الجمعة، أبريل ٢١، ٢٠٠٦

Dear Mohamed: The Original Sin and the Salvation on the Cross (part I)

Continued from Dear Mohamed

In this post and all the ones to come, I'll attempt to answer your questions. To do this I'll state what I believe as an Orthodox Christian, and also reference what I say to some sources that you can go to for further information if you wish. Understandably, there is so much information on the points you raised, and so I'll try to summarise as much as I can without distorting the message. I'd also like to extend an invitation to anyone who comes across here, especially my blog-brothers-in-Christ (Pete, David, Xavier and Jack :D), to contribute to this discussion if they'd like to or to correct me if I misrepresent something.

Your question:
*How I carry the sin of my grandfather whatever the sin was big or whatever towards whom?!!!!!It's not fair at all!

That's a fair question. But to understand the concept of the oroginal sin, we have to differentiate between the original sin and sin.

Sin is prretty simple: it's the acts we commit against God and His commandments. Sin in this sense is not transferable between generations. If I commit a sin today, say lie to someone, I and only I am responsible for this sin. My daughter won't be punished by God for this sin.

The original sin refers to the consequence of the sin committed by Adam when he disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. Adam was living in the garden of Eden with Eve, in the presence of God. Adam and Eve could talk to God and hear His response

8And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)

When Adam and Eve sinned, God punished them by removing them from paradise, removing them from being present with Him in His grace.

17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; (Genesis 3:17)

This punishment was consequently handed down to their decendants...they were separated from God and so all their decendants (us) are born away from the presence of God that they enjoyed before they sinned.

For a more eloquent explanation see this link especially these statements:

"Original sin is not an act but..., a state, a permanent privation..."


"Our dogma does not attribute to the children of Adam any properly so-called responsibility for the act of their father, nor do we say that original sin is voluntary in the strict sense of the word. It is true that, considered as "a moral deformity", "a separation from God", as "the death of the soul", original sin is a real sin which deprives the soul of sanctifying grace"

Another good reference is Catholic.com

"original sin is called ‘sin’ only in an analogical sense: it is a sin ‘contracted’ and not ‘committed’—a state and not an act" (CCC 404).
We are born with a fallen nature, a nature that is separated from God as a result of Adam’s sin. We have to be born again to become joined to God, to be in Christ, to become a member of the body of Christ, to be saved. We are born of Adam’s body into condemnation. We are born of Christ’s body unto salvation."

So just to sum it up:
We don't inherit the original sin because God is unjust, or because we're responsible for it. We inherited the punishment of Adam and Eve. If they hadn''t sinned, we would have been born in paradise, in God's grace. But because they were banished, their offspring can't enjoy God's grace.

If I could use an analogy, think of a prince who made an unforgivable mistake against his father (the king). If this prince is banished as a result, any children he has after that time will be born in exile, and won't be able to inherit the kingdom as they would have naturally. His offspring will not be included in the "line for the throne" anymore.

Now that we know we have inherited this separation from God, we come to the need for salvation. Although I'd hate to sound like a TV host, I have to say; join me next time for a discussion of the doctrine of Salvation in Christianity.

Until then, the peace of the Lord be with you my friend.


Blogger xavier said...

To follow up what Nefeerti wrote, Here's a link that discusses the consequences of original sin

Michel's post will also anticipate your other question about Jesus's divinity.

I went over to the Vatican's website to see if the Compendium of the cathecism of the Catholic church is available in Arabic. Not yet and curiously's it's not available in English either. I've also started to ask around if the paper edition of the Compendium is available in Arabic. If it is, I'll provide you the link and you can buy it if you want.

In the meantime, when we're baptized- original sin is 'washed' away and we're filled by God's grace.
Here's what the Catchesism says about sin, baptism and forgiveness (in English)
and the necessity of baptism This is the first of the 7 sacraments

Take your time to read the catcheism. It's not easy, you'll have additional questions and you'll need to have the bible beside you (either a Catholic or Copt) to mke the connections. Don't worry aout the abbreviations, we'll tell you which is from the Bible and those that are Vatican documents :)


أبريل ٢١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Egypeter said...

