On Original Sin


I want to say something about original sin here, but I think someone else already said this better. Anna Snoeyenbos, an acquaintance of mine and a very interesting blogger, wrote this yesterday. Check it out. And here’s the sign that inspired her:

Trust me, no human is perfect, and saying otherwise isn’t going to help anyone. I believe our churches do save souls, and if that’s not at least our goal (whether we will succeed or not is a whole other issue) then I don’t want to be involved in it. I’m in this to transform lives and save souls.

2 Responses to “On Original Sin”
  1. I find it equally troubling that so many UUs and UU churches (and a lot of Christians for that matter) speak of the church or the faith as the source of salvation, wholeness, renewal, etc. It is my understanding that Christian theology (in which Unitarian Universalism remains deeply and inextricably rooted) affirms belief in God (insert your own language for the Holy here) as the Source of salvation.

    Faith, shared and personal, is a gift bestowed upon us by our religious foremothers and forefathers, and by God. Our churches / congregations are communities in whom our search for and our growth in relationship with God can be best nurtured, and with whom we can best show our gratitude for the gifts we have been given by serving the needs of others.

    While we may experience the gift of salvation in the context of a church or congregation, or through our experience of receiving the gift of faith, to say that the church or the faith is the source of our salvation is like saying an electrical socket is the source of electricity.

    That’s not to say that our churches shouldn’t be involved in the work of saving souls, as you put it. Unlike those who opt for spirituality without religion, I believe that in order to live our faith to its fullest and grow with God most deeply, we need a community of faith with whom to live and err and laugh and cry and search and forgive and praise together.

    Just as Anna points to the belief in human perfection as a reflection of a liberal, privileged mindset, I sense that the belief that we (as the church) save souls reflects an implicit belief in human self-sufficiency to the ultimate.

    I don’t believe that our churches (who are just communities of human beings) save souls. God does that. But I also believe that churches are communities that offer the best opportunities for finding and growing with God.

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