Raising Jesus and Original Sin

I have this theory about how it was that Jesus came to be born without sin and it is just that – a theory. But I thought I’d share it with y’all because it has real implications for those of us who are or will be parents. Traditionally, it has been taught that Jesus was born without sin because he was conceived without sex. Because somehow it seems, the act of sex by our parents mysteriously implants this dark stain of sin on us at conception. While there is a verse in Psalm 51 which can be read to confirm this view, I personally find the idea that my parents having sex to conceive me made me sinful unreasonable and unconvincing.

Sex is a good thing. God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Sex allows the two to become one – to reach past ourselves into another. It brings joy and satisfaction into our lives. It is the means by which we bring forth life and become co-creators with God. It can be misused, to be sure, but how could something which is fundamentally a good also be the thing which stains us before we even have true being? Not to mention that the mechanics of how something my parents did when I wasn’t even there made me bad are problematic.

I don’t think that Jesus’ lack of sin had its roots in the way he was conceived. Rather, my theory is that his lack of sin came about due to something far less mystical and more practical – from his parents. Mary and Joseph had been told prior to Jesus’ birth that this child would be the messiah. Which means that before he was even born, his parents understood that Jesus was good, holy and anointed. Don’t you suppose that this knowledge influenced the way that they parented?

Orthodox Christianity teaches that Jesus was both fully man and fully God. But most Christians tend to give short shrift to the idea that Jesus was fully man. Rather, they seem to think of him as just playing at being human. He resided in a human body, sure, but otherwise, he was God. Continue reading “Raising Jesus and Original Sin”