Nana Yaw Aidoo
One teaching that is extremely popular among some professors of religion is the teaching that babies are born in sin, since all men supposedly inherit the sin of Adam. Popularly known as “original sin”, it is alleged that since babies are born in sin, then men have got sinful natures, which is the cause of all actual transgressions now.
Some questions are in order. If this is so, then, what caused Adam to sin? Did Adam possess a sinful nature? If yes, who gave it to him? Was it given to him by God who created him directly (Luke 3:38)? If so, then does that not make God the author of sin? If no, then, again, what caused Adam to sin? And if something other than a supposed “sinful nature” influenced Adam to sin, why may not the same or similar causes influence others now?
The truth is that, it is impossible for sin to be transferred or inherited, because sin is in the character. It is written:
The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him (Eze. 18:20).
If it’s impossible to inherit the sins of our fathers who are much closer to us, then pray tell me how it becomes possible to inherit the sin of Adam?
John wrote, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law…” (1 John 3:4). Clearly, sin is something that is committed not something that is inherited. Would the police arrest me if a relative of mine were to transgress state law? If no, then why would the All-Wise God charge men for a sin they did not commit?
Some suppose that they have proof of the doctrine in Romans 5:12. Nothing but the wrong handling of God’s word would make a person read “original sin” into that text. While it is true that sin and death entered the world through Adam, Paul made sure to note that, “…death spread to all men, because all sinned” (NKJV). Death, the wages of sin (Rom.6:23), didn’t spread to all men because of Adam’s sin. Rather it spread to all men “because all sinned”.
Others attempt to justify this teaching with David’s words in Psalms 51:5. This is the worst of all “proof texts” for original sin advocates because this was a prayer of repentance due to David’s illicit sexual union with Bathsheba. David did not inherit this sin but actually committed adultery and murder.
Moreover, the iniquity and sin David spoke about in connection with his mother, existed before he was born. If I say, “In anger did my daddy hit me”, does this mean I did the hitting in anger? Clearly, my daddy did. In like manner, “the bringing forth in iniquity” and “the conceiving in sin” refers not to David but to his mother.
Friends, if babies are born in sin, then what does that say about the substitutionary death of Christ? The Hebrews writer quoted Psalms 8:4-6 in Hebrews 2:6-8, which affirms that man has been made “a little lower than the angels”. Then in Hebrews 2:9, we see this statement used in reference to Christ thus teaching us that for all intents and purposes, Christ was a man just like us on earth. The Bible further teaches that Christ could die for our sins because He was sinless (Heb. 4:15; 7:26-27). But if babies are born in sin, then Christ was born in sin and was a sinner because He was a man just like us. That being the case, Christ Himself would be in need of salvation. This hits right at the center of the Christian faith and thus this teaching should be rejected for the blasphemy it is. Disregard the idea of the immaculate conception of Mary. It was doubted even by many Catholics until it was declared an “infallible doctrine” in 1854.
The Bible nowhere teaches that man has a “sinful nature” for the simple reason that the spirit in man that gives him his nature, is given directly by God. In other words, man gets his nature from God. Hebrews 12:9 teaches that God is the Father of spirits and Zechariah 12:1 teaches that God forms the spirit of man within him. Would a Holy God who cannot tolerate sin give to man a sinful nature, be churning out sinners by the day and then tell us that He “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” to die for sin?
Other Bible texts affirm the falsehood of the doctrine of “original sin”. Moses wrote that the imaginations of the heart of a man are evil not from his infancy but from his youth (Gen. 8:21). Solomon by inspiration wrote; “…God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Eccl. 7:29). Our Lord also said we’re to be converted and become like little children in order to inherit the kingdom (Matt. 18:3). This proves that when we’re converted, our states become like little children. But if babies are born in sin, and have a “sinful nature” then it means we’re converted from sin to sin, which is no conversion at all.
Inspiration continues to proclaim from the top of the hills, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Eze. 28:15).