Love is bigger than all of this tittle-tattle stuff


I have never been a fan of Original Sin.  Ever.

Seems to me there is built-in convenience.  Similar to a parent’s default fallback after being worn down by a child’s continual “Why?” … the universal “Because I say so!”

Original Sin serves a purpose.  But whose purpose?

So I punched in a google search: “where is original sin stated in the bible”

The answer is: It isn’t.

But in looking at the results I bumped into this article from the BBC (now archived and no longer updated).  The article is reasonably long and begins like this –

What is original sin?

Original sin is an Augustine Christian doctrine that says that everyone is born sinful. This means that they are born with a built-in urge to do bad things and to disobey God. It is an important doctrine within the Roman Catholic Church. The concept of Original Sin was explained in depth by St Augustine and formalised as part of Roman Catholic doctrine by the Councils of Trent in the 16th Century.

Original sin is not just this inherited spiritual disease or defect in human nature; it’s also the ‘condemnation’ that goes with that fault.”

And the purpose of this doctrine (not found in the bible)?

“Augustine developed his idea of original sin for several reasons:

  • to explain the almost irresistible pressure to behave badly that troubles even the most saintly people
  • to justify the need to baptise babies as soon as possible after birth
  • to demonstrate that human beings are totally reliant on God’s grace and all-powerful goodness
  • to defeat the ideas of Pelagius, an English theologian.

And “Who was Pelagius?”

“In the fifth century, there was a monk whose teachings have had an impact on the history of the church to this day. He was concerned with our righteousness: how can we be counted righteous before God? The question caused him to rethink the relationship between us and Adam. His thinking on the matter led him to conclude that being righteous before God is completely up to us.”

Which meant there were lots of arguments and high-level church meetings – because it was felt Pelagius undermined the Gospels, and that could not be allowed.  And what caught my eye was not that – it was this modern day conclusion at the bottom of the article:

“Augustine was right—the gospel was at stake.  And a text that speaks right to this is Romans 5:12–21, which speaks of death in Adam and life in Christ.  It is impossible to fit Pelagius’ view with the plain reading of this passage.  The truth is that we are born in sin and unable to make ourselves righteous.  We cannot save ourselves; we need a Savior. And by God’s grace, have one: Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty that we deserved, and whose righteousness is imputed to us by faith alone, to the glory of God.  May His church continue to reject the false teachings of Pelagius.”

Let me extract one modern day sentence:  “The truth is that we are born in sin and unable to make ourselves righteous.”

Let me extract just three modern day words: “The Truth Is”

All of this “truth” not of the bible.  This “truth” having a purpose.  This “truth” so embedded it is taken as “gospel” today.

– – – – – – – – – –

I don’t know many answers. 

What I do know is that these doctrines “stick”.  They become established teaching and then become accepted folklore and then an embedded “that’s the way it is”.  And generations of qualified teachers then teach it as “that’s the way it is”. 

Except that these “that’s the way it is” doctrines stem from these man-made arguments of academic theological power struggles.

And that isn’t the God Soft Hands Jesus who I know.  GSHJ has no such worries or fears – no such “purpose”.  I have learned that love is bigger than all of this tittle-tattle stuff.

– – – – – – – – – –

And that’s why I don’t like original sin.

.

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Love is bigger than all of this tittle-tattle stuff

  1. Pingback: Love is bigger than all of this tittle-tattle stuff – Re-theologizing

  2. As much as we don’t like it, we are still left with the idea that man possesses a ‘sinful’ nature. Otherwise there would be no need for grace and we couldn’t say that ‘all have sinned.’ This forces us into a paradox and then we start speaking for God and messing up anything that resembles a good explanation. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You don’t like Original Sin? Fine. Then you don’t need divine redemption. You don’t need divine redemption? Fine. Then you don’t need a divine redeemer. You don’t need a Jesus at all… soft hands or hard.

    You’re fast approaching what non believers have known all along: you don’t need to believe in superstitious nonsense to justify being fully human, being capable of love, deciding to do good for its own sake, being curious and wondrous, being kind and considerate and reciprocal in appreciation for life and all its travails, of wanting to make a positive difference in the lives of others. This is what belief in superstitious divine nonsense piggybacks on to then sell itself as it tries to steal the best of humanity and claim them for its own through the ‘grace’ of its divine fount. It’s thievery all the way down.

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    • “You don’t need a Jesus at all… soft hands or hard.”

      You are right. I don’t need at all. Just as love does not need. Or shouldn’t need if it love. I choose with free will to sense and intuit something other then the merely physical and chemical as evidenced of science.

      But what I miss most in your comments, tildeb, is simple compassion. I have said something similar before and you replied along the lines that this fuzzy thinking needs to be addressed and challenged and stamped out. Yet that “thinking” is mine not yours. And – oddly – you do not seem to recognise that my beliefs – and yours – have (and will continue to) change(d). You do not offer an alternative. You simply wage a demolition derby.

      I see my writing as simply charting my changes. Maybe even offering those who currently “need” an alternative “non-need” should their beliefs and thinking move in that direction,.

      Yet all that is just one small fragment of who I am and who you are. There is much room for common ground between us through compassion. Yet you need to keep me and you at a distance. And I don’t. And I wonder why you do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Any time one imports a third party to stand between a direct relationship, one is not being honest about wishing to have a direct relationship. Religious people often import this divine third party Overseer to mediate the direct relationship in all kinds of ways. I see that as a problem that is pernicious. So when you disavow Original Sin yet maintain the vital involvement of a divine Overseer in matters of love, I see this as hypocritical. You don’t need some god to claim you need redemption. I’ve pointed out you don’t need the latter unless you presume as true the former.

        That’s the point of my comment.

