THE MYTH OF ORIGINAL SIN
Original Sin... Fact or Fable Many Christians today, including most Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Catholics unblushingly subscribe to the view that the sin of Adam was transferred to all future generations tainting even the unborn. However, I have to wonder how many of those that profess to believe in Original Sin have given any thought to the fact that sin is not a substance with physical properties that can be transmitted from person to person like a virus. Much to the contrary, sin is a conscious, willful act performed by an individual (in thought, word or deed) that transgresses God's law. Think about it - sin can not even exist unless a sinner has an immoral, unrighteous thought then acts on it. Besides which, if sin can be inherited, there is absolutely no reason why virtue, goodness, and righteousness cannot also be physically transmitted. (Two Parts)
Original Sin Or Epigenetics Since there are innumerable passages of Scripture that clearly and unambiguously tell us that no person can bear the guilt of another - that everyone will answer for their own sins and misdeeds, and that our eternal destiny is determined by our conduct, not inheritance, we can not simply accept that we are sinners because Adam sinned. But, on the other hand, what we cannot ignore is that Paul does make a direct connection between the sin of Adam and the fallen condition of the entire race. In Romans 5 Paul seems to be saying that something happened to all humanity because of Adam’s sin. Which begs the question… What exactly was it that Adam passed down to his descendants?
Filthy Rags Isaiah 64:6 has long been used as a ‘proof-text’ for two totally distinct yet equally unfounded beliefs. Calvinism uses it to bolster the doctrine of "total inability" ... the foundation of Reformed doctrine. The Evangelical uses it to show that good works, obedience, virtue are all useless, which sets the stage for the doctrine of "accepting Christ" through a once-for-all act of faith. the problem being that both sides ignore the textual and historical context.
None That Seeketh? Romans 3:11-18 is often quoted to bolster the claims of universal depravity - that no one ever seeks after God. However, if you were to examine the source of Paul’s quotes, you would realize that the Psalms in question often spoke of God’s protection and favor towards the virtuous people of the day. The million dollar question then is why Paul presented one side of the coin, but ignored the verses that speak of God's support and favor for those who feared Him. The answer is very simple...
HOW MANY WILL BE SAVED?
Religious Pluralism, Exclusivism, Christian Universalism, and Inclusivism There are four views regarding how people are saved - all of which are getting increasingly popular. Pluralism asserts that it doesn't really matter what spiritual path you follow because there is no conclusive evidence in favor of one religion being 'right'. Exclusivism insists that only one way is true and all others are in error. Christian Universalism holds that everyone will be saved through faith in Christ regardless of whether or not they repent of their sins, trust in Christ for salvation etc. And finally Inclusivism is a sort of middle ground between Exclusivism and Pluralism.It holds that although there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ, God will extend His mercy to many who lead moral lives but may have zero or incomplete knowledge of Him in this present life.
How Will Those Who Never Learn the Gospel Be Judged? A question with which every sensitive soul struggles is what will be the ultimate fate of those who never have the opportunity to hear the gospel. While nothing definitive has been told us, there are Bible principles worthy of serious consideration. Includes Is “ignorance bliss” with regard to sin?
DID GOD DECIDE WHO WOULD BE SAVED?
Doctrines of Grace or Calvinism Calvinism not only flies in the face of common sense but contradicts everything we know about our God. If, as claimed, Calvinism is a very "high view" of Scripture, then it is no wonder that God first proclaimed his message of salvation to peasants tending their sheep. Once the ‘highly educated' got a hold of the extremely straightforward and uncomplicated message of salvation, they turned it into highly complex bewildering ideas presented with a deluge of words, intricate arguments and endless repetition. The resulting potpourri of baffling complexities and contradictions bears little resemblance to the original message and certainly find no basis in the Scriptures. I have often wondered if the angels who delivered the message are even now scratching their heads in perplexity wondering what happened to the 'glad tidings' they were sent to announce.
