What Constitutes a Depraved Nature?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    What does it mean to have a depraved nature? Is there more than one realm of depravity one can be speaking of? Could a person not have a depraved nature at birth in one realm, yet possess a depraved nature in another realm? There are different realms to speak of are there not? Is there not a physical realm of depravity, a spiritual realm of depravity and a closely related moral realm of depravity tied to the spiritual realm, all separate and distinct?
     
    #1 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 12, 2009
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  2. ray Marshall

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    Heavenly Pilgrim, I don't know if this makes concrete sense but here goes from a view that I think makes Doctroinal sense and I can be wrong as Man is just a depraved sinner.'

    I read that man is in a state of nature as GOD did place all his created beings as a insect to a living man and all the betweens. All GOD'S created beings, vegetables and etc are in the nature that GOD placed them in. Man is in the nature that GOD saw in his own will. Dogs stay in the nature of a dog, and go from one species to another. Dogs bark, bite an so on. Cows eat grass give milk and what-so-ever GOD placed them in. Incidently in GENESIS GOD cursed the serpent lower than the curse of cattle. Cattle are used as a food method and has the curse of dying for the use of food. You never hear a cow's bark and so on with every kind of what GOD created. Asd I feel it to be, Man is in the nature GOD intended him to be and seeing man at all times before GOD gives him a spirital nature, then when that happens, Man is in his nature and also in a spiritual nature given to him only by GOD. So before he is ever given a spiritual nature he is only in a depraved nature and can not recover his own self. I hope that makes some kind of sense.
     
  3. DHK

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    Here is a good article you might want to read. I will post part of it for you:

    http://www.feasite.org/Foundation/fbcsinof.htm
     
  4. Marcia

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    A depraved nature means we are born with a sin nature and have the will to sin instead of the will to know and obey God.

    I am not sure what you mean by "realm." Do you mean earth vs. heaven?

    When someone believes in Christ, His righteousness is imputed to that person and the person is clothed in Christ, but still has a sin nature. However, he is no longer a slave to sin.

    For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Gal 3.27

    As we grow in Christ, we are transformed into the image of Christ. This will be completed in heaven. There is no spiritual depravity for one whose home is heaven.

    Satan and the fallen angels are depraved but cannot be redeemed.
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Are you saying that you have no conception of a distinction between physical depravity, or the depravity of the sensibilities, as opposed to moral depravity, or are you saying you disagree with the concepts (between moral and physical) being distinctly different or what? By realms I am trying to distinguish the moral from the physical. They are different in nature and the laws governing them are distinctly different. For instance one way to express the distinction of the two realms might be to say that the physical realm is governed by necessity whereas the moral realm is governed by choice.
     
    #5 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 12, 2009
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  6. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Here is the problem I have faced with DHK and others in the discussion of a depraved nature.

    Let’s say that I hate Ford cars but love their trucks. One then asks me the following question. “ Do you love Fords?” Now the first task I have to do is to distinguish between Ford trucks and cars. In order to answer them I might say, “Well, Ford has both cars and trucks, some of which I love and some of which I hate. First distinguish whether or not it is Ford cars or Ford trucks that you are asking about. Then and only then can I tell you if I love them.”

    The same goes for questions posed by DHK when he repeatedly asked me as to whether or not I believed in mankind having a depraved nature. Knowing full well that there are differing realms of depravity, both physical and moral, I cannot answer the question until he places parameters around his question by specifying which realm of depravity he is referring to as well as to when in ones life span does he ask. Is he asking from birth or from first light of moral agency? Without one first specifying the needed parameters involved in ones question, reasonable answers are impossible to grant and foolish to give.

    This is not about playing games with words, this is about learning to frame ones questions do to get at the heart of the truth of the matter and not to simply foment misunderstanding by answering in a manner that ignores the parameters needed for an accurate and truthful answer.
     
    #6 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 12, 2009
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  7. Marcia

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    Well, I think they are tied together. God made us a body/mind/spirit unity.

