Do Baha’is believe in original sin?

Many Christians have been taught the main of Christ’s existence was to die on the cross for our sins. They have been taught that since Adam sinned against God, all of humanity has inherited this sin and required redemption. Therefore, when Christ willingly sacrificed Himself on the cross, all of that sin was washed away from humanity. Many Christians then say that the only way a person can be saved from that point on is to accept Christ as a personal savior.

It might be noted that the term, ‘original sin,’ does not appear in the Bible. The Bible does say “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Cor 15:22). Many Christians have interpreted this over the centuries to mean that it was Adam’s sin that doomed all of humanity until Jesus died on the cross to redeem those who would follow Him. Baha’is have a different interpretation of this passage. For a Baha’i, this quote means that we are created as human beings who have the potential to choose to live a life of self-absorption and petty material pursuits; or a life of faith, service, and nobility. To choose the faithful life is to choose the eternal life that will last beyond this material world. Baha’is believe that the traditional notion of original sin does not coincide with what the Bible teaches. The Bible also says that a just God that would not punish someone for sins he did not commit. It is written that, “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.” (Ezekiel 18:19).

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