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Author: coralville Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 196416  
Subject: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 4:00 PM
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Azpackrfn: While it would be nice to believe we are inherently good, we are told otherwise in scripture.

I don't deny that in comparison to Christ, mankind can be seen as being evil and depraved. It is certainly the case that we are susceptible to temptation and I would even agree that our strongest instincts are for self-gratification, which often involves sin. So why do I still cling to my belief that man is basically good?

1. Scripture. Jesus said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Would Jesus ask us to love something that is intrinsically evil? Hard to believe. While humanity is certainly fallible, God seems to feel there is something of value within us worth redeeming.

2. Personal experience. In my day to day interactions with people I find that most are pretty decent. Most are generally honest, most are willing to help if needed, and most try to avoid hurting other people. In my experience, most people try to do the right thing, though they certainly don't always succeed. The fact that they try suggests a basic goodness.

3. Historical progress. I contend that we are a more moral civilization now than at any time in history. We now generally believe that slavery is wrong. We accept the notion that there are such things as human rights. We believe in due process of law. We decry torture. We believe that all people are created equal. Such thoughts would have seemed odd 500 years ago. I would also suggest that democratic forms of governing depend on the assumption that people are basically good and responsible citizens. Therefore, the success of democracies in our time is evidence for the basic goodness of humanity.

4. Krispy Kreme donuts, Ben and Jerry ice cream, McDonald's french fries. Seriously, any species that can make stuff like this can't be all bad.



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Author: shirah33 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41407 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 4:12 PM
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so...if you think people are basically good...when you park your car do you lock the car doors?

if so...why? people are good, they would not touch your car.

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Author: coralville Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41408 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 4:22 PM
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so...if you think people are basically good...when you park your car do you lock the car doors?

if so...why? people are good, they would not touch your car.


Actually here in Iowa City, I often don't lock my car doors. But then Iowa is often confused with heaven.

I do lock my car doors when I go to Chicago or any other big city. I trust 95% of the population. Its that last 5% that forces me to get a car alarm.

Let me ask you something in return. If you believe people are basically evil, do you spend your whole life sitting with your back to the wall and your finger on the trigger?

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41409 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 4:42 PM
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coralville:

Actually here in Iowa City, I often don't lock my car doors. But then Iowa is often confused with heaven.

While I agree with your assessment on why people are generally good instead of evil, I can't possibly agree the Iowa is like Heaven, unless you can find somewhere in the Bible where it says Iowa is borrrrrrrrrrrring.

Of course, to be fair, I lived in Ames. :-)

Jammer2

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Author: Jammer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41410 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 4:43 PM
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Jammer2:

I can't possibly agree the Iowa is like Heaven, unless you can find somewhere in the Bible where it says Iowa is borrrrrrrrrrrring.

Sorry, it would have been a lot funnier if I have said what I had meant to say, which was:

I can't possibly agree the Iowa is like Heaven, unless you can find somewhere in the Bible where it says Heaven is borrrrrrrrrrrring.


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Author: shirah33 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41412 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 5:05 PM
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Let me ask you something in return. If you believe people are basically evil, do you spend your whole life sitting with your back to the wall and your finger on the trigger?

no but i do take precautions. i lock my doors, and i take kung fu. i can duck a punch and run lol

but evil is not just people intending to hurt you..evil is also the person who has a cyber affair, then a real life affair and tears up his or her family just for their own self.



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Author: stockemup Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41413 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 5:05 PM
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to continue Coral's list on the other hand....

5. 42 million abortions since it became legal in 1972.

6. Ten commandments and Bibles removed from schools
while other very questionable books and documents
remain.

7. Oral sex in the Oval Office is just a private
issue.

8. Kids killing kids at school.

9. Homosexuality is embraced as an equivalent to
heterosexuality and marriage between the same
genders is just another lifestyle choice.

10. Drug use, sexual promiscuity, and violence by
today's youth are greater in the last 30 years
than at any time in our history.


One can always put a pretty face on anyone or anything. Its what is at the core of us that is fundamentally the problem and the depravity that comes about without God and our seeking Him in our lives.


Stockemup

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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41415 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 5:07 PM
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coralville said:

I don't deny that in comparison to Christ, mankind can be seen as being evil and depraved. It is certainly the case that we are susceptible to temptation and I would even agree that our strongest instincts are for self-gratification, which often involves sin. So why do I still cling to my belief that man is basically good?

1. Scripture. Jesus said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Would Jesus ask us to love something that is intrinsically evil? Hard to believe. While humanity is certainly fallible, God seems to feel there is something of value within us worth redeeming.

2. Personal experience. In my day to day interactions with people I find that most are pretty decent. Most are generally honest, most are willing to help if needed, and most try to avoid hurting other people. In my experience, most people try to do the right thing, though they certainly don't always succeed. The fact that they try suggests a basic goodness.

3. Historical progress. I contend that we are a more moral civilization now than at any time in history. We now generally believe that slavery is wrong. We accept the notion that there are such things as human rights. We believe in due process of law. We decry torture. We believe that all people are created equal. Such thoughts would have seemed odd 500 years ago. I would also suggest that democratic forms of governing depend on the assumption that people are basically good and responsible citizens. Therefore, the success of democracies in our time is evidence for the basic goodness of humanity.

4. Krispy Kreme donuts, Ben and Jerry ice cream, McDonald's french fries. Seriously, any species that can make stuff like this can't be all bad.


=======================================================
coralville, I think what you said here says a lot. So why do I still cling to my belief that man is basically good?

This is YOUR belief. Unfortunately, it isn't backed by scripture. Scripture tells us:

Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (ephasis mine)

Genesis 6:5-6- 5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (emphasis mine)

Romans 7:16-17 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (emphasis mine)

Luke 24:7 "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." (emphasis mine)

Romans 3:10-18 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They Have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." 13 "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced 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 they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (emphasis mine)

Through these verses (and many others), we see that we (man in general) is sinful and wicked. They do not say we should hate ourselves, although we should hate our sin. However, if we look at Romans 3:21-26 we find our righteousness in Jesus Christ.

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Because of these verses (and numerous others) I do agree that God sees great worth in us (for whatever reason, it certainly isn't deserved). So much so, in fact, that he sacraficed his Son to give us the opportunity to be reconciled to Him. We did not DESERVE this gift, however. We were given this gift despite what we are, not because of what we are.

Personal observations and beliefs are nice, but, we are fallible. God, however, is infallible. Because of this, I tend to trust what the Bible says about the matter, not what I would like to believe to be true.

God bless,

Dan

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Author: jpbailey Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41416 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 5:07 PM
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Great points. I'm not sure if I buy into the notion that man in intrinsicly evil. My sense is that humans are good but not perfect, if that makes sense. It's similar to we are created in the image of God but are not God.

Historical progress. I contend that we are a more moral civilization now than at any time in history. We now generally believe that slavery is wrong. We accept the notion that there are such things as human rights. We believe in due process of law. We decry torture. We believe that all people are created equal. Such thoughts would have seemed odd 500 years ago. I would also suggest that democratic forms of governing depend on the assumption that people are basically good and responsible citizens. Therefore, the success of democracies in our time is evidence for the basic goodness of humanity.

This is a little more difficult. You make a great point, but its a very western centric view point. Many countries still use tourture, there's still genocide - including Rawanda and Sudan which never received the attention Kosovow did. Human rights is still a major issue as are rights for women. Many Middle East countires still have very rigid roles and rules for women.

Some of this is a matter of perspective. Some of this is a matter of historical perspective (we always look back and think what were they thinking...). In some cases the "badness" is there but perhaps in different or more subtle forms. So while we've become more "moral" in some areas, the shift in "badness" has moved to other areas.

--John


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Author: stockemup Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41418 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 5:13 PM
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Coral said
Let me ask you something in return. If you believe people are basically evil, do you spend your whole life sitting with your back to the wall and your finger on the trigger?

I'll answer this as well. I do conceal carry because I am concerned, but I don't live my life in fear as God leads me and my family. Common sense prevails and to not be ready at all times is foolish

As an insight, you'd be shocked at how common shoplifting has become among people. It isn't just your standard thieves anymore. It's mothers and fathers using their children as lookouts or even the actual vehicle to get the items out the door. Its youth who have a drug habit, gambling problem, or need money for whatever. Its clergy who just decided that one little item wouldn't matter to anyone. 100 busts or more a month on average in just one store in a town of 25,000.

If people are so inherently good, then why is it the common citizen doesn't seem to have much of a conscience anymore when it comes to stealing? Its because our inborn nature is evil and only God's saving grace can rectify that problem.


Stockemup

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Author: ServeHim Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41425 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 6:55 PM
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Guess who spoke these words:

And now, ye moralists, ye who have trusted in yourselves that ye are righteous, if what I have said be true, what has become of all your holiness? You are saying "I am a charitable man." Grant that you are! I tell you to go and appeal to your fellow-creatures, and let them pay you for your charity. You say, "Ay, but I am a consistent and moral man. I am a great credit to the country; if all men would act as I do, what a good thing for this world and generation!" Of course you have served your generation. Then send in your bill, and let your generation pay you. I tell you, you have toiled for nought; you have only sown the wind, and likely enough you will reap the whirlwind. God owes you nothing; you have not lived to his honor; you must honestly confess that you have not performed a single action with a desire to please him; you have laboured to please yourself—that has been the highest motive you have had; you felt that if you were good you would go to heaven, and that if you were evil you would be sure to go to hell. You have been thoroughly selfish, from first to last. Reckon up your accounts and settle with yourself. God owes you nothing; you have done nothing for him; and if you have, then consider within yourself, you have so much violated God's commands, and so frequently done all you could to injure your Maker, if it were possible, that all your accounts are easily struck off. And as for your good works, where are they? Where are they? Ah! it is a figment and a fiction, a laugh and a dream. Good works in sinners? There are no such things. Augustine well said, "Good works, as they are called, in sinners, are nothing but splendid sins." This is true of the best works of the best man, who is out of Christ, they are nothing but splendid sins—vanished sins. God forgive you, dear friends, for your good works! You have as great need to be forgiven for your good works as you have for your bad ones, if you are out of Christ; for I reckon they are both alike, bad, if they come to be sifted.


