Then we’ll part company wishing the same for each other and I hope you’re successful, although, without Christ…I’m not seeing it out there in the world.
The cause of these effects is actions from past existence That’s why the question: “How could this innocent baby have Original Sin?”
Since the reality of Karma and Past Lives was disputed in Christianity—people painted themselves into a corner.
When Jesus was being persecuted by Jewish authorities and ridiculed and accused of rebelling against Abraham, what did he say?
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
Compare this to a Buddhist passage:
“The Tathâgata who so long ago was perfectly enlightened is unlimited in the duration of his life, he is everlasting. Without being extinct, the Tathâgata makes a show of extinction, on behalf of those who have to be educated”
The idea of no previous lives is really an “expedient means.” of teaching to beings who are unable to comprehend.
If beings think they are “eternal” through transmigration, they might become lazy and not practice for salvation/enlightenment. Death is the ultimate Expedient Means to stir people to seeking salvation.
Perhaps Origen shouldn’t have castrated himself and gained a scary reputation in his youth or his writings wouldn’t have been shelved and repudiated by Eusebius and the others.
This is what the Holy Spirit said through the apostle Paul in Romans chs 1 and 2.
God’s invisible qualities of deity and power are evident in the things he is doing and has made. People begin life experiencing God to a degree through these, just as the existence and power of the invisible wind is experienced by the things it does.
But after knowing (by experience) God’s deity and power, people do not glorify Him (I.e. do not credit Him with this existence and power) nor are thankful for all the good things He has done and made, they substitute for God’s revelations their own human ideas and their foolish ( I.e. Godless) mind becomes darkened.
Out of this denial of God’s deity and power and truth, to the degree that we refuse to have God in our thoughts, springs forth a list of corrupt attitudes and behaviours (sins) that we acknowledge are evil because we condemn them in others: leaving teabags in the sink, cheating on one’s spouse, lying, stealing, insolence, arrogance etc.
But if we condemn in others something we ourselves have done or still do, we condemn ourselves as sinners too.
So, yes, we get to define what is sin, but we are going to be judged by the standards we have applied to others. And by this methodology, no one will be guiltless. Hence, the disciples’ prayer says “Forgive us our sins as (in the same measure as) we forgive others their trespasses against us.”
I believe we all start life with an intuitive understanding that a powerful Creator exists. Uncoached, a child asks, “Who made the birds?” But when we begin to suppress that acknowledgement sin enters in: we begin to do things we blame others for also doing. It’s not a sin that makes us blameworthy unless we have blamed others for the same attitude or behaviour.
Could it be you do not remember all that was taught about baptism and original sin? For example, it was not just one man (Adam) the story is about. Adam means man and mankind chose disobedience and the knowledge of both good and evil. Baptism is the opportunity to choose obedience and good over evil, to join the community of the Body of Christ, walk in his Way of obedience (instead of disobedience) to the will of God. Baptism releases us from that original sin.
How long were you in Catholic school? I am wondering if you are remembering the elementary version of original sin probably taught in elementary school, not what was discussed in upper grades? It also could be different schools/teachers emphasized different aspects.
Totally different from what I was taught. The Church cannot “unflaw” us. We, just like Adam and Eve, just like the followers of Christ, have a choice. The Church and the Sacraments are there to illustrate and portray Christ’s life here on earth.
That “One True Way” is forgiveness for turning away from sin to obedience to the will of God. That was the way of Christ.
It helps to remember that God takes time with His Creation(s). The greatest prayer I ever had answered took four years to blossom into life. It was beautiful. Perhaps Jesus often comes back, just not in physical form?
It may help to keep first and foremost in our minds Jesus’ own words. For example, Jesus never said, “I will sacrifice myself so sins so sins will be forgiven.” He never said to anyone, "Your sins will be forgiven. He used present tense, "Your sins are forgiven. And the religious leaders went nuts. By whose authority dare he say such a thing? We are so used to “Sins are forgiven” we forget what Jesus went through to present this message to the world.
The leaders of his day insisted he cease and desist with his message or face the consequences. Jesus was introducing a New Covenant (Testament) with God, one that is forgiveness for the repentance (turning away) from sin.
In the Old Testament, Covenants were marked by shedding blood (of an animal). Jesus shed his own blood, he laid down his life, he was that adamant about accomplishing God’s will that the news sins are forgiven be proclaimed. Jesus died that we might be assured sins are forgiven. He went through a lot to deliver a message leaders of his day were against having delivered. Kind of a shame to dismiss that.
Of course different orders teach things differently. But we were taught the very literal translation of the bible. Adam and Eve were singular people. And we are branded with their sins and birth, and baptism is required to cleanse us of that sin. Without that cleansing, we can not gain entry to heaven.
