It’s time to get a little theological up in this piece. In Part 1 I described what it’s like to be separated from God after salvation occurs, and why being close to this deity is up to us weaklings, our work, and efforts.
But how did we get into this predicament in the first place? Where did the separation come from?
First, let’s talk about original sin and the sinful nature of humanity.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners” (Rom 5:19)
According to the Catholic encyclopedia:
…one man has transmitted to the whole human race not only the death of the body, which is the punishment of sin, but even sin itself, which is the death of the soul…
Well that sucks balls, doesn’t it. Sin is all one guy’s fault (or his wife’s fault, if you’re a fan of that route) according to the Creation myth. Speaking of which, without that myth, would the theology of original sin stand up? Where would the teaching come from? What about the assumption that we’re all born with the ability to sin (sinful nature)? Do non-literalists have a say in where this theology originates?
As far as I can yet understand, Catholics believe original sin can be cleansed during baptism and is not a sin in itself, but rather like kindling for the spreading flame of sin. For Protestants, this fall from grace is evil itself, a sin by its own nature.
The teachings of both Catholicism and Protestantism are clear: every human being is born this way no matter what we do, and the only way to fix it is through Christianity’s solutions: baptism or eventual perfection in heaven. Pretty sweet deal for the leadership, if you ask me. The church tells you you have a birth defect, and you have to follow their specific treatments to be healed.
So what about this separation?
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8: 37-39).
Nothing can separate us from God’s love except sin (Isaiah 59:1-2) . God is all powerful to save and bless humans (Jeremiah 32:17), but he chooses not to because we offend him and go against a moral code (Jeremiah 5:25). God is not a nice guy. He blames us for the way he chose us to be. He chose that Adam and Eve should sin, and he chose that all of that should pass on to us without our choice. He’s not good. He shuts his ears to the cries of his people (Ezekiel 39:23-24). Check out this devotional for a run-down of just how screwed we are.
This neglect and abandonment is, according to God himself, our own faults because we had the balls to be born and act in accordance with our natures. I say this: If we were created sinful (or–to be more palatable–with the capacity for sin) then it’s not our fault; it’s God’s fault. He has the power to make that reality go away, yet he doesn’t. He has the ability to be close to you at any time without your silly efforts and good deeds (aka filthy rags–Isaiah 64:6), and yet he stays away.
The story of humanity is this: God could, but he chooses not to.
That’s not love–that’s neglect at best and malevolence at its worst.