Rick

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Author: NoFanofWise5044 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41426 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 6:55 PM
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coralville, I think what you said here says a lot. So why do I still cling to my belief that man is basically good?

This is YOUR belief. Unfortunately, it isn't backed by scripture.


Very well said, Dan. I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head. We try to reason our way through these issues but God is quite clear about our much valued human wisdom.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness" and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." 1 Corin 3:19-20

The bible tells us that our heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. That's clear enough for me.

In Him,

Brent ><>

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Author: StarWarriorRie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41433 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 7:56 PM
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so...if you think people are basically good...when you park your car do you lock the car doors?
if so...why? people are good, they would not touch your car. <I/>

I think most people are inherently good. Key word....most. Sometimes I lock my truck, sometimes I don't. It depends on where I am parking it.

But I do know someone that never parks her car. She is my mother. My mother is 73 years old and when I asked her one time why she never locked it I was told "If they want it they'll take it, if they don't they won't and it'll be here for me."

My dad...he believed in locking the car. <G> Of course he was a Policeman.

StarWarrior-Rie


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Author: stockemup Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41434 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 8:10 PM
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Best example that man's inherent nature is sinful, look at how some of us, including myself, respond to people sometimes and we are Christians and I believe very genuine ones.

Look at how some people who drive get enraged because you don't drive according to their expectations.

Witness the general lack of concern in society for helping with charitable organizations. The Salvation Army alone has been desparate for holiday help and giving to them is off. If man is so inherently good, why aren't we helping out in droves to the point where they say they can't use all of us?

Because we are inherently greedy, selfish, quick to anger, <insert your own bad personality or poor character trait here>....and as a catch all, sinful. We cannot help or save ourselves. It is only by God's power and grace that we are able to overcome these things.


Stockemup

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Author: ServeHim Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41436 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 8:29 PM
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He continues:

The cause of this is very apparent: it lies in one or two facts. We forget Christ, because regenerate persons as we really are, still corruption and death remain even in the regenerate. We forget him because we carry about with us the old Adam of sin and death. If we were purely new-born creatures, we should never forget the name of him whom we love. If we were entirely regenerated beings, we should sit down and meditate on all our Saviour did and suffered; all he is; all he has gloriously promised to perform; and never would our roving affections stray; but centered, nailed, fixed eternally to one object, we should continually contemplate the death and sufferings of our Lord. But alas! we have a worm in the heart, a pest-house, a charnel-house within, lusts, vile imaginations, and strong evil passions, which, like wells of poisonous water, send out continually streams of impurity. I have a heart, which God knoweth, I wish I could wring from my body and hurl to an infinite distance; a soul which is a cage of unclean birds, a den of loathsome creatures, where dragons haunt and owls do congregate, where every evil beast of ill-omen dwells; a heart too vile to have a parallel—"deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." This is the reason why I am forgetful of Christ.


Rick

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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41437 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 8:38 PM
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StarWarriorRie said:

I think most people are inherently good. Key word....most.

IMHO, the reason people claim that humans are inherently good is that it's hard to face our own fallenness. If we are able to convince ourselves that people are by nature "good", then we can attempt to convince ourselves that we are good. The problem with that is what we compare ourselves to are other fallen people. We can look at ourselves compared to Hitler, Dahmer, Stalin and the like and say to ourselves, "Well, at least I'm better than them." The problem with that line of reasoning is that we are using the wrong unit of measure. We cannot measure ourselves against other people, we must measure ourselves against Christ.

People are "basically good", huh? Well, when is the last time you told a lie? When is the last time you got too much change back and didn't say anything? When is the last time you spoke ill about someone behind their back? When is the last time you cheated on your taxes and tried to justify it by saying "well, the government already has so much money, they won't miss a couple hundred dollars from me"? When is the last time you took the Lord's name in vain? When is the last time you got angry at someone because they "cut you off in traffic"? When is the last time you left work a few minutes early or arrived a few minutes late and acted as if it didn't matter, in effect cheating the company out of money? When is the last time you "exagerated" a tad to make yourself out to be something more than you are? When is the last time you you watched that TV show, went to that movie or listened to that song that you would feel uncomfortable to have Jesus around for? Now, if we look at the number of times we sin each day, whether they are sins of commission or ommission, and look at the number of days...well, you get the point.

The bottom line is that we can try to fool ourselves into believing we are "inherently good", or, we can admit to ourselves that maybe, just maybe, the Bible is correct on this matter. Personally, I choose to trust the Bible. My opinion means squat. What God the Father, his son, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible say, however, do matter.

God bless,

Dan

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Author: ServeHim Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41438 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 8:40 PM
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Who is this guy?

Dearly beloved, I have just one word to say, not to the saints, but to the ungodly—one cheering word, sinner, poor lost sinner! You think you must not come to God because you are vile. Now, let me tell you, that there is not a saint in this place but is vile too. If Job, and Isaiah, and Paul, were all obliged to say, "I am vile," oh, poor sinner, wilt thou be ashamed to join the confession, and say, "I am vile," too? If I come to God this night in prayer, when I am on my knees by my bedside, I shall have to come to God as a sinner, vile and full of sin. My brother sinner! dost thou want to have any better confession than that? Thou wantest to be better, dost thou? Why, saints in themselves are no better. If divine grace does not eradicate all sin in the believer, how dost thou hope to do it thyself? and if God loves his people, while they are yet vile, dost thou think thy vileness will prevent his loving thee? Nay, vile sinner, come to Jesus! vilest of the vile! Believe on Jesus, thou off-cast of the world's society, thou who art the dung and dross of the streets, I bid thee come to Christ. Christ bids thee believe on him.


"Not the righteous, not the righteous,
Sinners, Jesus came to save."

Come now; say, "Lord, I am vile; give me faith. Christ died for sinners; I am a sinner. Lord Jesus, sprinkle thy blood on me." I tell thee, sinner, from God, if thou wilt confess thy sin, thou shalt find pardon. If now with all thy heart thou wilt say, "I am vile; wash me;" thou shalt be washed now. If the Holy Spirit shall enable thee to say with thine heart now, "Lord, I am sinful—

'Just as I am, without one plea,
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bid'st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.'"

Thou shalt go out of this place with all thy sins pardoned; and though thou comest in here with every sin that man hath ever committed on thy head, thou shalt go out as innocent, yea, more innocent than the new-born babe. Though thou comest in here all over sin, thou shalt go out with a robe of righteousness, white as angels are, as pure as God himself, so far as justification is concerned. For "now," mark it "now is the accepted time," if thou believest on him who justifieth the ungodly. Oh! may the Holy Spirit give thee faith that thou mayest be saved now, for then thou wilt be saved for ever! may God add his blessing to this feeble discourse for his name's sake!

Rick








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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41443 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 9:09 PM
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Rick asked:

Who is this guy?

No clue. I'm gonna go out on a limb, though, and guess that he's not around now judging from all the "thees thous, nays and mayests. ;-)

God bless,

Dan


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Author: Shadowfen Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41444 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 9:23 PM
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IMHO, the reason people claim that humans are inherently good is that it's hard to face our own fallenness.

I disagree. A person who is truly evil - through and through - is not fallen. They have nowhere to fall "into" evilness because there is by definition nothing of them that does not have its origin in evil. Only one who has a good nature can fall. (IMO)

I believe that most people's underlying nature is good, but that we mortals aren't terribly "good" at living up to that promise - however hard we try.

Several here have quoted about how God cannot bear to look upon humans because of the evil of their deeds. Regardless of how good they try to be, they aren't perfect and thereby besmirch and foul the beauty of goodness that God gifted mankind with. The underlying nature is still good - it's just a matter of how much cow dung and other disgusting matter have splattered and coated it throughout a life. That person can still be saved (have the disgusting stuff washed away) because that good nature which was God's gift is still under there somewhere when the mire is cleaned away by Christ's blood and the Holy Spirit.

Shadowfen

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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41449 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 9:59 PM
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Dan said:

IMHO, the reason people claim that humans are inherently good is that it's hard to face our own fallenness.

Shadowfen replied:

I disagree. A person who is truly evil - through and through - is not fallen. They have nowhere to fall "into" evilness because there is by definition nothing of them that does not have its origin in evil. Only one who has a good nature can fall. (IMO)

=======================================================

By "fallenness", I am referring to the fall of Adam. Adam was created perfect and blameless. Through his disobedience in eating of the fruit in the garden of Eden, he and the rest of man "fell". At that point, our nature changed from that of good to that of evil.

I find nowhere in scripture that supports the position that man is inherently good. I have sited several verses that state the opposite, however.

======================================================

Shadowfen also said:

Several here have quoted about how God cannot bear to look upon humans because of the evil of their deeds.

Agreed. God cannot look upon us because of our evil deeds. It requires the cleansing blood of Christ to purify us in God's eyes.

Regardless of how good they try to be, they aren't perfect and thereby besmirch and foul the beauty of goodness that God gifted mankind with.

Which is exactly my point. Even when we TRY to do good and follow Christ's example we stumble and fall. God gifted mankind with goodness in the time of Adam. Once he committed the original sin, all of mankind was doomed to be sinners. The beautiful part is that God supplied us with a way to be reconciled to him through the blood of Jesus Christ.

The underlying nature is still good - it's just a matter of how much cow dung and other disgusting matter have splattered and coated it throughout a life.

I disagree. The nature is still wicked. We don't need to be taught how to sin. We do a good job of accomplishing that on our own. I could re-post the verses that support that position, but I trust that anyone interested can go back and find them in the thread.

That person can still be saved (have the disgusting stuff washed away) because that good nature which was God's gift is still under there somewhere when the mire is cleaned away by Christ's blood and the Holy Spirit.

