What is original sin? Is it necessary for Christianity? 


As for your two moral objections, the first is an objection to the doctrine of original sin. But once more, that doctrine is not universally affirmed by Christians and is not essential to the Christian faith. So don’t let that be a stumbling block for you. What is essential to Christian faith is that all men are sinners and in need of God’s forgiveness and redemption. I’m sure you’d recognize your own moral shortcomings and failures, Luke. So don’t get hung up on Adam’s sin. It’s your own sin you need to deal with. (As for the doctrine, its viability will depend on the viability of imputation. We often know of cases where one person is held responsible for the actions of another because the one person represents the other or serves as a proxy acting on the other’s behalf. Maybe Adam was our representative before God.)

William Lane Craig was made slightly infamous for this remark. Many Christians believe in the concept of original sin, but there are two meanings to the term.

The first meaning is that we are sinful from conception. Babies have original sin and must be punished for it, therefore those who die in infancy go to Hell.

The second meaning that all have sinned, and all adult humans are guilty of rebelling against God. This is the view that Craig takes, since he has asserted that babies do not go to hell:


Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation.  We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven’s incomparable joy.  Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.

The crux of the issue is whether newborn babies are guilty of original sin. The following sufficiently rebuts the case for genetic original sin in favor of a view predicated on personal responsibility:


Firstly, we need to know that God is just and fair.

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you. (2 Thessalonians 1:6, NIV)

But you are stubborn and refuse to turn to God. So you are making things even worse for yourselves on that day when he will show how angry he is and will judge the world with fairness. (Romans 2:5, CEV)

Secondly, we must also believe that just as Heaven is real and eternal, Hell is also real and eternal. Though there are some who believe in Annihilationism, they are minority.

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.(Matthew 25:46, NIV)

Is the view of guaranteed salvation for infants unjust? Not entirely.

The Catholic Church believes that unbaptized infants go to Heaven.

The Bible never tells us that innocent children will go to Hell or not. But we know for sure that Jesus said that the Kingdom of God belongs to children.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14, NIV)

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3, NIV)

This seems like a contradiction to the teaching of Saint Paul that all have sinned.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, NIV)

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5, NIV)

However, the Bible tells us that we are going to be judged according to what we have done, not what we haven’t commit.

For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:14, NIV)

God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” (Romans 2:6, NIV)

Some adults might say that they have not done any serious crime but in God’s standard all sins are big, for Jesus said,

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

Therefore, it is fair and just to assert that children who died young before committing any sin will go to Heaven but adults can go to Heaven only by believing in Jesus Christ.

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