Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Some Things are So Ridiculous, Yet They are Real...

"Dance Praise is the interactive dance game that turns your PC into a dance arcade with top Christian hits. The game includes over 50 songs from Sanctus Real, ZOEgirl, Audio Adrenaline, and more. Each song offers 3 levels of challenging dance steps."

If you don't think there's anything wrong with this nothing I can add will either.

(I found this at PURGATORIO an excellent blog)

Monday, November 20, 2006

When Religion Looses its Credibility (An examination of "Christian" arguments in favor of Homosexuality)

Where news is fun Yesterday I ran into an article entitled "When Religion Looses Its credibility" by a pastor in the Baptist church named Oliver "Buzz" Thomas. The article was in the online version of USA Today for Monday November 19th. In it Buzz argues that Christianity really may have been wrong all along about its stance against Homosexuality, now I am not going to post the article word for word but just answer the key highlights throughout the article. I encourage anyone reading to read his article in its entirety first by clicking here. I will deal with Thomas' arguments from here on out by responding to key passages, his words will be in blue.

Thomas begins the article with this statement/comparison:

"Galileo was persecuted for revealing what we now know to be the truth regarding Earth's place in our solar system. Today, the issue is homosexuality, and the persecution is not of one man but of millions. Will Christian leaders once again be on the wrong side of history?"

First of all these issues are totally different categories, the earth being the center of the solar system is a scientific matter, whether homosexuality is immoral is well a moral matter. Both relate to the Christian world view but my point is that the analogy is sloppy from the start. Second, whether or not the earth was the center of the universe was not debated based upon scripture, The Roman Catholic church held this view because that is what Aristotle taught...NOT the Bible. Now Homosexuality on the other hand is certainly mentioned in the Bible and certainly described as an immoral practice. Am I entitled to say this is a faulty comparison fallacy on Thomas' behalf?

"Despite what you might have read, heard or been taught throughout your churchgoing life, homosexuality is, in fact, determined at birth and is not to be condemned by God's followers."

Hold the phone here. Thomas assumes that if some behavior is genetically linked to individuals by birth that then that behavior is not to be frowned upon. Where did he get that conclusion from? The Bible? No, this is the touted line of the secular culture. Is Homosexuality a behavior that is linked to genes? I don't know. But you know what it doesn't matter one lick whether the behavior is linked to the genes when we are determining whether a behavior is moral or not. From what I understand similar gene links are found in serial killers, do we then make the conclusion that serial killers are not doing immoral acts because their genes predispose them to commit these acts? No, therefore the assumption Thomas makes here is faulty, we don't base morality on would think Thomas would know that being a pastor.

Now this next statement is what I really found to be the most disappointing:

"All this brings me back to the question: What if we're wrong?
Religion's only real commodity, after all, is its moral authority. Lose that, and we lose our credibility. Lose credibility, and we might as well close up shop."

"Religions ONLY REAL commodity"?! All that religion has to offer is a moral outlook on the world and if we get that wrong we're done says Thomas. I am sorry but those aren't the words of somebody who believes that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world...I don't think you can be a Christian and say that all religion has to offer the world is a moral outlook. As a Christian yes my religion gives me a moral foundation/outlook but much more I have the gospel of God, the message that though man is fallen and rebellious through faith in Jesus Christ people can be made right before this holy God and have life everlasting and joy ever increasing. The apostle Paul said to the Corinthian believers:

"For I decided to know (teach) nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1 Cor 2:2)

According to Paul his commodity that he gave to the Corinthians was not a nice moral outlook but Christ crucified. Why? Because Christ crucified is the gospel, Christ crucified is the good news, this is the message that saves souls from hell and the wrath of God almighty. If we as CHRISTIANS are asked: "What is the one thing you have to offer the world?" the answer will be some form of CHRIST and HIM CRUCIFIED. Because there is No other Name Under Heaven By Which Men May Be Saved Except the Name of Christ Jesus. (Acts 4:12)

"This time, [He just gave another Galileo analogy] Christianity is in danger of squandering its moral authority by continuing its pattern of discrimination against gays and lesbians in the face of mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice. To the contrary, whether sexual orientation arises as a result of the mother's hormones or the child's brain structure or DNA, it is almost certainly an accident of birth. The point is this: Without choice, there can be no moral culpability."