The Question We should Be Asking Is NOT Can We Lose Our Salvation, But ...
IS ANY LIVING CHRISTIAN COMPLETELY SAVED?
The Two Phase Atonement The New Testament sometimes says that salvation is an accomplished reality but at other times says it is still in the future. This seeming contradiction is not limited to salvation alone but also occurs with confusing regularity in statements about other topics of crucial importance... justification, redemption, glorification, and adoption. Check it for yourself. So what is the answer? Can we be assured we have salvation now, or is it something we have to strive and hope for. Have we already been adopted as sons, or are we eagerly waiting for this adoption? Are we righteous now, or is it yet a distant hope? (Yup! The Bible says both) For those who are actually interested in what the Scriptures have to say on the subject, as opposed to what parents, pastors, friends, or denomination may believe and teach, the answer to all of the above questions is .. BOTH. However, in order to understand when we are fully and finally saved we have to undertake an in-depth study of the Old Testament ritual of Yom Kippur and how it relates to our salvation.
OSAS - The Doctrine of Eternal Security - Perhaps one of the most common and most perilous of teachings in the modern church is the doctrine of Eternal Security also known as Once Saved Always Saved or OSAS. This doctrine holds that at the moment a person makes the once and for all decision to "accept" Christ as Savior, He pays for all of their sins: past, present, and future. Thus they remain saved irrespective of how they conduct their lives thereafter, how much they backslide, or even if they actually disown Christ. The tragic result of this extremely lethal doctrine is that all too many Christians blissfully sail through life under the dangerous delusion that they are permanently and eternally saved on the basis that they once made a confession of faith, walked an aisle, prayed a prayer. Although they may not have actually murdered someone many of them live pretty much as the world does. What a terribly tragic state we have talked ourselves into.
A “Deposit” “Guaranteeing” Our Inheritance? Sadly, the NIV and several other popular translations have a completely biased Calvinistic bent. This is made clear by their rendering of three verses in which the Hebrew arrhabōn has been translated deposit when it actually means earnest, which is a very different concept. However, what is even worse is that, in some cases, they translated arrhabōn into the English deposit, then added the word guarantee. Unknowingly, countless people have relied on these translations, believing that Scripture actually speaks of a guarantee when, in fact, it does no such thing.
The Assurance of Salvation Anyone who read 1 John 5:13 as a stand-alone completely misses the whole point that John was trying to make. Reading the entire book of 1 John (or at least the last chapter) will bring a person to a very different conclusion… ‘Assurance of Salvation’ is very different from ‘Unconditional Eternal Security’
The Carnal Christian The church of Corinth is commonly cited as proof that even the most carnally minded individuals are saved and on their way to heaven. The confusion arises because although Paul called the Corinthians carnal he addressed them as saints and spoke to them of the resurrection and spiritual gifts, etc. However a close examination of the context shows the Corinthians were not guilty of sins that would keep them out of Heaven, but were selfishly not displaying any love for one another. This Epistle was largely written to deal with practical problems in a young church. They were being warned about the slippery slope to unrighteousness.
IS THE SINNER’S PRAYER ALL IT TAKES?
Our sense of safety can’t come from simply saying a prayer.
Is The Sinner’s Prayer Effective? I fear we’ve inoculated a whole generation of people who got a partial injection of Christianity and are now resistant to the real thing. They prayed the sinner’s prayer, got their "fire insurance" and then disappeared - never to be seen again. When confronted with the Gospel anew they shrug, "Been there, done that. Now leave me alone. I have a life to live."
SALVATION OF THE JEWS
"Two Covenant" Theory of the Atonement: The 'Two Covenant' or 'Dual Covenant' theory of salvation teaches that God established two different paths to salvation - one for by the Jews and the other for the Gentiles. The Jew's path to Him is by virtue of the Mosaic and Abrahamic Covenants - the Christians path lies through Jesus. Thus there is no need to share the gospel with the Jews. But it this true?