We should be guided carefully and primarily by Scripture on doctrinal matters – especially when they are contentious. The record of Genesis 3 is very clear about the consequences of sin for Adam:
- He was aware of and shamed of his nakedness Gen 3:7
- He appears to have a guilty conscience manifesting itself in fear of God Gen 3:8
- He is condemned to a life of toil to produce food Gen 3:18
- He will die Gen 3:19
- He gained a knowledge of good & evil like the angels Gen3:22
- He is expelled from the garden and cut off from the tree of life Gen 3:23-24
The detailed consequences are described in personal terms, there is no hint of the punishments relating to his children. Adam is told he will sweat in hard labour to till the ground. Whereas Adam’s offspring are not referenced (and in a super-literal sense they obviously didn’t all till the soil eg Abel was a shepherd). The chapter does include future generations explicitly elsewhere. Genesis 3:15 specifically references the seeds of the woman and serpent and the consequences for generations as yet unborn. Yet of Adam’s seed there is no mention.
Insisting that the single most important consequence of Adam’s failure was the introduction of an inheritable change in his nature and proneness to sin requires acceptance of a reality where the angel communicating to Adam forgot to mention it. Such a suggestion is bordering on blasphemy, but I make the point to underline the reality – of all the consequences ascribed to Adam’s sin, the single most debated point on which people condemn EC believers is absent from the record. This should inform our interpretation of later passages.
We cannot foist a meaning back on Genesis 3 that was never there, nor insist upon a detail God didn’t communicate to Adam. Our statements of shared belief must be interpreted through the lens of the Bible – not the other way round.