    I am not sure what you mean by physical depravity - do you mean physical age and decay or physical lust (lust is not always physical). Physical sins are not a necessity; we choose to perform them.

    What laws are you talking about? We are in sin and need redemption - we don't need to know laws.
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: No, you don’t need to know laws. Reality has a way of teaching them regardless of one determination to avoid them. You may not know about the physical law of gravity and may have no desire to learn, but before one is too old it has a way of getting through our thick skulls its principles in spite of all opposition to acquire any knowledge of it. You have no choice in the laws of the physical realm for they are governed by necessity that even one desiring not to know or recognize will certainly find out in time.

    Physical depravity is depravity of the physical. How is that for a definition? It takes on different forms. It may be an outward physical deformity one is born with. Since the fall mans appearance has obvious been marred with outward physical degradation or depravity. Children are born with all sorts of deformities visible on their bodies. That would be one form of physical depravity. Another form of physical depravity is on the inside of their bodies, within the organs including the brain. Crack babies would be a very understandable form of physical depravity in that they are born with an unnatural craving for a substance that exhibits itself as an unnatural sensibility or desire.


    All of us are born with unnatural sensibilities, cravings and desires linked to our physical makeup that are the results of sin. Sin has a profound effect upon the physical bodies of our offspring. When Adam sinned, his sensibilities were affected by the fall in that his physical body, including the physical mechanisms involved in the sensibilities, began to deteriorate. Not only was he affected personally, but passes on that physical depravity via his genes that pass it to his children by natural generation.
     
    #8 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 13, 2009
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  9. DHK

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    What you have described is simply the second law of Thermodynamics. It is a part of the curse in the sense that we are "dying." All things are in a state of decay, deterioration. This has nothing to do with the depravity of man, or his sin nature. You simply confuse the matter whether deliberately or not, I am not sure. I think you really want to avoid speaking about the issue of the depravity of man, his sinful nature. The link that I gave you in a previous post describes it well.

    The depravity of man has to do with the spiritual nature of man, his moral nature, his inner nature, his will, soul, spirit. He has a propensity to sin because he has inherited a sin nature passed on to him by Adam. This nature is not physical. It is spiritual. It is exactly what Jesus said it was:

    Mark 7:21-22 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

    I trust you won't deny the words of Christ when he describes our sin nature. He tells us how wicked our hearts are. That is he is describing our sinful nature, our depraved nature, the heart, our innermost being that does evil without even trying.
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: You are once again beside yourself DHK in making assumptions and accusations that are simply false and uncalled for. If I did not desire to speak about the depravity of man or his sinful nature, or was avoiding speaking directly to the matter, do you believe I would spend hours on this list doing that very thing? I have written dozens if not hundreds of posts involving both the depravity of man and his sinful nature. Hardly avoiding I would think.

    Let me set the record straight for DHK and all others. I would suggest that DHK make a careful notion of the following remark, so that when he is tempted to state things that are not true concerning my beliefs or my intentions, he can refer to my own words for a change to get him back on track with the facts. I have always believed that man is totally depraved, and that man has a sinful nature. I will challenge anyone on this list, or that knows me for that matter, to offer one shred of evidence to the contrary. I will readily agree that what he obvious considers them to consist of I would not agree with, nor would I agree with him on the state we are born in. I certain describe those conditions differently than he does and attach moral depravity subsequent to the age of accountability, not before. The primary difference is that DHK looks at both these states through the Augustinian dogma of original sin, and I do not. I believe Scripture, reason, matters of fact and truths of immutable justice will bear that out.

