Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Nature of Man

     As a rule, the presence of good and evil in a person's character and where they fit in is a struggle to determine, especially when looking at it from a secular point of view.  As a result, there are many different versions of human nature, and they all depend on a person's point of view.  There are many hypotheses, but only one truth, and it stands forever.

     I'll make this short, and hopefully not go off on a tangent.  I've been reading To Kill A Mockingbird lately for school, and it paints a very clear message of good versus evil.  The version of human nature in To Kill A Mockingbird is that man is both good and evil, and there is a constant struggle between the two.  

     Now, the constant battle between good and evil within a person is very real.  We all have a conscience, and we all have sin.  But where do they belong?  Which one is innate, and which one is influential?  In Mockingbird, goodness is innate, and evil is merely the influence that often rules out goodness (Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, etc. are all innocent figures destroyed by the evil of Maycomb society).  

     To Kill A Mockingbird is not the only example of this point of view by a long shot.  Books such as Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, and A Picture of Dorian Gray are also examples of this viewpoint, among many, many others.  In fact, the version of human nature that holds that good is innate and evil is influential is the most widely accepted belief in our society.  However, it's not necessarily true.  

     This belief is very humanistic.  It basically states that man is good by nature, and if someone does something evil, it's not their fault -- it's society's fault, or it's this other person's fault, or it's because of the darned potion that I took.  I have seen how most humanists think that Christianity's view of human nature diverts the blame onto someone else, but it seems to be the other way around.  Christianity holds that sin is innate (we are all born into sin), and all the goodness man is capable of comes from God and God alone.  Our sin can only be blamed on us and our nature, and our capacity for goodness is attributed only to our Creator and King.  

     So no, we are not pure-hearted people marred by the evil of the world -- more like the world is marred by the evil of man.  But because God is the Fountain of holiness, we are able to do good things in spite of our sinful nature.  You see, God is the ultimate hipster -- He loved and was good before it was cool, and because of this, we naturally mainstream humans can follow His lead.  But don't be confused.  We can act after/do things that please God, but we aren't capable of adopting His nature fully.  

     Yes, we are all innately evil, but that does in no way excuse acting on our wickedness, and denying the abilities we have been blessed with by our almighty Creator.  Your do-gooding doesn't matter to God once you are His, but to act on/appeal to your sinful nature is to be a bad example of Christ-likeness to others.  We as Christians don't do good to please God, we do righteous things to be true witnesses of the character of God -- this being who can make a foul person righteous.  So, make disciples of all the nations, be loving, do righteous acts so that you may honour your Lord and Savior, as is His will.  

Godspeed, my friends,
Abigail E.

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