Couple of things.

"especially my blog-brothers-in-Christ" I like that. That made me chuckle.

Your explanation was excellent. It's especially nice to read during Holy Week. And your example of the Prince and King was right on, very good bent!

I look forward to Mohamed's response.

Take care and God Bless.

In Christ.

أبريل ٢١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger DavidNic said...

Nothing to add at the moment. Always great to point out that Orignal Sin is not so much for us a sin but a state, just like you did.

The Compendium is avaliable in English, it is a great resource. I love the question and answer format, and it explains the theology in pretty understandable terms. If anyone wants an answer from it for a question, let me know.

On Original Sin, the Compendium says:

76. What is original sin?
Original sin, in which all human beings are born, is the state of deprivation of original holiness and justice. It is a sin "contracted" by us not "committed"; it is a state of birth and not a personal act. Because of the original unity of all human beings, it is transmitted to the descendants of Adam "not by imitation, but by propagation." This transmission remains a mystery which we cannot fully understand.

77. What other consequences derive from original sin?
In consequence of original sin human nature, without being totally corrupted, is wounded in its natural powers. It is subject to ignorance, suffering, and to the domination of death and is inclined toward sin. This inclination is called concupiscence.

أبريل ٢١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

That made me chuckle

lol! well Pete, if I could make you laugh once today, then my work is done here :)

Good 2 hear from u mate, and hope you enjoy Easter celebrations (just go easy on the chocolates)

أبريل ٢١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Mohamed said...

It look like that it will be a hot discussion(4 vs 1) :)

I'm so busy these days,and didn't read the reply up till now.I may read it after a week.

Thanks all,

أبريل ٢١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Oh not at all Mohamed. Like I said, it's meant to only present you with our beliefs and not to challenge your own.

Have a great week and we'll talk soon :D

أبريل ٢١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Hi all,

Sorry for the lateness.

How are you?Hope to be fine.

Thanks for all your efforts.

After reading your replies,I changed my opinion;I think now that it will be a instructive and rational discussion.Sure,there will be conflict,but all what I hope is that not to get angry or offensive.

I want to tell you the aim of discussion regarding to me,
-I want to achieve the verse in Qur'an which say:"And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)."29:46
-I want also to understand beliefs of people who share me living on the same earth
-also I want to share you my beliefs and talk about greatness of Islam which has been defaced and misunderstood.

If we spoke in Arabic it will be better specially as there is idioms which I read for the first time,but I prefer to speak in English for more than one reason:
-First:it will be more universal,specially as we're speaking on gate of the world. :)
-Second:there is a non-Arabian guest(he's absoluotely Xavier)and Islam order me when I can speak language of present forigner,I should do that.And I want to say to Xavier:Je suis tres content de te voir a ce blog. :D :D :D

I'm sure that we'll open more points than these points you said Neferteei,and absolutely they'll come by themselves.And why just your brothers-in-Christ?Aren't your brothers in humanity and brothers in Abrahamic religion allowed? :)
A request from you Neferteeti;if you want to quote a Biblical part,translate it to Arabic,as it's too hard to read old English.Thanks in advance.

Before begining,I assume that all my friends have read my reply on this post to be with us on the background.

Now the main issue.
I still don't understand,you said that you inherit the punishment of original sin(or as you said consequences of it)...and when you expalined it,you said that you was separated from God's grace because our forefather was separated from it,and also said that Jesus died on the cross and with His blood He washed away our sin and reconciled us with the Heavens.and if you was meaning daily sins you should have said 'sins'?!!!!!!!!
And if you carried just consequences of original sin just(separating from God's grace),so Jesus shouldn't have been sent to wash out it from us!!
And if we assume that really you carried the original sin,so God don't have to kill to save!!!!And as you said Adam have been separated from God's grace because of the original sin as a punishment.And as I understand a punishment remove the sin,so why you carried it,and why Jesus had to die to wash it out?!!!By another word;one punishment is enough.