I will come back to the discrimination rhetoric later, but here he makes his point which he stated earlier again "Without choice, there can be no moral culpability." Sure, from the throne of the pontiff. Unfortunately, for Thomas that's not how God sees it. In Romans chapter 9 we see the sovereignty of God in His election of people to Himself and His sovereignty of man's free will. Oh, yes people make choices but God governs those choices without mitigating their moral responsibility to Him, it is funny the apostle Paul deals with this sort of a notion as it reads:

"You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?"
(Rom 9:20-22)

Now this is in reference to the sovereignty of God I cite it because it is a form of determinism that God governs our wills yet Paul rejects the argument that goes:

1) if God is sovereign over men's actions then He can not hold them accountable for their actions
2) God is sovereign
.:3) Therefore men are not accountable. (MP 1,2)

This sort of thinking leads to all sorts of rash doctrinal denials for instance:

1) if God is sovereign over men's actions then He can not hold them accountable for their actions
2) Men are accountable before God
.:3) God is not sovereign (MT 1,2)

Anyway, the point is that Paul dealt with this issue of moral responsibility and God's sovereignty, which, according to Paul governed man's action in a way that did NOT mitigate his moral accountability to God for those actions. Likewise with Thomas' example, just because a behavior is linked to genes does not absolve man of accountability for that behavior. (Just substitute genes for God in the above proofs to see this in logical form) Thomas assumes that determined behavior=absolution of accountability for that behavior which simply is an unwarranted assertion.

Ultimately, as a Christian who believes in the sovereignty of God genetic links to homosexuality don't bother me at all, because morality is not dependent on free choices. Men in their fallen state are "slaves of sin" ,"dead in sin" and "hate the light" says the New Testament so how free are our choices? Morality is objective outside of our ability to fulfill it or not...God doesn't grade on the curve because we are fallen (That would be to compromise His holiness). AND God is sovereign over our genetics. If Thomas had not struck out earlier as to what Christianity has to offer the world he would have a message that breaks the power of a fallen corrupt nature and sets free slaves of sin.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
(1 Cor 6:9-11)

Next Thomas "turns" to scripture:

"So, why are so many church leaders (not to mention Orthodox Jewish and Muslim leaders) persisting in their view that homosexuality is wrong despite a growing stream of scientific evidence that is likely to become a torrent in the coming years? The answer is found in Leviticus 18. "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."

I just wonder how naturalistic science can give us rulings on whether actions are moral or not. How can science test morality?

"As a former "the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it" kind of guy, I am sympathetic with any Christian who accepts the Bible at face value. But here's the catch. Leviticus is filled with laws imposing the death penalty for everything from eating catfish to sassing your parents. If you accept one as the absolute, unequivocal word of God, you must accept them all."

Has this man been to Seminary? I mean good night this is a basic concept of transition from Old to New Covenant. What he said above sounds more like unbelief in the authority of the Bible than an honest scholarly investigation into the meaning and how to apply it today. Well in a nutshell there are different types of law in the OT moral and ceremonial, homosexuality being sin is moral like don't steal, ceremonial for example would be regulations on the garments, what foods were to be eaten etc. In Christ both are fulfilled. Yes sassing your parents DOES deserve death but Christ took our death. These are basic concepts which somebody who is a pastor should know.

"For many of gay America's loudest critics, the results are unthinkable. First, no more football. At least not without gloves. Handling a pig skin is an abomination. Second, no more Saturday games even if you can get a new ball. Violating the Sabbath is a capital offense according to Leviticus. For the over-40 crowd, approaching the altar of God with a defect in your sight is taboo, but you'll have plenty of company because those menstruating or with disabilities are also barred."
Tearing books out of the Bible sure gets tiring
Again we see his inability to transition from Old Covenant to the New, liberal theologians have done this silly rhetoric so much I really don't bother to respond anymore...Frankly because Christians don't say things like this. All he is trying to do is say Leviticus needs to be thrown out/it doesn't apply anymore which is a gross over simplification of the matter.

"The truth is that mainstream religion has moved beyond animal sacrifice, slavery and the host of primitive rituals described in Leviticus centuries ago. Selectively hanging onto these ancient proscriptions for gays and lesbians exclusively is unfair according to anybody's standard of ethics. We lawyers call it "selective enforcement," and in civil affairs it's illegal."

