Unification News for October 1998

Divine Principle Study

Volume Two - Part Ten

Many people acknowledge the fact of individual sin, but they are reluctant to trace it back to a primal source. Both theologian and lay Christian alike have wondered how a single sin, whatever its gravity, could corrupt the entire human race.

To answer this question, different analogies have been offered. The original sin has been compared to one puncture of the eye which causes permanent blindness or to a single perforation of the heart which brings life to an end for the whole body. Several rabbis compare it to a poison whose effect is passed on from one generation to another.

Psychoanalysts have often traced severe mental disturbances back to a single psychic shock. One could further say that it is like the contamination of a water supply at its source which inevitable affects an entire city, or like a disease that enters the roots of a tee and gradually infects every branch and leaf. In the family tree of mankind, Adam and Eve were the roots.

In addition to original sin, we may mention hereditary, collective and individual sins. Hereditary sin is passed on from our ancestors and is conveyed to us, the descendants, through our blood lineage.

Collective sin is neither one's own sin or hereditary sin, but it is the sin for which all members of a particular group are responsible; for instance if a group of people lynch an innocent man, every member in the group is responsible for the action.

Finally, individual sin is the sin committed by each individual in his daily life. For Divine Principle, it is god's will that we ultimately be liberated from all sin. even while we are on earth. However, we cannot be cleansed of sin without first removing original sin, the root. Such a task is one aspect of the mission of the messiah, a mission that will be discussed in the next section.

Fallen nature

God created everyone and everything to be good, including Adam, Eve and Lucifer. While Adam and Eve were still growing to fulfill this ideal, the fall took place. Through the fall, the personality and character of Adam and Eve were corrupted, changed from what God had originally intended. In a word, Adam and Eve inherited a fallen nature. Throughout history, this fallen nature, or, as it is termed in Roman Catholic though, "second nature," has been passed on to Adam and Eve's descendants.

Divine Principle identifies four major aspects of humanity's fallen nature. Let us look at them briefly.

1. God's viewpoint, our viewpoint

One dynamic contributing to the fall was the failure to see things from the standpoint of God. As we have said, before the birth of Adam and Eve, Lucifer was the major recipient of God's love.. If, after their arrival, Lucifer had loved Adam, and Eve in the same way as God loved them, he would not have fallen. If he had struggled to stand with God, loving what God loved instead of submitting to his own self-centered feelings, he could have overcome his jealousy and avoided his tragic error. Instead, however, what God loved, Lucifer hated, This tendency to see things form one's own self-centered perspective was transmitted to Adam and Eve, and this nature has been passed down to us throughout history.

A well-known example of this inherited tendency was displayed in the lives of the twelve sons of Jacob. Of all his sons, Jacob favored his eleventh son, Joseph, which the ten older sons knew. Had they truly loved their father, they would have struggled to see his point of view, accepting Joseph and remaining confident that their father loved them, too. Rather than striving for this response, however, they became jealous of Joseph, hated him and sold him into Egypt.

We may see something of this same tendency in our own lives today,. Students may feel jealous of another student who because of his diligence seems to be the teacher's favorite. In a job situation, people may feel jealous when a co-worker gets a raise or promotion for excelling in his work. In these instances, we may say such jealous individuals, like Lucifer, have failed to appreciate things from God's point of view. The task is to appreciate people for their own merit, regardless of how their position relates to one's own personal status.

2. Improper position

We have also inherited the tendency to leave a position that has been given us. In God's original creation, a position was ordained each creature. Angels, for instance, were created as servants of god while Adam and Eve were created as His children. If these positions had been maintained, order and harmony would have emerged. Sadly, they weren't. Reflecting this, a New Testament author writes: "And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal judgment . . ." (Jude 1:6)

Similar phenomena occur today. In each of our lives there are proper roles which, when fulfilled, lead to happiness and satisfaction for ourselves and for God. When the proper relationship is established between parent and child, or student and teacher, or husband and wife, for example, both parties can be pleased and contented. Apart form working out these roles, however, no larger order or individual peace is possible.

3. False dominion

Another aspect of fallen nature that we inherit today is the tendency to reverse dominion. As was previously indicated, there was a certain order of authority in the creation: God, Adam, Eve, followed by the angels, and finally the things of creation. When the Fall took place, this order was reversed. The archangel successfully enticed Eve to sin. bringing her under his servitude, and Eve, in turn, led Adam to sin. Ultimately God was left entirely out of the picture.

The tendency to reverse dominion has been passed on to us, often originating in a Lucifer-like desire to receive more love. We tend to want to climb over others, even those who are properly in authority over us. We may pursue a false ego trip, seeking to subjugate others to our own desire for glory and recognition. Ultimately, of course, such efforts are doomed. We need to remember that the only way ultimately to receive love is to give it first.

4. Multiplying evil

A final quality we tend to inherit from the original dynamics of the fall is the tendency to want to get other people involved in the wrongs that we have done. Eve appropriated to herself the archangel's unrighteous desire and then further multiplied her wrong by tempting Adam. If Eve had not multiplied her crime Adam could have remained pure and ultimately could have restored his mate. However, Eve multiplied her wrong in Adam, and the fall was completed.

Our tendency today is also to get others involved in our wrongs. In this way we seek to protect, support and justify ourselves. Perhaps in gaining the external support of others, we seek to defend ourselves against our own internal sense that what we have done is unacceptable. As we do, however, we spread the evil we have done. The fact that in our present world evil is more rapidly multiplied than good is a manifestation of the reality of this original fallen nature.

Throughout modern society all of these fallen nature have practically become a way of life. It is common to feel jealous of someone who receives more love than we do, and common to see disloyalty in families, betrayal among "friends", and grabs for power and recognition. Finally it is common to see evil passed from person to person more rapidly than goodness. The entire society has become a reflection of the fallen nature that originated with Lucifer, Eve, and Adam.

The Messiah

Adam and Eve were meant to be the link between God and all of their descendants, up to the present day. Thus, through our first parents a world of happiness and joy was to have come about--the Kingdom of God on earth. However, because of the fall, Adam and Eve were disconnected from God, severing the link between God and all their children. Ever since the fall, both God and mankind have been seeking happiness and peace. Yet, apart from each other there has been no way for either to reach these goals.

To solve this problem, God's strategy has been to establish a mediator between Himself and mankind, this is the role of the Messiah.

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