The Total Depravity of Man....

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by pinoybaptist, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    From the Gospel Messenger, by Elder Sylvester Hassel. The article is really a reply to another Elder's inquiry on the Man of Sin, but Elder Hassel did a beautiful description of the Total Depravity of man, as well.

    Any thoughts ?
     
  2. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sorry, forgot the link for those who may want to see what Elder Hassel had to say about the Man of Sin. For those who may want to know, Elder Hassel is one of the more able Elders of the Primitive Baptist Church in the 1800's.
     
  3. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    This elder's writings may be important to you PinoyBaptist, but let me ask you what it is you truly believe about God's creation called man? Did God make junk that is "worthless" and completely incompetant, totally depraved so that he can't even respond to the Word of God without first being made "again" able to respond? Wouldn't that be the same as "being junk" instead of being made in the image of God?

    So in your own words speaking of your own closely held beliefs, tell us exactly what you think of God's created man.

    Tell us what it means to be "totally depraved", what are the symptoms?

    Then tell God about how badly he made us.
     
  4. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Total depravity IS NOT man's inability to do anything good. (Many people incorrectly think this).

    Total depravity IS man's inability to do anything perfectly in accordance with God's plan.
     
  5. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would have loved to tell you exactly what I believed about fallen man, Yelsew, except for the last line of your post, which tells me that you're really not interested to know.
     
  6. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Seems a little oxymoronic to say that the same people can do good but can't do "perfect" which is GOOD! Is anything less than perfect Good in God's eyes?

    Are we not speaking of gradients of good?

    If a person is "Totally anything", how is it possible to be even a smidgeon of anything else?

    If Calvinism would care to say that man has a measure of depravity that makes man less than God requires of man, then we can have agreement. However, to say that man is totally depraved and completely unable to do anything, which TOTALITY requires, is not in accordance with the scriptures which reveals that man is quite capable of hearing and responding to God. Even Adam and Eve were "ordered out of the Garden", God did not simply teleport them from one place to the next, they responded to God's order and walked under their own power.

    If Calvinism would accept that God made man in God's image, and therefore man is not junk but a highly prized by God image of Himself, in the same manner that our children are essentially images of our own beings. Look how much we love and cherish our own children. Could God not love us infinitely more because we are made in his image?

    Yes we sin, look at our own children, they sin against us starting at a pretty young age. But they are not "totally depraved", they still hear our words and respond. They are chastised If we love them, and they are corrected because we love them. AND, left to their own devices, they would continue to sin. Yet, we as parents do everything in "our power" to correct their behavior, and thank God most of the time we are successful.

    Total Depravity is a myth! Expell it from you belief system!
     
  7. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0

    Remember 9-11. There were a lot of unsaved people that day, performing selfless acts. Though unsaved, God was present in them when they did so.

    IMO, yes. doing good and working to be perfect are two separate ussues.

    If were were only partially depraved, we'd only partially need Jesus. I can't accept that.

    I think the definition I posted (inability to do perfectly) meets that criterion.

    I think that Calvinism does have that view, but that hypercalvinism doesn't. Calvinists forget that neither the Bible, nor Calvin himself, use the phrase "total depravity".
    If it is defined as the inability to do anything good, then you're right. If it is defined as the inability to do anything perfectly, then it is not.
     
  8. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    It means that no part of us (this is where the TOTAL comes in) is as it should be--no part of us is as it was before Adam fell. Our mind, our body, our desires, every single part of us is affected by Adam's fall--nothing is as God made it when He created--everything is corrupted. Our desires are not holy. Our mind contemplates things we oughtn't. We love things we shouldn't love, and don't love the things we ought to in the way we ought to. Our bodies desire things they shouldn't, they don't function as they ought to, they break down. Every part of us bears the marks of the corrupting influence of our ancestors in the G of E.

