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God set us up to fail and then deems us deserving of punishment when we do

This is because of the following:

1. No human who has died is innocent of sin (except children or possibly severely brain damaged people). Roman 23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
2. Humans sin because they have a sinful nature. We are born with a sinful nature, and we inherited it from Adam. “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people” (Romans 5:12). Every one of us was affected by Adam’s sin; there are no exceptions. “One trespass resulted in condemnation for all people” (verse 18). We are all sinners, and we all share the same condemnation, because we are all children of Adam.
3. God gave humans a sinful nature. God provided Adam and Eve with the means to sin. He created them with the potential to sin and placed them in an environment where they could sin. He then placed temptation in their environment, knowing that they would be unable to resist sinning. And he also decided the consequences for the original sin (humanity acquiring a sinful nature). This is analogous to me telling a criminal of a vault that contains a large amount of cash, driving him to that vault and telling him what the combination is. Any court would hold me as an accessory to that crime. At the very least God is partly responsible for humans having a sinful nature, although I would argue he is fully responsible for our nature because of his omniscience
4. Sin is ultimately against God. God is an eternal and infinite Being (Psalm 90:2). As a result, all sin requires an eternal punishment. God’s holy, perfect, and infinite character has been offended by our sin. Although to our finite minds our sin is limited in time, to God—who is outside of time—the sin He hates goes on and on. Our sin is eternally before Him and must be eternally punished in order to satisfy His holy justice.

Note that even if you think we have free will, it doesn’t change 2). The only way free will can help us is when we choose to accept salvation through faith in Jesus. Otherwise it is irrelevant to our salvation.

If you disagree, state which point above you disagree with and why



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Mary Johnson
Mary Johnsonhttp://ActionNews.xyz
I have been reading and writing for over 20 years. My passion is reading and I would like to someday write a novel. I enjoy exercise and shopping.
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14 COMMENTS

  1. I know this is a christianity post but as a muslim,i believe god to be the all forgiving and to forgive any sin as long as you repent, and whoever is to repent is to be rewarded for repenting and to remove the sin, provided it is not one of the grave sins. I also believe god to not have given us a sinful nature but rather choice, and satan is to influence us if we are to forget god even for a moment, and even the strongest believers can be influenced at times, even the tiniest bit. I hope a blessed day for all

  2. The conceptualization of God you are referring to appears to me to be Protestant evangelical Christianity’s conception…. basically that of ‘faith alone fundy’ types, Southern Baptists and the like. Those are all relatively recent additions to Christendom (within the last 400 years or so). I agree with your assessment of their beliefs about God. I would just point out that most Christians aren’t those types of Christians; most Christians don’t think of God that way.

    >No human who has died is innocent of sin (except children or possibly severely brain damaged people). Roman 23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

    I think you mean “Romans 3:23” (there is no Romans 23). And none of the Christian communions with ancient historicity (from which we received the book of Romans) understand it to mean what you’re saying it means. Paul’s writings are easy to misunderstand, as Peter warns in 2 Peter 3:16. That’s why it is important for us to consider the understanding of the communions the scriptures were written in as a context to interpret passages within (instead of just assuming a Pauline passage means whatever it may appear to us at first glance to mean, or whatever Pat Robertson or some other fundy pastor with a degree from somewhere says it means).

    Romans 3:23 says, “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” The questions are, what exactly is being referred to by “sinned,” and what set of people is “all” referring to? If by sin we take that to mean intentional sin (which makes someone blameworthy), then that wouldn’t mean all humans (at least not according to ancient Christianity and still to most Christians)… as all the Christ worshipping communions with ancient historicity believe some humans have never sinned (Jesus for one, but also Mary). And frankly the evangelical fundy interpretation (that this means every human that has ever existed has sinned) doesn’t even make consistent sense with their own views because they don’t believe all humans have been justified (yet the same passages says “all” have been justified). It seems Pat Robertson may just be choosing for himself when to take “all” to mean everyone (‘all have sinned’) and when to take it to mean just him and his ‘faith-alone Christian’ buddies (‘all are justified’).