Um not at all, this is not a selective hanging on. These passages DO apply today, ALL of them. The difference is that we are in a New Covenant and Christ became our sacrifice Thomas coincidentally can't make that link which I think every evangelical can in basic terms. Christ is our sacrifice, Christ is our substitute for the punishment required in breaking these Levitical laws, and Christ is our ceremonial cleanness (kosher laws).

"A better reading of Scripture starts with the book of Genesis and the grand pronouncement about the world God created and all those who dwelled in it. "And, the Lord saw that it was good." If God created us and if everything he created is good, how can a gay person be guilty of being anything more than what God created him or her to be?"

I can't read things like this from a PASTOR and not reach the conclusion that this man is either purposely trying to mislead people or willfully ignorant. Thomas' question: "How when God created everything and said it was good can we say homosexuality is wrong?"

Basic sunday school answer to the question is that there was a fall Thomas, you know Genesis chapter 3 the book you just referenced. This is BASIC Christian doctrine and I don't know how Thomas can HONESTLY act ignorant of the fall of man theologically when he is a pastor. I think this is simply disingenuous.

"Turning to the New Testament, the writings of the Apostle Paul at first lend credence to the notion that homosexuality is a sin, until you consider that Paul most likely is referring to the Roman practice of pederasty, a form of pedophilia common in the ancient world. Successful older men often took boys into their homes as concubines, lovers or sexual slaves."

Um, really?

"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. " (Rom 1)

Thomas is simply going on the liberal theology line in which their "research" found that when Paul speaks against men sleeping with men he REALLY means men with boy sex slaves....oh ok.

So far Thomas has tried to discredit the passages/books of the Bible that condemn homosexuality as sin with frankly pretty sloppy "research" and disingenuous exegesis of Genesis and Leviticus. Now he uses the worn out Jesus never said anything about homosexuality line:

"For those who have lingering doubts, dust off your Bibles and take a few hours to reacquaint yourself with the teachings of Jesus. You won't find a single reference to homosexuality. There are teachings on money, lust, revenge, divorce, fasting and a thousand other subjects, but there is nothing on homosexuality. Strange, don't you think, if being gay were such a moral threat?"

Let's apply this reasoning, Jesus never mentioned homosexuality so homosexuality must have been a ok in Christ's mind. Well lets substitute some things in for homosexuality to show how ridiculous this reasoning is.

Jesus never said anything about child molestation therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about smoking methamphetamine therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about black slavery therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about smoking pot therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about abortion therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.
Jesus never said anything about NASCAR therefore it must not have been a big deal to Him.

Well I think the point is clear that the standard Jesus never a poor one. And anyone who studies the Bible will know that Christ the Spirit and the Father constitute One God eternally existent, thus it was Christ who inspired the book of Leviticus so Jesus DID say stuff about homosexuality.

Also Jesus' purpose much to the chagrin of the liberal theologians was NOT to give us a nice moral code or example to live by that was NOT the mission of Christ. Christ came "to seek and to save the lost" and by His finished work on the cross we are made right with at holy God. I also think the statement of Christ on marriage is pretty explicit as to what He thought it should look like:

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh."
(Mar 10:7-8)

"On the other hand, Jesus spent a lot of time talking about how we should treat others. First, he made clear it is not our role to judge. It is God's. ("Judge not lest you be judged." Matthew 7:1) And, second, he commanded us to love other people as we love ourselves. "

This is ridiculous, I refer you to my "Hey it says judge Not!" article if you don't know what is wrong with the way this guy is interpreting Matt 7:1.

"So, I ask you. Would you want to be discriminated against? Would you want to lose your job, housing or benefits because of something over which you had no control? Better yet, would you like it if society told you that you couldn't visit your lifelong partner in the hospital or file a claim on his behalf if he were murdered?
The suffering that gay and lesbian people have endured at the hands of religion is incalculable, but they can look expectantly to the future for vindication."

Jesus never said anything about discrimination, must not have bee a big deal to Him.
As for gays not being able to visit their partner or risk loosing houses because they can't get married is ridiculous, it's called a living will get one if you want to give your possessions to specific people when you die. And I don't think any hospital will turn someone's partner away because they don't have a marriage license. These arguments are just smokescreen.

