The doctrine of original sin teaches that man is by nature totally sinful, and without redeeming qualities. I think that Original Sin is a particularly unbiblical idea.
According to Genesis, man is made in the image of God not in the image of some evil creature, that is fundamentally flawed. Therefore, I am not an original sinner, I am originally like God.
Furthermore, as soon as God finished creating mankind, he blessed mankind. Therefore, I am not only originally wonderful by creation, I am originally blessed by God.
I can not imagine a more beautiful picture of the wholesome heart nature of the human race than being made in God’s image and being blessed by God. There is no room for the idea of original sin in that picture.
Sin is certainly a problem in Scripture. However, sin is not seen in the Bible as man expressing his true nature, but as man betraying his true created nature.
Sinning is like when I have a cold. The cold is not apart of my true nature. It is an invasion of my body by a foreign substance, namely a virus. Yes it is my nose that runs and my eyes that water, but the cold is not me. In time, my body rejects the invading virus and i am healthy again,
That is the sense of Paul’s remark in Romans that when I sin it is not me that is doing it, “But sin which dwells in me.” [Rom 7:17]. Sin isn’t me, it is an outside invader.
I am still responsible for my behaviour, Responsibility is not Paul’s point. His point is that sin is acting counter to my created nature.
When I sin I am acting against my true self not expressing my true self.
I was not taught that I was a wonderful person created in God’s image and blessed by God. I grew up with this idea. “I am a piece of shit”.
I thought “Lucky for me, God is so loving that he can even love a piece of shit like me.” What a vicious mockery of scripture.
That sense that I am unclean,[a piece of shit] is what we call shame these days. Shame is the driving force behind all my character defects.
I am slowly learning what it means to be made in God’s image. That means I can become an ever better person. The limit of my potential is God. That is to say that I can grow so much, that as a practical matter, I am limitless.
I am not a pathetic creature trying to sneak into Heaven, looking for a way to hide from you so you will never discover how unacceptable I am.