    This argument won't fly, because total depravity has NOOOOOTHING WHATSOOOOOEVER to do with how God made us. It has everything to do with what came into creation when Adam fell. The whole human race, and the whole of creation, was corrupted as a result of the fall in the G of E. The entrance of sin into the creation really changed things.

    Now, you don't have to agree with the concept of total depravity, but you could try to understand that no one who believes in TD believes that the source of the depravity is God No one believes that it is God's action (or creative work) that makes people depraved. So this particular argument against TD is useless because it argues against a position that is imaginary, not real.
     
  9. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm thinking this might be a false distinction. God's standards of righteousness (or goodness) are perfect righteousness. A little taint of unrighteousness makes an act not righteous IN GOD'S EYES.

    So in our eyes (the human ones) we do good things--we love our children and care for them, fire fighters risk their lives to save people, etc--but even the least tainted human beings don't do those things to God's standards. All our righteous acts are as filthy rags to God. They fall so short of the moral standard of who God is, that in His eyes, they cannot be called truly righteous (or good).

    Those heroic firefighters are a whole lot better than an axe murderer, and probably a whole lot better than me, but the morality of an axe murderer (or even my morality) is not what goodness is measured by. Even the most heroic of human acts fall short of God's standard of righteousness--the standard determined by who God is, by His character--and so are not good (or righteous) in by His standards.
     
  10. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hey, Russell 55:

    You are three posts shy of your thousandth !

    God bless ! [​IMG]
     
  11. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    It means that no part of us (this is where the TOTAL comes in) is as it should be--no part of us is as it was before Adam fell. Our mind, our body, our desires, every single part of us is affected by Adam's fall--nothing is as God made it when He created--everything is corrupted. Our desires are not holy. Our mind contemplates things we oughtn't. We love things we shouldn't love, and don't love the things we ought to in the way we ought to. Our bodies desire things they shouldn't, they don't function as they ought to, they break down. Every part of us bears the marks of the corrupting influence of our ancestors in the G of E.

    This argument won't fly, because total depravity has NOOOOOTHING WHATSOOOOOEVER to do with how God made us. It has everything to do with what came into creation when Adam fell. The whole human race, and the whole of creation, was corrupted as a result of the fall in the G of E. The entrance of sin into the creation really changed things.

    Now, you don't have to agree with the concept of total depravity, but you could try to understand that no one who believes in TD believes that the source of the depravity is God No one believes that it is God's action (or creative work) that makes people depraved. So this particular argument against TD is useless because it argues against a position that is imaginary, not real.
    </font>[/QUOTE]This is as good as an explanation as anyone can give, Russell. Thank you. I have cut and paste it into notepad for reference. It is as Paul said in Romans 7:15-25, in the end of which he laments, O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death...
     
  12. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    It is this philosophy that separates us. We are physically, in the natural realm exactly what God made when he made Adam with one exception, we all have belly buttons, where Adam did not! We have the same bio-physical capabilities that Adam had. We have the same finger count, toe count, ear count, eye count, nose, breast, and other parts count, and they all function exactly like those that God created Adam to have. God's Creation did not get altered because of sin! From the very beginning in the Garden, everything created has exactly the same functions as it did when Created. grass seed still germinates, grows, flowers, and dies now like it did then. ETC.

    The only thing that did change is man's spirit which was in direct communication with God, who is Spirit, is no longer in direct communication with God. We are separated from God by sin! We remain so separated because we continue to sin. That is why we must be born again, which is purely a spiritual rebirth. We are not, and truly cannot be reborn in the flesh. We have one physical life to live, and that is all we get! Truly we have only one spirit too! But our spirit gets a second chance at life everlasting, and that chance is through the process called "being born again"! It is a process of belief, of being persuaded by something outside of ourselves that we are in need of that which is called Salvation or Restoration into a spiritual relationship with God through belief in His only begotten Son Jesus, who is called the Christ.

