Jump to content

Original sin: how does belief in the 1st book of the bible vary among faiths/sects/churches?


Recommended Posts

How do different churches' and sects' views and adherence vary in regard to belief in the book of Genesis and the entire concept of original sin?

 

I'm guessing there are differences, but I don't know..

Baptist?

Church of Christ?

Lutheran?

Catholic?

Presbyterian?

Mormon?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • alreadyGone changed the title to Original sin: how does belief in the 1st book of the bible vary among faiths/sects/churches?

I know very little about Mormons, but from the ones you listed, some Lutherans and Presbyterians may take the creation story less literally, depending on the congregation and pastor.  I know some Methodist aren't as dogmatic on those subjects.  Try a google search.  Ask what each denomination believes about different subjects.  But keep in mind, not all people in the same denomination have the same beliefs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Calvinists are very big on original sin, it is the foundation for their theology.

 

Here are some Calvinists who are proponents of original sin:

 

R.C. Sproul

Timothy Keller

Jonathan Edwards

Charles Spurgeon

John Piper

Francis Chan

 

That is just a handful. Normally Calvinist will not give you the inside scoop to their theology until after they have converted someone. They think the topic of predestination will scare off potential converts.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Hierophant said:

Calvinists are very big on original sin, it is the foundation for their theology.

 

Here are some Calvinists who are proponents of original sin:

 

R.C. Sproul

Timothy Keller

Jonathan Edwards

Charles Spurgeon

John Piper

Francis Chan

 

That is just a handful. Normally Calvinist will not give you the inside scoop to their theology until after they have converted someone. They think the topic of predestination will scare off potential converts.

 

In my Church of Christ experience,  some tried to win you with God's love, but if that didn't work, you got hit with hell fire and brimstone.  They stayed away from the predestination stuff.  And you had "home free" card until reaching the "age of accountability."  And they wouldn't tell you what age that was.  You had to determine that for yourself.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

     I grew up Lutheran.  It's been a long time since my catechism but outside that the whole original sin thing wasn't really something that was focused on.  The whole focus was the gospels with some lessor focus on the epistles.  The Revelation was almost never, ever, mentioned.  It was just sort of written off as a symbolic mystery that would become clear in the end times and sort of left at that.  I imagine, since I don't know, the reason they focused on the redemption as opposed to the fall is that it's easier to imagine yourself as somehow being defective in some way and needing a little help to gain perfection.  Once you focus on the reason, that you are that way because of some tricky snake and all that nonsense, then you might start to think about how silly that actually is and why you're being punished for that event.  You can deal with why you're a shitty person, like you lie, steal, drink, cheat, or whatever, and it's because the devil is tempting you right now and jesus can help sort of makes sense.  That you're that way because of an apple incident starts to make you wonder.

 

     Now, I went off to a Baptist school so things changed for me there.  Original sin was very much an issue.  We were terrible, fallen, creatures that deserved a lot of torture, if not utter annihilation, and grace came center stage.  The gospels took a backseat to Paul's epistles.  And the Revelation became very important.  All these things were key to becoming figurative, if not literal, spiritual warriors.  Unlike some Pentecostal churches we weren't engaging in spiritual warfare by using anointing and all that but rather putting on the armor of god while we're alive to protect us during this life and then, in the end times, literally becoming a member of the army of god and killing off god's enemies even if they're friends or family.  So we were essentially learning to be ready to kill if jesus plopped out of the sky and gave the order.  This reminds me that the Baptists were into the Rapture, which was unheard of in my Lutheran church.

 

     That's all I can think of right off the top of my head.  There's probably more but these are the highlights.  I mean, they differed on things like baptism too.  The Lutherans accepted sprinkling while the Baptists rejected that and insisted on dunking.  Lutherans were fine with dancing while the Baptists were not.  Lutherans tend to have a far more ceremonial service, like Catholics, than the Baptists.  Things like that.  

 

          mwc

 

  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/6/2021 at 1:10 PM, Hierophant said:

Calvinists are very big on original sin, it is the foundation for their theology.

