Original sin is the corruption of the God-given original nature of all the offspring of Adam. This corrupted base has an aversion to God, has no spiritual life, and is inclined to evil. Until the Holy Spirit fully cleanses us, original sin continues to exist even in the new life of the regenerate. Original sin differs from actual (i.e., personal) sin as it is an orientation to actual sin for which no one is accountable until they have reached a morally aware state.*
This is an important concept to have in mind as we read this passage in Ezekiel. We can gather a couple of things here, (1) that people were blaming their parents (and ancestors) for their troubles, (2) that is was a corporate responsibility, not a personal one, and (3) that people were not taking responsibility for their actions. What is troubling is that this developed outside of the Law. Whether it was a cultural thing or something that developed over time is not all that clear, but what is clear is that there needed to be a significant spiritual shift among the exiles.
And there was such a shift among many. They returned, confessed, repented, and mourned. Despite having the prophet’s words, Jesus is confronted by the exact same thought process. Now, we understand that the blind man was born blind. He was not responsible for his blindness. So, the default setting has become (again) the parents (or ancestors) fault.
1) One of the common tendencies of people is to look for blame or fault. Why do you think that is? What does blame- or fault-finding result with?
2) Authenticity is a big buzzword these days. When confessing sins or errors, though, do people really want to be authentic? What would it mean to you to have a safe place (and people) to confess?
3) How does always looking backward for fault work against us? What is the opposite of fault-finding?
*Yes, that is a whole lot of theology (sorry), and if you want to see what the practiced theologians say, see Article 5 of the Church of the Nazarene’s Articles of Faith. I hope I summarized it adequately.