Tuesday, May 24, 2005

People are not bad

Today was listening to KPRZ a “Christian” radio station here in San Diego. I’ve made a habit of listening to this station on my way home from work regularly. I often find myself perturbed by some of the things that are said. Today they featured a speaker from a local Calvary Chapel who spoke on an Idea from scripture that has had a significant effect on my thinking lately, being “the light of the world.” Numerous things he said bothered me but most of all was his generalization of humanity. He explained that human nature is “Sin” and it is not until we become believers that our nature is changed. He used several examples of the overall mindset of “the world.” He explained that the world feels no guilt about, for example, “sexual exploitation.” He explained that football players brag about the girls they sleep with because they are unable to feel remorse over sin. The lecture was filled with these overtones of categorization and generalization. The “world” is bad Christians are good.

I, though I am a Christ follower, was quite offended by his presumptions. He, first of all, argued his idea of “sin nature” very feebly. Does not the Bible begin in Genesis 1 and 2 with “good” not sin. My understanding of scripture provides that people were created good and our nature was just that. Sin came in later and the redemption story is about defeating sin, sin which didn’t used to exist. Redemption is not about changing our nature but defeating that which corrupts our nature; sin. People, with a capitol “P,” are not bad. People, lower case “p” are bad. Individuals act against God’s intended nature. Is that not a good definition for sin? To generalize and say that Christians are the only ones who do good is divisive, judgmental and arrogant. It is not just Christians feeding empty stomachs and clothing the poor and housing the homeless. Christians are not the only ones who do ministry. Sadly it seems that many others answer Christ’s call much better than the Church does in many cases.

Side note: what sets apart the Christians from the “non-believers” who do good?


Danny said...

The whole idea of "the world" is Christians misinterpreting the context in which the Bible was originally written. The world in that context referred to the oppression of the Roman empire. To think that books like Revelation are a key to the future and has nothing to do with the times in which it was written is arrogance.

To answer your question: The difference between Christian and non-Christian is always going to be, in one form or another, a question of doctrine and dogma. Those who are a Christian put Christ at the center while others do not.

Ashley said...

Great post Wes!

I do agree with one thing the pastor said and that was his comment about human ulture feeling no guilt about sexual exploitation. I am very offended by so many of the things in the media now a days. There are so many things that make it uncomfortable to watch, especially with Wes. But that is another post for another day.

I completly agree with how you feel about the generalization. I know what you mean!!

Amazing post, your the best!!!

Daniel said...


I'm curious about what you mean by "bad." Are you talking about our value as humans, or our moral tendencies?

I would agree that humans are not bad in the sense that we have valuable to God. We are created in His image to bring Him pleasure. God has created us with purpose and significance.

However, when it comes to our moral tendencies, humans are bent towards evil. This is our nature. Need evidence from the Bible? Just read the first three chapters of Romans.

You asked a great questions when you wrote, "What sets apart the Christians from the 'non-believers' who do good?" Throughout the Bible, we see that the greatest sin is the refusal to enjoy God as God, i.e. idolatry. So, it is true that unbelievers do some things that are in alignment with God's moral law. However, when it comes down to it, they are refusing to worship and delight in Him as God. That's the greatest form of evil.