 

Here are some Calvinists who are proponents of original sin:

 

R.C. Sproul

Timothy Keller

Jonathan Edwards

Charles Spurgeon

John Piper

Francis Chan

 

That is just a handful. Normally Calvinist will not give you the inside scoop to their theology until after they have converted someone. They think the topic of predestination will scare off potential converts.

 

Southern Baptists have a strong Calvinist streak in the denomination - though the strength varies church to church (as befits a denomination ruled by local committee).  My old pastor said it's always a tug of war within the seminaries how strong an influence Calvinism has, but it's always there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Thanks for that folks.

Having opened this discussion, I wish I had something to contribute.

I think I've said it all in the discussions with Joe, and other places.

 

Many here have given far more scholarship and study to the matters of Christian faith.

It may be that I wallow too much in my own subjective experience to really have anything worthwhile to contribute here. I do learn from everyone here though.

 

The human mind is a strange thing... mine even more so.

Getting free of the weight of Christian sillyness is even stranger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Krowb said:

 

Southern Baptists have a strong Calvinist streak in the denomination - though the strength varies church to church (as befits a denomination ruled by local committee).  My old pastor said it's always a tug of war within the seminaries how strong an influence Calvinism has, but it's always there.

 

And that is a large part of what was on my mind when I opened this thread.

 

In my experience, being mostly with Southern Baptist involvement, my impression is that most Baptists really do 'unofficially' believe in predestination. That is, though the Baptist doctrine does not agree, I think most are convinced within their private thoughts that they personally were 'called to the faith' from before their birth.

 

My personal experience with a limited slice of other Protestant sects and denominations gives me cause to suspect that most (Protestant) Christians believe in predestination for them personally, Baptists included.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

There are three main different schools of thought when it comes to predestination, original sin, and choice:

 

Armenianism - those who hold to this theology believe that man is lost in sin, but prevenient grace is in the world, that is, God has unleashed his Holy Spirit into the world and because of its presence, man is able to chose God opposed to being lost in their own sin. If the Holy Spirit was not surrounding us, then man would never chose God. If I am not mistaken, a lot of those who prescribe to this ideology believe that God will one day withdraw wholly, or in part, the Holy Spirit towards the end times.

 

Molinist - Molinist believe that God knew beforehand who would choose him if they were given the gospel and the right circumstances. I have also heard this called Libertarian Free Will. God then goes about making sure that those he knows that have the heart to accept him are put in a position in their life to hear the gospel and therefore be saved.

 

Calvinism - Full on predestination and most adhere to all points of T.U.L.I.P. There are some who say they are 2-point, or 3-point Calvinist, but your run of the mill Calvinist adheres to all five points. In their mind, God preordained who he would save and there is nothing you can do about it. Those who were called to be saved, will be saved. It gets tricky because if you later falter and leave the faith, then you were never really saved, etc.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hierophant,

Thank you for that.

I owe you.

 

" If I am not mistaken, a lot of those who prescribe to this ideology believe that God will one day withdraw wholly, or in part, the Holy Spirit towards the end times."

 

It seems I've heard that expounded once, somewhere in my distant past.

 

Would it be correct as a general statement to say that Armenianism describes the majority of Christian belief in the United States among the non-Presbyterian/Calvinist Protestant sects?

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
3 minutes ago, alreadyGone said:

Hierophant,

Thank you for that.

I owe you.

 

" If I am not mistaken, a lot of those who prescribe to this ideology believe that God will one day withdraw wholly, or in part, the Holy Spirit towards the end times."

 

It seems I've heard that expounded once, somewhere in my distant past.

 

 

Any time. I spent a ton of my time as a Christian looking at almost every single thing you could imagine. Since I left, I continue to study it, but at a different angle. My wife gets on me every time someone brings up religion or Christianity. Normally predicated with, "he's a nerd, do not ask him unless you want to hear him go on for an hour."