Sorry for all these questions,but it's too hard to be understood.

As for king's analogy;I think that if this king was so merciful,just and tolerant he would at least allow prince's sons to get back to his kingdom,so what about God's justice?!!!

Let me talk about concept of sin in Islam.
Man was created,and was given 'WILL',and Allah sent his messengers like Abraham,Moses,Jesus and Mohammad(Peace Be Upon Them),so he knew the two paths:
"We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will)."76:3,so who accept the message so his end will be to the paradise,but who reject it his end will be to the hell.
And when a Muslim do a sin like a lie,bad look..etc and then didn't asked Allah for forgivness and wasn't regretful,and insisted on it and died on this state,so he will enter hell to be cleaned and then to paradise,but if he asked Allah for forgiveness before death so he will go to paradise without seeing hell.

Waiting for you replies......

أبريل ٢٨, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger DavidNic said...

Hi Mohamed,

To start, I want you to know that I beleive there is peaceful teaching in Islam. Much like Christianity, rulers of nations have twisted things for their own benefit. One of my great friends is Muslim and was a member of my wedding party. There has always been understanding between us despite our differences, and I hope there can be the same with us.

The questions you ask, such as:

Why did Christ have to die?

is a question that every christian asks themselves, or at least they should.

An old Catholic answer is that Christ did not have to die, He chose to die to show us His great love for us. God chose this way to show that we should defend and love each other even unto death. That if He would give His life for us, then we should be ready to show love in all ways, even when it is difficult, even when the cost is high.

God, who is infinite in mercy, could have just said: forgiven.

But in the death of Christ, His love is placed above His own life. And by that example we are brought close to God.

In a way, because we are human and weak in so many ways, this great example of love for each other was what God thought necessary.

So, God could have just given us back our access to grace, since He alone can do anything in anyway. But for our benifit, so we would know and see His love in actions and not just words, He willed that it be this way.

أبريل ٢٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Mohamed said...

Thanks David for the reply,

Sure the relation will be so good,and will speak as friends.But I can't promise to be the same as your Muslim friend,as I can't be a member in your wedding party. :D
You should know that all Islamic teachings are peaceful.And I'm sure that you'll know that whether now or after that.

It's a good thing to die for the sake of your message,and this is what Istishhadyeen are doing and accused of 'terrorism' specially in Palastine.
But the problem is that how you follow the example of your God?!!To follow the example of your Prophet is possible who is from flesh and blood like you.But your God is impoosible.

And another problem;is that how God die as you're saying and still repeating?!!

The last problem is that he died for the sake of a thing he didn't do!!So if he was setting an example for you;it'll be 'Punish who want to sacrifice themselves instead of punishing who do the crime-Punish son who love his father and don't want him to be punished'
I forget to add thing which I think that is important in this discussion.It's the Islamic view of Adam's and Eve's sin.
And I'll just mention verses which narate the story:
"35. We said: "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression."
36. Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: "Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood - for a time. 37. Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord Turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful."2:(35:37)

" وَقُلْنَا يَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَكُلاَ مِنْهَا رَغَداً
حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الْظَّالِمِينَ {35}
فَأَزَلَّهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ عَنْهَا فَأَخْرَجَهُمَا مِمَّا كَانَا فِيهِ وَقُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ
بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ وَلَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ {36}
فَتَلَقَّى آدَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ {37}"

So you can notice that Allah gave Adam words to say to forgive him,and the problem ended.Whether his sons carried it,or He sent any body to remove it.

