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What do you think about Pelagianism?

Pelagianism is a theological theory named after Pelagius (AD 354 – AD 420/440), although he denied, at least at some point in his life, many of the doctrines associated with his name. It is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special Divine aid. Thus, Adam's sin was "to set a bad example" for his progeny, but his actions did not have the other consequences imputed to Original Sin. Pelagianism views the role of Jesus as "setting a good example" for the rest of humanity (thus counteracting Adam's bad example) as well as providing an atonement for our sins. In short, humanity has full control, and thus full responsibility, for obeying the Gospel in addition to full responsibility for every sin (the latter insisted upon by both proponents and opponents of Pelagianism). According to Pelagian doctrine, because humans are sinners by choice, they are therefore criminals who need the atonement of Jesus Christ. Sinners are not victims, they are criminals who need pardon.

Answer Question

Asked by -Eilish- at 1:24 PM on Jun. 8, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 28 (33,578 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Sinners are not victims, they are criminals who need pardon

    . I dunnot about this statement. I do know though that people who hurt-hurt people. All lives are redeemable and all are forgiven and can be forgiven. Law and sin are not the same, therefor leaving criminals to be punished by appropriate existing laws. With that, rehabilitation and the opportunity to experience God's love is required IMO. I believe for the most part sinnners do sin by choice but there are so many mentally ill out there that have no idea what they are doing, and some are breaking laws due to necessity and depseration rather than just being evil by nature.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:33 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • That's kind of a mish mash of things. I think free will makes us sinners by choice, but in order to believe the rest I'd have to believe that all sin is equal. I don't. I also have a more positive view of humans, as a whole.
    I've read a bit about him, he was considered a heretic, i know that much. And I'll have to go look it up, but I believe that his beliefs were heavily pagan in nature.

    Answer by adnilm at 1:41 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • In short, humanity has full control, and thus full responsibility

    This is the only bit of statement I agree with (okay I agree with the "Jesus as a good example). Anything that has to do with following Gospel, needing Jesus for atonement, etc. NOPE because I dont' believe any Gods exist nor Jesus as the son of god. I simply see Jesus as a good example of a good human and that himans are in control and must take full responsibility for their actions.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:43 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • Interesting point of view....

    Answer by Mme.Langley at 1:44 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I just read another bit about this theory and he seemed to have run ins with St Augustine. St Augustine apparently wrote some pieces on the issues Pelagius preached. I understand that Augustine didn't mention Pelagius by name in his works, though he pretty thoroughly disproved the assertions. Augustine's On Merit and the Forgiveness of Sins, and The Baptism of Infants. I've only skimmed it, but I love Augustine's proofs. He was a brilliant man


    Answer by adnilm at 2:04 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • Augustine was a brilliant man.

    Comment by -Eilish- (original poster) at 2:05 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • It is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature

    I disagree because the Bible tells us that's exactly what it did. "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive." (1Co.15:22)
    "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--for before the law was given, sin was in the world...Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses...(Rom.5:12-14).
    "Sinners are not victims". Aren't we? Had it not been for Adam's sin, humans wouldn't be born with an impulse toward sin and evil, right?

    Answer by popzaroo at 2:29 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I disagree with Pelagianism because it polarizes sin ... either you're a victim of sin (which is not true) or you capable of not sinning and thereby earning your way into heaven (which is also not true). It plays on this idea which comes natural to us that says that we are born innocent and become either or bad or good based on our works.

    And adnilm, you're right ... this has been pronounced a heresy many times before. In fact, as it turns out, this and semi-pelagianism are both doctrines that have been turned down as heretical by more councils than any other doctrine in history.

    Comment by -Eilish- (original poster) at 2:43 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I do believe that we are held responsible for our own sins and not Adam's transgressions.

    However, I also believe "the fall." is what gave us our mortal state, which gave us the capability to die, and sin, etc.

    Answer by Dkhilly at 4:24 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • Not for me but to each their own.

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 5:28 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

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