Born Dead By Michael Bunker [email protected] Want to discuss it? Try the Forum “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:10-12 April 20, 2002 — Behold the key to why most “professing christians” remain unsaved. They have believed a social gospel. Most of them think they are “pretty good people” and that God saved them because they were smart enough to believe in Jesus. But what of human depravity? Man is inexcusable (Rom. 2:1). He is born dead. He comes forth from the womb completely and utterly “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). David said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5) All the sons of men are born wicked, and “estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born.” (Psalm 58:3) Jesus said that “whosoever committeth sin is the servant (bondman) of sin” (John 8:34). The whole of man is sold into this bondage to sin, so we may rightfully say that all of a fallen man’s soul is in bondage to sin, the soul of man being part of what makes him a man. Now, since the will of man is a member of the soul – it can only rightly be discerned that the will of man is sold into the same bondage, being a member of the whole of man. And thus it is clear that the will of fallen man can only serve one master, and being sold into sin, and as sin’s bondservant, the will of man cannot aspire to or obey that master with whom he has nothing to do. Any man who proposes that he independently willed to come to Christ, or that he willed to do that which is godly, surely knows nothing of the his own depravity. The root of apostasy is a denial of this critical truth. A denial of the total depravity of man is also the base heresy at the root of virtually every sect and denomination of professing Christianity today. If traced to their touchstone, the denominations and cults of corporate Christianity have as their foundation this one common error. Yet most of them do not deny total depravity outright. I guess it can be said of them, they know not what they believe. Catholicism has so effectively invaded and permeated institutional Christianity (particularly the charismatic sects) that they have come to deny this most basic of Christian truths. They do not deny depravity so much in outward profession – but the denial of human depravity has so infiltrated their doctrines and theology that it has become the inescapable conclusion that logically must be drawn from the things that they DO say. The evangelical message promoted in most Christian churches paints a far different picture of the human condition than the reality that is unveiled to us in the Bible. Here is the “gospel” that is promoted by Americanized Christianity. We begin to learn it in “Sunday School” (a concept the Bible knows nothing of) and it moves forward towards “Church membership” (another concept strangely foreign to scripture): The new “gospel”: 1. Babies are born good. They are spiritually pure until the “age of accountability”. Hopefully, you will have noticed that Holy Writ is silent about such a concept; rather, it teaches that we are corrupt from our conception. Although the idea of the purity of babies is rooted in papist myth, the Catholics have created a stranger twist on this concept. They sprinkle babies with water in order to wash them of Adam’s sin. They have, however, failed to explain why some babies die after being sprinkled. Since one of the curses of the garden (and consequently of Adams sin) is physical death, they have some trouble in explaining why some babies die even after having been purified of the adamic sin. 2. At some point in time, human babies sin willfully. At this time, they become fallen and impure. NOW they have need of redemption and purification. However, these fallen young people are not TOTALLY fallen. They still have “free will”, so their logic and their emotional and mental faculties can be plied and manipulated to get them to recognize their own sin. If enough reasoning (or the right reasoning) is applied, they will confess their sins and follow whatever template is necessary to be brought back into right standing. Emotional music may need to be used in order to get this person properly motivated god-ward. 3. Once a person has their “mind right”, they can be led through a system of repentance and prayer that systematically cleanses them of their sin. Upon completion of the program, they must be encouraged to “find a good church home”, or seek a “bible-believing fellowship” so they will “stay fed”, and more importantly, church discipline will keep from “falling away”. What the proponents of this “evangelical” gospel fail to recognize is that not only is none of the above BIBLICAL, all of the above denies God’s sovereignty. To whom do the people mentioned above owe their salvation? Let’s examine it: The baby who dies owes Jesus Christ nothing, since he died in purity and before the “age of accountability” – he may enter heaven knowing nothing of Jesus Christ and owing Christ nothing for his salvation. He had no need of salvation, because he was never fallen. The youngster who has reached the “age of accountability” owes Christ nothing either. They have their logic, their emotional and mental faculties, and probably the youth minister, the right music and the evangelist to thank for their salvation. But what of the man who said the prayer and walked up to the priest to get baptized. Who does he have to thank for his salvation? Why he can thank his “church home” or his “fellowship” for keeping him in line. His pastor “fed” him, and the discipline maintained him. What need does he have of a savior? He may be convinced that Jesus was the mechanism of his redemption, but did he cast himself upon the Savior because failure to do so would mean damnation and utter ruin? Gone is the concept of the total depravity of all of mankind. Gone is the understanding that we were hopeless and helpless, deserving of everlasting judgment, incapable of any act that would be considered pleasing to God. Our most righteous acts are filthy rags to a Holy God. The act of a fallen man praying, singing praises or even reading a bible is pure and simple WRETCHEDNESS to a Holy and perfect God. Conceptually, we must consider how difficult it is to discuss just how far we have fallen since the fall. It is an exercise in mental gymnastics since we must examine our fallen nature with fallen brains. The law of entropy guarantees us that we have a steadily DECREASING faculty with which to understand our condition in relationship to a perfect God. Science can be a hoot sometimes. Accepting that our intellectual prowess becomes increasingly devalued as the generations pass is a difficult pill to swallow. The law of entropy certainly applies to the minds of men, regardless of how that very entropy has convinced us all (as relative mental midgets) that we are the smartest people that ever lived. It has been said that stupid people do not know they are stupid, and so it is that humanity does not know that it has grown increasingly stupid as the generations pass. Consider that Adam had what amounted to a computer for a brain. He was endowed with the highest and most efficient intellect in all of creation. No computer company has even dreamed of devising a system as pure and potent as the unfallen mind of Adam. We are through the looking glass on this one. From