In order to support their official decrees raising Jesus to his unique stature as God, the hierarchy of the early Christian church developed several corollary doctrines. One of these is the doctrine of original sin. This doctrine as it is now taught in the Roman Catholic Church states that as a result of the fall of Adam, every member of the human race is born with a hereditary moral defect and is subject to death. Because of this inherited stain of sin, no man is capable of achieving either his decency or destiny without a saving act of God. This is accomplished, according to the Roman church, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What the Roman church did with their doctrine of original sin is to doom the entire human race to failure except through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, which is a law that is not a law of God and cannot be fulfilled as they have so declared it.
- 1 Origins of the doctrine
- 2 Augustine’s views on sex
- 3 Inheriting Adam’s sin
- 4 The Synod of Orange
- 5 A larger perspective on the Fall of man
- 6 The search for wholeness
- 7 The divine reunion
- 8 The virgin birth
- 9 The real original sin
- 10 The unreality of original sin
- 11 See also
- 12 For more information
- 13 Sources
Origins of the doctrine
For the most part, there is barely a trace of the concept of original sin among the early apostolic fathers, who believed that no sin could prevent man from choosing good over evil by his own free will.
Early theologians had toyed with the idea that man’s wretched state of affairs is somehow related to the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden. But it was Saint Augustine (A.D. 354–430) who fashioned it into what remains a cornerstone of Christian theology—original sin.
Bad things happen to good people because all people are bad by nature, Augustine argued, and the only chance for them to overcome this natural wickedness is to access God’s grace through the Church. As Augustine wrote, “No one will be good who was not ﬁrst of all wicked.”
Although the Church has since rejected some of Augustine’s arguments, the Catholic catechism still tells us: “We cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.” Original sin is linked so closely with Christ, the Church argues, because it is Christ who liberates us from original sin.
Adam and Eve, Augustine believed, lived in a state of physical immortality. They would neither have died nor grown old if they had not tasted the forbidden fruit and thus lost the privilege of God’s grace. After their Fall, people began to experience suffering, old age and death.
According to Augustine, when Christ came he offered people the chance to be restored to the state of grace. He would act as mediator between the Father and a disobedient creation. Although Christ’s intercession would not save them from physical death, it would allow them to return to the state of physical immortality through the bodily resurrection. Grace wouldn’t stop bad things from happening to them on earth, but it would guarantee their immortality after death.
The most important implication of original sin is that because we are descended from Adam, we bear his permanently ﬂawed nature. “Man ... does not have it in his power to be good,” writes Augustine. He believed that we are no more capable of doing good than a monkey is of speaking. We can do good through grace alone.
Augustine’s views on sex
Augustine’s take on sex has also left a deep mark on our civilization. He, more than anyone else, was responsible for the idea that sex is inherently evil. He called it the most visible indication of man’s fallen state. As scholar Elaine Pagels puts it, he saw sexual desire as the “proof” of and “penalty” for original sin.
Through the centuries, many groups such as the Stoics, Pythagoreans and Neoplatonists had taught that control of the sexual impulse helped the soul to break the chains of bondage to the body. But Augustine took the extreme view that sex, even in marriage, is evil.
According to Augustine, sexual desire, even that which leads to procreation, is evil. Lust and death entered the world at the same time, Augustine believed. Adam would never have died if he hadn’t sinned. And the punishment for his sin was not only to grow old and die but also to experience uncontrollable lust. Sexual desire was thus the direct result of this Fall.
Augustine believed that all of Adam’s descendants are tainted by his lust. As he put it, Adam’s “carnal concupiscence” (lust) corrupted “all who come of his stock.” In other words, one man’s lust makes all babies sinners.
Through this teaching comes the idea that marriage, procreation and babies themselves are tainted by original sin. By telling us that we are born sinners because we are conceived through the sexual act, the Church is putting every one of us under a weight of condemnation. This guilt affects us at subconscious levels and burdens many Catholics and former Catholics, not to mention some Protestants who absorbed it through the thought of Martin Luther and John Calvin, leaders of the Protestant Reformation.