"Scientific facts, after all, are a stubborn thing. Even our religious beliefs must finally yield to them as the church in its battle with Galileo ultimately realized. But for religion, the future might be ominous. Watching the growing conflict between medical science and religion over homosexuality is like watching a train wreck from a distance. You can see it coming for miles and sense the inevitable conclusion, but you're powerless to stop it. The more church leaders dig in their heels, the worse it's likely to be."

How is whether or not homosexuality a moral practice a scientific issue? Also for the numerous times Thomas has referenced this "growing pile" of facts he doesn't reference any studies at all. Not that it would matter to me because I don't think that has any bearing on whether or not an action is wrong.

Oliver "Buzz" Thomas is a Baptist minister and author of an upcoming book, 10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can't Because He Needs the Job).

Well I think the whole article was ridiculous and full of disingenuous exegesis at best and purposely deceptive at worse. I go back to Thomas' quote which reads:

"Religion's only real commodity, after all, is its moral authority. Lose that, and we lose our credibility. Lose credibility, and we might as well close up shop."

I think that if all you think Christianity has to offer is a moral vision you need to close up shop. Stop calling your liberal church a church and deceiving your members into thinking they are Christians when they never heard the gospel, never repented of their sins, and never submitted themselves to Christ as Lord . This is when religion looses is credibility, when we have disingenuous "pastors" telling people who are going to hell that they are ok because hey it says "Judge not."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Secular Humanist Clergy Speak Out

From: WhirledNotDaley

The religious world is in an uproar over a recent statement given by a high ranking secular humanist clergyman. Former pop star, song writer and now an Arch Bishop in the Secular Humanist Congregational Assembly Elton John has recently said some very controversial things about the religious community. The controversial quote reads as follows:

"I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people. Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays...From my point of view I would ban religion completely, even though there are some wonderful things about it... But the reality is that organized religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate." (For fuller article click here)

The quote has received criticism from those on both sides of the fence, Arch Bishop John while attempting to enter a Humanist Assembly Meeting house was met by a barrage of "Faithful" protestors chanting:

"We're here
God's Feared
Get used to it"

The crowd had many doing vulgar acts such men embracing and even kissing Bibles, some were singing songs while others prayed. The Humanist Assembly which Bishop John was scheduled to speak had to be postponed as the "Faithful" crowds presence put a damper on an otherwise cheery assembly. This statement by Arch Bishop John comes just weeks after the controversial outburst delivered by Secular Humanist Assembly Deaconess O'Donnell which reads:

"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state. We're a democracy here." (For link to whole article click here)

Many within the Assembly have distanced themselves from the above comments delivered by John and O'Donnell.

"Charles Darwin's ideas were so immense and deep it is almost insulting to him to take the 'Origin of the Species' literally. I simply can not hold to the narrow minded interpretation of the OOS, I mean who are we to say whether or not that first single celled organism just popped into existence or some God created it...we need to get back the heart of Secular Humanism and Darwin's message which is interspecies love and above all tolerance."
Said Terrance Hightower a secular humanist clergyman who wants to remain anonymous.

This has left many devout Secular's waiting for a formal statement from the Pope of the Secular Humanist Assembly Richard Dawkins, who in the past has said that Christians raising their children in the faith is synonymous with child abuse. Most expect the papal decree to side with the more "Fundamentalist" Secular Humanist camp which would give the official approval to the recent statements.

A pro-God Christians has responded to the statements by Bishop John and Deaconess O'Donnell stating:

"For a group of people who want to criticize us calling us intolerant bigots, they sure seem pretty intolerant of us. Am I crazy or am I the only one who sees a blatant double standard in all their Secular rhetoric? They want to make laws so that no one can speak against their lifestyle but they at the same time want to criticize and support banning the Christian lifestyle if they could!"

So says know nothing right wing reactionary fundamentalist radical narrow minded intolerant bigot Christian jerk face Clark Parker from Detroit Christian Church.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Brief Defense Of the Doctrine of Original Sin From Its Modern Opposition (Part I)

Defending orthodoxy from error isn't always easyIt seems more and more in my conversations with fellow Christians on theology and the Bible I find that much of the doctrines held are not extrapolated from the Bible so much as they are reflection of cultural values. No one can really escape this, there will be to varying degrees a cultural influence in our study of God's word. However, particularly around issues of predestination, God's sovereignty, and the effects of the Fall do I see gross cultural influences in many views on these issues. These are the hot button issues within evangelicalism, and frankly many Christians get more upset when someone starts talking about Limited Atonement then when someone blasphemes Christ and uses His name interchangeably with swear words.

