September 01, 2005
by: jovial_cynic
Back in my early church days, one of the things I was taught about the nature of people is that we're all born sinful. Not that we're always sinning, but that the nature of us -- at the core -- is to sin against God, and that's why the Gospel needs to go to everybody. The "everybody-is-sinful" model was always the backdrop for the necessity to bring the story of salvation to folks. This was how Christians could get past the "but what about good people?" mindset... because it's very difficult to understand that a "good person" would go to hell on account of not choosing to be a Christian. If we believe that everybody is bad, even if they don't do bad things, then we can convince ourselves that everybody needs to be saved.

My perspectives and understanding of scripture has changed quite a bit since my teenage years. I no longer believe that everybody must (or even can) be saved. I believe the point of the gospel message is to bring good news to those who have been called out; it is not for the wicked; those are dogs and pigs who would trample the message underfood anyway.

Regarding everybody being wicked... I believe it more fully now than ever before. After watching Hotel Rwanda a few months back, and now again seeing the reports of the bedlam scenario in New Orleans (folks getting raped, beaten, robbed, etc.,) I have no doubt of the wicked nature of people. At the slightest provocation, men become violent animals; the wicked nature that quietly tarried dormant within them breaks loose, and we get a glimpse at the true nature of man.

Behold the wickedness.

It freaks me out a bit, really. Not in the paranoid sense... but kind of. At any moment, at the right amount of provocation, everybody around me who has not been sealed away by God will undergo the same terrifying transformation that we've seen in Rwanda and New Orleans. We've seen the same thing in Japan when the Japanese soldiers invaded Korea; how else would soldiers throw babies onto bayonettes? And how else could so many Germans have been involved in the murder of the Jews? These are not stories of ethnicity or culture... this is the state of fallen man, and the nature of the curse manifest in them.
np category: theology


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