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my understanding, Armenianism is the dominant strain of thought in the Methodist church.  Just another distinction between it and Southern Baptists. Methodists do not subscribe to "once saved always saved." of the Baptists.  You can fall away from grace and then be "re-saved."  An old partner was a Methodist apologist and taught apologetics at his church.  We'd spend some serious time walking through the various distinctions between Methodist and Southern Baptist beliefs.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The distinctions, at least to my old business partner, centered the how much weight to accord Romans 11:11-24 versus John 10:25-29.  Those verses in John are the cornerstone of once saved always saved and why Baptists will say you were never saved to begin with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

I used to be a Calvinist, but perseverance of the saints was the first piece of theology I thought just could not be true according to the Bible. Too many warnings about not doing this or doing that, parable of the sower, and stories like it. I heard Calvinist try to shoehorn their theology into those passages and they were always contrived. I suppose you could say that was the beginning of the end. Once I fell away from Calvinist doctrine, everything started to be up for grabs.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, Krowb said:

The distinctions, at least to my old business partner, centered the how much weight to accord Romans 11:11-24 versus John 10:25-29.  Those verses in John are the cornerstone of once saved always saved and why Baptists will say you were never saved to begin with.

 

This is why it seems to me that Baptists tend to believe in predestination.

 

They do not according to doctrine.

But defacto, most (it always seemed to me), on a personal level.

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super Moderator
1 minute ago, Weezer said:

It occurred to me years ago that Christianity is rather "schizophrenic".   There is no single, rational line of thinking.  It is a maze of disjointed, irrational thinking.

You were predestined to realize that.

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The doctrine of "Total Depravity" was a big one in the Calvinist family I grew up in. Basically, it was tied to the Original Sin idea in that, because mankind is "fallen" everything and anything he does (ESPECIALLY if it is done with the intention of betterment) is evil and will lead to evil results. It was actually intimately tied with political (American) conservatism. The purest, least-corrupted form of American politics, to their mind, was an (imagined) Arcadia of Puritans at the point of the nation's conception. Liberalism was talked of not as one of the ends of a linear political spectrum of thought but rather a singular archetype of what they considered an inherently evil mindset: the mindset that people can make society better (through change of laws, policies, etc.). The idea of bettering democracy by allowing women and minorities to vote, for example, was an example of this evil. Christian sects that tried to modernize the interpretation of scripture (or market Christianity to be more appealing to the youth) was seen as inherently evil and fake in a similar vain. Interestingly, even though a Calvinist my dad has, in the recent past, gone on a tirade against John Piper, who he sees as having modernized Calvinism too much. 

 

In a way it was a stand-in for a general paranoia about anything that was new, trendy, or popular. 

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that the concept of "Original Sin" is evoked a lot (in my experience) in a broader context of whether people or societies are allowed to change. In this sense the interpretation wasn't an abstracted point about the interpretation of scripture, but a posture about one's personal or political life.

 

I feel like differences in interpretation of "The Fall" myth often reflect people or institutions posture about time and change, because "The Fall" is, in fact, a myth about the beginning of time (or humanity's relationship to time?). 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
2 hours ago, DestinyTurtle said:

The doctrine of "Total Depravity" was a big one in the Calvinist family I grew up in. Basically, it was tied to the Original Sin idea in that, because mankind is "fallen" everything and anything he does (ESPECIALLY if it is done with the intention of betterment) is evil and will lead to evil results. It was actually intimately tied with political (American) conservatism. The purest, least-corrupted form of American politics, to their mind, was an (imagined) Arcadia of Puritans at the point of the nation's conception. Liberalism was talked of not as one of the ends of a linear political spectrum of thought but rather a singular archetype of what they considered an inherently evil mindset: the mindset that people can make society better (through change of laws, policies, etc.). The idea of bettering democracy by allowing women and minorities to vote, for example, was an example of this evil. Christian sects that tried to modernize the interpretation of scripture (or market Christianity to be more appealing to the youth) was seen as inherently evil and fake in a similar vain. Interestingly, even though a Calvinist my dad has, in the recent past, gone on a tirade against John Piper, who he sees as having modernized Calvinism too much. 

