Children Depraved?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Freshchicken, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Freshchicken

    Freshchicken
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    What scriptural references are there to man being depraved from birth? Many people hold to a (non existent) age of accountability. I'm just looking for scriptural support for Child depravity.
     
  2. Brian Bosse

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    You might start with Psalm 51:5, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me."
     
  3. Hardsheller

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    This verse comes to mind quickly.

    (Psa 58:3 KJV) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
     
  4. russell55

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    It also says that we are "by nature" objects of God's wrath. Whatever it is that makes us objects of God's wrath, it is there in our constitution, our make-up. Children may be less mature and more innocent, but they are made up of the same "stuff".
     
  5. Brian Bosse

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    Good posts guys. [​IMG]
     
  6. Skandelon

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    The verses listed thus far in response to this question do prove Orginal sin, but not Total Depravity as taught by Calvinism.

    Arminians agree that we are born sinful and fallen. We just don't agree that this fallen state makes us unable to respond to the powerful Holy Spirit wrought message of the cross. There is NO scripture that teaches men are unable to see, hear and understand the gospel from birth.

    However, there are texts that clearly speak of those who are unable to see, hear, understand and believe the gospel (Acts 28 and John 12 come to mind). But these verses are speaking about HARDENING, which is not from birth. Hardening only occurs after someone has "clearly seen" and "understood" the divine attriubutes of our God and have refused to acknowledge him as such (Romans 1).

    Calvinism's Total Depravity teaches that men are hardened in this manner from the womb which is completely contradictory to the scripture.

    Calvinism's doctrine of Total Depravity and scripture's doctrine of Hardening cannot co-exist. For why would God hardened a man who was born hardened?
     
  7. Johnv

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    The problem is that many misconstrue the definition of Total Depravity.

    The Reformed Church (which was founded by Calvin) states that total depravity "...has come to be understood by many, both inside and outside our tradition, as describing the complete and total inability of human beings to do anything that is good. This understanding is neither biblical nor reasonable."

    Rather, Total depravity is defined as the inhierent inability of a human being to do anything perfect according to God's plan.

    Click here to see the Reformed Church meaning of "total depravity"


    Thanks to my cousin, who is a member of a local RCA church.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Thanks for the input, but this doesn't apply to what I have stated. I never said TD means "complete and total inability of human beings to do anything that is good."

    I said TD was the inability of humans to believe the gospel message by faith. Your post fails to deal with that issue and the issue of biblical hardening.
     
  9. tnelson

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    John 6:44
    "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws Him; and I will raise him up at the last day."

    Only those that the Father gives the ability to will actually come to Him. Because of our (total depravity) sinful nature (enslave to sin) man is unable to believe apart from God's empowerment.

    by His Grace
    mike
     
  10. Freshchicken

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    Thanks for the help. The reason I wanted these verses was because I have a friend that believes we are not depraved from birth. I have shown these to him and these are his objections, hopefully you guys can help me reply.

    Ephesians 2:3

    3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature[1] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

    His reply -
    The second half of the verse - "being by nature objects"...here the word nature in greek
    is "Phusei" "a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature." This shows that the verse does not definitely mean "by birth became children..." The voice of the greek text
    here shows personal involvement, individual
    responsibility - not simply being born as children of wrath.

    Psalm 51:5

    5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

    His reply
    there is also a problem with translation - this is from someone who has researched the Hebrew

    "Now if you translate this passage from Hebrew you will discover that there is a "prefixed preposition attached to "iniquity" ("awon")and "sin," (Het'"). Now if you examine, say O'Connor's and Waltke's book on biblical Hebrew Syntax, you will discover that the Hebrew "bet" may be translated in one of a number of ways, depending on context. It may be translated "in", "with", "into", "as", "about", "by", "at", "among", "from out of", "within",
    "when", "through", "in the time of", "against", "for", "at the risk of", "that is", "serving as", "because of", and "some of". (An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, p.196). They show how every one of these uses of
    "bet" is possible and even preferred in the context...So, it is possible that Augustine was right or Pelagius could have been right, at least as far as this passage is concerned. David could have been "conceived in sin," or "delivered into/brought forth into/conceived into sin." It is grammatically ambiguous."

    the translation is not definitive enough to support your stance. you have to take into account the other possible ways it can be translated.

    Psalm 58:3

    3The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

    His reply
    This verse cannot be taken completely literally, but more figuratively. Therefore, man does sin and turn away (go astray) and tell lies, eventually after he is born. you must first be born before you can sin. If it were completely literal, then as soon as my newborn son was born he would have been speaking lies. And I can assure you, he doesn't speak any lies now. A newborn cannot even speak, let alone tell lies.
     
  11. AllOfGrace

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    Consider this passage:

    Romans 9:11-13
    11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
    12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
    13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

    The nature of man, due to the fall, is so depraved that God can fairly say of Esau that He hated him. Esau was, in fact, the child of wrath even when he was NOT YET BORN.

    Before Arminians jump on and start pointing out that that "election" means the Jews only — remember, that is not the issue here. We are talking about the nature of Jacob and Esau. Yes, it is about the election of a nation, but ALSO quite literal about two people — Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated.

