Man & Creation: Good or Bad

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 12strings, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    From and interesting Sunday School Discussion:

    Original Question: Is Man fundamentally Good or Bad?

    Point 1: God declared all creation "GOOD" when he made it. So a brick for example, is not merely neutral (not good or bad). It is actually made of good dirt that God declared good. So a tree, dirt, frog, piece of wood...while they could be used for good or evil...are not merely neutral, they are GOOD! Affected by the curse, yes, not as good as they could be yes, But isn't their fundamental nature GOOD?

    Application to Humans? I have always been taught that human beings WERE good, but NOW are fallen, and so fundamentally Evil and bad...BUT...would it not be more biblically accurate to say that man is FUNDAMENTALLY a GOOD creature? A fallen, sinful, creature with a wicked, deceptive heart, but a GOOD CREATION?

    So how can we answer the question, is Man fundamentally good or evil? Or Both?
     
  2. OldRegular

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    It depends on your standard. Scripture tells us:

    Psalms 14:3. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Psalms 53:3. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Matthew 19:17. And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    Mark 10:18. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

    Luke 18:19. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

    Romans 3:12. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.


    On that basis I would say that man is fundamentally evil and unable in himself to change that nature. Are all men as evil as they could be? No!
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    My two cents...

    Man and woman are good in terms of being part of God's Creation. The stars, the ants, the rivers, and the rest are good because we reflect God's creative genius. We are image-bearers of God as humans which is a very good thing. We are uniquely good in that. But that goodness is not a saving goodness. It isn't a justifying goodness. Nor does it emanate from within. It isn't our nature. It comes from God declaring it to be so.

    But our true nature - inherited from our original parents - is bad. We do not possess the ability to even save ourselves from that nature or cleanse us from our own transgressions. God has to do that for us. That bad nature DOES emanate from us. It makes up the totality of who we are as free-will beings.
     
  4. Winman

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    I believe men are born upright, but all men through their own free will choose to sin and become evil.

    Ecc 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

    They word "they" points directly to the word "man" showing this verse is speaking of all men, not just Adam.

    All scripture supports this, scripture always speaks of man "going astray" or "turning to their own way", or "becoming unprofitable" which shows originally they were upright but went astray in sin and became sinful.

    Psa 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    This is the scripture Paul quoted in Romans 3. It does not say man is born out of the way, it says he has "gone aside". It does not say he is born filthy, it says he has "become filthy".

    And when a man repents, it is said he returns to God.

    1 Pet 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    If a man is born separated from God, it could not be said he "goes astray". If a man is born separated from God, it could not possibly be said that he is now "returned" to God.

    When the prodigal son repented, twice Jesus said he was alive AGAIN.

    Luk 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

    Luk 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

    If man is born dead in sin as many teach, then it could never be said he is alive again, but that is exactly what Jesus said.

    Rom 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
    10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
    11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

    Paul said he was alive once without the law. This could never be said if man is born dead in sin. I believe Paul is explaining that when he matured and understood the law, then the law convicted him of sin and slew him, he spiritually died.

    I could go on and on, look for yourself, the scriptures always show a man originally upright, but then going astray and becoming filthy. You will see this over and over again in scripture.

    Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

    Read Luke 15. The shepherd had 100 sheep, one went astray and the shepherd sought and recovered it. Then Jesus explains he is speaking of one sinner that repents.

    Then Jesus describes a woman with ten pieces of silver, one is lost and she seeks for it and recovers it. Again, Jesus says this is speaking of a sinner that repents.

    But originally the sheep was in the flock, and originally the silver piece was in the possession of the woman.

    So, I do not believe we are born evil, we are born upright, but all men choose to sin and become lost. When we repent, we are alive AGAIN.
     
    #4 Winman, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2012
  5. OldRegular

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    Scripture tells us again:

    Romans 3:10-18
    10. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    11. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    12. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
    13. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
    14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
    15. Their feet are swift to shed blood:
    16. Destruction and misery are in their ways:
    17. And the way of peace have they not known:
    18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.


