I am wondering about the idea of sins of the Father being passed on to the future generations or in this case all of us being blamed for Adam’s sin.  By ANY measure you wish to use, this is against all natural justice and fairness as is the idea that someone/anyone can take away your own responsibility for your OWN actions/sins in this life. Nobody can stand before God and claim “Not me Guv” as Jesus took it all away.


You seem to be assuming that Christians all accept the idea of “original sin” which means that we are somehow held responsible for the sin of Adam or for the sins of others. I strongly reject this teaching and believe that it is not a biblical doctrine. Ezekiel 18:1-29 is a fairly long treatise on the question of guilt. What it says is that the son does not share the guilt of the father and the father does not share the sin of the son. Like God says here: “For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son. The soul who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4). The Bible never even hints that on judgment day we will be held responsible for anyone else’s sin. Period.

You seem to be referring to Exodus 20:4-6. This passage is talking about the physical consequences IN THIS LIFE for sins committed. In other words, when we sin we bring on consequences in this life. If I beat my wife, the consequences in this life fall on me and on my children and on my children’s children. When we sin we bring suffering into the world. That is reality. It is a moral law that rebellion against God brings suffering into the world. What Exodus 20:4-6 is NOT teaching is that on judgment day we will be responsible for the sins of others. Justice only allows us to be held responsible for what we have done. The Bible teaches this. Before God we are only responsible for what we have done. This is what Paul says in 2 Cor 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Perhaps someone has taught we are responsible for the sins of our fathers or for the sin of Adam. This is false teaching. It is not biblical.  It is sometimes called the doctrine of Original Sin, and is a common false teaching in Christianity.  As for Jesus, he willingly offered to take the punishment due us for our own sins. This is love overcoming justice. It is the story of the gospel–that the Son offered to take on responsibility for our sins. This would obviously not be just unless Jesus willingly offered to do this. Because the Son willingly offered himself as a sacrifice to take on the responsibility for our sins, he was rejected by the Father while on the cross. An unwilling sacrifice or punishment for someone else’s actions would, as you clearly point out, be unjust. I agree with this challenge to Christian teachings. However, because Jesus chose to take on the penalty and because God chose to accept this, then justice was done and God’s love conquered what his justice required so that we can be saved.

I hope this explains at least part of the quandary you seem to be in.

John Oakes

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