I agree that a person can have the disgusting stuff washed away by the blood of Christ. I disagree with the premise that there is an underlying good nature, however. We need to constantly keep our eyes on Christ and strive to follow him. However, no matter how much we try, no matter how much we pray, no matter how we plead with the Holy Spirit we will still fall into sin. THAT is our nature. If we were basically good, we could reason that once the "disgusting stuff" was washed away by the blood of Christ then we could remain sinless. That is not the case, however.

The important thing is to recognize that we are all sinners. The only thing that will cover over our sins and make us pure in the eyes of God is the blood of Jesus Christ. We must recognize our sin, repent of it, ask Christ to cover it and accept the free gift of salvation from God.

God bless,

Dan



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Author: Jeffreyw Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41451 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 10:11 PM
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coralville,

you were doing OK until I got to this part:

>>3. Historical progress. I contend that we are a more moral civilization now than at any time in history.<<

This is a joke, right?

>>We now generally believe that slavery is wrong.<<
Slavery is not wrong, it still exists. It has simply taken a different form, and we treat slaves better. We also don't call them slaves, or restrict slavery to one type of person. Where does the bible call slavery wrong?

>>We accept the notion that there are such things as human rights.<<
As long as the human has been born and at least one parent decided to keep it. We are still a far cry from enforcing human rights on a worldwide scale.

>>We believe in due process of law.<<
The lawyers make the laws, become our judges and politicians. Due process is red tape that bogs down honest innocent citizens who can't even speak for themselves in a courtroom or approach a judge for conversation.
>>We decry torture.<<
I'll give you that one on a general basis, but IRS audits are pretty torturous.

>>We believe that all people are created equal.<<
We can't even agree that all people were CREATED!

>>Such thoughts would have seemed odd 500 years ago. I would also suggest that democratic forms of governing depend on the assumption that people are basically good and responsible citizens.<<
This is a true statement, and that is why the democratic government is failing us now. We no longer elect good, moral, principled people to lead and govern.
>>Therefore, the success of democracies in our time is evidence for the basic goodness of humanity.<<
I think the jury is still out on the success of democracy.

Jeffrey

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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41454 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 10:19 PM
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>>We believe that all people are created equal.<<
We can't even agree that all people were CREATED!


lol. Careful Jeffrey. You'll open up the whole creation evolution debate again! ;-)

God bless,

Dan


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Author: iampunha Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41455 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 10:22 PM
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This is a true statement, and that is why the democratic government is failing us now. We no longer elect good, moral, principled people to lead and govern.

What democratic goverment? We live in a republic. Anyone paying attention to the whole election mess would have figured that out. [Note: this is WAAAAY oversimplification]The problem was over electors. Bush got 271 votes, not 48 million.

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Author: Jeffreyw Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41456 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 10:26 PM
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>>Witness the general lack of concern in society for helping with charitable organizations. The Salvation Army alone has been desparate for holiday help and giving to them is off. If man is so inherently good, why aren't we helping out in droves to the point where they say they can't use all of us?<<

Well, it was a pretty bad year for the stock market last year...

Jeffrey


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Author: iampunha Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41458 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 10:35 PM
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If man is so inherently good, why aren't we helping out in droves to the point where they say they can't use all of us?

Name for me, please, a charity that ever said "we have enough—no, no, we don't want more! Please, we have too much money and volunteer help as it is! Go blow the $5,000 on a new certified pre-owned car!"

:-)

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Author: moghopper Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41461 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/25/2001 10:43 PM
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I'll take the "easy" way out and agree with everyone. <g>

Each of us possesses Good, as we were created good by God, in His image.

Each of us also possesses Evil, as a byproduct of our fallen nature. We are all implicated in the sin of Adam.

I will say this much: To focus on the evilness of our own human nature to the point where we do not see the Christ in one another, and do not believe in the hope and power of Christ's forgiveness for those other than ourselves, is a big mistake.



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Author: stockemup Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41478 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 9:14 AM
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Jeff,

While it may have been a bad year on the stock market, what does that have to do with volunteering your time to help out? Also, do you get messages from God stating you don't have to tithe as much when your portfolio takes a hit?


stockemup

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Author: stockemup Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41479 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 9:19 AM
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Mog said
I will say this much: To focus on the evilness of our own human nature to the point where we do not see the Christ in one another, and do not believe in the hope and power of Christ's forgiveness for those other than ourselves, is a big mistake.

Maybe, just maybe this is the mistake that Jesse, Newt, Livingston and Clinton made. Oh wait, that's right, they were touting their moral superiority up until the moment they were caught and then it was just a personal matter anyway. Difference is two of those four knew, to some degree at least, what shame was and left public life.


Stockemup

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Author: kristanmaddox Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41483 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 9:32 AM
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coral,

1. Scripture. Jesus said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Would Jesus ask us to love something that is intrinsically evil? Hard to believe. While humanity is certainly fallible, God seems to feel there is something of value within us worth redeeming.

I can't believe you've gotten away with this logic this long. Why would this be "hard to believe"? He loved us enough to guide each of us to the realization that He is Lord so that we could be with Him for eternity. He did this before we were saved, while we were yet sinners [evil]. Sin, as we know, is not just the deeds we do, but it is a matter of the heart according to Jesus' teachings.

I think part of the problem is defining "good". Jesus refused to be called "good" claiming that only the Father should be ascribed such. How then, would we call each other "good" when Jesus, Himself would not be called "good". We use good as a relative term. God, who wrote the book and defined language, did/does not.

In Christ.

KM

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Author: TMFSelena Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41485 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 9:45 AM
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For the sake of (civil) argument...

Genesis 1:10: God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:16-18: And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:21: So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:27-28: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God BLESSED them...

Genesis 1:31 And God saw EVERYTHING that he had made, and behold, it was very GOOD. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.


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Author: Jeffreyw Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41486 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 9:47 AM
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>>Also, do you get messages from God stating you don't have to tithe as much when your portfolio takes a hit?<<

Thanks for the scathing judgment. Do the math. 10% of an up portfolio is more than 10% of a down portfolio.

Jeffrey


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Author: kristanmaddox Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41488 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 9:53 AM
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Genesis 1:10: God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:16-18: And God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:21: So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was GOOD.

Genesis 1:27-28: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God BLESSED them...

Genesis 1:31 And God saw EVERYTHING that he had made, and behold, it was very GOOD. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.


THEN...

Adam and Eve sinned. Nothing has been "good" ever since. We now exist under the curse.

Also, I've never noticed before, but there is no specific "it was good" for man. He was included in the general everything was good, but no specific like everything else. Hmmm. Maybe it's nothing.

In Christ.

KM

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Author: bawitham Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41489 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 9:56 AM
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Adam and Eve sinned. Nothing has been "good" ever since. We now exist under the curse.

I thought Jesus came to remove the curse.



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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41490 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 9:56 AM
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TMFSelena,

All these things have one thing in common. They were PRIOR to the fall of man. God made everything good. It took man to screw it all up. We now have to live with the results of our disobedience. Fortunately, we have Christ on our side.

God bless,

Dan

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Author: Sneakpuff Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41492 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 10:03 AM
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http://scriptures.lds.org/mosiah/3/19#19

The natural man is an enemy to God, and has been since the fall of Adam.....

Here is the LDS view of man.

KVJ

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Author: TMFSelena Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41493 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 10:05 AM
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<<All these things have one thing in common. They were PRIOR to the fall of man. God made everything good. It took man to screw it all up. We now have to live with the results of our disobedience. Fortunately, we have Christ on our side. >>

Dan -- and others, as I certainly am not directing this to just any one person.

But I can't help thinking it's incredible presumptuous of us, if we think we know exactly to what degree we were good and then to what degree we were cursed and so on.

Perhaps we were created basically good, and were initially sinless. Then we screwed up and were forever more flawed and imperfect, but still basically good. I won't (and can't) say that this is definitely the case, but it certainly seems like a reasonable possibility. I find it surprising that anyone knows for a fact exactly what the answers to these questions are. I think these kinds of questions are perhaps meant to be mulled over indefinitely.

Another way to look at it may be like this. We're God's children, right? Children are born pretty "good," right? For a little while at the beginning of their lives, they're kind of sinless to some degree, no? Then at some point, they begin sinning. Are they now "evil"?

I have no children, but I can imagine how I'd see my kids as basically good, albeit flawed and imperfect, committing occasional sins. Isn't this the way that God might see us?

Food for thought...

Selena

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Author: NoFanofWise5044 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41494 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 10:14 AM
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Perhaps we were created basically good, and were initially sinless. Then we screwed up and were forever more flawed and imperfect, but still basically good. I won't (and can't) say that this is definitely the case, but it certainly seems like a reasonable possibility. I find it surprising that anyone knows for a fact exactly what the answers to these questions are. I think these kinds of questions are perhaps meant to be mulled over indefinitely.

Another way to look at it may be like this. We're God's children, right? Children are born pretty "good," right? For a little while at the beginning of their lives, they're kind of sinless to some degree, no? Then at some point, they begin sinning. Are they now "evil"?


Yes, Selena, this is a reasonable hypothesis but it's contrary to what the Bible tells us. Why try to reason this out with out limited abilities when we can just go to the ultimate authority, God's word?

God Bless,

Brent ><>

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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41496 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 10:30 AM
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While it would be nice to believe we are inherently good, we are told otherwise in scripture. Let's look at what the Bible says, (not my opinion).

Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (ephasis mine)

Genesis 6:5-6- 5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (emphasis mine)

Romans 7:16-17 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (emphasis mine)

Luke 24:7 "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." (emphasis mine)

Romans 3:10-18 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They Have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." 13 "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced 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 they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (emphasis mine)


Through these verses (and many others), we see that we (man in general) is sinful and wicked. They do not say we should hate ourselves, although we should hate our sin. However, if we look at Romans 3:21-26 we find our righteousness in Jesus Christ.

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
=======================================================
Selena said:

Children are born pretty "good," right? For a little while at the beginning of their lives, they're kind of sinless to some degree, no? Then at some point, they begin sinning. Are they now "evil"?

While children are innocent, I think that has more to do with the fact that their minds, are not fully developed. I think it has more to do with naivety than being inherrently good. We don't need to teach children to sin. Children and adults have the capability of doing that without any help or instruction.

