Original Sin, in my mind, means that humans are born tainted with sin, just as the rest of fallen creation they are born into. They have a natural inclination toward sin. Little kids are evil and no one had to teach them to be this.
Original Sin, in my mind, does not mean I am guilty for Adam’s sin, nor does it mean I am deserving of hell simply by being born. That being the case, I believe when babies and kids die before an “age of accountability,” they go to heaven. I admit this Age of Accountability is a theory and not explicitly taught in Scripture.
There are many Proof Texts used to support Original Sin. Here is a list of some with my commentary.
Psalm 51:5–“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Conception is different from birth. There is actually some biblical proof to show that David’s mother may have gotten pregnant in a non-lawful way. This verse is not saying David was born a sinner; it says he was conceived in sin.
Psalm 58:3–“The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” I do not disagree. This does not say we are born guilty of Adam’s sin, though.
Ephesians 2:3–“were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” We are born having a desire to think selfishly, to protect our fleeting life. We sin. We, by nature, by inclination, sin. I am guilty because of the sin I do, not guilty because of Adam’s sin. I would also like to point out Romans 2:14, that Gentiles “do by nature the things contained in the law.” So, for all those who overdo Total Depravity, notice that by nature Gentiles also do good. “By nature” is the exact same phrase in the Greek in both passages.
Romans 5:12-19–This is a passage often contorted to prove a view of atonement that requires Christ’s righteous deeds to be added to my account because Adam’s sinful deeds are already on my account. I wrote about this the other day. Within this passage are verses that seem to refute the idea that I am born having Adam’s sin on my account
Romans 5:12–“by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” Because of Adam’s sin, death entered. Notice carefully why he says people die. It does not say all die because of Adam’s sin counted to them. It says “death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” God holds me accountable for my sin, not Adam’s
Romans 5:13–“sin is not imputed when there is no law.” If the typical Reformed doctrine of Original Sin is true, then they should also concede that before Moses, no one had original sin. Sin is not imputed when there is no law. Therefore, Adam’s sin imputed to people (the Reformed doctrine of Original Sin) could not have occurred. It is also my contention that not knowing God’s law, being ignorant of it, is the same as not being under the law, Romans 2:14 clearly states that Gentiles do not have the law! Therefore, no Gentile could have Adam’s sin imputed to them either.
Romans 5:15–“the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many” If the Reformed doctrine of Original Sin is true, then all are saved. If Adam’s one sin is imputed to me to make me guilty and deserving of hell even though I did nothing, then so too must Christ’s righteous deed be accounted to all human accounts as well, since Christ was the same federal head of all humans like Adam. But alas, few say this. Why? Because there is a voluntary joining with Christ that makes all the difference. Just as there is a voluntary joining in being a sinner like Adam. Although I am not guilty of Adam’s sin, I am guilty of my sin I do. This makes me deserving of death just as it made Adam deserving of death. Death passed to all men for that ALL HAVE SINNED.
Romans 5:18–“even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” I’ll just throw this in here because it refutes Limited Atonement, which is the driving factor of the Reformed notion of Original Sin and Adam’s sin imputed to us. Salvation is a potential for all, for Christ died for all, and offers the gift of grace to all, not just the elect.
Romans 5:19–“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” Yes, Adam’s sin makes people sinners. People will sin because they are born in a fallen world trying to preserve their fading life. I am not guilty of Adam’s sin, though. I am guilty of my sin. Death came to all because all sinned. They didn’t all sin in Adam either. They sinned on their own.
There are other passages that are used, but these are the main ones. It is sufficient to give you the idea of where I am coming from. Yes, we are born into a fallen world with a natural inclination to do evil. But we are also given, by God’s grace, the natural ability to do good. The offer of saving grace is for all who believe. That is the main point. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Do that, and our little doctrinal squabbles will melt into oblivion.