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Author Topic: Adam's guilt inherited  (Read 1656 times) Average Rating: 0
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David Young
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« on: June 29, 2012, 06:38:20 AM »

My 'Reformed' friends are strongly committed to the idea that Adam's descendants inherited, not only his nature, but also his guilt: every child is born guilty of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. I'd be interested to learn what the eastern take is on this.
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 06:56:34 AM »

My 'Reformed' friends are strongly committed to the idea that Adam's descendants inherited, not only his nature, but also his guilt: every child is born guilty of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. I'd be interested to learn what the eastern take is on this.

We don't inherit guilt. We are affected by the consequences of Adam's sin, which is our mortality, predisposition to sin etc. but nobody is born guilty.

James
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 07:53:57 AM »

Since the Fall, humans are born separated from God, which would lead us to parish/damnation if you believe we have to have faith in Christ to be saved. It's painfully obvious this is true, look at the jungles of South America and Africa, how do they have trust in the real God and Faith that Christ saves? They are not born with this trust/fear of God and knowledge of Christ. They can only understand this through the Word and Sacraments when they receive them. Look at people who grow up Atheists and Agnostic, where is their knowledge in the one true God and Christ? Adam knew God when he was created, his actions separated all humanity from God. Does that make us guilty or is it just a consequence?
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 08:13:44 AM »

Sin is not in our nature. We have a disease. Our nature is tarnished, not changed.

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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 08:38:20 AM »

It was once explained to me this way: an analogy would be if we lived in an area where our ancestors had clear cut forests and dumped industrial chemicals in the rivers (too far-fetched, right?) Now, although we may be responsible environmentally correct citizens, we still have to live with and deal with the effects (pollution etc.) of the decisions and actions of our ancestors.
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 10:31:01 AM »

It is hard to deny we are broken people born into a broken world that is for sure. To my understanding we are born into the consequences of the fall –spiritual death- but do not inherit the personal ‘guilt’ of Adams sin.

Was that not washed away by the blood of our Lord Christ?
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 10:41:05 AM »

Since the Fall, humans are born separated from God, which would lead us to parish/damnation if you believe we have to have faith in Christ to be saved. It's painfully obvious this is true, look at the jungles of South America and Africa, how do they have trust in the real God and Faith that Christ saves? They are not born with this trust/fear of God and knowledge of Christ. They can only understand this through the Word and Sacraments when they receive them. Look at people who grow up Atheists and Agnostic, where is their knowledge in the one true God and Christ? Adam knew God when he was created, his actions separated all humanity from God. Does that make us guilty or is it just a consequence?
Another analogy is that we are born with a condition, a disease. The disease came from first from my ancestors for whatever faults they did, and now I inherited it.  I am not guilty of the disease I inherited.  Just because the disease leads me to fall into many faults, that does not mine I was born guilty.
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 10:42:24 AM »

We cannot be guilty of Adam's sin:

"Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin." (Deuteronomy 24:16)

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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 10:52:54 AM »

It is hard to deny we are broken people born into a broken world that is for sure. To my understanding we are born into the consequences of the fall –spiritual death- but do not inherit the personal ‘guilt’ of Adams sin.

Was that not washed away by the blood of our Lord Christ?
That is the mistake of the West since Anselm, thinking that Christ died instead of us, instead of for us.
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2012, 12:59:56 PM »

That is the mistake of the West since Anselm, thinking that Christ died instead of us, instead of for us.[/quote]

But isn't both? Just like Christ is both the Offering and the Offerer. He did die for us (that is clear), but He also died vicarously in place of us as the faithful Israelite that God always intended. Our salvation was always through Israel (Gn 15., Dt 30., Is 42-55, etc) reaching its climax in Christ (Romans 3-5).
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2012, 01:15:45 PM »

What priest told me (answer pasted 1st & question 2nd)

Ed,
Blessed Augustine was using the commentary from Ambrosiaster on Romans in which the Latin text read in quo--in whom--all have sinned.  That is the difference which makes the sin to be in one--Adam--in whom all humanity has sinned and is therefore condemned--the massa damnata.
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Subject: Question to Fr David re original sin.
Fr. David,
                                If I recall correctly you had mentioned during the visit of Frederica Matthews Green that St. Augustine had some sort of misunderstanding of Romans 5:12 which is reflected in the last part of the passage “…..so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (king james vers.). Was it Augustine’s own theological error or a misunderstanding of the teaching he received from St. Ambrose?
 
Thank you,
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2012, 01:37:36 PM »

That is the mistake of the West since Anselm, thinking that Christ died instead of us, instead of for us.

