Original Sin

The churches of the West- roman catholic and protestants teach that every child is born a sinner.

Western viewpoint of Original sin.
from catholic encylopaeida:-

Original sin may be taken to mean:

(1) the sin that Adam committed;
(2) a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam.

They call it “Hereditary Stain”.
This belief of the catholic church was later adopted by some sects of protestantism as well.

st. augustine’s dogma.

“The Western tradition, both Catholic and Protestant, concerning original sin is largely based on writings by Augustine of Hippo, who concluded that unbaptized infants go to hell[3][4] because of original sin.”

Both the Protestants and Catholics in West accept the teaching of St. Augustine of Hippo. He said that unbaptised infants go to hell.

Implications of this western teaching
Since children are born as “Sinners”, they cannot be baptised or share qurbana until they are old enough to “repent” and “believe”.

This is why roman catholics give Qurbana(aadyaqurbana) to children only at 7 or 8 years of age.
And this is also why many protestant “Born again” sects dont consider a child as a christian until he is old enough to “repent” and “be baptised”.

But this is an Unbiblical teaching. The Oriental Orthodox Church doesnt teach that children are born “Sinners”.

Eastern concept of original sin is different.
“In this perspective, “original sin” is understood not so much as a state of guilt inherited from Adam but as an unnatural condition of human life that ends in death. Mortality is what each man now inherits at his birth and this is what leads him to struggle for existence, to self-affirmation at the expense of others, and ultimately to subjection to the laws of animal life.
The “prince of this world” (i.e., Satan), who is also the “murderer from the beginning,” has dominion over man. From this vicious circle of death and sin, man is understood to be liberated by the death and Resurrection of Christ, which is actualized in Baptism and the sacramental life in the church.

The general framework of this understanding of the God-man relationship is clearly different from the view that became dominant in the Christian West-i.e., the view that conceived of “nature” as distinct from “grace” and that understood original sin as an inherited guilt rather than as a deprivation of freedom.

In the East, man is regarded as fully man when he participates in God; in the West, man’s nature is believed to be autonomous, sin is viewed as a punishable crime, and grace is understood to grant forgiveness. Hence, in the West, the aim of the Christian is justification, but in the East, it is rather communion with God and deification.

In the West, the church is viewed in terms of mediation (for the bestowing of grace) and authority (for guaranteeing security in doctrine); in the East, the church is regarded as a communion in which God and man meet once again and a personal experience of divine life becomes possible.”

ie in short:

We Only inherited Adam’s punishment—Mortality(death).

We dont inherit sin, only Adam’s deficiency(death)
“Original Sin is understood differently by the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church denies that a sin committed by someone else (in this case, Adam) can be somehow “transmitted” to the rest of humanity.
Adam’s personal sin of rebellion against God was his alone to atone for.

What we “inherit” or what is “transmitted” to us is Adam’s human nature which was weakened and damaged by the passions.
Thus, we inherit the experiences of suffering and death from our first parents. It is that state of our human nature that we inherit, that is “transmitted” to us, not the actual sin committed by Adam.

Christ, the Son of God and True God Himself, assumed our human nature and transformed it with His Divinity and Saving Power by His Life, Death and Resurrection.”


The non-Orthodox teach that Original Sin is the Personal sin and guilt of Adam transmitted from him to all mankind. The Church does not agree with this teaching. Original sin is the “sinful state” of our nature with which we are born. Because of the fall, human nature is disposed toward sinfulness: human nature is corrupt and that which we refer to as man, is really less than man: human nature has been weakened, therefore, the ability to resist every temptation (without the special Graces of God) has been taken away.

The Church teaches that when man fell he did not receive Adam’s sin and guilt – but his punishment, which is corrupt human nature..
He also lost physical immortality. And since the bond between the individual soul and God was broken, there occurred an eternal separation between God and man.”

“Son shall not bear the iniquity of the father”
Man was made in the Image of God. He didnt mortality then.

However after he ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, he became aware of his nakedness and he became guilty.

As a result of this a new deficiency plagued him—Mortality.

Genesis 3:19
“By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are

However, we the children after Adam and Eve did not Inherit their Sin. We only inherited this Deficiency of Mortality.
God doesnt judge the child by the deeds of his parents.

