What the catholic church gets wrong, Part one: Original sin
I’m a devote Christian and I came to a life of righteousness and truth through the Catholic Church. However, while I sincerely respect the Catholic religion, I believe the Catholic Church is wrong on three matters: original sin, Mary and the Saints, and man’s ability to achieve righteousness. Because of the lengthiness of these various topics, I will only be focusing on original sin in this first article.
Before I get into my argument I’d like to preface that the truly devote Catholics I’ve met—and am friends with—are some of the most faith-filled, understanding, kind, and genuinely loving people. Furthermore, I’d argue that the Church has many valuable and meaningful core beliefs that it holds onto that some of its Protestant counterparts don’t. Some Protestants would argue that to follow Catholicism is an eternally damnable offense, yet, I’d argue against that.
It is my belief that those who follow, practice, and truly believe in Catholic teachings will be led to a meaningful faith in the Lord our God. However, the Church does hold some significant beliefs that aren’t biblical.
The Catholic Church’s stance on original sin is the first matter I will critique. The Catechism defines original sin as: “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command.”
The Catechism goes further on to explain “All men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as St. Paul affirms: “By one man’s disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners”: “sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.”
First, it’s best to come to an understanding of exactly what sin is. The original Hebrew and Greek translations give two definitions for sin: “to step across” or “to miss the mark.” Essentially, sin is to act against or fall short of God’s law. Though, this brings up an important question: is sin a choice? Yes, sin is always a choice. For one to act in disobedience to God’s law they must choose to do so. The God of the Bible is always just, for instance, Job 34:12 states “Surely, God will not act wickedly, And the Almighty will not pervert justice.”
The Catholic Church teaches that all men bear’ sin–even an infant–yet, an infant has made no choices, especially moral ones. How then, is there any justice in claiming that an infant, having not yet developed moral capacities, be guilty of something they never did?
There isn’t any justice, and the Catholic Church doesn’t exactly teach that, they believe that original sin is different from personal sin. According to usacatholic.org, the Catholic Church’s understanding of original sin is: “human beings in subsequent generations imitated their first ancestors’ misbehavior.”
Yet, when working with this kind of theology, problems arise–for example, Jesus. Jesus never sinned, and his mother, Mary, was fully human and born of man. So, the Catholic Church is forced to make up a subsequent teaching that supports an already faulty position. Ergo, the creation of immaculate conception, which, essentially, is the idea that God acted on Mary during her conception so that she would not be born with original sin.
Nowhere in the Bible does it directly state this. Now, Mary is regarded as most blessed among women, full of grace, and even spotless, yet, the Bible never states that she was born through immaculate conception. I’d argue that Mary lived a very holy life, and could have been sinless, yet, for the Catholic Church this doesn’t work, as the Church seems to function from the perspective that it is impossible for someone to live without sin.
Believing in original sin is not a damnable offensive, however, original sin does not align with the Bible. As Christians, we need to revert to the Bible and its teachings for the bases of our beliefs.