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Did Thomas Merton Reject the Doctrine of Original Sin?

 

Thomas Merton denied the doctrine of original sin in his book Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander:1, 2

Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. But this cannot be seen, only believed and “understood” by a peculiar gift.

Again, that expression, le point vierge, (I cannot translate it) comes in here. At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us. It is so to speak His name written in us, as our poverty, as our indigence, as our dependence, as our sonship. It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billion points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely. … the gate of heaven is everywhere. ,

This is heresy. This is a total rejection of the doctrine of original sin. Thomas Merton believed that every person is inherently good because God resides at the center of every person—therefore, there is no need for the true gospel message or for regeneration.

 


1. Merton, Conjectures, 154–156.
2. le point vierge is a French phrase which can be translated as “the virgin point,” or “the blank slate.”
(George, “Mary: Le point vierge.”)

Works Cited

1. George, Ron. “Mary: Le point vierge.” The pelican papers, December 18, 212. Accessed June 5, 2014. https://pelicandiaries.wordpress.com/tag/le-point-vierge/.
2. Merton, Thomas. Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander. Random House, 2009.

  

The above comes from our book Sinister Spirit. Check out this book to see how "Christian" mysticism is linked to the spirit of antichrist.

 

Author: Timothy Zebell, 2014