if you or I had been doing it.

But Adam was much more perfect than either of us, he walked much closer with God and therefore he did not have the excuses we would have had.

Phil Robinson, as answering
His distortion of the biblical facts shows no appreciation for the holiness of God, or the reverence that we should have towards him. We ought to keep in mind the status and holiness of the One that was offended. The level of punishment corresponds to the infinite holiness of the One who was offended. In the case of the Fall, it was the eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and wholly pure God who was able to create the universe by the power of his word! Our sinful nature, inherited from our ancestor Adam, means that we are now naturally pre-disposed towards continually offending God. We exist in a sinful state, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10–12). Hence, God cannot just teach, ‘us how to do better’, as, “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6). So it’s not a matter of God deciding to eternally punish sinners in Hell “for the mistakes of [their] ancestors”; we are each responsible to God for our own sin.

My comment:
Actually God does punish people as yet not responsible for any personal sin. Babies do suffer, and they do suffer for the sin of Adam.

As to eternal punishment, babies who die unbaptised do not go to the Hell of torments, as traditional Presbyterians (the ones against whom Jim Rigby is rebelling) would have it, but neither are they granted Heaven because they have as yet not had time to imitate Adam.

The guilt really is transmitted by propagation, as to Original sin, and not just through imitation, that being more a matter of certain personal sins, and of imitating people much closer to us in genealogy than Adam is.

Errol B., Australia, as commenting
250 years prior to the French revolution, France rejected the reformation in no uncertain terms. As a result, the French people were presented with a cruel, vindictive & unloving God which led to the French revolution & France was largely led into apostasy & atheism. I think it’s ironic that Jim Rigby could learn about God’s love from many modern day Catholics. Perhaps he should look at the history of the Presbyterian Church & what its founders believed.

I have on 5 occasions, after debating creation v evolution; asked non-believers if they agree with the peer-review methodology articulated by Dr Scott Todd & Prof Richard Lewontin (presented many times on One man was asked repeatedly but still refused to answer. The conversation often turns nasty at this point & they resort to personal attacks. Could it be they've never critically examined their own bias or linked atheistic philosophy to their own paradigm? I'm sure the revelation that 'evolution' is a religious belief horrifies them.

My comment:
French Revolution was not very different from Russian Revolution after it or Protestant Reformations before it.

Monks fleeing from Gustaf Wasa or Frederick III of Denmark or Henry VIII experienced exactly the same horrors as monks fleeing from Danton or Robespierre.

One could argue that in the case of France, the horror was of lesser duration than in the case of either Russia (1917-1990, shadow perhaps returning) or England (Reformation to 1830, with some remission during Charles I, a fickle one under Charles II, a shortlived one under James VII and II, and a little more remission toward the end of the period - in the case of France it was just 1790 to 1815, or even just to 1804.

I agree that atheist evolutionists overlook the fact that they have a religious bias (as closely linked to Russian Revolution as Protestantism to the Reformation): the atheist part being just a negative position and the evolution part being "science, not religion". But they are indoctrinated by the sequels of one revolution, 1917, as much as Protestants by the sequel of another, 1517.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Paul of the Cross

* See: CMI : An infuriated and vindictive God?
by Phil Robinson, Published: 28 April 2016

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