IMO, we should be careful not to confuse our opinions and worldly beliefs with what we are taught through the Bible.

God bless,

Dan


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Author: klinedanner Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41497 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 10:40 AM
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We use good as a relative term. God, who wrote the book and defined language, did/does not.

And there you've hit on the heart of all disagreement in this thread. "Good" is a pervasive term. We simply cannot use "good" in an absolute sense all the time. We have to have a word for things that, though imperfect, still have some redeeming value. I have a good boss. But he's not perfect, so it would be wrong to say he is good in any absolute sense. In God's eyes, he's not "good." But in our human, relative way of thinking, i feel quite justified in calling him "good."

Perspective. Coralville can say we're all basically good and be right. The Bible can say we're evil simply because we're not perfect and be right. Perspective.

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Author: kristanmaddox Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41508 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 11:49 AM
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bawitham,

I thought Jesus came to remove the curse.

Gal 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:" (emph. mine)

The law was the curse from which Christ delivered us.

In Christ.

KM

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Author: ericjh Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41512 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 12:39 PM
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That person can still be saved (have the disgusting stuff washed away) because that good nature which was God's gift is still under there somewhere

Shadowfen:
One word comes to mind when I read this,...NOT...
EJ

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Author: NoFanofWise5044 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41513 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 12:47 PM
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When the Bible speaks of us being evil, I don't think it simply means that we are not perfect. I think the Bible teaches that we are very, very far from being perfect (light years away in my mind). The Bible also teaches that we are born with a sinful nature. When I did a word search on "sinful", it returned approximately 30 references to our sinful nature in the New Testament alone. One of the most holy men in history, David said through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit "surely I was sinful at birth".

Suppose any one of us committed to be the best person we could be and to sin no more than three times each day. I'm not referring to the serious sins like stealing, assault, lying, etc. I'm talking about sin as defined in the Bible, anything that transgresses God's law or anything that is displeasing to God (including our deeds, words and thoughts). I seriously doubt that any of us could be that good, but if we could, we would still total about 80,000 sins in an average lifetime. This analogy suggests that we have a big problem with sin. I have difficulty understanding how anyone can believe that we are basically good but I suppose all things are relative and I believe there is some "goodness" in everyone. We just fall desperately short of God's standard for goodness and righteousness. I think this is the basis for our differing viewpoints on this subject. Some of us are talking about goodness as defined by God and some of us are talking about goodness as defined by people.

Fortunately, we have a Savior who willingly volunteered to be the holy sacrifice for our sin and paid the penalty for our sins so that we can be forgiven and have eternal fellowship with God. Praise God for our Lord Jesus Christ and for God's promise to us in 1 John 1:9!

In Him,

Brent ><>


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Author: ericjh Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41514 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 12:47 PM
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Below, I have copied my previous post.
The "we are created in God's image" argument for man's goodness doesn't hold water.

But consider the following.
Maybe we define the image of God differently. I do not believe Scripture teaches that we are
made in the image of God's Holiness. Listed below are four characteristics of the image of
God that we possess.

1 We are eternal in nature, different from other life forms on earth.
2 We have a body, soul and spirit, different from other life forms on earth.
3 We have 'higher' reasoning abilities, different from other life forms on earth.
4 We have freedom of choice to love and obey God, different from other life forms on earth.

Jesus is our model, He had the freedom to sin but did not. We on the other hand give in to
temptations, on one level or another. ( human degrees of goodness)

Items 1 - 4 are how we are created in the image of God.
We are not little gods with complete with the 'fullness' of God's image or a better word is
nature.
We have are created in the image of God but do not yet have the nature of God. We are, in a
sense, incomplete.
The created image of God is good and it can obtain the nature / character of God.

All we are missing is His Holiness. We become complete when we put on Jesus' Holiness
and Righteousness.

At the time of Salvation God's grace continues the process of completing us with His Holy
Nature. The indwelling Holy Spirit moves us towards a finished work, as we yield to His
leadership. Some the Apostles, Luke, Barnabas, Hus, Luther, Moody, or Graham do a better
job of yielding.

As it been said "we all have eternal life, the choice is where to spend eternity."

EJ

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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41517 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 1:09 PM
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Brent said:

Some of us are talking about goodness as defined by God and some of us are talking about goodness as defined by people.

Great point. And our definition falls well short of God's. Our definition is a sliding scale. "I'm better than so and so, but not as good as so and so". A more accurate picture is attained when we have a set standard. The goodness of Christ comes to mind.

God bless,

Dan


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Author: TwinDeltaTandem Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41518 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 1:17 PM
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I think that, apart from grace, we are completely "not good." If you are uncomfortable with the word "evil," which the Bible uses, then perhaps "not good" works for you.

The nature of our "not goodness" lies in the fact that we keep our backs turned to God. Our rationale for doing this is our self deluded attitude that we are basically good. Therefore, if we're basically good, we have no need of a saviour.

Now, if you disagree with this you might get all defensive and think I'm judging you. I'm not.

If you believe that people are basically good there are several possibilities, any of which I'm willing to accept as plausible.

For example, maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe you were saved at a very young age, have always grown up in God's goodness, but aren't well-versed in Biblical truth. So you have a simple theological misunderstanding based on your own blessed experiences. Maybe you just have a burning desire to be a nice person.

Maybe, however, you are fooling yourself in order to justify living your own life (for now) apart from God, and clinging to the false notion of your own goodness in fear of the judgement that will someday come. I don't know.
_________
By the way, Selena, although I would gladly take a bullet to protect my children, and love them more than life itself, I absolutely disagree with the idea that they were born good. In fact, I can't imagine a conscious parent ever believing such a thing. If you ever do have children, I hope you'll change your opinion. Children must be trained in goodness--and if you think they're already good you will fail them in the long run.

There's no greater proof of total depravity than the behavior of a toddler.

TDT



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Author: TwinDeltaTandem Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41519 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 1:19 PM
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"And our definition falls well short of God's."

Amen, Dan. Infinitely short. Short beyond comprehension.

TDT

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Author: Shadowfen Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41522 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 1:26 PM
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And our definition falls well short of God's. Our definition is a sliding scale. "I'm better than so and so, but not as good as so and so". A more accurate picture is attained when we have a set standard. The goodness of Christ comes to mind.


And yet Christ himself said (paraphrased) "Why do you call me good? No one but God is good." That pretty much settles that noone but God IS good but leaves the clear example that man can HAVE good in him covered by varying degrees of grime and filth. Or are you going to argue that Jesus did not have good in him?

Shadowfen

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Author: TwinDeltaTandem Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41524 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 1:31 PM
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Or are you going to argue that Jesus did not have good in him?

No, I'm going to argue that Christ was saying that He was God.

TDT


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Author: stockemup Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41528 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 1:59 PM
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Selena,

Just a thought here while on the topic of children. Have you ever noticed how children naturally gravitate towards doing the wrong thing even when instructed not to do so? Its because of our inborn sinful nature. Funny, they don't even need to be taught to do bad things because we are born with sin in our heart. That being said, children, until they individually reach the age of accountability in their lives, will go to Heaven.

Stockemup

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Author: klinedanner Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41529 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 2:19 PM
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If you believe that people are basically good there are several possibilities, any of which I'm willing to accept as plausible.

For example, maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe you were saved at a very young age, have always grown up in God's goodness, but aren't well-versed in Biblical truth. So you have a simple theological misunderstanding based on your own blessed experiences. Maybe you just have a burning desire to be a nice person.

Maybe, however, you are fooling yourself in order to justify living your own life (for now) apart from God, and clinging to the false notion of your own goodness in fear of the judgement that will someday come. I don't know.


My earlier post seems to have been completely ignored by everyone who's posted since. I guess that's ok, no one has to acknowledge my contribution to this argument for me to know God loves me : ), but i think it is very pertinent to much of what's been posted, and it seems a lot of people are missing my very applicable point.

TDT, that last paragraph was pretty harsh. Did you read my post? I don't think you did, because you didn't include my POV as one of your possibilities.

The possibility you left out is that those of us heathens who dare use the word "good" to describe mankind are using the word in the sense that most of us use it on a daily basis when describing our dinner, our pets, or our relationship with coworkers. It IS a relative word in everyday use, for without it, we'd be unable to quickly qualify many things in our lives.

No one in this thread has used the word in its Godly, absolute sense when describing men. We use it in its standard, everyday relative sense. Compared to God's perfection, i am quite evil, and completely unworthy of standing in His presence. Compared to John Wayne Gacy, i'm a pretty darn good guy.

I don't understand the reluctance of most of the people on this board to allow anyone to describe people as "good." It doesn't have to mean "as good as God," it just means that most people have a basic desire to do the right thing. We all screw up very often, but i don't personally know anyone who simply loves to hurt people and cause destruction. Those that do are not included when people like coralville say "man is basically good." There are exceptions to most rules.

The opposing sides of this argument just mean two different things with the use of the word "good."

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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41531 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 2:42 PM
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Well said TDT.

God bless,

Dan

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Author: moghopper Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41532 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 2:57 PM
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The opposing sides of this argument just mean two different things with the use of the word "good."


I would agree. I'd also say the same about the word "evil." I believe some here equate evil with what I will call "consistently, willfully evil" along the lines of a mass murderer, etc.

It seems to me, that in the Bible, evil = not Godly = sinful. By that definition we are all evil in nature. No disagreement from me. We are all sinful creatures.


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Author: preston6 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41533 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 3:00 PM
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Some of us here are not called to be teachers. Our discernment is not of God, and our teachings are merely our opinions and are based only on rational deduction. Don't do that. If we are faced with a question we do not know the answer to, let us not use some sort of Aristotle question and answer session to find the answers, as though in our wisdom we can uncover the truth. I myself am guilty of this and will stop it now.

If we are confused, let us humble ourselves before God and not make our coming together more harmful than good.

God is our provider. Let's thank God for working in our hearts to give us the desire to obey his will and the power to do what pleases him. And let's stop divining answers for ourselves.

