Is Christianity a Negative Religion?

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by lunamoth, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

    Aug 24, 2005
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    That clears things up a bit. But it also begs another question. If it is to restore God's will in favor of self will, then why even after baptism is the power of sin present? And if it does involve a reconstitution of will from ours to God's, why baptize anyone before they have a conscious decision to do so (i.e. infants), before they even have the self will to sin?
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2003
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    Because baptism does not eradicate free will, it opens the channel that was closed by an act of will, but we are still free to will as we want. Sin arises in the will, and here is the unresolved problem within the EO position: Original Sin is like an intellectual inheritance, a knowledge, but it is not a burden of guilt ... so if baptism removes that intellectual blindness, how come I still can't see, and fall into sin?

    The RC says because we suffer the same impulse as did the Primordial Couple (the tendency to self-will) the sin is the same, we're repeating it again and agin, in as many different variations as we can imagine ... it's become like a genetic condition which we inherit, not an intellectual inheritance – as something I suffer, but is not me – but as a flaw, a self-inflicted wound, a sickness, in the fabric of our being.

    The RC position is that human nature, the Primordial Couple, has a potentiality to sin, which they were warned against, but in choosing otherwise, that potentiality became actualised, and having been actualised, it is now real ... it is now a real part of our nature and of the nature of the Kosmos as a whole ... on the other hand the grace element of our nature, which was a gift to it, and which was real, was withdrawn and thus became a potentiality once the PC decided not to live in it as such.

    So what was unreal we made real, and what was real we made unreal.

    Because the self-will to sin is endemic to the nature ... baptism doesn't change that, it reconstitutes the soul by the infusion of Grace – but that does not reduce man to a puppet, 'unable' to sin because God is in his heart ... what God delights in more is man who is able to sin, but chooses not to, because he cherishes the Presence.

    Why baptise children is to heal that wound in the hope that they will not grow up and become subject to sin. But they live in this world, and sin is in the very fabric of the place ... how can a child, dying in Africa for the want of clean water or a mosquito net ... see the world as anything other than hell on earth? How can the child, crammed into a cattle car and bound for an extermination camp ...

    ... and yet, even in such places of dire depravity ... humanity shines out ... even in the unbaptised ... in charity, care, consideration ... as one victim reaches out to touch the hand and heart of another ... because God is there also ...

    (sorry, getting all Augustinian again)


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