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By Blessed Economist
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Original Sin (2) Too Much

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The doctrine of original sin explains too much. Despite the claims of the Calvinists, the human soul has not been totally corrupted. Unregenerate humans can still do good, and many do far more good, than some Christians. The people that I know are not totally corrupt. Some are very loving and kind. They often make good choices. They have often sacrificed their lives for the good of others. Most people still seem to have an active conscience, although, like Christians, they can choose to ignore it.

Most humans can hear God speak. Adam and Eve continued to be aware of God and continued to hear his voice after they had sinned. The scriptures give many examples of people who had rejected God, but who could still hear him speak. Some humans see into the spiritual realms, but only see the bad side.

A few humans get caught up with evil and pursue it seriously in an ugly way, but that seems to be quite rare. The behaviour of most non-Christians is not much different from those who have chosen to follow Jesus. All humans seem to be able to make a choice between doing good and doing evil.

Saying that humans are all totally corrupt is misleading and unfair. We should be more precise about how humans were changed by the fall.

Spiritually Blind
We live in a reality that is both physical and spiritual. The spiritual realm is probably more important than the physical, but we see the physical side of reality far more clearly than we see the spiritual, possible due to the fall.

Humans obviously have a facility within us (not floating over us, or beside us) that has the ability to observe and communicate into the spiritual dimension of life. That ability has been badly damaged by the fall (original sin is not a very good term for describing what happened). I presume that this facility is within the brain (not the heart, which is just a pump that responds to adrenaline), but I have no idea how it actually works.

Some Christians call this facility their “spirit”, and there may be some scriptural justification for that, but that does not tell us much more, given that the Greek and Hebrew words for spirit also mean wind, which suggests something that can’t be seen, but has an effect that can be observed.

Some people have this facility to observe the spiritual world with a greater capacity than others do, just as some have greater intelligence and some have heightened compassion. I do not think it is just a gift of the Spirit (although discernment is one of the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives) because some non-believers have this heightened ability too.

No matter how much neuroscientists learn, they will not be able to see this facility because their tools can never observe the spiritual dimension. They might pick up the effect of the spiritual on the physical, but they will not be able to observe the interaction. They will see effects in other parts of the brain, but they will never know what caused them.

I reckon that the deadening of this facility that interacts with the spiritual realms is the major effect of the fall. I presume that it is restored when we are born again. However, it is essential for followers of Jesus to be aware that they have this facility, and develop their ability to use it. This awareness is something that has been lost with the secularisation of our culture.


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