But isn't both? Just like Christ is both the Offering and the Offerer. He did die for us (that is clear), but He also died vicarously in place of us as the faithful Israelite that God always intended. Our salvation was always through Israel (Gn 15., Dt 30., Is 42-55, etc) reaching its climax in Christ (Romans 3-5).
No.  If Christ died instead of us, we wouldn't die.  The Offering/Offerer is apples and oranges.
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 01:40:36 PM »

the Latin text read in quo--in whom--all have sinned. 

Thank you for that. I had quite forgotten (head like a sieve  Sad), and it does seem that here leis the seed of the West's doctrine.
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2012, 01:42:38 PM »

My 'Reformed' friends are strongly committed to the idea that Adam's descendants inherited, not only his nature, but also his guilt: every child is born guilty of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. I'd be interested to learn what the eastern take is on this.

We don't inherit guilt. We are affected by the consequences of Adam's sin, which is our mortality, predisposition to sin etc. but nobody is born guilty.

James

IMHO, this reply succinctly answers the issue of 'inherited guilt' from the EO viewpoint.
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2012, 01:58:25 PM »

No.  If Christ died instead of us, we wouldn't die.  The Offering/Offerer is apples and oranges.
[/quote]

Christ was baptized instead/in place of us (and for us), but we still have our baptism in Christ. Christ's baptism, death, resurrection and ascension become ours because He lived the human life vicariously and for us.
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2012, 02:02:30 PM »

What I am saying here is not directly related & I am no scholar, but I also heard that when the Lord says to "repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" in Matthew 4, that the Latin translation was "do penance" which was later challenged by the reformation when the Greek "repent for" was brought into understanding. This seems to be another instance of a more juridical theology in the west (at a fixed point in time this was stilll Orthodox, I presume, since the church was still one & the original theologians are holy saints). I guess some reformation theologians had formed a rather rigid attitude in addition to a juridical theology that had a bad effect on the understanding of salvation by grace through faith & the role of works within. No disrespect to the RCC or Protestantism intended in my post.
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« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2012, 02:13:11 PM »

My 'Reformed' friends are strongly committed to the idea that Adam's descendants inherited, not only his nature, but also his guilt: every child is born guilty of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. I'd be interested to learn what the eastern take is on this.

A Greek Orthodox priest told me this was a heresy.
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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2012, 03:46:34 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

That is the mistake of the West since Anselm, thinking that Christ died instead of us, instead of for us.

But isn't both? Just like Christ is both the Offering and the Offerer. He did die for us (that is clear), but He also died vicarously in place of us as the faithful Israelite that God always intended. Our salvation was always through Israel (Gn 15., Dt 30., Is 42-55, etc) reaching its climax in Christ (Romans 3-5).

Yes, Christ did die for us as an Offering and the Offerer, as the Sacrifice and the Sacrificed, but it is not in the legalistic sense of substitution like Protestant theologians devised.  Christ died for us in His flesh, which is to say, that the entirety of humanity died along with Him, because there is a oneness to humanity by nature.  We died with Him, that we might also be raised up with Him. However, He did not then died in place of us, or as a substitution for the penalization of our sins.  Christ died for us, once and for all time, that our deaths might be replaced by His Resurrection.  However, again, it is not substitution.  Christ is not the substitute for our deaths, because it is His Resurrection in the Flesh which restored and sanctified our own human nature and condition.  

stay blessed,
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2012, 04:17:55 PM »

My 'Reformed' friends are strongly committed to the idea that Adam's descendants inherited, not only his nature, but also his guilt: every child is born guilty of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. I'd be interested to learn what the eastern take is on this.

It just dawned on me that you may wish to clarify what you mean by 'eastern'. 
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2012, 08:23:52 AM »

you may wish to clarify what you mean by 'eastern'. 

I meant people like Greek Orthodox and other Orthodox.
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« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2012, 09:31:53 AM »

you may wish to clarify what you mean by 'eastern'. 

I meant people like Greek Orthodox and other Orthodox.

Forgive me, but I assumed as much.  What I was getting at, specifically, is whether you are addressing Eastern Orthodox (Greek, Russian, OCA, Romanian, Serbian, etc...) or Oriental Orthodox (Armenian, Ethiopian, Indian, etc...).  Depending upon whom answers, you're bound to get two different answers.  This is the reason I wish it were mandatory to list one's faith; "Orthodox" is misleading, to say the least.
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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2012, 11:45:18 AM »

My simplistic understanding is that result of the fall of Adam was that death was brought into the world.  Children are not born with sin, but end up in a world where sin is omnipresent and can't avoid it. 

Christ (the new Adam) conquered death by his death and bestowed everlasting life (as proclaimed by the beautiful hymn of Resurrection).   

Again, i know there is much more, but that has always been my understanding.

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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2012, 12:25:01 PM »

My 'Reformed' friends are strongly committed to the idea that Adam's descendants inherited, not only his nature, but also his guilt: every child is born guilty of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. I'd be interested to learn what the eastern take is on this.