Here I want to address the issue of Original Sin (from here on I will refer to it as OS), not just the Original Sin of Adam but the effect today on his descendents. This is weighty and realistically an entire book alone would do this issue justice (I recommend Jonathan Edwards') however, my treatment will be brief. My question which I will attempt to answer simply is this: What Did the fall do to mankind?

Objections to OS

As I have said this is a hot issue, and there are many God loving Christians who will deny the doctrine of OS. OS in doctrine is this in a nutshell: every descendant of Adam is born fallen and corrupt in need of redemption. This really irks a lot of people, more and more it seems.

(Objection 1)It isn't fair is often a cry, why should people be punished for the sin of someone else? In fact how can a loving and just God do such a thing? This seems so contrary to His nature thus this doctrine of OS really is not true. This seems to be the backbone of the objections and is woven throughout the following.

(Objection 2)Another objection raised (this was brought up in a discussion of this very issue at the Mass Theology blog) is that sin/guilt by its very nature is not something which can be transferred. God does not put Adam's sin in a bucket and put them into the souls of his descendents. Guilt/sin by their nature are not transferable, Adam's sin and guilt stopped with Adam, his descendents are not paying for his blunder by having his sin placed upon them.

(Objection 3) The final objection I will deal with goes something like this:
1.If OS is true then that means babies are born sinful
2.If babies are born sinfull that means babies that die will go to hell.
3. God simply would not do that (This leans upon the fairness of objection 1)
4. /:. Therefore babies are not born sinful.

Objections Answered:

(Objection 1) This really is the undercurrent throughout all the objections to OS, it simply isn't fair and a just God would not do this. Well this assertion ultimately commits the fallacy of begging the question as to what is fair for God to do. It misses the mark in that it really, if I am correct, imposes a human notion of justice upon God and puts God in "time out" if He acts out of this perceived notion of justice we have (thus my cultural influence preamble). He who believes in the orthodox doctrine of OS says "the Bible teaches....(proof text)" yet the denier of OS simply says "No, that simply is out of step with the justice of God." But that is to beg the very question. If the Bible teaches that the sin of Adam effects all of his progeny and there was a curse decreed BY GOD upon mankind because of Adam's sin then obviously it is NOT out of step with God's justice.

(Objection 2) Now I honestly had not heard this objection until I dialogued with Henry M Imler at Mass theology on this issue. (Check out Mass Theology by clicking here)Now I really do respect Henry and I love their blog, however I think he strikes out bad on this. As I said I had not heard this type of objection to OS until Henry raised it, the assertion that sin/guilt are non transferable by nature therefore OS is not a tenable doctrine. As I thought about it and carried the assertion throughout you really run into many problems. The most immediate in the forefront is this: Were our sins/guilt transferred to Christ?

Logically if the one is an impossibility so is the other, if Adam's sin/guilt were not transferred to us because sin/guilt are by nature not transferable, then equally nor can our sins/guilt have been transferred to Christ because sin/guilt by nature is not transferable. This is just if we assume Henry's position. Now I have not heard anyone say this stuff but I have read it, it comes strait from Pelagius the original popular OS denier. Pelagius saw this and saw the death of Christ not as substitutionary (in our place for our sin/guilt) but rather as an example of self sacrifice to emulate. Pelagius was consistent (a consistent heretic). When I pressed Henry he (being a genuine Christian I think) did not want to abandon the substitutionary atonement, but I say he does so inconsistently.

Furthermore, this also begs the question as to whether sin/guilt can be transferred. The above response is merely the logical outcome if we assume the assertion. Are there any texts which teach that sin/guilt are non-transferable by nature? No. On the contrary we can see particularly with the death of Christ that indeed the sin of His people was transferred to Him.

(Objection 3) What are we to make of the third objection then? Well this of course strongly appeals to sentiment and commits the fallacy of an appeal to emotion. Saying if you believe in OS then you believe that babies that die go to hell which of course arouses disdain. This argument on a presupposed Arminian view of election. (We are elected because we selected, we are elect b/c we chose Jesus) The reason why babies going to hell is the consequent of holding to OS in these people's minds is because they presuppose that conscious choice on the part of the sinner is what saves. Thus, babies, who are we will say too immature to make that conscious choice, when they die have no hope.

