Babababa Bad to the Bone, Naturally or Not?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    On the day I was born
    The nurses all gathered 'round
    And they gazed in wide wonder
    At the joy they had found
    The head nurse spoke up
    Said "leave this one alone"
    She could tell right away
    That I was bad to the bone
    -George Thorogood

    I bring up this issue so that we can focus on the specific idea that man is not born with a sin nature.
    From wikipedia:
    Pelagius taught that the human will, as created with its abilities by God, was sufficient to live a sinless life, although he believed that God's grace assisted every good work. Pelagius did not believe that all humanity was guilty in Adam's sin, but said that Adam had condemned humankind through bad example, and that Christ’s good example offered humanity a path to salvation, through sacrifice and through instruction of the will
    .​
    It seems to me, even if we were to attempt to be generous toward the ideas above, that the idea that the human will is "sufficient to live a sinless life" is a failed idea and at best a useless theoretical idea. IMO, it seems that even with a 'neutral' human nature, the fact that sinful behavior and attitude has been modeled to and impressed upon every human being since Adam and Eve would make it impossible for any person who is mentally competent to remain guiltless to death. Given this, I do not see how it could be the case that a mature human would unfailingly love God and man in every deed and thought. (For argument's sake I would not want to spend time arguing about the infinitesimally small possibility that my proposal may not accurately be applied to all people.)

    I would also argue that even if sin were not a 'nature' problem and even though we now have "Jesus' good example", I don't think either of those two combined, being as they may for argument's sake, I don't think they can overcome the OTJ training we get through our parents, older siblings, and other selfish, 'bad behaving' influencers. Again, I do not see how it could be the case that a mature human -after Adam- would unfailingly love God and man in every deed and thought.

    I bring up this issue so that we can focus on the specific idea that man is not born with a sin nature. I do not intend to improperly frame the issue nor do I intend to malign or read into Winman's views. Also, there are some on the board who have a 'fundamentalist ethos' about them who will use presumption and bias against those whom they disagree, reforming their competitor's words into slanderous caricatures of what they really meant. While some may invoke the "P-word" as a rebuttal, I do not think that Winman's view is Pelagius's or even close to it. I, for one, find Winman's idea compelling, at least for me, to warrant further discussion and research.


    So with that I will summarize the above and put forward the subject for this thread, "It seems that even with a 'neutral'/null human nature, the fact that sinful behavior and attitude has been modeled to and impressed upon every human being since Adam and Eve would make it impossible for any person who is mentally competent to remain guiltless to death. Given this, I do not see how it could be the case -post Adam- that a mature human would unfailingly love God and man in every deed and thought. I bring up this issue so that we can focus on the specific idea that man is not born with a sin nature."
     
  2. Cypress

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    I think it may be tied into the knowing good and evil. I have brought up the scenario of what Adam and Eves children would have been like had their parents not sinned. All the things that people accuse infants of doing as being sinful manifestations or sin would still occur imo. Try to imagine their children being any different than our children.
    No question about it though. I do agree that the modeling or environment changes us all.
     
  3. Winman

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    Adam and Eve's original nature was "very good" in that they were sinless, but it was not infallible.

    Eve displayed the three "lusts" shown in 1 Jhn 2:16 BEFORE she actually sinned.

    1 Jhn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

    There are three lusts, #1 the lust of the flesh, #2 the lust of the eyes, and #3 the pride of life shown here. These lusts come by way of "the world". Eve displayed these three lusts in there exact order in Gen 3:6.

    Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), and that it was pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and a tree to be desired to make one wise (the pride of life), she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

    It cannot be denied that Eve already had these fleshly lusts BEFORE she sinned, yet God called Adam and Eve "very good". So, it is not having fleshly lusts which make us sinful, but actually transgressing God's commands that makes us sinful.

    Not all selfishness and self-interest is evil, it is necessary for survival. Even Jesus had to eat and sleep to satisfy his bodily needs. These are selfish, but not evil.

    A baby is born with these lusts in order to survive. When they are hungry or in discomfort they cry, the only defense God has provided them.

    Gen 2:6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.

    It is very possible that the only reason Pharaoh's daughter's servants spotted the ark Moses was in was because they heard him crying.

    A child has no choice at first but to satisfy his bodily needs. So, before a child has the power or ability to reason he is already well on his way of forming the habit of satisfying his flesh.

