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Original Sin (3) Unclear Process

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The doctrine of original sin does not explain the process by which human souls are corrupted. How were humans changed so that they find it hard to do good? Who inflicted this harm? What did they do? What has deadened our facility that has the ability to see into the spiritual realms and communicate with the beings that populate it?

There are three possibilities. God did it. Humans did it to themselves. Or the powers of evil did it.

1. God
Most theologians imply that in response to Adam’s sin, God changed the human soul so that it was corrupted and incapable of doing good. The reason that theologians do not come out and say this directly is that it makes God the author of evil. It seems odd that God would change humans so that they would be more evil.

The other problem with this option is that there is no record in the scriptures of God corrupting human nature. When God announced the curse that Adam had put on himself by sinning, he explained that the earth would be corrupted so that thorns and thistles would grow, making it hard to grow the food he needed (Gen 3:17-9). He was going from living in abundance to living under scarcity. Genesis is clear that Adam was not corrupted. It was the ground that would be affected.

Eve was changed so that delivering babies would become painful, but there is no suggestion that she was changed so that she had a propensity to do evil. Rather, God said that women would continue to be drawn to men, which is a good thing (even if they dominated them harshly).

The scriptures never suggest that God corrupted the human soul to make original sin effective.

2. Self-Corrupting Humans
The second possibility is that humans corrupted themselves. It is possible that God made Adam and Eve in such a way that if they sinned, their souls would be totally corrupted by that one act. The problem with this option is that God created Adam and Eve in his image, so it is hard to believe that he created them so fragile that one sin would totally destroy his image and turn them into the opposite of how he created them.

According to Genesis, the souls of Adam and Eve were not totally corrupted at the moment that they sinned. They carried great shame, so this naturally made them afraid of God. They tried to cover their shame by making covering of leaves, which shows that they still wanted to do the right thing. If they were fully corrupted, they would have been delighting in their evil state. They were still seeking and listening to God when he came to them, so it seems that they were not in the state that the doctrine of original sin said that they should be in.

3. Spiritual Powers of Evil
The more plausible option is that the spiritual powers of evil harmed the souls of the first humans so that they struggle to serve God and develops a propensity to do evil.

When Adam and Eve were deceived into sinning, they were surrounded by millions of evil spirits who continued to harass them and persuade them to continue sinning. (Most had gone off to attack the animal world and plant world and to harm the earth that God had created, but many would have continued to attack the first humans.)

Paul tells us that Death and Sin ruled from the time of Adam until the giving of the law. Death had gained authority over Adam and Eve when they had sinned, so he was able to control them. God had warned of this when he had said that if they disobeyed, they would die of death. Death stirred up Cain to kill Abel. Cain then became scared of other humans trying to kill him (Gen 4:13-14). He knew that Death was at work in the world. Death continued to wreak havoc on earth up until the flood when he caused huge numbers of people to die by attempting to wreck the earth.

The spiritual powers of evil continue to harass people and deceive them into sinning.


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