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Author: FoolRM Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41536 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 3:22 PM
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I'm usually just an occasional lurker on this board, but I thought I might have something to add to this thread. As to the question of whether people are good (using the word in its Biblical sense), I think Christ answers us most clearly: "'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered. 'No one is good--except God alone'" (Luke 18:19).

However, just I think it is important to distinguish between our innate lack of goodness and our ability to do good. The apostles offer numerous examples that encourage us to do good works or comment on our ability to act with goodness:

Eph 6:7-9, "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free."

Col 1:10, "And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work..."\

2 Thes 2:16-17, "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."

Titus 2:7, "In everything set them an example by doing what is good." & 3:8, "And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good."

1 Pet 2:20, "But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God."

And of course, there are many others. My point is that I think when people say that most people seem to "try to do the right thing," or "try to do good," they are talking about our capacity for goodness. So while it may not be precisely correct to say that we are "basically good," in correcting them, we should perhaps go on to acknowledge how important it is for us to strive to be--and to do--good.

FoolRM

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Author: klinedanner Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41537 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 3:24 PM
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Our discernment is not of God

I couldn't disagree more. I fully believe God DOES give us discernment so we can figure out what's true and what's not. Without discernment, how do you come to believe that Jesus is the Way to God?

our teachings are merely our opinions and are based only on rational deduction.

Exactly right. I don't claim to have dibs on absolute Truth. What i say IS my opinion. But i believe my opinion is well-founded and i'll stick to it unless God shows me i'm wrong. Which is always a possibility, for all of us. And yes, most of my opinions are based on rational deduction. I believe reason and logic are a couple of God's greatest gifts to mankind. He wants us to use them as much as possible, not discard them.

If we are confused, let us humble ourselves before God and not make our coming together more harmful than good.

Though i don't feel at all confused on this matter, i am ALL FOR humbling myself before God. He is MUCH greater than i am, and He alone deserves all glory and praise. Yes, let us all be humble before God, constantly. But the coming together on this board is far from harmful. We are all working towards understanding one another, that is quite beneficial.

God is our provider. Let's thank God for working in our hearts to give us the desire to obey his will and the power to do what pleases him.

AMEN. Well said.

And let's stop divining answers for ourselves.

Well, i can't speak for anyone else, but i'm not divining anything. I'm just doing my best to understand people and the world i live in. 'Tis a noble endeavor, and a never-ending quest. Never-ending until we all get to heaven, that is : )

In Christ,

Danner

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Author: rbednarski Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41538 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 3:27 PM
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"And yet Christ himself said (paraphrased) "Why do you call me good? No one but God is good." That pretty much settles that noone but God IS good but leaves the clear example that man can HAVE good in him covered by varying degrees of grime and filth. Or are you going to argue that Jesus did not have good in him?"

I think the point of Christ's statement was that you cannot call him good without acknowledging Him as God. Unlike us, Christ not only has good in Him He is good.

But He doesn't leave us the option of acknowledging that goodness without facing up to the consequence of that goodness, namely that He is God.

God bless,

Rich

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Author: ThreadOnly One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41545 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 4:30 PM
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Yes, Selena, this is a reasonable hypothesis but it's contrary to what the Bible tells us. Why try to reason this out with out limited abilities when we can just go to the ultimate authority, God's word?

God is timeless and knows everything. Adam ate the apple and started the evil process. Man is evil. God knew the consequences of Adam's act. Yet he did not stop him.

I find it amazing the God entrusted evil man to write the Bible.




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Author: iampunha Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41552 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 5:34 PM
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I find it amazing the God entrusted evil man to write the Bible.

Um, huh?

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Author: ThreadOnly One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41555 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 6:08 PM
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<<<I find it amazing the God entrusted evil man to write the Bible.>>>

Um, huh?


Man wrote the Bible. If God allowed man to mess up his creation through Adam, then God may have let man to also mess up the Bible. If the basis for defending the argument that man is evil is to use the teachings of the Bible, you first have to determine that the Bible is without error. Is the Bible without error if it was written by men that were evil?


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Author: iampunha Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41557 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 6:58 PM
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Is the Bible without error if it was written by men that were evil?

I am not a purely good person, yet I believe (and others possibly concur) that I have done acts that were good and holy and all that fun stuff. I even believe—some say I have the gall to believe—that occasionally God will act through me to effect some important thing. Examples:

Twice saving my brother's life while we were at a pool and nobody else noticed him. I honestly don't know what, other than God's will, compelled me to look over to the bottom corner of one part of the pool.

Being created. Without me being born none of my siblings exist.

Note that in each case God was acting through me - I was not acting purely in my own strengths. I've never been a good swimmer - certainly not when I can't see (brother was resting in about five feet of water and I was not over five feet tall). And it would be a bit . . . well, ridiculous to say that I made my parents give brith to me.:-)

So I think it's possible to say that while humans contain within themselves a propensity to be evil, at times that evil can be completely replaced with God's will—for things as simple as writing this post, or for things like the Bible.

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Author: Jeffreyw Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41558 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 7:03 PM
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>>Adam and Eve sinned. Nothing has been "good" ever since. We now exist under the curse.

I thought Jesus came to remove the curse.<<

bawitham,

No, Jesus came to fulfill the Law and free us from it. The curse will remain until after His millenial reign, when it will finally be removed.

Jeffrey


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Author: Jeffreyw Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41560 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 7:29 PM
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>>There's no greater proof of total depravity than the behavior of a toddler.<<

TDT,

You are sooooo right! There is tremendous heartbreak the first time your innocent toddler tries to lie to you. They are so transparent, it is laughable, but there is an immediate realization they are not perfect or immune to bad things of the world. Any involved parent knows children must be taught honesty, integrity, virtue and love. Selfishness, lying, stealing, fighting, arguing etc. all come naturally, even without exposure to "bad" kids.

Jeffrey


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Author: iampunha Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41562 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/26/2001 7:36 PM
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There is tremendous heartbreak the first time your innocent toddler tries to lie to you.

Not for those of us who realize it's part of (so the scientific world says) human development. Self-realization and all that. Point of view, etc. Want me to explain it?

Selfishness, lying, stealing, fighting, arguing
etc. all come naturally, even without exposure to "bad" kids.


Really? They all do? PD might have an argument with you over that one.

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Author: masonjarjar Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41579 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/27/2001 12:15 AM
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Fortunately, we have a Savior who willingly volunteered to be the holy sacrifice for our sin and paid the penalty for our sins so that we can be forgiven and have eternal fellowship with God.

WHEW!!!

Thank GOD for Jesus! Err, I mean, Thank God for God, oh wait, umm thank Jesus for Jesus, er, ummm aww forget it....


-jar



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Author: TwinDeltaTandem Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41580 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/27/2001 12:16 AM
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klinedanner,

Sorry if I offended. I agree that there are many ways to use the word "good," and I agree with your conclusions. I wasn't really addressing your post.

TDT

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Author: TwinDeltaTandem Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41581 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/27/2001 12:21 AM
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"And yet Christ himself said (paraphrased) "Why do you call me good? No one but God is good." That pretty much settles that noone but God IS good but leaves the clear example that man can HAVE good in him covered by varying degrees of grime and filth. Or are you going to argue that Jesus did not have good in him?"

I think the point of Christ's statement was that you cannot call him good without acknowledging Him as God. Unlike us, Christ not only has good in Him He is good.


And that you can't call man good without calling him God?

Back to the original question posed in this thread, it seems that Christ answered it.

TDT

Again, agreeing that there are more common uses of the word "good" that don't apply to the Biblical sense of the word. Or do they, and we've just lost sight of that?


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Author: OzFox Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41586 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/27/2001 3:00 AM
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And yet Christ himself said (paraphrased) "Why do you call me good? No one but God is good." That pretty much settles that noone but God IS good


Could this have been Christ's way of saying that He is God?

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Author: OzFox Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41587 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/27/2001 3:02 AM
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That being said, children, until they individually reach the age of accountability in their lives, will go to Heaven.


I'd like to agree with this but where does it say that in the Bible?

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Author: OzFox Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41588 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/27/2001 3:23 AM
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>>Adam and Eve sinned. Nothing has been "good" ever since. We now exist under the curse.

I thought Jesus came to remove the curse.<<

bawitham,

No, Jesus came to fulfill the Law and free us from it. The curse will remain until after His millenial reign, when it will finally be removed.


Galations 3:13- Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41597 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/27/2001 12:13 PM
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<<And yet Christ himself said (paraphrased) "Why do you call me good? No one but God is good." That pretty much settles that noone but God IS good


Could this have been Christ's way of saying that He is God? >>
NO

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Author: TwinDeltaTandem Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41598 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/27/2001 12:32 PM
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<<And yet Christ himself said (paraphrased) "Why do you call me good? No one but God is good." That pretty much settles that noone but God IS good


Could this have been Christ's way of saying that He is God? >>

Ihaselden's reply:

"NO"
_____

Consider these analyses:

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

The question, Why callest thou me good? was aimed at leading the young man to consider the true identity of Jesus. It was an indirect assertion of His deity, since goodness or sinlessness is a quality of God alone.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

Mark 10:17-31
(1.) By assisting his faith, v. 18. He called him good Master; Christ would have him mean thereby, that he looked upon him to be God, since there is none good but one, that is God, who is one, and his name one, Zech 14:9. Our English word God doubtless hath affinity with good; as the Hebrews name God by his power, Elohim, the strong God; so we by his goodness, the good God.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Luke 18:18-21
Why callest thou me good? Jesus wanted to know whether the title was an idle compliment, or whether the young man had carefully thought through who He was.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

AND A MORE EVEN-HANDED ANALYSIS THAT SHOULD SIT WELL WITH MOST ON THIS BOARD:

Luke 18:19
Our Lord's response consists, first, of a hint by the way, founded on the appellation, "Good Master;" and next, of a direct reply to the inquiry itself. "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but One, [that is], God." Did our Lord mean by this to teach that God only ought to be called "good?" Impossible: for that had been to contradict all Scripture teaching and His own too. "A good man showeth favour and lendeth" (Ps 112:5); "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things" (Matt 12:35); "Well done, good and faithful servant" Matt 25:21); "Barnabas was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 11:24). Unless, therefore, we are to ascribe captiousness to our Lord, He could have had but one object-to teach this youth, on the one hand, that He declined to be classed along with other "good" people and "good masters;" and on the other hand, by reminding him that the only other sort of goodness, namely, supreme goodness, belonged to God alone, to leave him to draw the startling inference-that that was the goodness which belonged to Him. Unless this object is seen in the background of our Lord's words, nothing worthy of Him can be made out of this first part of His reply. But this hint once given, our Lord at once passes from it to the proper subject of the youth's inquiry.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)


TDT

Disclaimer: I've only copied small portions of (c) material. I don't believe this violates any policies or regs, but if it does I'm sure someone will recommend this post be removed.

