We often hear sin excused by shifting the blame to circumstances, social deprivation or lack of education. This is the message of the Social Gospel which came to prominence in the early 20th Century. Of course the practice of blaming environment goes back a long way before Wlater Rauschenbusch and his Social Gospel; monasteries were built around this same premise. Luther discovered the truth when he realized that the monastery was no protection from sin because sin was in the monk.
Take a look at Adam in Eden. God made him with a free will, a rational being with the ability to choose good or evil. Adam, however could not blame his environment for his disobedience; he was placed in a perfect place, with a perfect wife and with perfect creatures around him, and he still sinned! Adam was no “victim of circumstance,” he was a rebel against his creator and Holy God, against all the odds. Before we blame circumstances for our sinfulness, let’s think of our first parent and the rise of sin in his heart—the birthplace of all sin.