- Special Sections
- Public Notices
What do we believe about original sin? — E.F.
The meaning of the word “sin,” like many words, has changed with the trends of society.
“Sin” has become synonymous with judgement, shame, abuse, and hate. In the Orthodox Christian Church sin is about relationship; it is the failure to love according to God’s definition.
Orthodox use the term “Ancestral Sin” rather than “Original Sin.” Primarily, God is a loving God.
Orthodox reject the teaching that individuals inherit the guilt of Adam and Eve’s sin.
The primary inheritance that humanity receives from Adam and Eve is death.
When Adam and Eve turn from God for that single moment, they break perfect communion with Him. They displace the infinite God from within them, causing for all creation infinite consuming emptiness.
They remove Life Himself, causing for all creation aging and death. We inherit a “fallen state” but not another’s guilt! Ultimately, people sin because of death. Thus we do whatever it takes, sometimes terrible things, to provide what one judges a “good” life and to be free of “evil” life.
Woe to dissenters! This is Ancestral Sin.
The remedy could only be effected from the inside out. Thus, the God-man Christ becomes incarnated.
Later, He Who is Life dies on the Cross in order to enter Death. He pays the ransom to Death not the Father! Christ destroys death, because it could not contain Life Himself.
Finally, He is so opposite of Death that He resurrects providing a unique way for the Creation to Resurrect with Him.
The question is: Do we believe it?
Send questions for this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fr. John is pastor of St. Dimitri Orthodox Church in Los Alamos. For more information, visit www.stdimitri.org.