“Born in Sin”

From the depths of antiquity the great no escape clause dreamed up by pretenders of religious knowledge has been that all life is “born in sin.”  The selling of “sin” has been a major part of Christian doctrine, with sexual magnetism cast as an especial reason for heaven’s rejection of one’s personal expression.

In life forms, including the human species, there are amoral elements encoded and blended in DNA and RNA that establish the physical sensory patterns.  These senses are not the evil or accursed condition of “inherited sin” that western religions have chosen to portray them.  The sensate nature imprinted in life forms is simply a part of the physical attributes by which material-energy conditions are confronted, experienced and qualified by individual awareness.

Life is energized out of amoral properties and is therefore guiltless when an energy-form identity is taken on, which means that life forms cannot be “born in sin.”  This is not to say that life cannot be born into conditions considered sinful.  There is irony in this, for a higher percentage of sinful conditions are most often directly linked to the intimidating interpretations that are inflicted from man-conceived and self-serving religious practices, not to the amoral elements encoded in the pattern of one’s biological nature.

Christianity owes its concepts of “born in sin” or “inherited sin” from the befuddled “saint” Augustine (354-430), who just happened to have converted to the Christian movement from the Gnostic sect Manicheanism that taught the concept of “original sin.”  Gnosticism regarded all things of the flesh as sinful, which is why they denied that god’s son and savior of man would have come in the flesh.  As all converts to any faith system tend to be, Augustine was adamant in his analysis of what constituted holy truth and fervently promoted the idea that man’s salvation from being born in sin could be achieved only through the grace of god.  This stance meant that free will could not be a factor in one’s salvation–a doctrinal arrangement that positioned the church as the only authority through which one could recieve god’s forgiveness and pardon. 

Augustine’s driving ambition to impose his interpretation upon the Christian corporate-style setup did not go unquestioned.  To a British monk named Pelagius (353-420?-430?), the idea that one was tainted with sin from birth did not match the declared efficacious grace of the maker.  It was a sane understanding that sin is not an infirmity of nature.  Pelagius taught that each person was born with free will, and asserted that man’s will is capable of spiritual good with divine aid being unnecessary.  Pelagius taught that every child is born in a state of innocence and that every person’s perseverance in virtue depends upon themselves.  This understanding, however, allowed the church too little power over each person’s life and thus threatened to cut into their potential material profits.

And so “saint” Augustine attempted vigorously to have Pelagius condemned by the church, but was for awhile unsuccessful.  This only added to Augustine’s divine detestation and he called upon political connections to persecute Pelagius—for god’s sake, of course.  Thus at several synods held between 412 and 418 Augustine managed to have Pelagius condemned and finally banished from Rome.  In 431, after Pelagius had died and could no longer defend himself, the Council of Ephesus confirmed the condemnation of  Pelagius.  With the chains of sin then firmly attached to man’s means of birth the church claimed itself to be the only means of a person being absolved of sin.

7 Responses to ““Born in Sin””

  1. CogitoErgoCogitoSum Says:

    I dont have an orthodox interpretation of Christianity but I believe that the notion of “born into sin” refers strictly to the world in which we live. We are born into a world of sin. Thus, it is inevitable that we will be tempted, and succumb to temptation, and sin eventually, and die a mortal life for it.

    I do not, however, believe that all of us are born sinners. I dont believe a newborn baby will be held accountable and sent to hell if he/she should die at the age of 2 weeks. I do not think a righteous God would do that. I do not think a righteous God would hold any one human individual accountable for the sins of other people, of ancestors, of neighbors, or of anyone in general. Thus, born into sin cannot possibly mean that we are all born guilty for the original sins of Adam and Eve. It is an absurd notion if God truly is righteous.

    My only conclusion is that “born into sin” refers only to the world of sin that we are born into… literally born into a world containing sin. Inherited guilt is not my interpretation of the dogma. And righteously so.

    • chouck017894 Says:

      You have a well balanced understanding of where “sin” fits into the experience of life. Being born already guilty and sinful certainly does not balance with the assertion that the “Creator” is all-loving, righteous and faultlessly one-dimensional. That creative power out of which all things take on temporary definition holds the potential of everything and anything. As shown in quantum research, the outcome of an experiment is determined by how it is observed.

      If we project this into personal life experience, it is the pursuing of narrow inharmonious situtations (of which organized religions are masters) that makes for the highest percentage of missteps (sin) in life. Creation is a process of contained instabilities so it is natural that we may wobble with temptation on occasion. This means that mortal life is not cursed and does not phase out, die from, or because of “sin” since we happen to be made in the imageof that amoral Source which is responsible for those contained instabilities. The potential that each life represents within that creative power is observed by personal ego and it is upon this unstable feature that life’s temptations are weighed.

      By extension, the world itself should not be judged as a condition of sin into which we are born: it too is simply an amoral concentrate of energy which is demonstrated in the activity we call nature. It responds as we choose to observe it (as the ecological state of the modern world now shows). As points of energy-consciousness, the “mortal” phase of our passage through Creation’s contained instabilities need not be regarded as a loss of continuance, however.

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