A Possible Reason is not The Necessary Reason: Fallen Human Nature

“The atonement of Christ was not made for victims but for criminals. The idea that the atonement of Christ was necessary to overcome the nature that God has created us with represents sinners as poor victims of their circumstances, or rather, victims of God Himself.”


[In the following email, the following logical fallacy is made: because there is a possible reason, it must be seen as fact; as the correct answer which solves the question.]

‘ “I agree a person does not sin until the beginning of the moral accountability, that’s when a choice is made (free will), that’s why anyone without the ability, i.e., a child until they reach that, mentally handicapped, etc. But the fact that ALL HAVE SINNED shows that everyone sins, why is that? Because of human nature that was a result of the fall. [Logical fallacy: because there is a possible reason, it must be seen as fact; as the correct answer which solves the question.] Jesus’ sacrifice was the only way to overcome that. His blood was the difference. His blood was pure, free from the nature of sin of Adam, because he was born from above, not of an earthly father. “

This was my response:

1. In all of the declared consequences and curses as a result of Adam’s sin, Genesis never records or even hints at human nature becoming sinful. God cursed the ground, not our nature. The major change that occurred to human nature, as recorded in Genesis, is us being subjected to death as a consequence of being cut off from the tree of life.

2. Sin is a personal choice, so how can it change our nature? To say that Adam changed human nature is to say that man can change his nature. Yet, those who teach a sinful nature say that man cannot change his own nature and therefore needs God to do it. But if man cannot change his nature, how did he get a sinful nature to begin with? Only God has the power to create or change our nature. Our choices can change our character, but not our constitution. Besides, if a choice to sin creates a sinful nature, wouldn’t a change to not sin create a holy nature? And if children inherit their nature from their parents, wouldn’t two regenerate parents give birth to a child with a regenerate nature? How could two Christians give birth to a child with a sinful nature?

3. It is a deistic perspective to say that God formed the human nature of Adam, but then stepped back and let nature takes it course. Thus the idea that we inherit our nature from mere “natural generation” instead of being created by God is deism. But the Bible says that God forms us in the womb and David said that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are the works of God’s hands. But if our nature makes us sin, then our sin is God’s fault and not our own. And if our nature makes us sin, we are not wonderfully made and God’s works are not marvelous. If God doesn’t want us to sin, why would He form us in the womb with a nature that will inevitably cause us to sin?

4. The atonement of Christ was not made for victims but for criminals. The idea that the atonement of Christ was necessary to overcome the nature that God has created us with represents sinners as poor victims of their circumstances, or rather, victims of God Himself.

5. The notion that sin is in the blood is not taught anywhere in the Bible. (…) What if a Christian gets the blood of a sinner? Do they get their old nature back? And if sin is in the blood, and regeneration is when God changes our nature, then we don’t need to preach the gospel to sinners. Rather, Christians should simply donate their blood so sinners can get blood transfusions. The idea that sin is in the blood makes sin something physical rather than moral. Again, making sin a misfortune rather than a crime. And besides, a child gets the dna for their blood from both parents, not only from the father. That is why Jesus Christ is called the seed of David and the seed of Abraham (and consequently the seed of Adam) because of His earthly mother Mary.

6. Your nature can only influence your choices, it cannot cause them. Everything that God made in the beginning was “good” and therefore He did not create Lucifer, the fallen angels, Adam, or Eve with a sinful nature. They had a “good” nature and yet they choose to sin. THat is because your nature may influence your choices, but it does not cause them. Otherwise, they never could have sinned in the beginning. The idea that we inherit a sinful nature from Adam that causes us to sin is contrary to free will. If sin is a choice which is made by free will, our nature cannot necessitate us to sin.

7. Sin is actually against our nature. Paul said in Romans that homosexuality is against nature. Yet people choose to engage in homosexuality despite how unnatural it is. Clearly, people can choose contrary to nature. Also, Paul said in Romans that the Gentiles do by nature the things contained in the law showing the work of the law written on their hearts – their conscience. If our conscience is part of our nature or constitution, an element of our make-up, and our conscience tells us not to sin, then in this way our nature tells us not to sin. Sin is unnatural, which is why people naturally feel guilt, shame, and remorse when they do it. (…)

7. Ezekiel 18 says that the child does not bear the iniquity of the father. But if the sin of Adam is transmitted from father to child through the blood, then we certainly do bear the iniquity of our fathers.

8. The fact [1] that all have sinned does not necessarily mean that all had to sin, or that our nature made us do it. The only thing necessary for the occurrance of sin is free will and temptation. All men have sinned because all men have a free will and have experienced temptation. Consider how Adam and Eve had a great deal of advantages over us. They only had temptation from two sources – the devil who decieved them and their flesh that wanted food. But when a person is born now, they are born into a very sinful world with sinful examples and sinful temptations all around them. The devil has had thousands of years of experience in tempting men to sin since Adam. Our flesh can be a source of aggrevated temptations as we can inherit certain biases towards particular indulges. The world, the flesh, and the devil that we face are far worse than what Adam and Eve faced. So if Adam sinned despite all of his advantages over us, is it really surprising that we too have sinned with all of our disadvantages?

9. If we inherit a nature that secures our sinfulness, the devil out of a job. The devil doesn’t need to go around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, as he only needed to tempt Adam and Eve. But now that they sinned, our nature necessitates our sin, so the devil doesn’t need to go around and tempt anyone else.

10. Lastly, the term sinful nature needs to be defined. If by a sinful nature it is meant that our nature itself is a sin, then this is absurd. Sin is a moral description of a personal choice. Sin is not some commodity that can be transmitted, inherited, borrowed, or lent out. And certainly if our sin was involuntary and unavoidable, we couldn’t be accountable or justly punishable for it. But if by “sinful nature” it is only meant that our nature inclines us towards sin, then this is almost right but mistake on two points. The first point it is mistaken on is calling it sinful. It is not sinful to be inclined towards sin. It is only sinful to choose to sin. So to call it a “sinful” nature is to confuse what sinfulness is. Temptation is not sin. Even Jesus was tempted yet without sin. And second, our nature does not incline us towards sin per say, or towards sin as an ultimate object, but rather towards gratification. For example, the sex drive is part of human nature. Our flesh desires the gratification of sex. Our flesh doesn’t care if that desire is gratified through adultery or through marriage, it just wants gratification. So it is not “sin” that our flesh wants or craves, it is merely gratification. It doesn’t care if it is gratified through lawful or unlawful means. Now, if we give into temptation that is our choice. If we seek to gratify ourselves through unlawful means, that is our own free choice that we cannot blame upon our nature.

11. The term sinful nature is not found anywhere in the Greek New Testament or the Hebrew Old Testament. The term sinful nature is not in the King James Version of the Bible either. The term is found in some modern translations. They take the word “sarx” which means “flesh” and interpret it sinful nature. On these passages, this rendering is a interpretation, not a translation. The Greek words for “sinful’ and ‘nature” are not found anywhere next to each other in the entire Bible to make up the term “sinful nature. (…)” ‘

Source: Jesse Morrell, “An Email About Original Sin” (facebook).


[1] read “Why Human Beings Sin” and “Does Romans 3 teach That All are Sinners?” for an alternative understanding; that not all human beings have sinned.

Read “Why Human Beings Sin” for other explanations of why human beings sinned.

 

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