John 9:1

“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been born blind.
2 His followers asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused this man to be born blind–his own sin or his parents’ sin?”
3 Jesus answered, “It is not this man’s sin or his parents’ sin that made him be blind. This man was born blind so that God’s power could be shown in him.

” 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.”–Ezekiel 18:20

A New Born Baby is not a Sinner.
“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me.” Psalm 119:73

“Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee: for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13, 14

“Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?” Job 31:15

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee”. Jer. 1:5

“Know ye that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves”. Psalm 100:3

“Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us? “Mal. 2:10

IT IS GOD WHO FASHIONS EACH OF US IN OUR MOTHERS WOMBS. Are we to understand from these passages that God fashions men into sinners in their mother’s womb?

We are all created upright.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Gen.1:26,27

Ye are gods; and all of you are the children of the most High. Psalm 82:6

For in the image of God made he man. Gen. 9:6

Man is the image and glory of God. I Cor. 11:7

Men are made after the similitude of God. James 3:9

The Lord formeth the spirit of man within him. Zech. 12:1

The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. Job 33:4

He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. Acts 17:25

We are the offspring of God. Acts 17:29

I am the root and the offspring of David. Rev. 22:16

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Eccl. 7:29

What is Sin?
Sin is by definition, individual in nature, being either a violation of
transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4)

Sin is a violation of our conscience (Romans 14:23).

“Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:1415).


Since a baby does not even know his right hand from his left (Jonah 4:11), how
can he/she commit sin by not doing what he/she is incapable of doing?

Our sins are a result of our own lust and desires, not because of the sin of Adam.

Our spirit came from God and will return to Him (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

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”
(Ezekiel 18:20).

18:3-4, Jesus declared, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the
kingdom of heaven.

“For such(children) is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14,

“Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to
come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:3-4, Jesus declared,

“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the
kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as the little child, the
same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

“Little Children” are Sinful according to Pentecostals and Roman Catholics.

So why did Jesus tell us to be like them inorder to “enter the kingdom of heaven”?
Jesus would not ask us to be more like a sinner in order to go to heaven.

Children are innocent of sin until they are able to reach a certain level of maturity.

Do not despise that which God pronounced as good.
The doctrine of original sin is false: it slanders and libels the character of God, it shocks man’s god-given consciousness of justice, and it flies in the face of the plainest teachings of God’s holy Word.
The doctrine of original sin is not a Bible doctrine. It is a grotesque myth that contradicts the Bible on almost every page.

18:3-4, Jesus declared, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”–Matthew 18:10

Please do not despise the little infants as “sinners” . Jesus warned us against it.

You might invite the wrath of their powerful guardian angels in heaven who always behold the face of the Almighty Father. Be careful.

Children too are part of kingdom of heaven.
“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).

“Now they were bringing even infants to him” (Greek, Prosepheron de auto kai ta brepha).


The Greek word brepha means “infants”-children who are quite unable to approach Christ on their own and who could not possibly make a conscious
decision to “accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.” And that is precisely the problem.

Fundamentalists refuse to permit the baptism of infants and young children, because they are not yet capable of making such a conscious act.

But notice what Jesus said: “to such as these [referring to the infants and children who had been brought to him by their mothers] belongs the kingdom of heaven.” The Lord did not require them to make a conscious decision.
He says that they are precisely the kind of people who can come to him and receive the kingdom.

So on what basis, Fundamentalists should be asked, can infants and young children be excluded from the sacrament of baptism? If Jesus said “let them come unto me,” who are we to say “no,” and withhold baptism from them?

This is why we Orthodox Christians believe in Baptising Infants and in giving the Holy Communion(Qurbana) to them.

More links about the Orthodox concept of Original sin and how it different from the Roman Catholic and Protestant teachings:-






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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Yvonne June 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Hello there,

I found this article very interesting, and wanted to say that not all Protestant believers understand the human condition as the Catholic and Reformed churches do. I am evangelical, and have been, as you referred to, ‘born again’ and I hold to pretty much the same view as the Orthodox church on the matter of what it is we inherit from Adam. I have never believed that babies inherit the guilt of Adam’s particular sin, because of Ezekiel 18, and because Paul clearly mentions that many from Adam to Moses sinned, but not in the manner of Adam(which implies that they did not sin in Adam as though they inherit the guilt of his sin, as though they had also committed it).

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