    Due to the fall, there was nothing about Jacob or Esau either one to love. (In fact, let's be honest with ourselves. If WE had to choose, we would have liked Esau better.) If we understand that neither child, even before they were born, deserved the love of God, then we have no problem seeing that the process of pushing through the birth canal didn't bring them any more morality.

    Further, if your friend insists that the wording in Psalm 51 is vague, ask him to explain the context. David is not talking about the nature or actions of any person other than himself.

    Examine the personal references in just the first nine verses. From the context, it is clear David is speaking of his own nature.

    [1] Have mercy upon ME, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out MY transgressions.
    [2] Wash ME throughly from MINE iniquity, and cleanse ME from MY sin.
    [3] For I acknowledge MY transgressions: and MY sin is ever before ME.
    [4] Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
    [5] Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    [6] Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make ME to know wisdom.
    [7] Purge ME with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash ME, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    [8] Make ME to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
    [9] Hide thy face from MY sins, and blot out all MINE iniquities.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    There are a two different ways to understand this passage.

    1. Calvinistically: That Jesus was speaking about how he saves certain people throughout all of history and not others by drawing them irresistably to him.

    2. Arminian: That Jesus was speaking about how it has only been granted for a certain number of Jews to come to him and learn from him as his apostles while on earth, the rest can't come because they have been hardened for the time. Thus, no one (of his audience at that time) can come to him (while he was in the flesh) unless it had been granted to them by the Father (who had predetermined who the 12 would be.) At this time God had only drawn a few to himself (apostles) but as John 12 clearly states when the Son of Man is lifted up He will draw ALL men to himself.

    Which of these is the most biblically supported?

    To determine that we must answer this question:
    WHY WAS JESUS' AUDIENCE UNABLE TO COME TO JESUS?

    Calvinist answer: Because they were born Total Depraved. (if you can show me that Jesus' Jewish audience in John 6 were born unable to see, hear understand and believe I will concede)

    Arminian answer: They could not believe, because: "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Otherwise they should see with their eyes, and they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them." John 12:39-40

    If John is correct then we can clearly see that Jesus' audience in John 6 were unable to believe because they were being temporarily hardened by God, not because they were born depraved as your system suggests.
     
  13. Skandelon

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    This guy is not really debating the issue of Total Depravity, he is debating the issue of Original Sin. Most Arminians confirm the doctrine of Original Sin. I only say this because I don't want this guy to be a reflection of true Arminian soteriology.
     
  14. russell55

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    Get your hands on NT greek lexicon and look the word up. Also, look at Romans 2:27--it says literally "the one who is by nature uncircumcised"--same word as in Ephesians 2:3. Did he become uncircumcised through habit? Or was he born that way? Same thing in Galatians 2:15--"we who are by nature Jews"--same word again.

    It has to do with the constitution of something--what it is made up of.
     
  15. Freshchicken

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    This guy is not really debating the issue of Total Depravity, he is debating the issue of Original Sin. Most Arminians confirm the doctrine of Original Sin. I only say this because I don't want this guy to be a reflection of true Arminian soteriology. </font>[/QUOTE]Ok, maybe I was debating the wrong issue. What would you say to someone who doesn't believe the doctrine of original sin?
     
  16. Frogman

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    I continue to be amazed that my depraved heart readily accepts that which agrees with me and cries 'literal', 'literal' where those opposing me are spiritualizing, yet at the same instance prepares itself to cry 'spiritual' spiritual' when where those in disagreement with me interpret literally.

    I prefer Interpretation by Conviction.

    What makes me a sinner? My nature is in bondage to sin. Now, to deny this same nature to any individual, including the infant and even the mentally incapable, renders them less than human. Or else, they clearly possess the human nature.

    Now, find Jeremiah 17.9 for a starting place. Even the context supports Total inability (depravity) of man. Does this speak of his moral nature, that is in showing kindness, I don't think so, but it answers toward the motive from the heart. "Good" choices, acts of kindness, none of this is found to be the 'way, the truth and the life'.

    May God Richly Bless Each and everyone of you.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  17. Skandelon

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    Read your bible. :D

    Seriously, the verses quoted in previous posts along with Romans wear it deals with Adam's sin being imputed upon all mankind should prove your point. Most Christians hold to Original Sin so it is pretty weird to hear of someone who doesn't. He is so far off base it may not be possible to reason with him.
     
  18. Freshchicken

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    Thanks Skadelon. I think part of his problem is that he has a baby boy who he can't imagine being sinful.
     
  19. russell55

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    That's because they are SOOOO much better than we are. They have yet to add sin upon sin to the sinful nature they are born with. The seed of the weed is there, but it has yet to sprout and grow and go to seed again.

    That's why I like that verse from Psalm 58 about the wicked (which we all are) being born estranged. It bring to me an image of a baby, sitting, facing away from God. He is not far from God, but his little back is turned away from Him. When he begins to crawl, guess what direction he goes...
     
  20. Skandelon

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    It funny how we are so much more compassionate for babies and children than for adults. Afterall, everyone used to be one of those cute little bundles. The next time an adult gets on your nerves think of their mommy holding and rocking them years ago and it kind of helps you to have compassion for them despite their behavior.

    Its hard to imagine that we would have more compassion upon them than our God would. I don't have all the answers but I do know one thing...God is a lot more loving than I am so I give it all over to Him and trust Him to do what is best. Ultimately, I think that is where we must all end up.
     

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