    Part of the issue here is that ‘sin’ can be kind of a term of art in Christianity. People often use it to refer to different things. Technically, all it means is “miss the mark,” or in other words, to make a mistake. In that sense of course all biological humans except for the one that was God have sinned, as to err is human. However, “sin” is also sometimes used in a shorthand way to refer to ‘intentional sin,’ aka blameworthy sin. Not all biological humans necessarily intentionally sin.

    For one of several examples in scripture, Job was ‘blameless and upright.’ So ‘all have sinned’ doesn’t necessarily mean all have blame. There is such a thing as unintentional sin. For example if Job accidentally trips someone while he is walking, he technically ‘missed the mark’ (aka sin) but he isn’t blameworthy for that. That wouldn’t make him an unrighteous person. It would make him a human… and it isn’t bad to be human. Humanity is good. It only *can* be evil. Humans can be humans who err and still be righteous. There also is intentional sin though. No one who commits intentional (aka deliberate) sin is good; no one who does so is righteous. See Hebrews 10:26. Intentional sin makes one an enemy of God. So a human, one who errs, can be righteous or unrighteous, blameworthy or blameless. The difference lies in intent… which only God can judge. We can only try our best to think and act in line with a pure heart and pray to God to have mercy on us, each of us the sinner.

    >Humans sin because they have a sinful nature. We are born with a sinful nature, and we inherited it from Adam. “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people” (Romans 5:12).

    What type of sin are you talking about, intentional or unintentional? Or rather, which are you assuming Paul was talking about? This is part of the reason Peter says to be careful with Paul’s writings. They are easy to misunderstand. In this case, I would keep reading down to verse 14 and, “…death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam…” In other words, not all sin involves a command being broken. While it is human nature to make mistakes (‘to err is human’), it isn’t necessarily human nature to break God’s commands nor necessarily to become an enemy of God (to deliberately sin).

    In all the churches with ancient historicity, both Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic, in those churches, “sin” ultimately simply means mistake, and they distinguish between intentional sin and unintentional sin. So to say all sinned can basically be like saying “to err is human.” It doesn’t mean all choose to sin. Historical Christianity doesn’t take the ‘everyone has done evil,’ ‘everyone chooses to sin’ (‘everyone has intentionally sinned’) view of their writings that many in the West (especially evangelicals) take. For instance the Mother of God is held up as an example of a person who never intentionally sinned. Jesus still died and rose again even for her. So it wasn’t because she necessarily needed “punishment” for “guilt.” In other words Jesus would’ve had to suffer and die even if none of us had ever done anything evil. To err is necessarily human, and to suffer is necessarily human. These things are how the created human becomes like the uncreated God. But to choose evil is not necessarily human. Some humans do choose evil anyway. Some don’t though. No one “has” to. The whole “everyone is guilty of sin by evil human nature inherited from ‘the garden,’ and God hated the evil in our human nature so much He had to hurt someone” thing is more of a tenant in evangelicalism and fundamentalism than anywhere else.

    >Sin is ultimately against God. God is an eternal and infinite Being (Psalm 90:2). As a result, all sin requires an eternal punishment.

    It depends what you mean by sin (whether you’re referring to intentional and unintentional sins or just intentional ones). Again, see Hebrews 10:26… “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” Deliberate (intentional) sin results in being consumed by raging fire as an enemy of God (if we don’t repent from it). Unintentional sin results in being human (‘to err is human’) and is only ‘sin’ in the most technical sense (‘to miss’)… not in the sense the term of art “sin” is often used with.

    I’d also note that the word ‘eternal’ (at least the original language word in the scriptures that gets reflected as ‘eternal’ in most translations) doesn’t necessarily mean infinite time. It can mean indefinite time too.

  3. Sin is an imaginary concept fabricated by religion in order to make people think that there is something wrong with them that only religion can fix.

    The whole concept of sin, and the associated religious doctrines involving forced servitude, eternal punishment are in themselves immoral and unethical.

  4. You do it to yourself if you accept the suggestions unconditionally. The last thing you want is to be is your own hypnotist who is orchestrating a chicken dance on stage while claiming it is unfair how we treat chickens.

  5. >God set us up to fail and then deems us deserving of punishment when we do

    Your premise is flawed. God values truth and justice. Therefore, if one has been set up to fail and they do fail, but they are actually innocent, then they will be judged innocent.

    >For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all (Romans 11:32).

