Condemned Already - Read More
Fully revised—March 2011.
132 pages. Normal Price $10.00 Special Offer $6.00.
At most evangelistic meetings, the preacher is at pains to demonstrate that all are sinners, and that each person needs to repent of his own (personal) sin, and to individually accept the redemptive sacrifice of Christ for himself. Respondees are usually counselled using verses like Ezekiel 18:4 (The soul who sins is the one who will die) and Romans 3:23 (For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God). Deuteronomy 24:16 could be added: Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.
But in many cases there is apparent unwitting duplicity. Although personal culpability for sin has been enjoined on the sinner, the common belief is that it is really Adam’s sin that is the problem. Adam’s sin has caused all men to be condemned, not in fact their own sin. If true, that leads to deception in evangelism. No one is able to respond.
"Two questions demand answer, first, how we can be responsible for a depraved nature which we did not personally and consciously originate; and, secondly, how God can justly charge to our account the sin of the first father of the race." (Strong 1907, 593)
More basic, the general picture of salvation in the context of the doctrine of original sin, is that all men have become sinners, not so much on their own account, but in some way due to their descending from Adam, and that Christ's one death on the cross accounts for all sins of all men of all time.
This general statement, in spite of voluminous attempted theological reasoning, seems to fall short of adequately addressing a number of issues of a significant and disturbing theological nature.
If Adam sinned a sin for which he alone was responsible, why should any other man also be held culpable for Adam’s sin? (This is the problem of "Alien Guilt"). How can God be considered just when He is deemed to have condemned all men of all time for one man's indiscretion? Is the individual man responsible for his own sin, or is he Condemned Already?
"History has recorded the persistent revulsion many have felt at the apparent impropriety of being divinely condemned for an occurrence prior to their birth and for which they made no conscious choice." (Otto 1990, 205).
Alternatively and significantly, if an individual man is held to be responsible and culpable for his own sin, when did he first sin in order to become a sinner, thus deserving of spiritual separation from God? We must identify a CAUSATIVE sin which takes a man from innocence to being a sinner, and when this took place. Was it at birth, by the act of conception (which would remove his personal culpability for this causative sin), after birth, at some nebulous “age of accountability”, or at some other time?