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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41601 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/27/2001 12:54 PM
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You may want to read a similar account from Matthew. It could have been a different event.

Matthew 19:16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" 17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

The accounts from the commentaries are good to consider but the only doctrine I have is the scriptures themselves. I did not find any other verse in the New Testament where Jesus Christ was called good? If there is one please let me know? If Jesus was trying to make the point that he was good why did none of the Apostles or other writers of the NT make the point again. My conclusion is that the Apostles and others understood what Jesus was saying differently than the commentaries you have quoted.


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Author: biscuithead Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41733 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/29/2001 12:06 AM
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Why does all this matter?

The idea that man is inherently sinful is offensive to so many people. It sounds like Christians are just being holier-than-thou, looking down their noses at a world that'll never be as good as them. Some Christians seem to finally be quieting down about man's sinfulness, emphasizing all humankind's universal bond as God's creation and the goodness of what He's made.

There's a problem in that shift, however.

It's that we can't understand the gospel unless we understand the problem. Yes, God made a good creation. Yes, we're made in His image. Yes, He loves us. We are valuable because our life comes from Him. But the fact is that we sin because we are sinners. Every one of us. We know what is right to do, and we do the opposite. Every day, sometimes in small ways, sometimes large.

A college girl asked me (after a class I used to teach at church) how she could convince her boyfriend he was a sinner. He admitted he sinned once in a while, but he didn't view himself as a Sinner, per se. I suggested she ask him if he would ever sin again. She said, "Well, of course he'll say yes." I suggested she asked him why. In other words, why would a person sin if he believes it's something he shouldn't be doing? It's illogical.

The reason is that we're inherently sinful. We can't save ourselves from it. We're slaves to it.

Unless we accept this, our gospel will have no power. First, because it's not true (plenty of scriptures and examples from life and history have already been listed on this thread), but pragmatically because we would then offer salvation from nothing. "You're a good person, but God wants you to be even better!" (Or Oprah does. Take your pick.)

We can rejoice in our salvation when we see with the prophet Isaiah's eyes that our righteousness is but filthy rags. God loves us anyway. He loves us while we're still sinners.

In conclusion, that's important. When we say people are inherently bad, it doesn't mean we're to despise them or condemn them or mistrust them (beyond reason). God made them for a great purpose, to experience Him, to live right -- lovingly -- with others. But our sin constantly interrupts this. Only set right with Him by external forces, by submitting our will to His, can we live as He intended before the fall.

For Christians, the goal isn't to be good. It's to let God be great through us. (II Cor. 3:5-6; 4:7-11; 5:17-21) The Christian message isn't that all people are bad and so we should just write them off and feel superior. It's that all people, Christian and not, are in the same sinful boat, but that Christians have been offered hope.

Well, sorry if that's all rudimentary and a bit long, but I thought perhaps some might wander onto the board and benefit from a broad explanation. (Shoot away!)

Regarding other messages: I think the fact that societies need as many laws as we do speaks to man's sinful nature. And I'm not sure you need to get to toddler stage to recognize humanity's innate sinfulness. My 9-month-old shows a solid grasp of what we don't want her to do, laughing and crawling speedily to objects when we say, "No!" Sometimes she even looks to see if we're watching before she heads for the (covered) electrical outlet.

Bonus verse: Gen. 8:21, right after Noah's flood: "... the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth ...").

Food for thought,
biscuithead


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Author: coralville Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41966 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 1:59 PM
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Klinedanner is right in pointing out that a large part of the controversy is how we define good. So let me tell you what I mean by it (in a typically long-winded manner).

We are all miserable sinners. That is a part of the human condition. Theologically we attribute it all to the corruption of the original sin. Biologically we can say we are in a constant battle with our baser animal instincts. In either case, temptation is a part of our nature and our fallibility ensures that we will periodically succumb. So yes, with respect to the Ideal we are inherently debased. We are afflicted with evil and it is not a disease we can cure ourselves of. So if good means the “absence of sin” then obviously only God is good and we are not.

However, we must balance this dismal picture with the knowledge of our creation. I see the first Genesis chapters as being allegorical, instructing us about the principles of our relationship with God. Genesis says that we are the culmination of God's creation, an essential and special part of His plan. We are made in His image. He personally breathed within us a living soul and made us caretakers of the earth. So if we define good as that which is consistent with God's plan and God's justice, the notion that we are basically good is not so impossible.

Consider TMFSelena's point about our innate desire to do the “right” thing (though we may often lack the strength to do it or the wisdom to recognize it). We all want Jean Valjean to elude Inspector Joubert, Oliver Twist to find a good home, the Von Trapp family to escape the Nazis, because we have a common desire to live in a just and compassionate world and a common idea of what such a world should be like. It is in our nature to seek justice rather than injustice, to seek right over wrong. Why would we seek "good" if at least part of our nature weren't also "good"?

I think this notion of humanity being good is essential to living a Christian life. Christ said to “love thy neighbor as thyself”. A wonderful phrase as it commands us that despite all our imperfections, sins, fallibilities, and evil nature, we are still to find a way to both love ourselves and use that love to love others. Jesus didn't say to “despise ourselves” or “condemn ourselves” or “hold ourselves in contempt.” Indeed, if you did feel that humanity is fundamentally evil, how could you possibly obey His command to love humanity? Jesus said to love ourselves. Implicit in that statement is that there is something in us of value that is worth loving, an inner core of “goodness” that allows us both to be loved and to love.

So yes, we are all miserable sinners woefully inadequate to the task of living a good life. Yet we are deserving of Christian love and capable of loving others. IMO, anyone capable of displaying selfless Christian love/charity still retains the essence of God's creative force. As such, that person is “basically good” IMO.


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Author: preston6 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41988 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 2:49 PM
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The accounts from the commentaries are good to consider but the only doctrine I have is the scriptures themselves. I did not find any other verse in the New Testament where Jesus Christ was called good? If there is one please let me know? If Jesus was trying to make the point that he was good why did none of the Apostles or other writers of the NT make the point again. My conclusion is that the Apostles and others understood what Jesus was saying differently than the commentaries you have quoted.

If you are saying that Jesus is the Son of God, but not God, you are in agreement with a very old heresy.

If you would like, I can provide much in the way of arguing against this idea, including the history of its followers.

But I'm not sure if this is your position.

However, whether it is or not, consider Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58.

And He said (to Moses), "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly I say to you, 'Before Abraham was, I AM.'"



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Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 3:10 PM
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<<The accounts from the commentaries are good to consider but the only doctrine I have is the scriptures themselves. I did not find any other verse in the New Testament where Jesus Christ was called good? If there is one please let me know? If Jesus was trying to make the point that he was good why did none of the Apostles or other writers of the NT make the point again. My conclusion is that the Apostles and others understood what Jesus was saying differently than the commentaries you have quoted.
>>

Did anyone find a verse where Jesus Christ was called "GOOD"? (other than the ones where he rebuked the speaker of course)


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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 41992 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 3:17 PM
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<<If you are saying that Jesus is the Son of God, but not God, you are in agreement with a very old heresy.>>

I am saying Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God!

I have not reason to say what he is not. We are to know him as he is! We are to know him, it is not important to know what he is not. What he is is too wonderful for me to comprehend. What is written is enough for me!

1 Corinthians 4:6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.






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Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 3:59 PM
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We are to know him as he is! We are to know him, it is not important to know what he is not. What he is is too wonderful for me to comprehend. What is written is enough for me!

Do not be fooled any longer about this matter. If you are a reader, then read with discernment from the Spirit by grace, and not with discernment from the human heart.


1) Divine Status was claimed by or accorded to Jesus.

He and His Father are one (John 10:30). All the fullness of deity dwells in Him. That is, He is really and truly and fully God (Colossians 1:19, 2:9). Jesus is eternal, existing before His birth from eternity past (John 1:1, 8:58, 17:5,24, 1 Corinthians 10:4, Hebrews 11:26, 13:8, Jude 5). Jesus is the perfect revealer of God (John 1:18, 14:9, Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:1-3), something that would only be possible if He Himself was God. Jesus is the perfect embodiment of truth (John 1:9, 14, 6:32, 14:6, Revelation 3:7,14). Jesus is equal in dignity with God the Father and worthy of the same honor (John 5:23). With His heavenly Father, Jesus is a joint possessor of the kingdom (Ephesians 5:5, Revelation 11:13), the churches (Romans 16:16, Revelation 1-3), the Spirit (Romans 8:9, Philippians 1:19), the divine name (Matthew 28:19) and throne (Revelation 22:1,3).

Jesus is the recipient of praise (Matthew 21:15-16, Ephesians 5:19, 1 Timothy 1:12, Revelation 5:8-14) and prayer (Acts 1:24, 7:59-60, 9:10-17, 21, 22:16,19, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 16:22, 2 Corinthians 12:8). He is the object of saving faith (John 14:1, Acts 10:43, 16:31, Romans 10:8-13) and worship (Matthew 14:33, 28:9,17, John 20:28, Philippians 2:10-11, Hebrews 1:6, Revelation 5:8-12) and praise (2 Timothy 4:8, 2 Peter 3:18, Revelation 1:5-6, 5:13). He, with His Father, is the source of blessing (1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:16).