    Since we are exactly what God created in Adam, and since we are physically unchanged from Adam, and since we still retain the same spirit that we were intended to have, we are not "totally depraved" to the point that there is nothing good, or of intrinsic spiritual value about us to the one who made us, because He sent us His only begotten Son for our redemption.

    You can go ahead and believe there is nothing good if you want, but God gave a most precious gift to redeem us unto himself. Yes God has done every bit of the work necessary for our redemption, but he leaves it up to us to believe and be saved.
     
  13. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm honored....

    Oofda! Thank you for noticing--I probably would have missed it.
     
  14. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    The question is not about whether we have the same body parts and whether they perform the same functions. It's about whether our bodies perform all of those functions as perfectly as they did before the fall.

    Do you believe that if Adam and Eve had not sinned, they would still have died? Could a sinless Adam have had heart disease? Would their bodies have degenerated with old age?

    Ahh...but we will get new bodies--resurrection bodies. Our perishable, corrupt, mortal, dishonorable, weak bodies that we that we inherited from the first man--Adam, are changed into imperishable, uncorruptible, immortal, glorious, powerful bodies that we have inherited because of our identification with Christ. What's undone in Adam restored (and made even better) in Christ.

    First of all, I didn't say that there is nothing "good" in us. and neither does the doctrine of TD. The remants of the image of God remain in us, but that's what they are--remnants. We are shadows of our former selves, but you can still see (albeit more faintly) the image of God in those shadows.

    Secondly, are you really saying that God gave His precious Son to redeem us BECAUSE HE SAW VALUE IN US????? Surely you jest? God was making some sort of equal value trade when He sent His Son--saying, in essence, "Those guys are worth a lot to Me, so I think I'll pay a whole lot for them."? Where's the grace in that? Where is the UNMERITED act of God in that?

    If God redeemed us because WE HAD VALUE, then our salvation was merited.
     
  15. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    ""Do you believe that if Adam and Eve had not sinned, they would still have died? Could a sinless Adam have had heart disease? Would their bodies have degenerated with old age?"

    YES! I do believe that!


    "Ahh...but we will get new bodies--resurrection bodies. Our perishable, corrupt, mortal, dishonorable, weak bodies that we that we inherited from the first man--Adam, are changed into imperishable, uncorruptible, immortal, glorious, powerful bodies that we have inherited because of our identification with Christ. What's undone in Adam restored (and made even better) in Christ."

    Ahh Yes! But is it a physical flesh body? OR is it a Spirit body? You see, man cannot see God because we are not as He is. But when we die this natural death, we Shall see God AS HE IS, and Jesus said that GOD is Spirit, and Scripture says that we are made in the IMAGE of GOD, therefore we too ARE spirit! When our flesh is laid in the ground, it has no spirit to accompany it because the spirit has risen to be with Jesus or to be in that mystical holding tank awaiting judgment. Satan is spirit, the demons are spirit and they are cast into the lake of fire, and unbelievers who are spirit will be likewise cast into the lake of fire.

    "If God redeemed us because WE HAD VALUE, then our salvation was merited."

    If we had no value to God, why in all of eternity would he give us His Grace? Why would he give us his Son, Why would he give us the promise of eternal life, IF WE ARE OF NO VALUE TO HIM?

    "Merit" implies effort on the part of that which is redeemed, whereas "value" does not!
     
  16. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2002
    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Romans 5:
    10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
    11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
    12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned :
    13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
    14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
    15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

    Had Adam not sinned he would not have died. Death entered because of sin. This is why in heaven there will be no more death, because there is no sin there.

    On a side note, I'm glad to see that there is honest, good-hearted debate going on now, instead of mudslinging and name-calling.

    Happy Thanksgiving and remember what the true meaning of it is; to give thanks to God. That is something Calvinists, Arminians, and everyone in between can agree on.

    God Bless. Bro. James [​IMG]
     
  17. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Was man created to be an eternal being? Well let's see.

    Did God create the earth to be eternal? Did God not establish that the earth was to orbit the sun spinning as it goes? Does the course of the earth not cause changes all over the earth including seasonal death of many species that populate the earth? Did man's sin cause that?

