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God's Free Gift

Current Events >> Man's Depravity

Are men basically good?  Or are men basically bad/evil/sinful?


Are men basically good?  Or are men basically bad/evil/sinful?

Most people want to find good in everyone else.  In fact, if you consider the USA, until say the 1970s, most people worked from the premise that people were good.  Families left their doors unlocked, kids freely roamed the neighborhood, and so forth.  I picked the date from memory, so in some places the 1970s were really the 60s and in others it might be the 90s.  The point is one of perspective.  For a long time people assumed everyone else was good.

Recently (some number of years, maybe 35-40?) this attitude has changed.  It is perhaps not that the actually attitude has changed, but there is now a large exception attached which reads something like "except that there are certain individuals around who are bent on evil, and there are enough of these people around that we now lock our doors, watch our backs in parking lots, and do not let our children out of our sights."

For those of us who read the Bible, this should come as no surprise.  Consider the long sequence of verses Paul sticks into the 3rd chapter of Romans:

Romans 3:10-18 (NLT)
10 As the Scriptures say, “No one is good— not even one. 11 No one has real understanding; no one is seeking God. 12 All have turned away from God; all have gone wrong. No one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their speech is filled with lies.” “The poison of a deadly snake drips from their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “They are quick to commit murder. 16 Wherever they go, destruction and misery follow them. 17 They do not know what true peace is.” 18 “They have no fear of God to restrain them.”

What brings all of this to mind is yesteday's and today's news stories about the Palestinian elections.  Hamas, a group dedicated to terror, violence, and the elimination of the Nation of Israel won approximately two-thirds of the seats in the legislative assembly.  This means that the vast majority of Palestinians voted for violence.

Now violence is bad.  Violence is part of the evil that forms my exception above to the rule that everyone is good. Yet, here, in a democratic election, a group of people vote for violence.  Sounds to me like the rule may be wrong.  The rule maybe should read: almost everyone is evil.

This may come as a shock to many, but it would not surprise Paul.  There is no one who does good in the eyes of God.  Now that does not mean that we are all as bad as possible.  I suspect many of those voting in the Palestinian elections would not pick up a gun and shoot someone.  However, given the choice, they elected those who would perform such an act. 

The world is basically evil.  This is the result of the Fall in the Garden of Eden.  We are all tainted with sin.  This is what theologians call man's depravity.  All this really means is that men are not really able, on their own, to do anything that pleases God.  In fact, men constantly choose to sin. While it is fortunate that most of us sin in "small" ways, there are many in the world who will kill and take lives.  The Arab world has always been such a place.  Just look at the Old Testament.  Consider the wars following the formation of Isalm, as Muslims moved across Northern Africa.  Look at the Crusades and the effort to free the Holy Lands from the hands of the Muslims. 

There has not been as much fighting in the Holy Lands over the past say 1,000 years becasue the Islamic empire found its limits in terms of expansion into other countries and there were no Jews claiming direct ownership to the land.  After 1948 this all changed, and there has been violence in the Middle East ever since. So, if you provide some of the Arab people an opportunity to choose who will represent them, and if there are the same people who want to live in the land now called Israel, it should not come as a surprise that their depravity rises to the top and Hamas is the elected government.

Depravity rules. This, to some extent, also explains the on-going violence in Iraq. There is a vast cultural difference between the views of Islam and the views of the democracy.  There is a difference in the views of what is good and proper. There is the issue of who is God. And, there is depravity. Depravity likes violence.

The Palestinian elections demonstrate this. Violence rules.  If you think things are bad now, re-read Revelation and consider the violence of the Tribulation period. All of this is just a fore-taste.

Makes you want to hide? Anyway, this is all a good reason to tell that guy at the next desk about Jesus.  You can start a conversation about Hamas winning the election and whether or not this will ultimately lead to more fighting in Israel.  Which leads to the discussion about Jesus and end times.

The Bible tells us all about today -- wars and rumors of wars!

Jim A

 

Posted On: 2006-01-27 12:04:37 || Comments (0 ) || Add a Comment
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