Jimbob, I guess you're right about my deep down inclination to speak on this topic. The question, however, is genuine "what do 'you' mean when you say 'sin nature'. I don't think many people have worked out this doctrine to it's logical conclusion. I do believe that man is born with a nature that tends toward sin. I do also believe that man's nature can tend toward holiness. Man, I believe, has universally chosen the pleasurable path. I don't think anyone would say that man was so constituted with sin nature that he tends toward homosexuality. The reason for this is that the scriptures plainly declare that such is "contrary to nature". I believe that man was made for God. That the only real satisfaction that can ever come to man is by way of obedience to God. This seems to be an indication that the nature of man is designed to be in obedience. In this way man's nature would tend toward holiness.
Those who suppose that man inherited a sinful nature from Adam think that man has lost the image of God through Adam. The scriptures say "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God." 'Are made' present tense.
My real quarrel, friend, is that this doctrine seems to imply the necessity of sin. The unavoidableness of sin, if there be such a word. This spell checker says otherwise. Any doctrine that directly states or even implies the necessity of sin slanders God. It has implied libel against the character of God. What do I mean? Well who is to blame for my sin if my sin is necessitated because of my nature received from Adam? Am I, who gave no consent whatever to the receiving of this nature? I cannot be. And if I could not help but sin because of my nature then God is unjust in damning anyone to hell in the same situation. And is not God responsible for making man in such a way that when Adam sinned his posterity would receive his nature? Any way that a person reasons on the subject of the necessity of sin God is by this doctrine impliedly slandered.
Now I don't know whether you or anyone else on this website actually believes in the necessity of sin. In fact I do believe that your God given intelligence must rebel against the very thought. Now as for as I understand of the doctrine it has it's origin in a heathen philosophy, that is Gnostisism. And I do think that Paris Reidhead has mentioned vaguely this very thing in one or more of his sermons.
There is, in spite of it's popularity, a suprising lack of clarity, seemingly, surrounding this topic. I am I am not free from this lack of clarity. I know some things. I know from studying the topic that there are three forms of it.
1)The 'Realistic Theory' originated by Augustine, who by the way spent seven years of his life in a Gnostic cult. This theory teaches that man literally existed in Adam when he sinned and is therefore just as blame worthy as he is for his sin. Why man did not exist in him during his reconciliation has yet to be answered. This theory is supposedly verified by Heb 7:9&10
"and as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him."
This I take as a figurative language that is meant simply to defend the superior priesthood of Christ. There is a text, in this regard, that I would bring to the attention of all who read this.
"And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)" "[b]neither having done any good or evil[/b]". And no one could argue against the doctrine that little children, unsaved, will be in hell if this doctrine were true.
2)The second theory is the 'Federal Theory'. This theory teaches that Adam was the federal representative of the human race. God treats man according to the merits of Adam. This contradicts the 'law of God written upon our hearts' in the plainest fashion. Not to mention that it contradicts the scriptures.
" What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children' teeth are set on edge? 3 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. 5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, (that...: Heb. judgment and justice) 6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour' wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, 7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; 8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, 9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD. 10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things , (robber: or, breaker up of an house) (that doeth...: or, that doeth to his brother besides any of these) 11 And that doeth not any of those duties , but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour' wife, 12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination, 13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. (blood: Heb. bloods) 14 Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father' sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, 15 That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour' wife, 16 Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment, (hath not...: Heb. hath not pledged the pledge, or, taken to pledge) 17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. 18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. 19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."Ezec 18
There are texts that supposedly teaches the 'Federal Theory'. Many are found in Romans 5.
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world"vs.12
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one"vs.17
"Therefore as by the offence of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation"vs.18
Now may if you read my signature you will find a law of proper interpretation. The law is that a scripture that is adduced in the proof of a theory [b]it may not at all be explicable on any other hypothesis[/b]. These verses may be justifiably expounded as meaning all kinds of things for they speak only of the fact that because of Adam's sin man as a whole fell and was therefore treated according to their personal merit. It speaks not one word of the manner in which Adam's sin made the rest of man sin. It is blindly assumed that 'natural generation' was the manner in which they were made to sin in consequence of Adam's sin.
3) The third theory is the 'Naturalistic Theory'. This theory teaches that man has received nature from Adam that necessitates his sin. This plainly places all the blame for sin on Adam. If I am not the author of my own moral nature then I am not to blame for my sin.
And as I said before God would be the author of the connection between Adam and his posterity that makes his posterity to receive his nature.
And, by the way, if sinners beget sinners then why don't Christians beget Christians.
I say all this for the sake of expressing the real ambiguity involved when speaking on this topic. Some mean one theory, some mean another, most mean some kind of mixture of them all. Anyway I'll finish by saying that the doctrine of the 'freedom of the will' is a universal fact of consciousness and is also implied by the scriptures. And the doctrine of the freedom of the will negates every form of the doctrine of the necessity of sin.
I hope you understand where I am coming from and where I am going with all this.
Loving righteousness and hating iniquity, Randy