    Is physical man not a created being made from the dust of the earth like all things of the earth? Do not all things of the earth "come and go" that is, like the grass that grows, flowers, seeds, then dies?

    Did God not establish the "perpetuation of the species" so that when one generation dies another takes its place? Did man's sin cause that?

    So Yes, I believe that physical man was not created to be eternal any more than all the rest of the things of this earth were made to be eternal.

    Now with that said, I must say that only applies to Physical Man. I believe that Man is spirit that inhabits a flesh body and that the spirit is the life of the flesh, and that the spirit and body cannot be separated without death, or supernatural intervention like that described for the second coming of the Christ. Jesus told us that the Father is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit, and in truth. Jesus knew the truth about man, that man is spirit because man's spirit is what was "lost" to sin through Adam. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost!

    So, Is spirit eternal? ABSOLUTELY! Paul told us "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. In context he was talking about the death he faced and which all of us in one form or another face. He was not talking about being "out of the body of believers, alone with the Lord", though imprisonment could cause one to think that way. Also, one does not need to go any further than to a cemetery and recognize that all the graves are occupied, even those of Christians, to know that the contents of the graves do not include spirit. The flesh is dead because the spirit has departed to be with the object of the faith held while the the spirit was in the flesh. For believers in Jesus they shall have eternal life. For unbelievers, they shall be cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14,15)
     
  18. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Really?! You, sir, are a thoroughgoing Pelagian then, and I'm not one to toss around that label lightly. Doesn't it give you pause when you consider that Pelagianism has been considered heresy by the church throughout history?

    Okay, so when did God subject creation to futility? Do you believe that was before the fall, then?

    And if Adam could have died of heart disease, wouldn't the seed of that heart disease--whatever it is that predisposes him to build up plaque, for instance--have to have been present when he was created? If it wasn't, how did he acquire it?

    Well, I think I can safely call it a MATERIAL body--that's the whole point of 1 Cor 15. And it is the seed of our old earthly body redeemed and made new.

    Okay, let's start by defining grace. Grace is getting something better than what we deserve. So it is impossible for us to have received grace because we were worth it. If we were worth it, we would have only received what we deserved, not grace.

    And the whole point of the first 10 verses of Ephesians 2 is that God GRACIOUSLY took something worthless (something that was BY NATURE--what we were in essence, by our very makeup--an object of His wrath) and changed it into something of value--something that could be seated with Christ AFTER it had been completely changed.

    Ephesians 2 also answers the question as to why God graciously saved worthless sinners: So that in the ages to come, He can point to us as examples of how deep His grace is. He is so gracious--so willing to give what is completely undeserved--that He will stoop to pick up objects deserving only His wrath, and change them into something He can have in His presence.

    That's why we're called HIS workmanship, HIS masterpieces. He created perfectly, and we completely messed up this first creation--the first masterpiece. Yet, even though this messed up creation--this ruined masterpiece--is worthless and only deserves to be trashed, God is graciously not sending us out with the trash, but is completely reworking things, making a new masterpiece out of the ruined one: recreating new people, with new hearts and new bodies, living in a new earth. This second masterpiece will be even better than the first was before it was corrupted, for it will be incorruptible.

    Hmmmm.....Okay, I looked it up. Merit doesn't have to contain the idea of effort. It can simply mean something obtained because of worth or value. But perhaps "deserved" would have been a better word in order to avoid confusion.

    So, I stand by my original statement:

    "If God redeemed us because WE HAD VALUE, then our salvation was merited [deserved]."
     
