by Daryl E. Witmer Is humanity intrinsically good, or is humanity by nature in deficit to a holy God as the result of a great moral Fall in early human history? NEW AGE VOICES SAY... "Your essential nature is goodness. There is no need for you to ever feel guilt, or to pay attention to those who would try to lay a guilt trip on you. Deep inside you are pure and full of light and potential. You have every reason to feel good about yourself." "Once we begin to see that we are all God, that we all have the attributes of God, then I think the whole purpose of human life is to reown the Godlikeness within us; the perfect love, the perfect wisdom, the perfect understanding, the perfect intelligence, and when we do that we create back to that old, that essential, oneness which is consciousness." - reflections of the late Beverly Galyean, prominent and influential educator "Your First Cultural Myth is that human beings are inherently evil. This is the myth of original sin. The myth holds that not only is your basic nature evil, you were born that way." "Those who believe...that the inherent nature of man is good proclaim that God has created natural laws which allow you to do as you wish - and promote human laws that seek to do the same." -Conversing with God, Book 3, by Neale Donald Walsch, ©1998 Hampton Roads FROM EARLY THINKERS... Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the most influential thinkers in eighteenth century Europe, in his work, The Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, claims that human beings are basically good by nature, but corrupted by external forces and historical events. Augustine of Hippo taught that man was a sinner by nature and totally dependent on God's grace for salvation. Pelagius was a British monk who categorically denied the doctrine of original sin. He taught that Adam's sin affected only Adam, and that all infants by birth are in the same state as Adam was before the Fall. FROM THE EAST... Confucianism postulates that the original heart of man was inherently good and characterized by benevolence. Mencius, an itinerant Chinese philosopher and sage, endorsed the teaching of Confucius regarding innate goodness in human nature. MORMONISM ASSERTS... "Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God." -Doctrine and Covenants 93:38, sacred LDS literature ISLAM DECLARES... Every child is born perfect, with a pure sinless submissive spirit. - doctrine based on Hadith-Bukhari 2.440 "So set your purpose for religion as a man by nature upright - the nature made by Allah in which He has made men. There is no altering the laws of God's creation. That is the right religion." -Qur'an 30.30 THE BIBLE SAYS... Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me." Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." Ephesians 2:3 "Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh...and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest." A TRUE STORY Yehiel Dinur was a witness during the trial of Adolf Eichmann. Dinur entered the courtroom and stared at the man behind the bulletproof glass - the man who had presided over the slaughter of millions. The court was hushed as the victim confronted the butcher. Then suddenly Dinur began to sob, and collapsed to the floor. Not out of anger or bitterness. As he explained later in an interview - what struck him at that instant was a terrifying realization. "I was afraid about my-self," Dinur said. "I saw that I am capable to do this ... exactly like he." The reporter interviewing Dinur understood precisely. "How was it possible for a man to act as Eichmann acted?" he asked. "Was he a monster? A madman? Or was he perhaps something even more terrifying? Was he normal?" Yehiel Dinur, in a moment of chilling clarity, saw the skull beneath the skin. "Eichmann," he concluded, "is in all of us." Jesus said it plainly: "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man." (Mark 7:20) -excerpted from the 1993 Templeton Address of Charles W. Colson THREE QUESTIONS FOR YOU Have you the wise courage to reject human pride and ear-tickling opinions about sin? (2 Timothy 4:3) Have you confessed your own sin? (1 John 1:9-10) Will you repent and call on God for grace? Please write and tell me what you decide. I'll answer you.
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