Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Oct 16, 2019.
What is the Anglican teaching on original sin?
I will lead off with:
Article 9 - Original or Birth Sin
Original sin stands not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusts always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserves God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated, whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek phronema sarkos (which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire of the flesh), is not subject to the law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle confesses that concupiscence and lust has itself the nature of sin.
This Article equates the fallen human nature with Original Sin; i.e., they are one and the same. It seems to say (if I understand correctly) that the very inclination toward evil is, in and of itself, sin even if no overt act is committed.
Others may wish to expand and expound on this. In the meantime, does Article 9 produce any questions or issues in your mind?
I am trying to figure out if we take an Augustinian view of things or if we tend to be more Orthodox in our views or are both views permitted.
That depends somewhat on your definition of "permitted."
I've sat down with my rector and discussed Original Sin. Anglican doctrine (as Art. 9 shows) is very much Augustinian, and not Orthodox; the Orthodox don't believe in original sin, as you may already know. I personally think the Orthodox view is more in keeping with my view, in that I don't believe in the doctrine. But I am happily attending this Anglican church, and the rector says that individual beliefs within the local church (as in nearly any local church) vary widely on any number of issues because people come from varying theological/church backgrounds and they tend to hold onto certain ideas they've brought with them.
So, one can attend the Anglican church, and take the Orthodox view on the question of Original Sin.
One probably can become a member of that church, and still hold the Orthodox view.
One probably cannot become a deacon of that church without officially stating that he holds to the Article (much the same as being officially "Anglican" on this forum).
If one states privately to another of the church why he thinks the Orthodox view is more correct, and if the rector hears of it, one can expect the rector to come to him privately and gently correct him.
If one states the same thing in a public church setting such as Sunday School class, one can expect the rector to gently correct him in the same public setting.
In other words, great freedom of belief is permitted in the Anglican church with regard to various things, but one will not be permitted to pull the congregation away from official Anglican doctrine without encountering correction from the shepherd of the flock, who endeavors to keep any straying sheep from leading more strays.
Not too long ago I posted my feelings on the subject of Original Sin in a thread entitled, Can infants sin?
We do have a fallen nature (we call it 'human nature'), but I don't equate that with Original Sin because I don't think guilt automatically and genetically attaches; I think one is free from sin as a baby and young child until he can differentiate between moral right and moral wrong, and then commits an actual sin. If Art. 9 didn't lay a 'guilt trip' on redeemed Christians, I could better accept it. Since Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law (which included guilt and punishment for our sins), I do not agree that the guilt of Original Sin remains upon a person when he comes to faith in Christ.
I also disagree with the idea that our fallen human nature makes it impossible for us to resist sin; rather, I'd say it's only difficult to resist; of someone were holding a gun to my head, I'm pretty sure I could stop sinning.
I guess I'd better forget about ordination.... I'm a naughty sheep .... ba-a-a-a-a-a ....
Found this on an Anglican Continuum blog by Fr. Hart
All too often members of the Orthodox Church distort western theology, set up straw men, and shoot them down. But, In this case it does not seem unfair to criticize a standard Western approach to a specific doctrine, or at least to say that we have a genuine distinction (as opposed to artificial distinctions produced by imaginative polemicists). Did St. Augustine go too far? And, does the idea of inherited guilt actually find its basis in scripture? Should we limit our own teaching of Original Sin to the Fall from grace, and avoid the doctrine of inherited guilt?
In reading this it does not appear that one can't take the Orthodox view of ancestral sin. There is some wiggle room. The way I read it is that it is not saying that man is born tainted with the actual sin of Adam but that man is born fallen because of Adam's sin and therefore does deserve death and hell except if they come to faith in Christ. Now I could be reading it wrong but that is what it seems to be saying to me.
Article 9 has always seemed to me to allow that "wiggle room" too.
You might be right, at that. Certainly the most important thing, my rector says, is that we recognize man's fallen nature and that no one is capable (in actual and practical terms, not theoretical) of living a sinless life except Christ.
Your posts got me reading some commentaries on Romans 5:12. Gill's and Barnes' commentaries (which I have on my free e-sword program) are particularly intriguing. I will have to do some pondering.
Can the Prayer Book shed some light on this matter? I mean the sacrament of Baptism, or the rite of Confirmation, something in there may be helpful in clarifying this
Or frankly Jewel's commentary on Baptism might be helpful, now that I'm talking about it