When the Church exempts Jesus from original sin, it distances him even further from the rest of us. By saying that we are sinners and that Jesus never was, it robs us of our potential to become Sons of God as we walk in the footsteps of Christ.
Inheriting Adam’s sin
Augustine found the chief scriptural support for his doctrine in Romans 5:12. In the modern New Revised Standard translation, the verse reads: “Sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned.”
But Augustine’s version of this verse contained a mistranslation. Augustine didn’t read Greek, the original language of the New Testament, so he used a Latin translation now called the Vulgate. It renders the last half of the verse as “and so death spread to all men, through one man, in whom all men sinned.” He concluded that “in whom” referred to Adam and that somehow all people had sinned when Adam sinned.
He made Adam a kind of corporate personality who contained the nature of all future men, which he transmitted through his semen. Augustine wrote: “We all were in that one man.” Even though we didn’t yet have physical form, “already the seminal nature was there from which we were to be propagated.”
Thus all of Adam’s descendants are both corrupt and condemned because they were present inside of him (as semen) when he sinned. Augustine described the sin as something that is “contracted” and passed through the human race like a venereal disease. Jesus was exempt from original sin since, according to the orthodox, he was conceived without semen.
Augustine concluded that as a result of Adam’s sin, the entire human race is a “train of evil” headed for the “destruction of the second death.” Except, of course, those who manage to access God’s grace through the Church.
The Synod of Orange
In the fifth century original sin became the center of a controversy that was eventually settled in 529 by the Synod of Orange. The synod decreed that Adam’s sin corrupted the body and soul of the whole human race; sin and death are a result of Adam’s disobedience. The synod also declared that because of sin, man’s free will is so weakened that “no one is able to love God as he ought, or believe in God, or do anything for God which is good, except the grace of divine mercy comes first to him.” They stated that by the grace that comes through the sacrament of baptism, all men, if they work at it, can be saved. Thus, grace and not human merit was primary to salvation.
There was a lot at stake in the outcome of the debate on original sin. The controversy threatened to undermine the role of the Church in the life of the communicant. The Church taught that baptism was the way in which the faithful were initiated into the Church and introduced to grace, and that a life of grace was sustained by the sacraments. If the sacrament of baptism was no longer necessary to wash away original sin and to attain salvation, then the Church and its clergy would be expendable.
Catholics today believe that even though the sacrament of baptism washes away original sin, there still remains in man the tendency to sin. This is a self-contradiction. Of what power is the baptism of Jesus Christ without it being fully able to deliver us from the sense of sin?
Today’s Catholic Encyclopedia says under its entry on “Original Sin” that “the term original sin designates a condition of guilt, weakness, or debility found in human beings historically..., prior to their own free option for good or evil.... This is a state of being rather than a human act or its consequence.”
A larger perspective on the Fall of man
Man and woman, androgynous in the white-fire core of their innocence, knew wholeness in the Edenic consciousness. Through the misuse of the Christ Flame they lost their wholeness, and they stood naked before the Lord God. Thus the original sin of the Luciferians, which caused first the fall of mankind and then the Fall of Adam and Eve, was the misuse of the threefold flame—the perversion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Immediately, Adam and Eve’s misuse of the threefold flame formed a negative spiral that produced the electronic belt. And the white-fire core of purity (the energy source in Matter, the origin of the threefold flame) was sealed in the Mother chakra, guarded by cherubim “and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life.”
It was the loss of wholeness through the misuse of the masculine trinity of God’s energy that relegated man and woman to the Matter sphere. Having lost the purity of their contact with their own inner Spirit polarity, they no longer experienced the androgynous consciousness of God within the threefold flame. Because of this loss of wholeness, they were no longer able to procreate through the projection of light rays as is practiced by more advanced evolutions of Venus, who have not descended from the etheric plane.
The search for wholeness
Unless man and woman, son and daughter, contain within the heart the balanced threefold flame as the focus of the Spirit sphere of their own God-identity, they cannot and do not experience the androgynous nature of God in the plane of Matter. The loss of wholeness in Matter by Adam and Eve resulted in the karma of Eve’s desire being unto her husband and Adam’s desire being unto his wife. Thus, two are required in Matter in order to experience the totality of the Father-Mother God.