We believe that we inherited Adam's fallen nature along with all the consequences of the fall that affected his nature. We do not believe in the inheritance of personal guilt.

I have a few thoughts on the subject written here.
Quote
This disordered nature that was brought about by the fall was transmitted to the entire human race, as it is written that Adam "begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth" and "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned".

In hope this helps.
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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2012, 01:59:19 PM »


 I wish it were mandatory to list one's faith; "Orthodox" is misleading,

Even my own designation as Baptist doesn't seem to convey clearly to y'all what I am.
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2012, 02:53:46 PM »

Separation from God is impossible btw, I heard a few people mentioning that. If God is omnipresent then how could we be separated from Him? You would have to admit that He was not omnipresent and thus does not have dominion over the entire world/universe/multiverse etc.

Anyway, back on topic. How could we be guilty for something we never did? Many passages in the Old Teatament condemn inherited guilt but emphasize personal responsibility for one's own sins. Likewise, if one accepts the view of why Christ died--which goes along with inherited guilt--how could you reconcile this with the Bible? What justice is there in punishing an entirely innocent man for no reason? Likewise, the Old Testament condemned human sacrifice and God Himself said that He does not delight in human sacrifice so why would He sacrifice His own innocent Son as a scapegoat to Himself and contradict everything the Bible says about Him?
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« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2012, 12:03:33 AM »

Separation from God is impossible btw, I heard a few people mentioning that. If God is omnipresent then how could we be separated from Him? You would have to admit that He was not omnipresent and thus does not have dominion over the entire world/universe/multiverse etc.

The language that sin separates us from God is well-established in the Fathers. The problem is that you are mistaking it for literal separation (a lie moves you 1 foot from God, stealing moves you five feet, etc) which is of course ridiculous and impossible. Rather the separation is in terms of relationship, of emotional distance if you will (although much more than just the emotions is involved). Through sin we have become strangers to God, until He closes that 'gap' by becoming one of us, thereby reconciling us and bringing us back into intimate relationship with our Father and Creator.
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« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2012, 12:23:14 AM »

Separation from God is impossible btw, I heard a few people mentioning that. If God is omnipresent then how could we be separated from Him?
Just because you are in someone's presence doesn't mean you're united.
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« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2012, 12:25:29 AM »

It's painfully obvious this is true, look at the jungles of South America and Africa, how do they have trust in the real God...They are not born with this trust/fear of God and knowledge of Christ. They can only understand this through the Word and Sacraments when they receive them. Look at people who grow up Atheists and Agnostic, where is their knowledge in the one true God and Christ?

"For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus."
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« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2012, 02:05:35 AM »

No.  If Christ died instead of us, we wouldn't die.  The Offering/Offerer is apples and oranges.

Christ was baptized instead/in place of us (and for us), but we still have our baptism in Christ. Christ's baptism, death, resurrection and ascension become ours because He lived the human life vicariously and for us.
[/quote]

Christ doesn't live human life "vicariously" (i.e., through a vicar). The human life of Christ is the actual, historical life of a man, Jesus of Nazareth, who is born of the Virgin Mary in 1st century Palestine. This man is the Messiah of Israel, and the incarnate Son of God. He lives his own life as a specific human being.

Christ is also not baptized "in our place." I've never heard this anywhere, and I don't know where you're getting this from. We unite ourselves to Christ because he unites Himself to us in his incarnation, death and resurrection, that we may partake of these things, as well. To quote from the Epistle Reading of baptism:

"Brethren, do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his."

Further, the hymns of Theophany make it clear that Christ's baptism accomplishes the sanctification of the waters. Christ infuses baptism with grace to forgive our sins. I'm reminded of these hymns:

"The River Jordan receded of old by the mantle of Elisha when Elijah ascended into heaven; and
the water was separated to this side and that, the wet element turning into a dry path for Him,
being truly a symbol of Baptism, by which we cross the path of transient age. Christ appeared in
the Jordan to sanctify its waters."
(Troparion for the Forefeast of Theophany)

"Why are thy waters troubled, O Jordan, and why turnest thou backward, not proceeding forward
according to thy natural flow? It shall answer, saying, I cannot bear a consuming fire. Therefore,
do I marvel and tremble at Thine exceeding condescension; for I am not accustomed to wash the
Pure; I have not learned to purify the sinless One, but to purify impure vessels. Christ, who
baptized in me, doth teach me to burn the thorns of sins. And John, the voice of the Word, doth
testify with me, crying, Behold the Lamb of God Who beareth the sin of the world. Let us believers
therefore cry unto Him, saying, O God that hath appeared for our salvation, glory to Thee."
(from the Idiomela for the Sixth Hour, the Royal Hours of Theophany)

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