 

In a way it was a stand-in for a general paranoia about anything that was new, trendy, or popular. 

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that the concept of "Original Sin" is evoked a lot (in my experience) in a broader context of whether people or societies are allowed to change. In this sense the interpretation wasn't an abstracted point about the interpretation of scripture, but a posture about one's personal or political life.

 

I feel like differences in interpretation of "The Fall" myth often reflect people or institutions posture about time and change, because "The Fall" is, in fact, a myth about the beginning of time (or humanity's relationship to time?). 

 

During my Calvinist days, I read a piece from Piper that said he was not sure if he would come to his daughter's defense if she was being attacked because Jesus taught non-violence. What a champ.

 

Piper was also the first one to point out to me that the story of Jesus and the adulteress in John was not original....I was like whaaaaaaat. That story was told as the greatest story in the Bible. Turns out, some cat made it up years after John was actually written.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Hierophant said:

 

During my Calvinist days, I read a piece from Piper that said he was not sure if he would come to his daughter's defense if she was being attacked because Jesus taught non-violence. What a champ.

 

Piper was also the first one to point out to me that the story of Jesus and the adulteress in John was not original....I was like whaaaaaaat. That story was told as the greatest story in the Bible. Turns out, some cat made it up years after John was actually written.

There's a tendency of certain kinds of preachers to attempt to gain visibility by evoking shock value. Flaunting a willingness to abandon family in time of need... or calling out a popular bible text for not being in the original script... are both examples. A weird side effect is something I think of as a kind of "theological hipsterism" where followers are attracted to the teaching because of its eccentricity value and rebelliousness to a perceived "mainstream". Once the preacher becomes popular enough some of their theologically hipster followers get disenfranchised (the preacher's gone mainstream), and so they move on to find even more eccentric preachers, etc.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried listening to sermons by Sproul about a year ago...

The man seemed a bit touched in the head to me.

 

He seemed to take delight in sarcastic criticism of other Christian sects.

By his belief, many earnest devout Christian believers are destined to eternal hell, and that amuses him?

 

He passed from this world a couple years ago I believe.

Didn't impress me as someone to be missed.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Baptists on the other hand... quite certain of our personal culpability because of 'free will'.

 

And at the same time certain that there's no reason for any Christian to bother himself with such things as civil government, because it's all corrupt and God has it all under firm control anyway.

 

So free will on my part in my personal life.

While the various current elected government administrators are all robots under God's firm control.

 

Except, the occasional doing of planetary-scale evil as governments will sometimes do is under Satan's impetus. Which God commissioned and ordains.

 

Modular, conditional logic. With world-view and morals derived from that.

 

You need a printed program to keep up..

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my brief audit of Presbyterianism a few months ago I spent time with the greater and lesser catechisms, etc.

 

I missed T.U.L.I.P.    So I just scanned <link>

Oh my...

 

So any Southern Baptist would tell you that Presbyterians are on the wrong team.

Not like gays or communists are 'on the wrong team', but on the wrong team:

Calvinism, predestination.

 

I'll bet you $1 that most believe in predestination for them personally, while believing that for everyone and everything else contemporaneous ordination applies.

 

That's just my guess, after some time and discussion..

 

Sovereign.    ...words have meanings.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator
On 2/5/2021 at 11:55 PM, alreadyGone said:

How do different churches' and sects' views and adherence vary in regard to belief in the book of Genesis and the entire concept of original sin?

 

I'm guessing there are differences, but I don't know..

Baptist?

Church of Christ?

Lutheran?

Catholic?

Presbyterian?

Mormon?

 

 

 

For Adventist's it's completely literal. The very premise of keeping the seventh day sabbath depends on the literal days reading. The world was created in 6 literal days and god rested on the literal 7th. And everyone must follow suit, rest, and not work every literal 7th day of the week. 

 

Leading to my personal arguments about the literal "days" reading of Genesis. And how impossible it is justify such a reading. 

 

Original sin, is of course just as literal. Literal all the way through for SDA's...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.