our vantage point, looking through the veil of time with faculties dulled by entropy, we see Adam as a cosmic fool, a moral idiot, a dolt who blew it for the rest of us; this, the highest functioning example of our species ever to walk planet earth (save one). But let us (just for a minute) travel to there and look forward to here… We will see what Adam would see among us: the folly of his wisdom and the product of his rebellion. But, with a higher functioning intellect, he will examine our folly with a much sharper sense of reality. Behold. We exchange scraps of paper for things that can only cause us harm. The more the harm, the more scraps of paper our undoing costs. We pay people to lie to us, to curse at us, to insult us, and to rob from us. We pay people to disarm us and to leave us helpless in the clutches of men whom we have paid to fail to educate. The religious ones pay salaries to foolish priests who maintain the system at all costs. We surround ourselves with noise, 24 hours a day in order to keep from having a conversation with God, while we sing silly, repetitive songs TO God pleading with Him to let us know Him. Our society reveres liars, fornicators, fools and villains. Our language ascribes credit for any beneficence to pagan gods: luck, fortune and chance, while the same language calls any carnal success a “blessing”, without defining to what end the blessing serves, or from whom the blessing came. Our curses are considered blessings; our depraved nature is considered goodness. Our culture rewards those who openly violate divine prohibition, yet it labels Godly wisdom as “hate”. Our country proudly advertises its most heralded attribute: Its pride - that one attribute that will never see the face of God, except to receive the judgment of His wrath. Children are our oppressors and women rule over us (Isaiah 3:12). Our churches are dins of harlotry and stupid, religious men endeavor to defend them against the truth. We have hated knowledge and we have not chosen the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:29). We have been envious of the foolish, when we saw the wicked prosper (Psalms 73:3). Oh Lord, how far have the wicked fallen? Did we not know that the fall of man was complete and total? Is it possible that mankind seeks after you? Not so, saith the scripture, for the “light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5). All the world lay in utter darkness and despair, fallen and dead in trespasses and sins. “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not” (John 1:10). So we are left knowing that the world neither sought Him nor received Him, because the scripture tells us that “there are none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable” (Rom. 3:11-12). But the Apostle John, who tells us that no one sought Him or received Him, also tells us that there was an exception. There were those who DID receive Him! By what faculty did they perceive Him, in order to receive Him? Did they use their “free will” to seek him? Surely not, since we have just read that there are none that seeketh after God”, and that the “will” of all those who have sinned is in constant subjection as a bondslave to sin. John answers us. The only ones who were enabled to receive Him were those “which were born not of blood, nor OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, nor OF THE WILL OF MAN, but of God” (John 1:13). Dead men do not seek neither can they find. They do not hear nor do they see. Dead men cannot serve nor worship. They cannot believe nor can they have faith. Death rots and, soon enough, it stinketh. It deserves nothing more than to be whisked away to outer darkness where it will be burned, which is the proper wages of all sin. Dead men cannot decide to come forth out of their graves. They cannot sit up from their beds. If they are to come forth, they must be effectually called forth by one who has power over death. And from such a one, they cannot flee – nor do they possess the power to refuse His commands. Can fallen man seek that which is Holy? Certainly not. To the contrary, we are taught that fallen man flees from the Righteous One, disdaining judgment and rejecting truth. It is only God who can redeem the will of man, and cause it to desire that which is good. Adam, in all of His purity, with an unstained nature, willed to do that which God despised, and as a result he fled from God. If you, his descendant, have embraced God – then you must know that you did not seek God, but you were sought of Him. We have spoken of the smartest man that ever lived, but what of the greatest man ever born of a woman? John the Baptist said of Jesus that His “shoe latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” That was an interesting self-evaluation from a man who Jesus considered the greatest man from among men. But today, lesser men claim titles such as “reverend” and “father” and “rabbi”. The Holy prophets looked upon mere angels and were crushed to their faces in awe and fear, woefully aware of their unworthiness. Isaiah glanced upon the Lord of hosts and shouted “Woe is me! For I am undone!”, but the institutional churches in America teach people how to make effective demands on God, and they speak of a pacifist Jesus who is bereft of judgment and who must let “good people” into heaven. How many good people will be in heaven? Not a one. Jesus came to save sinners, and those who are not sinners have no need of a savior. Sinners have need of LIFE, not promises of wealth, prosperity, comfort, acceptance, concern, relationships or carnal blessings. How can we preach a gospel of RE-generation without the concept of a fallen and depraved “generation”? Did you flee to God to avoid hell? If you did not, then you have not. Most Christians believe that they are Christians because they were “raised that way”, or because Christianity just made more sense than the other options. I know people who love to hang around Christians and they will even weep when they talk about Jesus – but they abide fruitless and are capable of the most horrible assaults on both the brethren and on the truth of the Gospel. The only man who is worse is the man who participates in this sham by allowing it to continue. Guilt is not repentance. Enabling offenders and the unrepentant to remain deceived is a crime much worse than unbelief. The Gospel is not changeable and comfortable. It is GOOD NEWS, but it is only GOOD because it rescues men from perdition. A gospel that allows men to remain comfortable is not only NOT GOOD, it is the most frightening news there is. There are entire groups today who will not even talk to me because I said things that made them mad or uncomfortable. They prefer lies, smooth words and comfortable back pats. “He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them (Prov. 24:24-25).” Only sinners have need of a Savior, and only the dead have need of life. And woe unto those who teach any other gospel. Adams rebellion has progressed to the point where his descendants have exchanged sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet, and, in the last days, they are angry with you if you stop to point it out. Behold, the One comes who will point it out better than I ever could. I am your servant in Christ Jesus, Michael Bunker Go to http://lazarusunbound.com for more articles by Michael Bunker.