  19. Yelsew

    Yelsew
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Knock off the name calling and attempts at "pigeon-holing"! Try thinking this issue through for a change. Study to show thyself approved unto God. God said, "My people perish for lack of knowledge!"
    [Gen 5:4,5] Adam lived for eight hundred years after the birth of Seth and he fathered sons and daughters. In all, Adam lived for nine hundred and thirty years; then he died. How's that for longevity? We are considered old when we reach 70 years, and Good ol' Adam lived 936 years. His sons and their sons and their sons all lived good long lives, and the best that we can hope for is 120 years at best! No, I don't believe Adam was created to be an eternal being in the flesh!
    The seed that is sewn does not produce seeds, but rather a life that produces seeds. It is not the same flesh, body, or even shape. So then, Why is so difficult to think of it as spirit?
    I don't think so. Grace is a behavioral characteristic of the one possessing it. It shapes one's behavior toward others. Grace is not something that can be given. However, other gifts can be given while grace prevails. Those gifts from God we would call "blessings". Salvation is a blessing to the one receiving it, and it was given while God is behaving in accordance with HIS GRACE.
    (paraphrase)"For while God is behaving in accordance with His grace we are saved (the gift given under grace) through our faith in God, and not of ourselves, it (salvation) is a gift of God, not of works (that require compensation) lest any man should boast!"

    Yeah, you're right we didn't, nay, couldn't do anything to save ourselves from the fate that sin declares which is death. In fact we still cannot avoid death for it is appointed unto man once to die, then the judgment. So all mankind will die the first death; even the two in the word of God that were "translated" in the flesh to another place, but who will return to be the two witnesses in the streets of Jerusalem, in order to fulfill the edict that ALL mankind must die, then for believers we bypass the second death passing from death into life eternal with Jesus. But for the unbeliever, they too will all die, and each and every one of them (who are judged already by their own unbelief-John 3:18) will be judged and cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:15).
    Well guess what? We are those ages to come, we look back on those that Paul is addressing and wonder about God's grace in which HE gave to those Ephesians then, what HE GIVES TO US NOW while HIS Grace still prevails, that hoped for Salvation! Perhaps we too will be looked upon by future generations as examples of God's redemptive power in the same way we look back on those first century believers in Ephesus.
    God the father is doing for us what we do for our children that go astray. He does what he must to redeem us, but He still leaves it up to us to believe and be saved.
    Hmmmm.....Okay, I looked it up. Merit doesn't have to contain the idea of effort. It can simply mean something obtained because of worth or value. But perhaps "deserved" would have been a better word in order to avoid confusion.

    So, I stand by my original statement:

    "If God redeemed us because WE HAD VALUE, then our salvation was merited [deserved]."</font>[/QUOTE]Well frankly Russell55, I believe that our salvation is merited, but not by anything we do, but because God deemed it so! God declared us to be of value to HIM, therefore the manner that God Himself chose to show that He Values us is by offering us salvation through His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ. So yes, Salvation is merited upon what God did for us, not by what we can do. If He did not value us, he would not save us!
     
  20. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    I didn't realize that being classified would bother you. Pelagianism has a definition, and if you meet that criteria for pelagianism, then it's really not name-calling, but classifying your theological position. I asked you specific questions to see where you are coming from, and the answers all lined up with the accepted definition of Pelagianism: </font>
    • The belief that at any moment we are able to choose between good and evil and perform the good if that's what we choose. Sin consists only of deliberate choices of evil.</font>
    • The belief that everyone since Adam has been born into the same position Adam was before his fall. Adam's sin affected no one but himself.</font>
    • The belief that Adam was created mortal and that he would have died even if the fall had not taken place.</font>
    • The belief that we can live free from sin if we wish,</font>
    See. I was thinking it through..... :D , and I was not using the term lightly.

    You forgot to answer my question about when exactly it was that God subjected creation to futility. Can you answer that now? When was it that creation was put into bondage to corruption?

    Can you also tell me where you are getting your definition of grace?

    That's certainly ONE of the ways the word is used, and in that case it means that the one possessing grace behaves toward others in a way that is better than the others deserve. But it's not the only way it's used. And of course, what is pertinent here is how Paul uses the word.
     

Share This Page

Loading...