“Overcoming” Original Sin

man pushing boulder up mountain original sin


Rabbi Rami Shapiro answers questions from S&H readers. “How do you overcome Original Sin?”

Original Sin is being separated from God. As a Christian I overcome this separation by my belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. How do you overcome Original Sin? The idea of Original Sin as being separated from God is based on the premise that one can be separated from God. I “overcome” Original Sin by denying its premise: Just as a wave cannot be separated from the ocean that waves it, so you cannot be separated from God happening as you. You cannot achieve that which you already have. I’m an atheist, but I do believe in the greater energy of the universe. Can I still call myself an atheist? An atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in a supernatural, self-conscious creator God to whom one prays and from whom one receives rewards and punishments. By this definition I, too, am an atheist. Calling myself an atheist, however, places the God I don’t experience at the center of my identity. I would rather identify with what I do experience than with what I don’t experience. If you must label yourself, I suggest you do the same. What lessons do you think we Americans have learned from this pa …

About the Author

Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. In the print version of our magazine, he has...

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