Well, apart from the strong sentemental appeal there is a problem here, one for the Arminian. The problem is this question: "What about people who are too mentally immature to make the choice to accept Jesus as their lord and personal savior?" The Arminian gets around it by denying OS and/or making up things like "Age of accountability" (a doctrine that says Children all reach an age when they are now accountable for their sin, children under that age all go to heaven if they die) One problem with this "Age of accountability" stuff: This simply is not found anywhere in the Bible. Arminians just make it up to deal with this problem that arises due to their view of election.

I am sorry but I don't think just making up doctrines to protect God from looking unjust is the way to do theology. When we come to the Bible we can see that the reason why children die to begin with is because of sin.

"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned"--(Rom 5:12)

Here logically the reason why people die is because they are fallen sinners. If a young child dies it is because that child was a sinner, I think that's the only honest way to interpret this passage. Now I will go into texts shortly but suffice it to here to say that the only reason why people have to deal with the question of dying babies is because babies are sinful (Or OS is true).

So do I believe in hell for babies? Well, ultimately I put that in God's hands, because that is where salvation is. In my view of election salvation is not dependent upon some sort of human conscious choice, rather God sovereignly converts sinners. So in my view of election God saves babies who die and can not even say "Mom" or "Dad", because salvation is a work of God. Rather than something that occurs when we wise up and decide to apply it to ourselves.

What Did the Fall do?
(A Scriptural Defense of OS)

What DID the fall do to man?
The main thing that really gets me when I dialogue with people who reject the doctrine of OS is their utter lack of scripture to support their assertions. They are very ready to jump on the scriptures that do teach OS and do hermuenutical gymnastics with them, but when it comes to giving a text that shows that babies are born sinless they are really speechless. The question I pose to OS deniars is simply: "What DID the fall do then?"

Firstly, I want to address the notion that sin is something by its nature that is non-transferable. Again this assertion is made in order to rule out the notion that Adam's sin effects all of mankind, thus some assert sin to be something which in its very nature can not be transferred from one person to another. As I stated already if this is the case the question naturally arises "Were our sins then placed upon Christ?"

Also, on the flip side is righteousness something that is transferable, one would think that both righteousness and its negation sin would have the same metaphysical properties, thus if sin is non-transferable neither would righteousness be transferable. Well I will cite some passages on this very issue which should help clarify for us whether BIBLICALLY the assertion that sin by its very nature is not transferable has any merit.

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. " (2 Cor 5:21)

I think here in this passage there is a twofold problem with the above assertion for not only is Christ made sin "For our sake" but also we are made righteous "in Him". There seems to be a clear exchange here, He bears our guilt and we receive His righteousness. Are sin/righteousness non-transferable in the Apostle's mind here?

"And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God," (Heb 10:11-12)

Here we see that the repeated sacrifices could never take away sins, put in direct contrast with the sacrifice of Christ which only needed to be done once and upon being offered He sat down for it was finished. Now the contrast appears to be between a sacrifice that can NOT take away sins and one that can and has.

"As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." (Psa 103:12)

Is sin something transferable here? If it can be removed it would certainly seem to be the case.

"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (Rom 8:3-4)

"It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification." (Rom 4:24-25)

"He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption." (1 Cor 1:30)

Again in the above three passages the basics seem clear Christ died for OUR sin and we are made right in the eyes of God on the basis of HIS righteousness given to us. Now I want to get to more pertinent passages on the OS issue so I will not continue addressing the transferability of sin here. Suffice it to say that our very salvation rests on the fact that our sins were transferable by nature.

The key passages surrounding OS:

Anyone who has done any study at all into the matter of OS will know that Romans 5 is the chapter where the doctrine of OS stands or falls. I will give a brief exegetical examination of some of the passages in Romans 5 and elsewhere in Scripture.

"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned"-- (Rom 5:12)

There certainly appears to be a direct link between Adam's sin and death spreading to all men. Paul's logic seems as follows:
1) Death is consequence of sin.
2) All men die.
3) /:.Therefore all men are sinners.

Now, death (physically) only comes upon those tainted with sin. However, it is an obvious fact that infants do die physically, thus they must in some way be tainted with sin. The connector is Adam. Adam is the one who brought sin into the world, and upon sinning his nature was corrupted (Gen 3) and all of his descendents inherit his corruption.

"Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. " (Rom 5:14)

Now here Paul is working on the basis of law, saying that even though men did not have commands from God which they were guilty of willfully breaking like Adam death reigned. So sin is something larger then what we just do, we do not just do sin. Also Paul is beginning to connect his analogy to Christ. Just like how through Adam sin entered the world and death here comes Christ the second Adam bringing something different into the world.

"But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin.

For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ."
(Rom 5:15-17)

Here the analogy comes to its peak and its clarity. I think Romans 5:15 is probably the most crucial single verse showing our connection to Adam. " Many died through one man's trespass" people are perishing for Adam's guilt/sin. To which the natural man cries: "That's NOT FAIR!"

Nevertheless, that is blatantly what Paul has just declared, people die through Adam's trespass. There is a connection between Adam's trespass and his progeny says Paul. If the OS deniars are right this analogy shouldn't be in the Bible. There is no connection between Adam's sin and me if they are correct. Paul says that there is a connection between me and Adam's sin.

Paul here displays 2 humanities 1)Those in Adam and 2)Those in Christ.
Humanity 1) is those who are connected to Adam simply by being a descendent of Adam through physical birth thus inheriting his nature, his fallen sinful nature. Those who have a fallen sinful nature (those in Adam) die physically and spiritually. Those with this fallen nature naturally are averse to the things of God (Rom 8:6-7) and really want nothing to do with God (At least on His terms) and prefer sin over God.

Humanity 2) is those who are connected to Christ by being one of His offspring through spiritual birth (John 3) thus they have a new nature being born again. These die physically but will live spiritually. Being born again is being given a nature that is not at enmity with God and desires God over the fleeting pleasures of sin.

I just wonder why the gospel and new birth are even necessary if you deny OS. Seriously, why wouldn't a moral code be sufficient if we have no natural inclination toward sinning? If everybody can know what is right and wrong and choose one or the other and we have no natural inclination toward one over the other why is regeneration needed at all or the gospel for that matter? You violated the law that's YOUR bad and everybody deals with God on this sort of playing field. That's what Pelagius suggested, grace in Pelagius' mind was Christ coming not as a redeemer but an example to imitate and be saved via imitation. Seems "FAIR" right?

Well here's where the "Fair" notion by evangelical OS deniers seems hypocritical. Evangelical OS deniers want to say that it is unfair for Adam's sin to be placed upon his descendents, yet they have no qualms whatsoever to celebrate that their sins were placed on Christ!

Aside from the arrogance of man to have the gall to stand before God almighty and declare His decrees to be unfair we can see the absurdity of their charges. It isn't fair of God when Adam's is transferred to his descendents yet it is quite alright on God's behalf when Christ is the recipient of our sins. Not only is this arrogant but it is an inconsistent charge.

It would be consistent if the OS deniers rejected the evangelical faith and became like Pelagius and saw the law to be sufficient to save and Christ's work not as a sin bearer but example to imitate. Pelagius was at least a consistent heretic, not only did he deny that we are connected to Adam via OS but also he denied that our sins were imputed to Christ.

To conclude, based upon Romans 5 we really have 2 options (I don't think this is a false dilemma) there really are 2 options if we are going to be consistent logically.
That is a highly illogical objection
1)We can deny that humanity has any connection with Adam and his sin and that we are born neutral to sin (On the basis of God being "Fair" or that sin is nontransferrable by nature), but on the same token we would need to deny an evangelical view of Christ's work as well. Christ could not have born our sins (If sin is non transferable) nor would it have been "Fair" for God to have punished Him for our sins. Either way it would simply be inconsistent with Romans 5 to deny OS but affirm substitutionary atonement.
(**the latter "NOT FAIR!" view is actually growing in popularity particularly among Emergent authors who declare the substitutionary atonement view to be "Divine Child Abuse"**)

2)Or we can affirm both like Paul. We are born sinners who by nature are at enmity with God, we are not neutral observers, our will is a lackey to our nature which is corrupt. We need a new nature, a righteousness and our sin to be absolved. Christ gives us these. Christ is our sin bearer, our righteousness, and He bestows grace via regeneration that men might have a new nature, one that is not at enmity with God.

In the next post on this topic I will further address precisely the effects of the fall on humanity, in this post I have mainly been defending the position that the fall did have an effect on us. I have touched on some effects already but I realize this deserves a greater treatment than I have given it here.