The longing of the soul for the androgynous consciousness of Eden produces desire in Matter. The desire for God and for reunion with God as Father or as Mother is holy desire. The manifestation of this desire becomes, then, a necessary component of procreation outside of the Garden of Eden.
In Genesis 4:1 we read for the first time that Adam knew his wife. Sexual intercourse is not the original sin. The original sin is the departure from the Christ consciousness through disobedience to the individual Christ Self within and the Universal Christ Presence manifest in the Guru. Procreation through sex is only one of a number of conditions of the Adamic covenant, conditions of the life of fallen man and fallen woman outside the Garden of Eden.
Sex, therefore, as it is practiced on earth today, is the effect and not the cause of original sin. Sex is not in itself sinful. But mankind have made of the misuses of the sacred fire in sex the greatest sin since their descent from the grace of the garden. This they have accomplished through their willful desecration of the sacred fire in all of the sacred centers of God-awareness (the chakras) by fulfilling the lusts of the flesh through disobedience to the Ten Commandments.
The seven sacraments of the Church are a means whereby man and woman may atone for the misuses of the seven rays. In redeemed man and woman, sexual intercourse becomes the sacred ritual of the sacrament of marriage. This ritual can be purified of the taint of the original sin of disobedience, as well as the secondary sin of lustful desecration of this ritual, through the restoration of the Christ consciousness in man and woman.
The divine reunion
When the seven initiations of the seven chakras have been passed and the thirty-three steps have been fulfilled, man and woman return to the wholeness of the One within. When both are freed from the separation of the Whole and have entered this state of wholeness, their desire is no longer based on incompleteness but is only that holy desire which comes from the oneness of the Father-Mother God.
There is no sin in this union. It is the reenactment of the divine reunion, of the alchemical marriage of the soul to the Spirit. Prior to the ascension this divine reunion may be expressed between man and woman in the union of heart, soul, body and mind to the glory of God in all of the seven chakras. Out of this union comes forth no longer a “kind of man” (the genealogies of the carnal mind or the offspring of the flesh), but archetypes of the Christ consciousness, the highest of which we know to be Jesus the Christ.
This beloved Son of God was born out of the sanctified union of the soul of Mary with the Spirit of God through the highest initiate of the Holy Spirit, Saint Germain (embodied as Joseph). Jesus was the first fruit of woman redeemed. Mary had become Ma-Ray, the Mother ray. She had passed the test of the ten, which Eve had failed. Her virginity was her obedience to the Christ within and to the Cosmic Christ. He sent to her his instructions and his initiations, first through her devout parents, Anna and Joachim, and through sisters in the Essene temple where she took her early training, and then through the Archangel Gabriel.
The virgin birth
► Main article: Virgin birth
Since sex itself is not the original sin, the virgin birth remains the virgin birth with or without sexual intercourse. Mary’s virgin consciousness is the raising-up of the white sphere of the Mother that in unredeemed man and woman remains locked in the base-of-the-spine chakra.
As that light of the Mother rises, it restores the light of the Trinity to each successive chakra, regenerates the balanced threefold flame within the heart, resurrects the Alpha and Omega wholeness as the white-fire core of the seven planes of God’s consciousness, and locks that sphere in the third eye, completing the caduceus.
Over this spiral of energy, sanctified and made pure by the Body (the Matter) and the Blood (the Spirit) of Christ who “before Abraham was, I AM,” the Son of God became the Word incarnate: Jesus the Christ was born.
If it were true that Jesus was pure because his mother, Mary, did not have intercourse with his father, then we could never be pure. The misinterpretation of the virgin birth of Jesus is the lie of the Luciferians that keeps the children of God in self-condemnation and keeps the self-righteous in condemnation of those who are obliged to engage in intercourse to bear the children of God.