    Moving right along…..
    What I have done this far is to establish that the depravity of man reaches in the direction of the physical. Yes, DHK, the depravity of man reaches into the moral realm as well, something no one can deny. I will speak to that when we cover the territory of the physical realm that needs to be covered so as to answer your question clearly as possible. I would hope that even DHK could understand that the physical propensities, that which serve the mind with feeling, desires, wants, etc., that act as inclinations or temptations to overindulge or simply act in a selfish manner, are in fact clearly depraved as a direct result of the fall via physical depravity. I would hope that DHK and others might also see that a depraved appetite is not sin in and of itself nor can it be. Temptation is not sin,, a desire to overindulge in a selfish manner is not sin, but rather as Scripture, not I , points out in James, that sin is conceived and only conceived when the will forms intents to act in accordance to those desires. To fail to understand this most important distinction between a temptation to sin, or a proclivity to sin, or a desire to sin, and sin itself, is to commit a most grievous error of great consequence in the arena of morality. It will serve to confuse the mind and give the enemy of our souls room to falsely accuse the brethren for sin when in fact no sin takes place until the will acts upon the temptation.

    Hopefully I have established clearly to the open mind searching for truth that depravity involves the physical realm as well as the spiritual and moral realm (which will be addressed at the right time) , and that desires alone, proclivities alone, do not constitute sin but rather serve as a formidable influence to sin.

    I am not unaware of the fact that we have not even started in all reality to plumb the depths of even the physical side of depravity, and neither have we answered multitudes of questions that arise as one contemplates this important subject. Just the same I trust that we have at least touched on the subject so as to establish at least the distinctions that exist between physical and moral depravity. I would hope that we can see the process of sin, in that it first starts of in the mind as an impression, a temptation, a proclivity, etc to sin, and that sin itself is not to be confused with temptation or mere desire or want. Sin is formed in the heart subsequent to temptation. Sin is blameworthy, temptation in and of itself is not. Sin is moral involves a moral act. Temptation is the influence to a sinful act, not sin itself.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    One of the most important aspects of this discussion lies in the word ‘nature.’ Proponents of the doctrine of original sin try and make the word nature automatically infer a depraved mortal nature from birth, i.e. original sin, when that is simply not the case. Because the word ‘nature’ is used does not infer ‘from birth’ neither does it necessitate any such idea as original sin implies. There is no Scriptural evidence that the word ‘nature’ necessitates or implies any moral guilt from birth as those supporting the doctrine of original sin often claim.

    Nature first and foremost refers to the physical world. When we think of nature our minds automatically go to the realm of the physical. That is not to say that one does not nor cannot consider ones nature as moral in essence, but it does not necessary have to be moral for the word nature to be used. For instance, I can say that in a sense we have a nature to sin and that from birth, yet the reader should be aware that I do not believe in the Augustinian dogma of original sin. I generally refrain from using the words sinful nature or nature to sin because of the false notions of original sin such words gender in the minds of the Church world, and also the fact that they are not Scriptural terms. Just the same, I can, and on rare occasion do, refer to mankind as having a sinful nature or a nature to sin, but this is what I mean by that and I believe Scripture is referring to when it speaks of our nature.

    As I pointed out we are clearly born with depraved sensibilities as a direct result of the fall. Our ‘nature’ includes those desires of the flesh that arise from our depraved sensibilities that influence our wills to desire and in the end choose selfishness. Clearly that physical nature is depraved, thus one can allude to one having a 'nature to sin.'

    Alluding to a sinful nature is a bit more confusing. First, sin is not a state we are born into. Scripture gives us numerous passages that define sin. Sin is never defined as our necessitated nature from birth. Scripture defines sin in terms of being a will transgression against a known commandment of God. Never is sin referred to as a necessitated force part of our nature that cannot be resisted as original sin implies. Never does Scripture imply in any way that children from birth are sinful. I have addressed every passage used by those holding to original sin that I believe they use, and will be happy to address any and all objections as they arise. If one denies guilt as attached to ones ‘sinful nature’, then why allude to it as sinful? Would not a better way be to term it ‘a nature that encourages or tempts one to sin,’ rather that to simply attach the word ‘sinful’ to it where no actual sin may have yet occurred, such as in the case of an infant? I certainly think so. Consequently, when one refers to a ‘sinful nature,’ I believe it can only be properly referring to a nature developed by habit of yielding to selfishness prior to the age of accountability, and subsequent to the age of accountability by acts of direct sin. Certainly one can ‘in a sense’ speak of the nature that influences to sin, or serves as a proclivity to sin, as a sinful nature, if one is careful to denote that such a nature in no wise necessitates the individual as a sinner until they yield their wills in accordance to that nature , tendency, or proclivity. The easiest thing for me to do when speaking, if I desire to be clearly understood, is to avoid words such as ‘sinful nature’ or ‘nature to sin’ due to the many misconceptions such terms gender and in light of the misconceptions of the word ‘nature,’ the false notions original sin genders, and to what in Scriptural is in reality implied.
     
