In Eastern Orthodoxy, God created man perfect with free will and gave man a direction to follow. Man (Adam) and Woman (Eve) chose rather to disobey God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, thus changing the "perfect" mode of existence of man to the "flawed" mode of existence of man. This flawed nature and all that has come from it is a result of that "original sin". All humanity shares in the sin of Adam because like him, they are human. The union of humanity with divinity in Jesus Christ restored, in the Person of Christ, the mode of existence of humanity, so that those who are incorporated in him may participate in this mode of existence, be saved from sin and death, and be united to God in deification. Original sin is cleansed in humans through baptism or, in the case of the Theotokos, the moment Christ took form within her.
This view differs from the Roman Catholic (Augustinian) doctrine of Original Sin in that man is not seen as inherently guilty of the sin of Adam. According to the Orthodox, humanity inherited the consequences of that sin, not the guilt. The difference stems from Augustine's interpretation of a Latin translation of Romans 5:12 to mean that through Adam all men sinned, whereas the Orthodox reading in Greek interpret it as meaning that all of humanity sins as part of the inheritance of flawed nature from Adam. The Orthodox Church does not teach that all are born deserving to go to hell, and Protestant doctrines such as Predeterminism that derive from the Augustinian understanding of original sin are not a part of Orthodox belief.
Me: If God is all-powerful, why couldn't he just erase all that original sin? If he's a benevolent deity, why wouldn't he just forgive everyone outright without all the drama of the crucifixion? If he's omniscient, why didn't he know that Adam & Eve would make that wrong choice? (hat tip Epicurus) and Question: if humans have the stain of original sin until baptism, then wouldn't abortion be the killing of a sinner, not an innocent?
Another poster: Sin is something you can't erase. . . . you just forgive. That's the key to understanding original sin. Sin separates. . . .the cross bridges the chasm between God and man. The effects are never gone until we get to heaven. That, in a nutshell, is your answer you are seeking.
Me: If God is all-powerful why can't he erase sin?
My friend: It would be kind of like forcing someone to love you. God gives free will to the humans He created, and sometimes we choose anything but love. God doesn't want us to be slaves. Free will is a wonderful, horrible thing. Beyond that, I'm not a good apologist for Christianity. I can't express myself the way others do....these beliefs are too deep in my heart and soul for words. All I know is God is good, and maybe the answers you want can come from someone other than me.
I sent her a link to my post, Feelings Aren't Facts and asked her if it was okay for me to post this "discussion." I think she is a perfect example of my theory that believers will believe because it makes them feel good, not because of any thinking. Even though she knows some of the theology of her branch of Christianity, she falls back on "beliefs are too deep in my heart and soul for words." If reason and rationality played into belief, there would be words for it. Instead, it's culture, indoctrination, and neurobiology that makes a believer a believer.
I could have gone on and on... like, if God doesn't want us to be slaves why does he "reward" us for our good behavior by forcing us to sing his praises in Heaven for eternity? Sounds like slavery to me. Remember, there's no money in Heaven. No OSHA either.
The "argument" above about original sin sounds lovely. Poetic, even. Almost like... what are those called? Those stories with a moral to them but no actual basis in fact? It's on the tip of my tongue...
Oh yeah, FAIRY TALES!