JESUSISM: A type of Christianity in which belivers adhere to the life and teachings of Jesus as the true and perfect foundation for their spriritual walk.

While in theory every Christian believes this, modern evangelical Chrisitianity mostly adheres to the teachings of Paul. A Jesusist holds the words of Paul and all others scribes of the Bible as wisdom gleaned from that person's encounter with God, but believes that the words of JESUS are esteemed above the words of ANY other person.

Jesusism views the LIFE, the TEACHINGS and the WORKS of Jesus as the only infalliable way, truth and life by which we should live. It is our life, our path, our guide and the only source by which we place our faith.

In short- what Jesus said and did is more important than what anyone else said or did in the Bible and if there seems to be any contradiction between words of Jesus and another person's words in the Bible; then what Jesus said is what stands as THE truth.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Adam and Original Sin

Orthodox Christianity for the most part teaches the doctrine of original sin based solely on the teachings of Paul (Romans 5:12-21). After much prayer and meditation and studying, I am not sure that I still believe in this doctrine. For starters, the concept of sin was never once mentioned to Adam after he ate off of the tree. The tree itself was neither good nor evil. The Bible calls the tree "The tree of KNOWLEDGE of good and evil." The only thing that the Bible says occured after Adam and Eve ate of the tree was "the eyes of both of them were open and they knew they were naked." Notice, the only thing that happened to them was that they ceased to be ingnorant and instead became knowledgable that there was good and evil in the world. Once they KNEW, they became responsible for choosing one or the other. Also notice that God cursed the ground and he cursed the serpent, but he never once cursed Adam or Eve. How could He, when he had already blessed them. He told the woman that He would multiply her sorrow and conception and that in pain she would bear children and that her desire would be to her husband and he would rule over her. (More about Eve and this prediction later) But this was only a prediction of things to come, not a curse. To Adam, God said that he would have to toil and sweat to get anything from the earth, but God never cursed to Adam HIMSELF. God merely cursed the earth and because of the curse on the earth, it would no longer easily yield food and sustanence to man. Notice, God could not even take back the dominion that he had blessed Adam with over the earth. He could only curse the earth so that it would not yield to man's dominion.

And what of the warning from God that the day Adam ate of the tree he would surely die? Well, as a Bible scholar, I am a big fan of concordances and original meanings of words. The original Hebrew word for death is "Muwth" (pronounced "mooth"). The word means "to kill, to die or to be worthy of death." So could it be that rather than meaning that Adam would literally drop dead the moment he ate of the tree, God could have meant that Adam would be worthy of death or that eating of the tree was essentially a death sentence for him. The fact is, God never actually sentenced Adam to death. He only put Adam out of the garden to restrict him from eating from the Tree of Life. God Himself said in Genesis 3:22 that if Adam ate from the The Tree of Life, he would live forever. So, Adam was going to die anyway. It was up to him to choose eternal life, but he chose instead to know good and evil. So maybe, Christ is a tree of life to us who believe in Him, basically giving us back the choice that we lost when Adam was cast out of the garden of Eden.

During this event refered to in religious circles as "the fall of man" the word sin is not mentioned. In fact, the first time sin is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis chapter 4 where God warns Cain that sin lies at the door. Later, in the same chapter, God curses a person (Cain) for the first time by pointedly stating "you are cursed..." Genesis 4:11. Therefore since, Adam was never said to have sinned and according to the Bible was obviously not cursed, the doctrine of the original sin must be erroneous. Even if there was in fact an original sin of man and a resulting curse upon man, then that sin and that curse would have had to come through Cain, not Adam.


Anonymous said...

Cool - You are the first person besides myself to realize that Genesis never referred to Adam or Eve as sinners. The only reference I have been able to find to Adam's sin is in the verse in Roman's to which you referred. But later, I think it is one of the Timothy's, the author (ostensibly Paul, but mist scholars don't think so) says it wasn't the man, it was the woman.

Anyway, I found this site because I have been referring to myself as a Jesusist for years. I enjoy finding others, and I enjoy the fact that our reasons appear to be similar.

Here is a question: What did Jesus answer in response to the question "How do I inherit eternal life." He is asked more than once (I found it four times) and I don't believe His answer to be the same as what most churches teach. What do you think.

jubileestjoy said...

Sorry I've been away for so long. But now I'm back. I recall Jesus being asked about eternal life on a few occasions. (Matt. 19:16, MArk 10:17,Luke 10:25, Luke 18:18) I always read that Jesus' answer was that eternal life was linked to the works we do. Namely keeping the commandments. That's a long way away from the "saved by grace" philosophy that is often taught today in churches.

Anonymous said...

I think "eternal life" is a bad translation, it should be "life of ages" meaning a full life. I think of salvation now as "being" and not merely acknowledgement of a belief. The reason for this is that it is exactly what Jesus taught. For example, you could tell someone who smokes that it is bad for their health and they would agree and yet continue to smoke (knowledge), and yet no "being".


Epiphany said...

I love that translation.. "Life of Ages" And your point about "being" is true and very well articulated. I recently told a friend that he didn't have to always be worried about what ministry or task or work, God wanted him to "do". That he should just "be" and enjoy "being" a son of God. And that anything he "does" should flow naturally from his "being." Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering, if Jesus said that eternal life (or life of ages, lovely put) was to know the only true God and Jesus himself then would it be too far fetched to think that God meant to say to Adam that in the day that he eats from that tree his concept and knowledge of God's identity will be replaced by a false identity and therefore he would not have the life of ages? (Satan, being a liar since the truth is not within him, told her that she would not die, but instead would be like God, knowing good and evil. If the truth is not within him, he knows nothing of God and therefore why do we build all our knowledge of God on what Satan said to Chava, or Eve if you must)

Would that not explain why so many Christians get caught up with conflicting ideas about God, from being a vindictive despot that only cares about laws and obedience and tithes and punishment to the ideas of love compassion forgiveness and other concepts that do not fall within the spectrum of good and evil?

Maybe the only sin (and I mean it in the sense of not hitting the target, not sin as in worthy of punishment and eternal damnation ) was that our concept of God was changed?

About the so called curses, maybe they are all merely blessings, once we get to look past our own false concepts of God. I have heard that mothers call birthing pains, pain with reason. And men (and women) find fulfillment in working hard to provide for themselves and families. Maybe not one of these so called curses were new things, maybe they had always been just like that, we are just more aware? (Adam was to tend the garden, what point would be in tending anything that was just giving the best?)