The reason why Christians ask the question “have you heard the good news?”

Adam and Eve committing original sin, detail from The Virgin of Victory, 1496, by Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), tempera on canvas, 280×166 cm.

Originally published on Mission Kaali: https://missionkaali.org/the-christian-doctrine-of-original-sin/

If you have watched our¬†short movies from Mission¬†Kaali,¬†such as¬†this one,¬†you must be wondering¬†why Christians ask the question ‚ÄúHave you heard the good news?‚ÄĚ.¬†¬†Because they sincerely believe they have good news to tell you.¬† This belief of theirs is rooted in the concept of Original Sin.¬† This is a core teaching of Christianity, as well as Islam and Judaism.¬† The original sin was committed by the first humans¬†created by¬†yahweh,¬†the god of the bible.¬† They were named¬†Adam and Eve.¬† Adam¬†was created first,¬†from clay¬†and was placed in a paradise called Eden.¬† He was given dominion over all the¬†animals and the land.¬† He was free to eat fruit from any tree except for one: The tree of¬†knowledge of good and evil:¬†

And the Lord God commanded the man, ‚ÄúYou are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.‚Ä̬†(Genesis 2:16-17)

https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-International-Version-NIV-Bible/

But one day, Eve saw a talking serpent (yes, this is real) and the serpent told her it was okay to eat from the tree:

‚ÄúYou will not certainly die,‚ÄĚ the serpent said to the woman.‚ÄúFor God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,‚ÄĮknowing good and evil‚ÄĚ (Genesis 3:4-5)

https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-International-Version-NIV-Bible/

She ate the fruit from the tree, then told Adam about it who also ate the fruit, then they both became aware of themselves.  They became aware they were naked and made clothes out of fig leaves.  When yahweh found out, he banished them from the garden, and every human born after that are considered tainted with the original sin.  The concept of original sin basically holds that humans are born with a curse from birth.  The catholic saint Augustine was the first to theorize that humans inherit this sin through ‚Äúconcupiscence‚ÄĚ, meaning the sin is passed through conception after intercourse. Many Christian theologians blamed (and still blame) women for the downfall of man, which explains why they were given lesser rights in Christian lands and were even at times killed if they were suspected of being witches.  While historically dharmic society held up women, the so-called superior Christian Europeans were killing and subjugating women by the thousands until European countries finally secularized their countries.

The good news the Christians will tell you about is that Jesus will save all humans from the punishment of Yahweh from the original sin.  This comes from the gospel of John:

‚ÄúFor God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God‚Äôs one and only¬†Son‚ÄĚ (John 3:16-18)

https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/New-International-Version-NIV-Bible/

The punishment is eternal torture in a lake of fire, meaning forever.  It doesn’t matter if you live a good life, or if you are someone like Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi or Swami Vivekananda.  If you do not accept Jesus as the savior, you are forever damned by this god Yahweh.  But if one has done bad deeds in their lives, like Adolf Hitler, such a person will go to heaven if they have accepted Jesus as their savior.

If none of this makes sense to you, that’s okay.  How can we be condemned by this god to everlasting punishment for sins we inherit from the time we are born? Does that make sense to you? Sanathan dharma holds that the paramatma is inherently divine.  Swami Vivekananda actually sums it up perfectly: 

The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.

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