I remember freaking out when I learned my mom had never been baptized. I spent some sleepless nights scheming a way to baptize her surreptitiously.
Well, you had a cooler church than mine.
We were told pretty clearly that pretty much anything we thought was fun was in fact a sin, and we would burn in hell if we kept it up!
Lust, sex, heck, riding your bike instead of doing your homework…sins…
God creates a son in man’s image and sends him to earth.
His son is actually so human in this form, that he has free will, and in the desert grapples with what he must do, and faces Satan’s temptations.
His son - who by the way is still really him, the divine being, which begs the question, how much of a struggle would it really have been? - then allows mortals to kill him.
Jesus died to forgive our sins - intriducing the next layer of guilt upon which the christian faith is built. What kind of person are you not to follow the man WHO DIED FOR YOU!?!?!?
And really, what does a man allowing himself to be cricified have to do with my coveting my neighbor’s wife? I just don’t see a connection there. We’re the same people after the crucifiction as before. The only deference is, God heaped guilt and shame upon us by having his son - who is himself - killed while telling us this is for US.
And to top it all off, turns out death to God’s son doesn’t really mean that much because he reversed it and rose from the dead.
I don’t mean to be trite, and I am not meaning to offend your religious beliefs. I very much appreciate the teachings of Jesus, and love reading the bible as a piece of literature. But it just…again, based on my experience, the whole thing is a guilt trip and a scare tactic to keep people in the fold.
The religion I want to join is the one that seeks to understand me and helps me find happiness on earth, not the one that demands I conform to their definition of sin and righteousness.
“If I’m everything, then it all means nothing, and there’s no reason for me to be ‘good’.”
It’s a common kneejerk response.
You are not at all offensive, so no worries there. I am aghast at what you were taught. For example not even my grandmother (and according to her, my great-grandparents) were taught to take everything in the Bible literally.
As an adult, I learned that rabbinical commentary on the Old Testament much more enlightening than Catholic/Christian commentary.
Between my Catholic schooling and rabbinical Old Testament commentary it was easy to see that Biblical teaching was meant to guide us through the ups and downs of our present life. Many of my Protestant friends had the idea scripture was all about getting us into the next life. I have never seen it that way, probably because I needed so much help to get through the present life!
Looking back, had I not had so many problems, would I have just seen the Bible as a guilt trip instead of using it for practical advice in this life? Impossible to say, I guess.
Remember, Jesus was also fully human. In his day most Jews in Judea and the surrounding areas were very poor and had to scrape to come up with enough to eat. Wouldn’t it solve a whole host of problems if he could just turn stones into bread and feed the entire population? Or, how about if he lead the nation? Or used his power over life and death to get the peoples’ attention?
Instead, his mission was to spread the message of sins are forgiven among the poor. The attention was to be focused on the message not on him. While he was here, he was to be servant, not king.
The rich and powerful of the day, could have taken up this idea and supported Jesus. They did not. Even in ancient times it appears people were aware that what was among them did not attain any value until after their death. Most other humans would say, “Then forget this, I have a life to live, not a death to die.” Jesus had a grand message, which was embraced until after his death. Jesus, in life, could not overpower the religious leaders of his day (Annas and Caiaphas still are not popular today even among Jews). It took the seed dying to spring into greater life. For that, he laid down his life.
It is not guilt at all–at least not that I can see. Jesus vision included a way of living this life, one of discerning the will of God and following that. Is it God’s will for one to covet his/her neighbor’s spouse? How much pain and suffering is brought into several lives when this route is pursued? What is God’s will in this matter, and will it lead to a better outcome?
Jesus lived his life to portray that great things can happen if one follows God’s will. Not even death can win in that fight.
The Japanese Mahayana term for this is “Himyo Hoben” or “The Secret and Mysterious Expedient Means.” The general term in Sanskrit it is Upaya.
There is a parable called the “Gem in the Robe” where a Wealthy man sews a Gem into the sleeve of a poor friend’s robe, when the poor man is asleep. Years later the wealthy man encounters the poor man still poor and says," did you not find the Gem of inestimable worth in the sleeve of your robe? The poor man looks in the sleeve and finds the jewel has been there all along during his life of poverty.
In another parable a Physician father trying to get his many deranged sons to take the perfect medicine --an antidote for a poison they arrogantly took–that he left them. 2/3rds of the sons refused to drink the medicine. decides to use a expedient means to shock these sick sons into awareness. He goes to another country and sends a messenger back to tell the Sons "“Your father is dead!” The sons are shocked to their senses and take the antidote and are cured.
The Sutra asks, “can this father be accused of telling a lie?”
Apply that to the story of Jesus as well.