  6. > Humans sin because they have a sinful nature. We are born with a sinful nature, and we inherited it from Adam.

    Compare this to:

    > Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
    >
    >     So God created man in his own image,
    >         in the image of God he created him;
    >         male and female he created them.
    >
    > And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26–28)

    and to:

    > The word of YHWH came to me: “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, declares the Lord YHWH, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die. (Ezekiel 18:1–4)

    It seems that in fact:

    1. humans are created after the image and likeness of God
    2. saying that a parent’s sin passes on to his/her children is verboten

    This isn’t to say that children of alcoholics aren’t more likely to be alcoholics than other children. Rather, you don’t get to tell a simplistic story of “like parent, like child”. Very specifically: _change is possible_.

  7. >Sin is ultimately against God. God is an eternal and infinite Being (Psalm 90:2). As a result, all sin requires an eternal punishment.

    any “crime” against an infinite being insignificant. so the punishment must be insignificant.

    Imagine I steal some gold from an infinite gold chamber. I stole 0% of the gold in it.

    Imagine I dye some water in an infinite pool. I dyed 0% of the total water on it.

    In contrast, a baby kicking a human is doing more proportional harm to the human than any sinner is doing to god, yet the baby doesn’t get infinite punishment, it doesn’t get punished at all.

  8. The most egregious mistake of God is not telling his creation about dishonesty. How were Adam and Eve supposed to know the serpent would be deceitful? For all they knew it was a creation of God telling them God’s Will.

    This is why sometimes I wonder if the real God is the serpant and it’s the Fallen one that is playing as God, at least in the Old Testament.

  9. If there is a God who set us up to fail, and we indeed fail, then that God ought to reward us for succeeding in failing, as intended. It is only if we fail to fail and instead succeed at succeeding that such a God ought to punish us, for then we have failed its plan by failing to fail.

  10. I was born into this world with all of its problems and have become a participant in those problems. My eating habits and drinking habits and social habits which I recognize to be maladaptive but socially normative will ultimately have consequences on me.

    Should I rail about the inherent unfairness of this life? Should I complain that it’s not fair that things were stacked up against me in this way and that I’m now must be punished for things that I ultimately was dragged into with my culture?

    Or would that be a rather Petty and juvenile way of looking at life and it would be better to recognize the inherent goodness of life and work towards maximizing it? Rather than becoming a cynical person disconnected that life isn’t everything I fantasize it could be.

  11. I’ve felt this way as well. It’s hard to deem it “free will” when there is a right answer (accepting Jesus to enter heaven). Furthermore, being inherently punished for the sins of the father (quite literally) isn’t ideal. It’s being pushed into a hole and then being offered a ladder to get back up.

  12. Atheism comes from forever as far back, where religions, their symbols, their claims, their idols, and their dreamy promises continue to have had no meaning.

    Hence, it is inconceivable to think that any force which may have created the Universe, is so impotent that it would use hundreds and hundreds of pages in books to speak in parables, demand allegiance, and insist that ‘suffering’ needs to be something that said force wishes us all to go through.

    So why then, as an Atheist, are you even bothering to give any faith or its narrative 1-iota of attention or thought?

    *‘Just wondering ….*

    Have a good one.

  13. I am missing Jesus *Christ* in your concept. If we’re talking about *Christianity*, I don’t think we should leave him out, do we?

    [Just] to “accept salvation through faith in Jesus” ~~doesn’t~~ seems to miss the point. I mean, why then all this crucifixion and resurrection thing, if it’s only about human acceptance of what exactly?

    From which denomination does this concept stem from?

  14. >God gave humans a sinful nature. This is because God created Adam and Eve with the potential to sin and placed them in an environment where they could sin. He then placed temptation in their environment, knowing that they would be unable to resist sinning. And he also decided the consequences for the original sin (humanity acquiring a sinful nature). So he effectively decided when the created the world that humans will have a sinful nature.

    This is incorrect. God did not give us a sinful nature. God created Adam and Eve with the free will choice to choose to obey or disobey God, and He gave them a means of exercising this with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is an assumption to say that Adam and Eve *couldn’t* have resisted the temptation from the serpent though. Adam and Eve may have chosen to obey instead, and who knows what the world would look like if they did. But they did not choose to obey. They chose to disobey, on their own free will. God did not force them to do so.

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