    Once a child does mature and can reason, he is conflicted between doing what he is taught is right and wrong, and satisfying his flesh as he has always done. So, the body and the world around him serve as powerful temptations, just a the fruit of the forbidden tree tempted Eve.

    A child will also learn from the examples around him. If he has older siblings who act selfishly or sinfully, he will easily imitate these actions.

    I do not find it remarkable that all men sin with the thousands of temptations around us. What I find truly remarkable is that Jesus could live as a man for 33 years in this sinful world and never sin once.
     
  4. Amy.G

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    This is what the Pharisees believed about themselves and Jesus sharply rebuked them for it, calling them white washed sepulchres and hypocrites.


    Matthew 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    Fleshly lusts are most certainly sins.

    This actually brings up another question. Did Eve sin before she ate the fruit? According to you she did. The pride of life is sin. It is putting the world and self before God.
     
  5. Amy.G

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    Hypothetically speaking, if a person were to grow up alone, without the influence of sinners, then do you believe he would remain sinless from birth throughout his entire life?
     
  6. humblethinker

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    Amy, I've always enjoyed this thought experiment. When I think of such a person in such a scenario, he would die before reaching any significang age since they would be easy prey and would not be able to provide for hisself. How would you get past that problem? Since I can't seem to get past that logically then the experiment ends there for me.
     
  7. Amy.G

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    It's a hypothetical thought. It has nothing to do with physical survival, but behavioral only. Forget the physical part. Would he sin if he had no influence from sinners?
     
  8. humblethinker

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    As you said, satisfying the flesh is not necessarily a bad thing and is actually a good thing. It seems that the 'how' and under what circumstances and 'why' are what can make the endeavor honorable or shameful.

    It does seem that Adam's fall brought to and passed on a physical difficiency which at least caused imbalances in the 'good' that good natural state of man that God created. You would agree that even someone who actually has not and does not sin still lives in a body that suffers the physical deficiencies brought on through Adam's sin, no?
     
  9. 12strings

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    I've thought about this as well, and It is certainly possible...Put the child in an enclosed environment with now access to outside voices, or pictures, or video or any interaction with people...there could be images of nature...but probably not of animals eating each other...all meals and diapers and things would be handled by robots being controlled by a team of humans who observed and provided for the baby/child but did not reveal themselves.

    BUT...this child would have some severe developmental problems after growing up without human interaction, such that were anyone to actually attempt this, they would get arrested for child abuse...and...I still believe he would sin.
     
  10. humblethinker

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    Okay... I'm trying... can you tell me how this person would make it to the point to which they would be able to be held responsible for their behavior? Also, even if some kind of 'laboratory' could be setup to ensure that this person would make it at least into adolescence, would this person have cognitive ability beyond that of an animal? Would he have language? Surely all things would be 'objects' and he'd not be able to have a personal relationship with anything. This is a tough thought experiment to get through without presuming the thing you're wanting to prove.

    Instead of a 'laboratory' of unnatural environment should we consider a person who was raised from infancy by wolves?
     
  11. Amy.G

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    Sigh. Ok. He was raised by wolves then. LOL. Or.....just nevermind and forget my post. It was only in response to Winman's belief that we sin because we have learned it from others.
     
  12. humblethinker

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    Yes, interesting... we have a long way to go before robots will be able to do such ;-) (my son and I laughed for the longest time, replaying over and over his human-like failure. haha, and Asimo keeps on talking smack after he's fallen... actually I think Asimov is smarter than we would give him credit for... I think he's re-enacting a scene from the movie 'Police Academy' (ff to 1:19-26)

    In considering such an experiment, what about this: "But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead."
     
    #12 humblethinker, Aug 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2012
  13. humblethinker

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    I like your post and I think it is a good and respectable approach in grappling with the problem. :):thumbsup:
     
  14. percho

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    I believe we miss the point.

    There are three lusts, #1 the lust of the flesh, #2 the lust of the eyes, and #3 the pride of life shown here. These lusts come by way of "the world". Eve displayed these three lusts in there exact order in Gen 3:6.

    That is how God created man. God did that for a reason. He created him subject to lust and pride for a purpose.

    I have posted before, without much comment I might add, God created the heavens and the earth. Period.