    #11 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jan 13, 2009
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  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Certainly simplicity is found in simply following the dogma of original sin, and all terms within that system so commonly understood by the Church that they need no defining, but truth is not often cloaked in such simplicity. Pr 2:1 ¶ My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
    2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
    3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
    4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
    5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
     
  13. InChrist

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    I was thinking about this subject and if being tempted was sin in itself then Jesus Christ would not have been sinless.

    Hbr 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

    There must be a line between what exactly temptation and lusts of the heart are though, because inward lust on a woman is the same as the outward action of adultery.
     
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Right on. :thumbsup:



    HP: Yes and no. Every sin starts in the heart. You can have lust in the heart and not have sin and you can have lust in the heart and sin. Lust is strong desire. That may or not be sin depending if it is simply strong temptation or in fact if your will has formed intentions in agreement to that desire. I am certain you have read James on the issue. Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
    15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
    16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

    Notice that lust, in the form of mere temptation, was not sin. Sin is conceived as the will starts forming intents in agreement to the temptation, by yielding to the temptation. I believe the Holy Spirit can and does draw the line for us if we are attentive to Him. If in doubt there is one way to always be right, abstain until your conscience is clear. God says that is our obligation if we have questions. “Anything that is not of faith is sin.”
     
  15. Marcia

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    I would not call the above depravity, but rather the result of the Fall in that people are born with imperfect bodies. Depravity has to do with a sinful heart and will, not a deformed body.


    It is what we do about these unnatural sensibilities that counts. Do we give in to them or not? Sin starts in the will, not in the body.

    The body is fallen, but it's not evil.

     
  16. InChrist

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    Perhaps the body (flesh and blood) is evil?
     
  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I would call the body depraved, in the clear sense that it is developed appetites, impulses, influences upon the will that are a direct result of sin. These impulses are indeed impulses of the sensibilities, pertaining to our flesh and blood, and serve again as proclivities to selfishness and in the end sin. They are clearly warped, twisted, depraved from their God created state as a direct result of sin, but they of themselves are not sin.


    Quote:

    HP:
    All of us are born with unnatural sensibilities, cravings and desires linked to our physical makeup that are the results of sin. Sin has a profound effect upon the physical bodies of our offspring. When Adam sinned, his sensibilities were affected by the fall in that his physical body, including the physical mechanisms involved in the sensibilities, began to deteriorate. Not only was he affected personally, but passes on that physical depravity via his genes that pass it to his children by natural generation



    HP: Amen Marcia! :thumbsup: The flesh itself is not sinful. It may influence us to sin, it serves as a proclivity to sin but is NOT evil as you clearly say. We could not agree more. That is exactly opposite of the foundations of the dogma of original sin. Augustine believed that sin lied in the constitution of the flesh and not in the will. He was dead wrong and has caused, and is stil causing from his grave, great harm to the Church and God’s moral truth.



    HP: Once again, you are right on! I could not agree with you more. :thumbsup:
     
  18. InChrist

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    Hey thanks Marcia. I've not really looked into gnostic teaching before. Found some sites on it.. very interesting, though dangerous, views.
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I don’t get it. How can Gnostic teaching be dangerous, when the dogma of original sin, as believed and introduced into the Church by Augustine, the father of original sin, is held to by so much of the Church world even today? Who cannot see that such notions lie at the very foundation of thought of original sin, i.e., sin being transmitted by natural generation. If that does not place original sin in the realm of being transmitted physically, thus sin lying in the flesh as opposed to the will, ___ _____ __ ___ _ __________. I will let the reader fill in the blanks. :)
     

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