Also I wanted to complete 'concept of sin in Islam'.
There is no species of sins in Islam,you just can find levels for it.There is the biggest sin which is rejecting faith,and there is a lesser one;it's Al-Kabira(الكبيرة),the last one is Al-Saghira(الصغيرة).And every one have a level of punishment,but the amazing thing is that just you and not any one else is responsible for it,and just you who ask Allah for forgiveness,and just you who will be punished if you didn't get back for Allah.
And it was clear in Qur'an.
"....وَلاَ تَكْسِبُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ إِلاَّ عَلَيْهَا وَلاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى..."
"..Every soul draws the meed of its acts on none but itself: no bearer of burdens can bear of burdens can bear the burden of another.." 6:164

أبريل ٢٩, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger DavidNic said...


Sorry it is taking me so long to respond. I work at a college library and it is final exams, so I have more owrk than usual.

مايو ٠١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger DavidNic said...

wow, last post I meant to say "more work than usual." not "owrk" owrk is not a word:)

مايو ٠١, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Mohamed said...

No Propblem my friend.

I'm also preparing now for my exams,however it's going to begin after 22 days.

مايو ٠٢, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Hey there Mohammed and Dave
I've been away from the blog for a few days, so please excuse me for the delay in participating. But thank you both for keeping it alive :D

I haven't managed to read it all yet, but just wanted to say a couple of things:
-Thanks for understanding the purpose of the discussion: to get to know each other!
-You indeed are my brother in humanity, and I'm honored to call you that. I just meant these guys could shed more light on the Christian faith, seeing as they are Christians too that's all.
-Your request to translate Biblical verses is more than reasonable...so "min 3enayya ya seedi :)"

For now, I need to do a couple of things before I can digest this rich discussion and understand the points raised. But we'll meet again soon to continue I'm certain.

Peace be with you.

مايو ٠٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Mohamed said...

No problem,

I want to add to purposes of discussion that it's very important;as you said that you can't find replies on books which discuss faults of Christians,so you have the opportunity to reply here.

Take your time doing these couple of things:).

مايو ١٠, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Hi Mohamed
A quick answer to your question is the following:
- God could indeed have said:Forgiven and all would have been forgiven.
For mercy to be complete and perfect, there has to exist justice.
And because is perfect and complete, in addition to God being merciful, He is also Just (3adel)

God says "the wages of sin is death". God gave Adam free will, and instructed him and Eve not to eat from the tree. They did. They sinned. Their punishment should be death.

This is where God's mercy comes in. He removed them from His presence in paradise, but He still wanted their salvation.

I know you said the king could very easily forgive his son...that's what I was leading to for my next stage in the history of Christianity's development: the concept of sacrifice.

-Sin: Christ saved us from our original sin. Sins we commit daily, we must repent for ourselves. In that we agree.

-Why He had to die: I agree with David. He didn't Have to...He wanted to.

I'll be able to tell more (hopefully) in my next post. I'll email you when I post it.

For now
God Bless

مايو ١٣, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger DavidNic said...


First I would like to thank you for your patience with how long it has taken me to reply. I am finally back to my normal schedule. I know you may have things to do as well and will always extend to you the same understanding you have given me. May our conversations always be blessed by by the Lord with such understanding.

Since Bent has replied, I don't want to "gang up" on you. But I would like to address one point. You asked:

The last problem is that he died for the sake of a thing he didn't do!!So if he was setting an example for you;it'll be 'Punish who want to sacrifice themselves instead of punishing who do the crime-Punish son who love his father and don't want him to be punished

To punish those who sacrifice themselves would be to follow the example of the men who called for His death. In a way since all sin is responsible, that would be to follow a human example. To follow the example of Christ is to be willing to die for something that is not your fault in order to bring love to the guilty. It is to be willing to die and not hurt another doing it.

And we can follow the example of God, only because God wills it. It is by His will and gifts alone that we can do such things.

There is a bible quote from

1 Corinthians 2:10-12

I'll put it here, but if bent could give you the arabic version as requested, I'd be thankful.

The quote:

God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

So to follow the example of God, who is beyond us all and is infinite in all things good is only possible because He wishes us to. And we believe He wants us to because of His infine mercy and love.

May our conversations be blessed with understanding.

مايو ١٦, ٢٠٠٦  

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