” … sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”

The phrase ‘original sin’ isn’t actually in the Bible but Romans 5:12 is probably where the concept came from. Now to the misconception itself.

God commanded Adam and Eve to multiply. Would He have done so if this involved sex and sex was evil? Heaven forfend. After all, He invented sex, the most intimate experience a man and woman can experience together. It is a melange of physical, emotional, and even mental pleasure. On the other hand, Satan has never succeeded in creating a true pleasure; he corrupts them . He has perverted sexual desire into lust and fabricated the illusion that sexual desire is being in love, among several others. However, only God can create true pleasure.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows .

Perhaps people thought sex was sinful because of its context with being naked, but Adam and Eve were embarrassed by their nakedness only after the Fall. So to us, nakedness became embarrassing. People confused shame – censure for wrong behaviour, or the very behaviour itself – and embarrassment – our response to shame (the source of embarrassment). So nakedness became shameful, and by extension so did sex.

So where can we get God’s view of sex? We can start by reading the Song of Songs.

May you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

A loving doe, a graceful deer–
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be captivated by her love .

The Song is a celebration of romance and being in love, not a metaphor for Christ and the Church because love is not the same as either romance or being in love .

What do you do if, like me, you’re single? Remind yourself that it’s better to be unhappy about being single than unhappy about being married. It’s cold comfort, but it does remind us not to make hasty decisions that we may regret later.

So, if it wasn’t sex, what was the original sin? It was what Adam did (and note that Adam, not Eve, is blamed for the Fall. Eve, Paul says, was deceived, but Adam wasn’t: he knew what he was doing .) Simply, he disobeyed God’s command. Why he did, we don’t know: fear of losing Eve; jealousy that she might have become more like God than he was; belief that the serpent was telling the truth and that God was holding out on him, coupled with pride and the desire to be like God. We may not know the “why”, but the “what” is clear: the act of original sin was to reject God’s word, otherwise called unbelief.

copyright Troy Grisgonelle 2007.