    The earth was without form and void and Darkness was upon the face of the deep.

    As you go forward from there you can see that Light/God is in contrast to Darkness/Satan.

    When you get to verse two of Genesis Satan/Darkness is already present upon the earth and God brings his presence as Light, then in verse 26 God makes the man that will be able to die
    so that in due time the Lamb, a man, the Son of God can die to destroy Satan and the power he has and or has been given by God. The plan to reconcile all things to God in Christ.

    I do not know if we are born sinful but I would be willing to say we are not born very long before we become sinful and are for sure born subject to the wages of sin.

    Satan was in the garden of God and through deceit tempted Eve and her lust and she gave to her husband and sin and death were brought forth.

    I do not believe there was, "a fall of man." I believe there was a plan.
     
  15. Winman

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    No, but they might not be aware that they had sinned. We know it is wrong to lie because our parents told us so.

    Now that said, I believe every person has the law written on their hearts. Even if you grew up alone, if you witnessed three teenagers assaulting an elderly man and robbing him, I believe anyone would immediately know this is wrong.
     
  16. Winman

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    Amy, it is perfectly natural for a man to be attracted to a beautiful woman, that is how God designed us. I do not believe that is what Jesus is speaking of here.

    Jesus is speaking of a man looking with the INTENT to lust after a woman, like men who go to a strip club with the intention to lust after women.

    A man has the ability to look away. Yes, his flesh will be naturally and immediately attracted to a beautiful woman, that does not mean the man cannot look away and divert his attention to something else.

    Any married man can tell you this, when you are at the beach with your wife and a pretty girl in a bikini walks by, you had better know how to look away. :tongue3:
     
  17. Cypress

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    Yes, right back to the knowledge of good and evil. That is what I fear we inherited.
     
  18. humblethinker

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    Winman, how would you propose that the law is 'written' if not through nurturing? And, even if it was written independent of nurtureing, would it not be the case that without such nurturing this 'blank slate' person would not be able to understand the significance of the written law on their heart? They would not be able to associate meaning to it. What law do you propose would be written on this 'blank slate' person's heart? The 600+ laws? or Just the two (love God and man)? If even just the two then how is the thought experiment able to advance very far when the subject is in isolation from personal relationship.

    When God created Adam and Eve, God created them both with a language for which they did not have to develop (in respect to the environment they were created in... they might have even reasonably expected their children to be able to speak right out of the box!), a reason and also in relation to another person and people. These are other reasons why I think such a 'blank slate' thought experiment must fail. But, being that it does fail, such failure gives us valuable information and insight into the problem of the nature of man.
     
  19. Winman

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    I just addressed this in another thread, the knowledge of good and evil is not evil, God possesses this knowledge.

    Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

    Knowing good and evil does not make you evil, it is simply the ability to discern what is good and evil. Scripture shows little children do not have this ability at first, or rather it is not fully developed yet.

    Deu 1:39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

    Isa 7:16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

    You can take a two year old child in a store and the child will take a piece of candy and eat it, that child does not know he is stealing. You have to teach the child that it is wrong to take that which does not belong to him.

    What we are told in scripture is that as soon as Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they immediately saw they were naked. So, this knowledge seems to be self awareness or self consciousness. We all know a little baby can walk around the house completely naked in front of strangers and feel no shame or embarrassment. But in a few short years this child will develop self awareness or self knowledge and desire to be clothed.

    Some have argued that Adam and Eve obtained a conscience when they ate of the forbidden fruit, I tend to agree with this. The definition of conscience is by nature to know between good and evil, with a pulling or drawing to do what is good. Look the definition up in any dictionary.

    Jhn 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

    These men were convicted by their conscience.

    Acts 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

    Here, Paul is commended by his conscience. He is not saying he never sinned in his life, but is speaking of preaching the gospel. He did not feel ashamed or convicted for preaching the gospel because he knew it was the truth according to God.

    So, I tend to believe Adam and Eve gained a conscience and self awareness when they ate of the tree of good and evil. Before this they were like little children who could walk around naked and not be ashamed.

    By the way, Isa 7:16 refutes the Calvinist view of Total Inability because it shows even a child can refuse evil and choose good.
     
    #19 Winman, Aug 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2012
  20. Cypress

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    Winman, I am not arguing against your position.
     

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