Sin is a Slip—False Concept 3

There are a great many evangelists, Sunday school teachers and pastors who convey an almost accidental picture when they describe the tragedy of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. The way the story is often told, we find a couple walking in tender loving fellowship with God, and then, all of a sudden falling into sin. This is certainly a misleading word. I personally cannot recall having ever purposely fallen. The implications of the term “the fall” are certainly less arresting than would be the case with, say, “the rebellion.” The idea that it is possible to simply slip and fall into sin must be dispensed with all rapidity lest we find ourselves clouded by its influence.

It is important to refresh our memories as to the difference between what transpired in the Garden and a legitimate mistake. We determined earlier that an individual’s intentions were examined by the courts in order to ascertain whether or not his actions were willed. If the action was not willed, then the individual is not dangerous to society. Thus the consequences connected with a murder conviction are far more severe than with a manslaughter conviction because, in the former, there is a premeditated, injurious design involved. Adam and Eve’s sin can never be referred to as a slip or ignorant mistake. God gave ample instruction concerning what they were to do and not to do in Eden and included sanctions or consequences to support His words. We read that “the woman being deceived was in the transgression…” (1 Tim. 2:14). We are not dealing with a woman who in her naïveté had no understanding of what she was doing, but rather we see a transgressor, one who was voluntarily deceived, breaking and violating known laws. Then, too, Adam voluntarily transgressed with his wife. I’m persuaded that it would be far more accurate and descriptive if we would refer to the incident in the Garden of Eden as “The Jump”! As Floyd McClung has said, “Every mistake is not a sin, but every sin is a mistake.”