Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Are People Basically Good?

One of the core beliefs taught in the Bible is that humanity is fallen, evil, and in need of a savior.

This is not an idea that is easily accepted.

We prefer to think of ourselves as self-sufficient creatures that can to fix our faults on our own.  Many religions teach about improvement through some sort of personally actualized system.  Many Christians also embrace a philosophy of self-salvation.  The concept of an evil humanity is largely rejected in America today.

No one really wants to confront the depravity that is in the hearts of all people, because if we do we have to confront the evil that is in us.  This makes us uncomfortable.

And besides, it is easy to look past the evil of humanity when you live in America.  Things are actually pretty good here.  Just last week I heard a major concern about whether or not the new iPhone had a strong enough case to keep it from bending while carried in skinny jeans.  It is easy to think the world is a pretty good place full of good people when our biggest problems are the strength of the aluminum cases on our phones.

To better understand just how evil humanity is we need to take a look at some of the worries that people of other countries suffer.  When we look at the larger world, our need for a personal savior becomes clear.

For example . . .

In Bulgaria, people worry that Russia will turn off their gas this winter.

In Ukraine, people worry about whether their country will still exist tomorrow or be taken over by a power hungry man.

In Syria people worry about being killed because they are part of the wrong faction.

In Iraq people worry about being beheaded for their beliefs or nationality.

In Israel people worry about attacks from neighboring anti-Semites who want to wipe them off the face of the earth.

And in America we worry that our new iPhone will bend in our back pocket.

And we think it's a big deal when it does.

Do you still think we are basically good?

Do you still think we don't need a savior?

1 comment:

  1. Back when I worked as a psych nurse, I was leading a support group for patients suffering from depression. It was the day after the first Gulf War started, and many were troubled, and couldn't understand why Saddam Hussein would gas his own people. I talked about how some people are just "evil". How else would you explain that? The next day I was shocked to be reprimanded by my supervisor. One of the patients complained because the discussion of "evil" upset him, and my supervisor didn't believe in "evil". How ironic that people can't be set free by salvation, until they acknowledge the "evil" they need to be saved from.