The real original sin
The ascended masters teach that the fallen angels are the original sinners, who committed the original sin against God by challenging the Divine Mother and the Divine Manchild. They have led the children of God into paths of sinfulness in order to convince them that they are “sinners” and hence, unworthy to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
The Luciferians propounded the lie that sex is the original sin in order to keep the light of mankind veiled in the sin consciousness, to keep their attention (hence the serpentine force) constantly revolving around sex as the forbidden fruit. The Luciferians did not want mankind to know that it was their rejection of the Christ that caused them to fall, for if mankind knew this, they could and would accept the redemption of Jesus the Christ, of the Christ Self and of the Initiator Lord Maitreya. Thus they would return to the glory that they knew in the beginning before the world was.
The fallen angels have kept from the children of God the true understanding that God has endowed each of them with the Divine Image; instead they have taught them that they are forever stained by “original sin” and can never become Christlike or realize their own Christ potential. The fallen angels have thus promulgated the false doctrine that because the children of God are sinners, they can only be saved by grace, dispensed by the Church, thereby denying the necessity for each one to “work the works of him that sent me,” as Jesus declared of his own mission.
God has called us to forsake the sinful life of the fallen angels and to put behind us the sense of forever being sinners. This is made possible by the grace of Jesus Christ, which restores our oneness with him and with our own inner Christ potential. This grace affords us the opportunity to atone for our misdeeds and mistakes and pursue our own path of individual Christhood.
The unreality of original sin
Many years ago, the Goddess of Liberty pronounced the fiat that original sin has no ultimate reality, since its origin is not in God:
You have heard, beloved ones, of the doctrine of original sin. I am the spokesman for the Karmic Board, and I tell you, beloved ones, there is no such thing as original sin; for God did not create it, the Cosmic Masters did not create it, and I think that it never has been created. Original sin, beloved ones, is a figment of the human imagination. That which is original is purity, it is the law of life, it is the law of eternal perfection, and it is that which was intended to act in the world of man as it acts in the universe.
And Mother Mary brings the vision of our origin as not being in sin, but in God:
O beloved ones, it does not matter when the moment comes as long as it comes swiftly for you to declare, “Behold, I am begotten of the Lord!” Let that statement cancel out the record of condemnation of original sin upon your soul, and know that the origin of your being is in the immaculate conception of Alpha and Omega. This is your original life, this is your original virtue, this is your original love; and God loves you with that purity that he loved you with in the hour of your soul’s conception in the heart of the Great Central Sun.
For more information
Elizabeth Clare Prophet with Erin L. Prophet, Reincarnation: The Missing Link in Christianty, chapter 20.
Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Path of the Universal Christ, pp. 134–40.
Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Path of Self-Transformation, pp. 143–50.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet, December 10, 1988.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet with Erin L. Prophet, Reincarnation: The Missing Link in Christianty, pp. 225–27, 374, 228–29.
Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Path of Self-Transformation, pp. 145–49.
Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 33, no. 41, October 21, 1990, endnote.
Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Path of the Universal Christ, pp. 137–38, 139–40.
- Augustine, City of God 15.1, in Schaff, Philip, ed., A Select Library of Nicene and PostNicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 1st ser. (Reprint. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1979–80), 2:285.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church 389, p. 98.
- Augustine, On Free Choice of the Will 3.18, quoted in T. Kermit Scott, Augustine: His Thought in Context (New York: Paulist Press, 1995), pp. 136–37.
- Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent (New York: Random House, 1988), p. 112.
- Augustine, On the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, and on the Baptism of Infants 1.10, in Nicene and PostNicene Fathers, 5:19.
- Rom. 5:12, quoted in Pelikan, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition, p. 299.
- Augustine, City of God 13.14, in Nicene and PostNicene Fathers, 1st ser., 2:251.
- Augustine, Against Julian 3.3, trans. Matthew A. Schumacher, The Fathers of the Church, vol. 35 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1957), p. 113.
- Augustine, City of God 13.14, in Nicene and PostNicene Fathers, 1st ser., 2:251. See also Rev. 21:8.
- C. J. Peter, “Original Sin,” in New Catholic Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1967), p. 777.
- Gen. 3:24.
- John 9:4.
- Goddess of Liberty, April 1, 1962.
- Mother Mary, October 26, 1977.