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Question

16. This is a question attempting to differentiate between the Christian Crusades and the doctrine of Original Sin in the New Testament. One possible objection concerns an inconsistency between the two: How is it that Christians shouldn't be held responsible for the actions of things professing Christians did centuries ago, yet somehow find it perfectly Biblical to say that all humans are guilty before God under the sin of Adam? Isn't this a hypocritical way of thinking? My question is this: "What's the difference between holding all Christians responsible for the Crusades, and maintaining that all humans have inherited the guilt of Adam's sin through federal headman-ship, and how might a Christian clear up this misunderstanding with a skeptic?"
Asked by: Male, North America, Christian, 19-25 on April 18, 2021 9:45:23 pm

Answer

Excellent question. I am glad you asked.

Let me answer briefly, then go into more details.

First, it shocks me that anyone can say they hold all Christians responsible for the crusades.

Second, the results/effects of sins of one person CAN pass down to generations. Adam's sin is an example of that, but it also represents that all humans will sin.

Finally, to answer your question, if anyone wants to blame, Christians can take the mea culpa (it's my fault) approach and point back to Jesus, who saved us from the results we should pay because of our wrongdoings.

Ok, now, let's go through the details.

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First, it's hard to say all Christians are responsible for the Crusades. During the crusades (11-15th century), the Church was becoming more corrupt (if you want to read details, I wrote a book with a chapter that explains this history in www.ourhighestcalling.com). As a result of this and other ways of securing power over the people, the Protestant Reformation occurred (16th century). Unless you are Catholic, you fall into a denomination that branched out from the Reformation. The Catholic Church, too, has reformed and accepted the wrongdoing of their past. So, even if you were Catholic in faith, no one should criticize you or blame you for that past. (Write back if you are interested in this history. I would be happy to share more, but it would take up space while not answering your question!).

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Now, the question, and the one that matters, is, does God count that sin toward you? The answer here is yes, but no.

Yes, the effects of the sins from your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents can be passed down to you (see Exodus 20:5). Your elders' curses can pass down to you. We can also say that Adam's curse is passed down to us.

But no. That "no" is what the Gospel says. Ephesians 2:4 begins with "but God," and the context around it will explain what sin is but what happens to it because of what Jesus has done (Ephesians 2:1-10).

Another "no" are the examples of how people broke generational curses. You will see some patterns when you read through the books of 1Kings, 2Kings, 1Chronicles, and 2Chronicles. A king sinned against God, and their downfall came. Their son took over and continued to sin against God, and their downfall came. Then there are anomalies in the listing of kings where one king turned away from the sin (repented), which led to the breaking of the generational curse and enjoying the blessings of God (For example, look at 2Chronicles 34, look especially at verse 2, then 27 and 28).

To summarize this, yes, God holds us for sins that continue to bind us from generation to generation, but God can break us from it. There is nothing that God cannot do. However, generational sins tend to be difficult to detect by ourselves, mainly because we grew up with that kind of mindset and acceptance. If you are interested in generational curses, we can talk more about that.

Now, with Adam's sin. It is indeed an effect that is carried over to us, but it is also an illustration that we are all sinners. That is to say, if you were Adam, you might have done the same!

Take a look at Romans 5:12-21. Focus on verses 20 and 21 when you get there. Here, the Bible is clear that all people have sinned. The law was given so that we can recognize how sinful we are. However, the grace of God covers all that.

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Now, Christians have nothing to boast about (See Ephesians 2:1-10 again). In this chapter, Christians would accept the message about who we were as depicted in verses 1-3, then recognize that it is solely because of Jesus that we are forgiven and free (verses 8-9).

This same message is echoed in 1Corinthians 1:27-31 (read the entire chapter for context). In verse 29, it says no one can boast in the presence of God (because He saved us, and it is NOT because of the right or the wrong that we have done).

When someone criticizes or blames us for the past wrongs of our Christian brothers and sisters (also called the Church), it is ok to say that you are sorry. The Church consists of sinners who have done much wrong and deserve to be separated from God, that is, go to hell.  If directed at you personally, you can say, "I am a sinner. I am unworthy to be loved by God. However, He does it anyway, and despite my sins, He forgives me, guides me, provides for me, and loves me." God gave us this gift of forgiveness, and God does not count it as sin toward us.



Answered by Dr. Sang Sur





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