Heresies Concerning Adam and the Fall

It is not generally recognized how far man may go astray if he does not understand the true doctrine about Adam and the fall. The fall of man is one of the great foundations upon which salvation rests. Unless and until it is placed in its proper relationship to all things, almost unbelievable heresies will rise to plague and curse mankind. From among the many that have so risen, and as a means of dramatizing the need to learn the truth about Adam and his fall, we shall now list several of the current heresies. It should be noted that these heresies, though often formally espoused by the same church or group of believers, disagree with and contradict each other, as one would expect the case to be in the realms of error.

Heresy 1: There is no Christian God, no Adam in the sense of his being created as the first man, and no Christ in the sense of Jesus being the Son of God.

Commentary: This is the atheistic, agnostic, worldly view held by hosts of people who assume the creation came by chance and that life developed through evolutionary processes. It prevails among many who worship at the altars of science, and who espouse that godless communism which calls religion the opiate of the people. Such unbelievers pretend to find no need for divine guidance and intervention in the lives of men.

Heresy 2: There is no such thing as a fall of Adam and an atonement of Christ.

Commentary: This is the view of all pagan and heathen people who have no knowledge of the true God and the plan of salvation he ordained and established. It is, for instance, the false Islamic view. Their Koran teaches that there is no God but Allah and that he had no need for a son. Allah, it says, has but to speak and his will is done. It considers Jesus to be in the same class as Moses or one of the prophets, denies the doctrine of the divine Sonship, and claims to know nothing about the fall of man.

Heresy 3: Organic evolution is the process whereby all life on earth came into being, and man, as now constituted, is the end product of this process.

Commentary: This is the false view of many self-designated scientists. The tendency among them is to present Darwinian theories as established realities. These theories postulate the evolvement of all forms of life from lower orders over astronomically long periods of time. They assume death has always been present and that there never was a fall, and they make no provision for a plan of redemption and a resurrection of all forms of life.

Heresy 4: Evolution is the process God used to create all forms of life except Adam, who came by special creation; or Adam was the end product of an evolutionary system used by the Lord for his own purposes.

Commentary: These false notions, together with whatever variations of them happen to be in vogue at any given time, are simply an attempt, on the part of those whose faith falls short of the divine standard, to harmonize the specious theories of men with the revelations of the Lord. They pledge a superficial allegiance to religious truth and allow for a form of divine worship without forsaking the theories of men. They, of necessity, assume that death has always existed on earth, that it did not have its beginning with the fall of Adam, and that there must be some other explanation for all the revelations which say that the atonement ransoms man from the effects of the fall. When those who espouse this view talk of a fall and an atonement, they falsely assume such applies only to man rather than to the earth and all forms of life, as the scriptures attest.

(Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 98-99.)


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