    Now considering what God says through the Apostle Paul it is hard. no impossible, to see any good in mankind. Sure there are men who are more evil than others but so what.
     
  6. Amy.G

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    I'm not so sure some are more evil than others. Some just act it out more. We're all equally evil in heart, otherwise we could boast that I'm better than so and so.
     
  7. Scarlett O.

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    That'll preach!
     
  8. OldRegular

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    All [unregenerate] mankind is in the same fallen state and spiritually dead unable of himself to savingly believe the Gospel [Total Depravity], however, that does not mean that all men are as evil as they could be.
     
  9. Winman

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    Where do the scriptures say a man is unable to believe?

    And to say a man is not as evil as he could be admits he is not enslaved to his sin nature. If man were truly enslaved to his sin nature, he would always choose to do the most evil thing he could do. He would be compelled to do so.

    So, when Calvinists say a man is enslaved to his sin nature, and then say he is not as evil as he might be is a direct contradiction.
     
  10. 12strings

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    Question, if Toyota mad 10,000 Camry's, and they all began failing in critical areas within a few years off the lot, would you say they are Good cars?

    I'm just trying to figure out how you reconcile that man is born upright with the ability to choose sin or not, but that EVERY SINGLE PERSON sins. It doesn't seem they are born with true free will, but with one inclined in a certain direction.
     
  11. 12strings

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    Is it not also true that all men are, even now after the fall, image bearers of the Living God? Isn't that good?
     
  12. 12strings

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    So would you say that while the rest of creation is cursed and fallen, and so not as good as it could be, it recieved the curse as a result of man's sin...and so man is "more fallen" than the rest of creation...since we are actively sinful.
     
  13. Scarlett O.

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    Maybe it's just semantics on my part, but I've always thought of "cursed" and "fallen" as two different things. Maybe they aren't? What do you think?

    Yes, creation is cursed, because of man. Creation was minding its own business when Adam and Eve sinned. God cursed the ground (the whole earth by some interpretations).

    But humanity is the fallen part of creation. And Adam and Eve did that to themselves. And we - being fallen because of Adam and Eve - continue the depravity all on our own. God didn't push Adam and Eve to make them fall and God doesn't make us sin, but He did curse (punish) creation on His own initiative without creation having done anything. And that curse was to punish Adam and Eve, not creation itself - because creation did not fall.
     
    #13 Scarlett O., Jun 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  14. Amy.G

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    The bible says the heart is wicked, that there is none good no not one.

    Where does it say that some are not as evil as they could be?
     
  15. jbh28

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    Jesus said that man is enslaved to sin.
     
  16. jbh28

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    Because look around you. You don't see man being as evil as he can. Not all unregenerate people kill people. Unregenerate man can love his wife. But in the true sense of "good" man isn't. Unregenerate never does anything to the glory of God. He never does anything out of worship to God. He never does anything of faith. His "good" is as filthy rags. So there is no one that is "good." An really, all one would have to do is commit one sin and would no longer be considered "good." James 2:10


    I think that you are on the right track in looking at the heart of man.
     
    #16 jbh28, Jun 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2012
  17. HankD

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    Agreed. Sin is unlearned and universal among humanity, therefore it is part of our nature.

    For the first few years after planting an apple tree it does not bear apples until it matures.

    However it was an apple tree all along.

    The expression of our total depravity is constrained by fear of retribution, the conscience and the Holy Spirit.

    Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:​

    Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.​

    John 16
    6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
    8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:​

    Without constraints we have:
    Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.​

    Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
    10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.​

    HankD
     
  18. OldRegular

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    Now surely Amy G. you can see the difference between a person who slaughters unborn babies and one who tries to prevent the slaughter of unborn babies?
     
  19. OldRegular

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    Amy G.

    Please note verse 12.

    Jeremiah 16:10-13
    10. And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?
    11. Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;
    12. And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:
    13. Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.
     
  20. OldRegular

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    I am not sure God agrees with you!
     

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