        Now, rather than think about this salient point – the reason for my comment – you take it and put aside under the excuse that love itself – Love (whatever that object might be) – does not need. Full stop. That’s a dismissal of my comment, waved away under the excuse that you simply ‘choose’ to ‘sense’ or ‘intuit’ something other, something that is indeed divine, but that really you’re only concerned about love and Love.

        That’s not true.

        You’re the one attaching the two, inviting this third party Overseer into any loving relationship as if central to it. I think this is ridiculous and is a rather underhanded way of insisting that your god be recognized as a part of any loving relationship. I think that’s a malignant idea. Furthermore, teaching what I consider superstitious nonsense about this most important aspect of being human, of living fully and with meaning, is just another typical religious theft, one that you not just go along with but claim is really the proper owner of this stolen human feature. You are in effect granting ownership of love to your god – the agency that in some unknown way has created and then presumably distributes love – rather than directly attribute love – and all the aspects it contains and promotes – to humanity itself, the agency who creates and exercises it as each of us choose to do.

        This difference is important because it places responsibility for exercising love in two very different places: one under the auspices of a divine Overseer and the other only between each individual. Under and between. Two different propositions. To be responsible for one’s actions means accepting full – not partial – responsibility for them, including love, and not outsourcing this responsibility – in part or whole as you continue to describe in multiple posts – to some invisible Friend from whom you seem to have to seek some never ending approval.That’s the mindset of an emotionally immature and uncertain person unwilling to take full responsibility for one’s emotional state; the approval you seek is never going to be clearly given from some hypothetical divine Overseer but best found in those with whom you invest your love. You don’t need this third party at all and, I think, including it undermines your pretense that you elevate love; I think you use love as a cover, as a means of deception, to elevate your god.

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        • You are bleeding living from my life. And as I consider your time equally sacred, here are my precious heartbeats just for you in these words …

          “Any time one imports a third party to stand between a direct relationship, one is not being honest about wishing to have a direct relationship.”

          Is there never an occasion where your relationship with one is influenced by your relationship with another? Ever? I can think of “mortal” relationships in my own life where that is the case. And as relationships are as spiritual as physical, I do “put aside” when your premises get in the way of dialogue.

          “That’s not true.”

          Is never a compelling argument when talking about beliefs.

          “Furthermore, teaching what I consider superstitious nonsense about this most important aspect of being human, of living fully and with meaning, is just another typical religious theft, one that you not just go along with but claim is really the proper owner of this stolen human feature.”

          What you “consider” is again opinion and belief. As evidence of right and wrong it carries as much weight as my own (or anyone else’s) opinion and belief.

          “You are in effect granting ownership of love to your god – the agency that in some unknown way has created and then presumably distributes love – rather than directly attribute love – and all the aspects it contains and promotes – to humanity itself, the agency who creates and exercises it as each of us choose to do.”

          I am not granting ownership of anything other than to myself. It comes back to the difference between need and choice.

          “To be responsible for one’s actions means accepting full – not partial – responsibility for them, including love, and not outsourcing this responsibility – in part or whole as you continue to describe in multiple posts – to some invisible Friend from whom you seem to have to seek some never ending approval.That’s the mindset of an emotionally immature and uncertain person unwilling to take full responsibility for one’s emotional state; the approval you seek is never going to be clearly given from some hypothetical divine Overseer but best found in those with whom you invest your love. You don’t need this third party at all and, I think, including it undermines your pretense that you elevate love; I think you use love as a cover, as a means of deception, to elevate your god.”

          You write a thesis of personal belief and class it as evidence to dismiss my belief. I do not need God, Jesus or the bible, and I have little time for religion and the corporate Church. I do however acknowledge all of those names and bodies. What I do with them in terms of belief has changed over the years. A point I keep making and a point you keep ignoring. I repeat: need is not the motivator or driver here for me. It seems to be for you tildeb.

          So I still wonder why. I still wonder why compassion and kindness seems something you refuse and step back from. I wonder why relationship via the third party medium of this WP software, the third party intervention of your own belief system,. the reality of being alive and a thinking breathing being, influenced and affected by all around you and all around me, our life experiences, our relationships, our successes and failures, our ups and our downs …

          I still wonder why you need to resist relationship simply because of this small matter of “belief”.

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          • I point out that if Original Sin is just ‘tittle tattle’ stuff, then you don’t need Jesus – especially when it comes to love. (But you do insist on Jesus. Hmm. To this comment you then wonder why I have resistance to relationship (I don’t), why I’m bleeding your time (you invite commentary), why I refuse kindness and compassion (I don’t) and so on and so forth. The real question is why you won’t even consider my original comment but go on and on referring to other stuff you’re exporting to me and not deriving from me. You even try to present my opinions that I have presented as opinions to be factual evidence I am trying to foist off on others as evidence that you then criticize for being opinions

            Paul? Hello? Anyone home? Good grief.

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            • 🙂

              So finally we are both talking opinion and changing belief! Yee Hah!! That means we have common ground. And that means something to me.

              tildeb, I would love to reach a position where each of us is curious of the other, each of us is interested in the other. Not simply as a bunch of words nor simply as a right or wrong. But as two travelers walking similar paths in different bubbles. I see wonder in that.

              So yes, there is someone home. But good conversation is not an interrogation, it is am amicable sharing. I don’t get “amicable” from your words – hence replying at length in a style I attempted to pat back what you wanted.

              (And I don’t talk/write/think/live like you – at least not from the words you have given so far. But you are very dismissive. Your last comment is so dismissive – even as your comment claims kindness. Maybe your challenge is to get off your intellectual hobby-horse and meet me where I am. Because I know you fear intimacy – from previous conversations – so where is the trust to come from if there is to be conversation rather than just this continual and unsatisfying “jousting”?)

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