2) Old Testament passages referring to Yahweh are applied to Jesus.


Eternity of Yahweh
Exodus 3:14, Isaiah 43:11 John 8:58
Psalm 101:27-28 Hebrews 1:11-12
Isaiah 44:6 Revelation 1:17

Descriptions of Yahweh
Ezekiel 43:2, Daniel 10:5-6 Revelation 1:13-16

Worship of Yahweh
Isaiah 45:23 Philippians 2:10-11
Psalm 97:7 Hebrews 1:6

Work of Yahweh in Creation
Psalm 102:27 Hebrews 1:10

Salvation of Yahweh
Joel 2:32 Romans 10:13, Acts 2:21

Trustworthiness of Yahweh
Isaiah 28:16 Rom. 9:33, 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6

Judgment of Yahweh
Isaiah 6:10 John 12:40-41
Isaiah 8:14 Romans 9:33, 1 Peter 2:8

Triumph of Yahweh
Psalm 68:18 Ephesians 4:8




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Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 4:41 PM
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I believe what is written why is that not enough? Did God leave something out?

Why do people think they are qualified to add to God's Word? Why do they think is is a good thing to do?

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Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 4:48 PM
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Why do people think they are qualified to add to God's Word? Why do they think is is a good thing to do?

Great question. Are you referring to the Book of Mormon?

God bless,

Dan

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Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 5:00 PM
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Why do people think they are qualified to add to God's Word? Why do they think is is a good thing to do?

WARNING: This is a very long, very tedious post. I post it for any who are being confused by this idea of the Trinity.

1) Historical Development of the Doctrine.

a. Early Church to Nicea.

Until around the year A.D. 200, Christian theologians had difficulty articulating a doctrine of the Trinity. The Apostolic Fathers affirmed the deity of Jesus Christ (see, e.g., 2 Clement 1,1) and often spoke in threes: "As God lives, and the Lord Jesus Christ lives and the Holy Spirit ..." The Apologists tried to take this a little further, but their attempts, in retrospect, seem confused.

From about A.D. 200 on, the church followed two lines of development of the doctrine of the Trinity, one in the west and one in the east. Tertullian (d.c. 220) led the development of western Trinitarian thought, solidified the Latin vocabulary used in discussing the doctrine, and opposed the heresy of modalistic monarchianism.

Modalistic monarchianism took different forms over the years, but it stresses the oneness of God and the deity of Christ. A certain Praxeas reasoned as follows. If there is only one divine kingdom (or monarchy, hence the name), there can be only one monarch. Therefore, God can only be one person and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are that one identical person. The Father Himself entered the virgin's womb and became His own Son, who after being born, suffered, died and rose again. Against this heresy, Tertullian first used the word trinity (Latin: "trinitas"), affirming that in the one Godhead there are three persons (Latin: "personae") who are each of one substance (Latin: "substantia").

Origen (ca. 182-251) was the main early formulator of the doctrine of the Trinity in the eastern portion of the Roman empire. His ideas gave an answer to one Sabellius (ca. 198-220), who set forth a slightly different version of modalistic monarchianism (sometimes called Sabellianism). Yet Origen's ideas were mixed with errors that the church would later have to correct. Origen taught that there were three persons (Greek: "hypostasis"), Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who were united in love and will as one God. The Son was eternally generated from the Father. And he believed in a strong hierarchicalism within the Godhead, whereby only the Father can be called true God, the Son and the Spirit being subordinate to Him in function and nature.

Another heresy propounded around this time goes by the name of dynamic monarchianism. It, too, stresses the oneness of God, but at the expense of the divinity of Jesus. During the 260s one Paul of Samosata maintained that the difference between Jesus and other men was only a matter of degree. As Jesus grew, matured and developed, he gradually entered into such a holy relationship with God that he became more penetrated with the divine substance until "out of man he became God." Paul of Samosata was condemned by a synod in Antioch in A.D. 268.

The next major heresy with which the church had to deal was that of Arius. He was a presbyter in Alexandria and around A.D. 318, he fell under suspicion of teaching doctrines not held by his bishop. Influenced by aspects of Origen's thought, here is a sketch of his doctrine of God. There is one God who is alone everlasting, alone unbegun, alone having immortality, alone good, alone sovereign. But this supreme being is not the triune God, but is God the Father. The Son was created before eternal times, since the Father could not have communicated His essence to another because He is absolutely simple. The Son was not eternal. He was a created being. Arius' famous saying referring to the Son, was, "There was a time when He was not." He was the first-born of all creation, intermediate between God and man.

When the emperor Constantine gained control of the eastern portion of the empire in A.D. 324, he quickly called a council at Nicea to deal with the spread of the teaching of Arius. The Arian party put forth a creed that was quickly voted down. Then Eusebius of Nicomedia put forth a creed that was pronounced orthodox, but insufficient to deal with the Arian heresy. Therefore, a paragraph was added to his creed that specifically addressed the teaching of Arius. Here is the creed of Nicea, also called the creed of the 318 fathers:

"We believe in one God, the Father All Governing (pantokratora), Creator of all things
visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father as only begotten,
that is, from the essence (ousias) of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true
God from true God, begotten not created, of the same essence (homoousion) as the
Father, through whom all things came into being, both in heaven and in earth; Who for
us men and for our salvation came down and was incarnate, becoming human. He
suffered and the third day he rose, and ascended into the heavens. And he will come to
judge both the living and the dead.

And [we believe] in the Holy Spirit.

But, those who say, Once he was not, or he was not before his generation, or he came
to be be out of nothing, or who assert that he, the Son of God, is of a different
hypostasis or ousia, or that he is a creature, or changeable, or mutable, the Catholic and
Apostolic Church anathematizes them."

b. Fourth and Fifth Century Developments.

Although the creed adopted by the 318 bishops at Nicea addressed the Arian heresy, the Arians did not go out of existence. They went underground for a while, but gained the favor of later emperors (A.D. 353-378) and succeeded in persecuting those who held to the faith of Nicea. Athanasius (c. 297-373) followed Alexander as bishop of Alexandria. He was exiled five times and spent a total of 17 years exiled from his bishopric. Yet he wrote constantly in defense of the creed of Nicea as did three church leaders from an area of Turkey called Cappadocia. These "Cappadocian Fathers" were Basil of Caesarea (329-379), his younger brother Gregory of Nyssa (335-395), and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390). The Cappadocian Fathers fixed the Greek vocabulary for the discussion of the Trinity. God is one in essence or substance (Greek: ousia = Latin: substantia or essentia), yet eternally three in person (Greek: hypostasis or prosopa = Latin: personae). Jesus is of the same substance (Greek: homoousios) as the Father, not, as the Arians affirmed, of like substance (Greek: homooiusios). The Cappadocian Fathers also gave extended reflection to the full deity and personality of the Holy Spirit.

The Church met again for a council in 381 to reaffirm the faith of Nicea, this time meeting in Constantinople. Here is the creed as it has come down to us. Note the development of the paragraph on the Holy Spirit.

“We believe in one God, the Father All Governing (pantokratora), Creator of heaven
and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father before all time, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not created, of the same essence (homoousion) as the Father, through Whom all things came into being, Who for us men and because of our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose on the third day, according to the Scriptures, and ascended to heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father, and will come again with glory to judge the living and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and life-giver, Who proceeds from the Father, Who is
worshipped and glorified together with the Father and Son, Who spoke through the
prophets; and in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We confess one baptism for
the remission of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of
the world to come. Amen."

c. Recent Developments.

Most of the ancient heresies are still with us today. Modalistic monarchianism is present in the United Pentecostal Church (also called the Apostolic Pentecostal Church). Soon after the beginning of the Pentecostal movement in the United States of America in the early twentieth century, there was a division within the movement. The Assemblies of God insisted on a Trinitarian statement of faith for its ministers. Some were thus forced to leave the movement and founded what has become the United Pentecostal Church. They are Unitarians, believing in one God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are titles by which this one God has made himself known at different periods of history. The name of this one God is Jesus. They do not baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, but in the name of Jesus only (hence, the reason they are called, "Jesus only Pentecostals").

There are a number of problems with the modalistic, Unitarian faith of this church. It stumbles at John 1:1, where the Word (=Jesus) is God and the Word is also with God. It has no satisfactory explanation for all the times in the gospels when Jesus prayed to His Father, or when the Father spoke to Him from heaven. The baptism of Jesus, where all three persons of the Holy Trinity manifested their presence, must be treated as an illusion. The intercessory ministry of Jesus today, as well as the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit, is discounted in this system of doctrine as well. And finally the propitiatory work of Jesus, that is, His atoning sacrifice to placate and appease the holy wrath of His Father, is lost. Thus, the atonement of Jesus is vacated of its most important component.

Dynamic monarchianism is maintained today by some of the faith teachers like Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland. They hold that believers are little gods or little Christs.

Arianism continues to be maintained today by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Hopefully what has been presented above is a sufficient refutation of Arianism. The Greek term "monogenes" was rendered "only-begotten" in early English translations. It is better to translate it as "one and only" in the sense of "unique" or "best-loved" Son. This sense is reflected in some recent English translations such as the NIV.

I should also comment on Colossians 1:15, where Jesus is called "the first-born of all creation." Stripped from its context, this could be interpreted as the Arians have done, that Jesus is a created being. But the next verse in Colossians goes on to state clearly that Jesus is the agent by whom all that has been created has come into being (Colossians 1:16). The term prototokos in the LXX means temporal priority or sovereignty of rank. Occasionally it was used to indicate that the prototokos had a special and supreme place in the father's love. In Colossians 1:15, this sovereignty of rank and supremacy of place is primarily in view.

2. Summary and Amplification.

There is in God but one indivisible essence or nature. God is one in His essential being. In the one, true God there are three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each of the three persons is truly and fully God. The Son is not partly God or one-third of God. The Son is fully God. Each of the three persons possesses the whole being of God in Himself. The whole of the divine essence with all its perfection is in each of the three persons. The divine nature is different from human nature. It can subsist wholly and indivisibly in more than one person. Thus, as to essential being, there is no subordination within the Godhead. As to being, essence, nature, the three persons are co-equal. Each of the three persons are also co-eternal.

