Monday, November 12, 2012

Are We Good or Are We Bad?

The warmth of home never grows old.
The recent election revealed the sad reality that the majority of America thinks outside a Biblical worldview. For over fifty years, a worldview that does not reflect the Biblical picture of reality has been propagated in our government schools, in the workplace, in the home, on T.V. and movies, in music and drama, on the radio, and in printed media. Sadly, much of what we hear even within many "Christian" churches is a regurgitation of the same. For such a long time, we've been told a different story about who we are, where we came from and where we are going; many now believe lies to be truth. I'd like to try to get a better grasp on some of these lies.

Lest anyone misunderstand me, I am not saying that everybody who voted for Obama is not a Christian. One of our problems in America is "thinking" with our feelings instead of our brains. I'm interested in discussing truth claims with people who are willing to think past feeling, who believe there is truth, who want it above all else, and who hold their present understanding in open palms because they humbly realize this pursuit of truth is going to take continual effort and willingness to be wrong.

The first lie--now a prevalent worldview--says we are born basically good. 

If I believe I am basically good, I will assume what comes natural to me is good. If I like it, if I want it, if it appeals to me, it must be fine. I will not blame myself if something ends up not going well. I will tend to assume blame belongs elsewhere. If I don't blame someone or something else, I will justify, rationalize, and re-frame how I view my behavior that didn't bring good consequences so that no one and nothing is to blame. I will tell myself, it wasn't bad. It can't be bad. That's just a guilt-tactic the religious world tries to put on me. If I think I'm good, I won't see I need reformation. Often, people with this worldview take the position, I just need to figure out my "true self" and be true to that... True virtue is in finding and being true to my unique, special self. And of course, many times, surviving the mess they create in their lives by their bad choices is also touted as a virtue. I'm a survivor, they say, as they look back over a shipwrecked life.

The Bible teaches we are a fallen race. We want our own way above all else.

The person who trusts the Biblical definition of man realizes he is needy. He admits he is not born good. While seeming innocent at birth, it doesn't take much time before we show our true colors. I want what I want when I want it, and I don't care how much it hurts others! When you do a Biblical study on the word "sin," one of the first definitions for the original Greek word, hamartia, is "to be without a share in." The view of scripture is that we will write our own drama, play our own self-designed part, and not have a share in God's great drama if we go our natural way. The true follower of Christ is studying His teaching to find out how he should go about being a part of God's plan, having a share in His eternal Kingdom. Everything else about our life is defined by this pursuit, and that's a very different worldview from "I'm born basically good."

More to come!