Friday, March 18, 2011

Eagle's Adam

Okay, Eagle, I will take on your questions, starting with the easiest to answer (from my perspective).

7. Also in regards to Adam…why is it that Adams’ sin affects and carries down to you? Why am I or anyone held responsible for Adams’ original sin?

The photo was taken in basement of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. I didn't take this photo, but I did visit this spot. This church, as you know, is built around the site that Church history (at least Helena believed) says is where Jesus was crucified. Here in the lower level is a big crack in the bedrock and a skull at the very bottom. Tradition has it (of which I'm quite dubious) that the skull belongs to Adam (The Adam) and the earth cracked so the blood of Christ could drip down and cover Adam's sin, thus the original sin.

Eagle, I was prepared to start some type of long winded explanation using theological terms. That's what I'm sure any theological school graduate would do. However, I think such arguments, or explanations are just a pile of crap. Here is the short of it. It is illogical. Why must one man's sin fall onto all his descendants? There are also answers in the simplistic Sunday school books. But the real answer is that it is a mystery that we don't understand, and to claim to understand it, we are just blowing smoke.

Now, is calling it a mystery a cop-out? Maybe. But if you think freely, and you allow yourself to take any possible path out, in the process of understanding why we are here, you always end up with a illogical roadblock that is a mystery.

For example, if you say this idea of Adam's sin having to fall on us all (and the flip side that Jesus had, with a bold HAD, to died for us) makes no sense, therefore I'm taking another path. Then, for example, you take the naturalistic, atheistic path . . . eventually you will run into the same type of absurdity. You eventually arrive at a point where out of totally nothing, all that is, came spontaneously.

You can pick each of the other possible answers to the problem of why we exist, pantheisms, animism or you name it, and you always end up with these absurd points.

So then the temptation is throw up your hands and become an Existential Nihilist. But what good does that do? There is still an answer but you've given up believing in answers and live miserably. On the other hand, I'm not saying (like a optimistic, humanistic existentialist) that we should just pick a belief system that makes us fulfilled and live with it without caring or giving a hoot if it is true or not.

I'm straying from your question so I will end this. In my personal opinion, and it is far too difficult to explain here, I believe that Christianity is true for several logical reasons. So, the part of it, which I can't honestly explain, I accept, being supported on the back of the part that does make sense.


Jaimie said...

Well we could just say it's a metaphor for the fact that we all can't help but sin. That's how I think of it.

peaceofchange said...

What always confused me about this idea is the verse that was force fed to me for years: "...Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

That left me with hmmmm what happened to the second that why alcoholism skips a generation?

Then someone pointed out to me :For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

It was very confusing to me, because I didn't hate God..I felt that I loved Him and kept his commandments...but, my life was still so screwed up and I had all the ACOA symptoms...why had his wrath visited me?

jmj said...

Jaimie, that's certainly true.

P of C, I see it as not some kind of spiritual principle, but the cause and effect of real people, with real psychological and sociological variables living in a real world.

For example, I think a bit of my anxiety was taught to me by my mother at a very young age. My mother is a very anxious woman (will turn 90 this year). But she was seriously abused (mentally and physically . . . not sexually that I know of) by her father. He beat her senseless as a small child so she grew up in fear. When I was about 3 (and I can still remember this) she used to pull me under the bed and we would hide every time a plane flew over because she was confident that the Chinese were going to bomb us . . . because we were bombing "their friends" in Vietnam at the time.

So sin has consequences in the real world. If I had beaten my children senseless, it would have a profound effect in how they raise their kids. And even the next generation would be effected. God is in the redemption business. So one great motivation for us not to sin (and I am always being accused of being soft on sin) is to break that cycle. If we love our kids the way we suppose to, then there is a much better chance they can love their kids even better and so on.

Anna A said...

P of C,

I see the same things that our host has seen about even in less serious issues than abuse.

I see it in my adopted family, where one generation had a bad experience with the church, and now two generations away, the granddaughter doesn't seem to have much if any relationship with God. (I hope that she does, and that I don't see it. I'm not close to her at all.)

I see it in myself. I was raised a tee-totaler, with comments about the Irish having problems with drink. It took me a long time to get to the point where I can enjoy a glass of wine, or a bottle of beer.

peaceofchange said...

jmj and Anna:

I think when you place a doctrine over a person you forget "the cause and effect of real people". Its hard to think that way when you have been brainwashed to believe not "to lean to my own understanding" and don't trust your heart because it is deceitful above all things...

I have also been a tee-totaler...too afraid of risking the chance of becoming alcoholic. I'm afraid I've definitely passed that paranoia down to my children...They will probably smell alcohol and get anxiety...

Love the comments about breaking the cycle...Lord knows I'm trying...

Thanks for the words of wisdom guys...I appreciate it. :)

Eagle said...

MJ..thank you!! I wish I could have been a part of a church community with you. Maybe things would have gone differently.

But thanks for taking the time!!!


Jaimie said...

My parents are hardcore teetotalers, but I had no problem breaking that cycle, haha. No anxiety here! Not about that, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how things would have turned out if, instead of blaming Eve, Adam would have accepted responsibility for their actions and repented? I take comfort in knowing God took responsibility for restoring His creation:
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them."
2 Cor 5:18-19