There never was a time when the Father did not exist. There never was a time when the Son or the Holy Spirit did not exist. From everlasting to everlasting each person of the Holy Trinity is. Each person of the Godhead has all the attributes of God. No person has any attributes not possessed by the other two.

Yet the distinction between the three persons is real. The Father is not the Son. The Father is not the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Holy Spirit. And it is true that though they are co-equal and co-eternal in being or essence or nature, there is a certain order within the Godhead. It is an order of relationship not of being. The Father relates as the Father to the Son and to the Spirit. He is not begotten nor does He proceed. The Son relates as the Son to the Father and to the Spirit. He is eternally the Son of His Father. The Holy Spirit relates as the Holy Spirit to the Father and to the Son. He proceeds from the Father and the Son. There is also a difference between the three persons as to function. Though each of the three persons was involved in creating the world, they were involved in different ways. The Father spoke the whole of creation into existence out of nothing (ex nihilo). The Son, who is the eternal Word of God, was the personal agent who carried out this decree of His Father. The Holy Spirit was moving over the surface of the waters, sustaining and manifesting God's presence throughout His creation. Similarly the three persons are each involved in redemption, but in different ways. The Father planned and ordained His redemption and sent His Son into the world to carry out His will. The Son obeyed His Father and accomplished our redemption. And the Spirit, sent by the Father and the Son, applies the work of the Son to us according to the eternal plan of the Father. Each person of the Holy Trinity works toward the same ends, though each carries out different parts of the Father's plan. So then, the persons of the Trinity are co-equal in being and co-eternal, each possessing the same attributes. Yet they relate to each other and to the creation in different and complementary ways.

We must close this section by affirming that the doctrine of the Trinity is a mystery. Much has been revealed about the being of God in the Scriptures, but there is still much that we don't understand. We must affirm everything that Scripture teaches on this topic, even if we cannot understand how it all fits together. We can never fully explain the doctrine of the Trinity. We can only affirm what Scripture teaches and defend this teaching against errors that would destroy it.

3. Application.

a. Confess your faith in the one, true God, who eternally exists in three co-equal persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Try and understand and know Him as best as you can. But realize that there is much mystery here. God is infinite and we are finite. We can know Him truly, though never exhaustively. Realize that all analogies help us understand the doctrine fall short since they are drawn from the finite, created order. The tree with its root, trunk and branches. Water in the cloud, the rain and the rising mist. Steam, ice, water. There is also an analogy drawn from the nature of love. There is the subject, the one who loves, and the object, the one who is loved and there is the love that is shared between them. All of these analogies fall short. Bow in reverence before our God, confessing your faith in Him whom you do not fully understand, but whom knowing, you love.

b. Pray to the Triune God. Though prayer is normally directed to the Father, through the Son, with the aid of the Spirit, we may pray to each of the persons since each One is truly and fully God. But keep ever before your mind that there is only one God and that each of the three persons work toward the same ends.

c. Remember that equality of personhood does not require sameness of roles. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-equal. Yet the Father commands the Son and the Son obeys. This has application in the marital relationship. The husband and wife are equal as persons, in creation and in redemption, yet they have different roles. The husband is to lead and the wife is to follow. Yet this difference in roles does not imply any superiority or inferiority.

d. Recognize the importance of this doctrine. It touches the heart of our faith. If Jesus is not fully God, could He have really borne our sins and the wrath of His Father in making atonement? If Jesus was a created being, could we trust Him to save us completely? If Jesus is not truly and fully God, then we must not worship or pray to Him. If God is not a Trinity of persons who have been relating to each other from all eternity, then it is difficult to escape the implication that He created the world to fulfill needs in His own being. Believe in the Triune God and contend with those who attack His being.

This was not written by me, but by David Weneger



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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42054 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 5:49 PM
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Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,
10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority

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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42055 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 5:51 PM
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Hebrews 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.





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Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 6:39 PM
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Hebrews 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Yes, you have identified part of the Truth. The Son is not the Father, but is a separate person. And yet both are God, as is the Holy Spirit.

Does this not make sense to you? Go back to Hebrews 5:8 and finish the paragraph. For the Writer says that these things are hard to explain to those who do not hear.

Or better yet, if this concept does not make sense to you, use your own advice to me, return to Colossians 2:8 to learn that Christianity is not in agreement with "the basic principles of this world." As Colossians 2:9 says in agreement with the Trinity, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form..."

It's important to remember that one must study Scripture not just atomistically, but also systematically--in other words, going across Scripture to see what the whole Word of God says on any particular subject.

This is the meaning of 'systematic theology': the systematic study across the entire text of God's Word of any particular subject or doctrine. Failure to do this has caused legions of people, most with good intentions, to continue their whole lives in Biblical ignorance despite being quite knowledgeable of individual verses of Scripture.


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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42100 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 10:20 PM
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<<Or better yet, if this concept does not make sense to you, use your own advice to me, return to Colossians 2:8 to learn that Christianity is not in agreement with "the basic principles of this world." As Colossians 2:9 says in agreement with the Trinity, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form..."
>>

I am not sure what you mean I quoted Colossians 2:8-10 earlier today! post 42098? You seem to be putting me down but I am not sure why?

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14233067




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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42105 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 10:51 PM
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coralville said:

I think this notion of humanity being good is essential to living a Christian life. Christ said to “love thy neighbor as thyself”. A wonderful phrase as it commands us that despite all our imperfections, sins, fallibilities, and evil nature, we are still to find a way to both love ourselves and use that love to love others. Jesus didn't say to “despise ourselves” or “condemn ourselves” or “hold ourselves in contempt.” Indeed, if you did feel that humanity is fundamentally evil, how could you possibly obey His command to love humanity? Jesus said to love ourselves. Implicit in that statement is that there is something in us of value that is worth loving, an inner core of “goodness” that allows us both to be loved and to love.

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coralville,

To put it bluntly, I think you're wrong. Humanity as it is now is NOT good. What gives us value is not the notion that we are "basically good", but rather that God (whom we all agree is good), values us even in our fallen state. Paul probably says it best in Romans 7:21-25 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.(emphasis mine)

And this coming from a Christian! How much more are non-believers ruled by the sinful nature?

Where we get our "value" is not from our "goodness", Romans 5:8 tells us, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (emphasis mine) THAT is truly unconditional love. The verse doesn't say that "since we were basically good, Christ died for us."

Because God loves us and loves others, we in turn can "love ourselves" and "love our neighbors as ourselves".

=================================

Yet we are deserving of Christian love and capable of loving others. IMO, anyone capable of displaying selfless Christian love/charity still retains the essence of God's creative force. As such, that person is “basically good” IMO.

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The point of salvation by GRACE, and GRACE alone is that we are NOT DESERVING. If we deserved grace, then we would not have needed the sacrafice of Jesus Christ. What we DESERVE is justice. What we get through faith in Jesus Christ is grace and mercy. Our opinions (mine, yours, others) means nothing. What God says about the matter is what matters.

Yes, we as Christians are to love one another, love our neighbors, and love our enemies. We are only capable of that because God first loved us. 1John 4:19 We love because he first loved us. We can do nothing to "earn" God's love, yet he loves us unconditionally.

We as humans can use good in relative terms. I may be "good" compared to Hitler, but compared to Mother Theresa...well, lets just say I'm no mother Theresa. Fortunately, God doesn't grade on a curve. Otherwise we might never know where we stand. Where would the cutoff point be? Or, to use a golf term, who would make the cut? We only need to worry about one standard. That standard is "are we believers in Christ". Since the blood of Christ covers over all of my sins, I AM GOOD in the eyes of God. Not because of my nature, but despite it.

Yes people can do "good" things, even if they are not Christians. But, it seems that those things tend to go against one's nature as opposed to going with it. Or possibly due to ulterior motives. That at least seems to be what the Bible teaches. And who am I to second guess God's Word?

God bless,

Dan

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Author: ServeHim Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42114 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/30/2001 11:55 PM
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Dan:

I gave you 100 recs but only one showed up. Sorry. :-(

Rick

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Author: ericjh Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42116 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/31/2001 12:04 AM
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Yes people can do "good" things, even if they are not Christians. But, it seems that those things tend to go against one's nature as opposed to going with it. Or possibly due to ulterior motives. That at least seems to be what the Bible teaches. And who am I to second guess God's Word?

God bless,

Dan

Dan that is the most insightful statement I have read on this topic.
People of all walks of life do have the ability to go against their sin nature.
That is why some have the appearance, to us at least, of being good. As humans we just cannot keep it going indefinitely. At some point our humanness catches us off guard.
Thanks
EJ


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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42129 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/31/2001 8:04 AM
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Rick,

Thanks for the sentiment anyway. I just try to "tune in" to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I miss the mark. If I say anything that seems insightful or even semi-intelligent, you can bet it didn't come from me. ;-)

God bless,

Dan

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Author: azpackrfn Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42135 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/31/2001 8:38 AM
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Eric,

Thanks for the kind words. Praise God we live in a country where we can openly discuss such topics without fear of reprisals from the government.

God bless,

Dan

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Author: klinedanner Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 42154 of 196416
Subject: Re: Is man basically good? Date: 1/31/2001 9:54 AM
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Yes people can do "good" things, even if they are not Christians. But, it seems that those things tend to go against one's nature as opposed to going with it. Or possibly due to ulterior motives. That at least seems to be what the Bible teaches. And who am I to second guess God's Word?

You are deep in a muddy world of fine lines and differing interpretations with the above statement. Several things must be absolutely clear before making a statement like that: 1. (once again) exactly what do you mean by "good." 2. how do you define "one's nature," and 3. the phrase "seems to be what the Bible teaches," clearly reveals that what any person believes the Bible teaches on this matter is highly subject to interpretation.

IMO, the Bible teaches that our nature is to turn from God. Thus, considering the absolute definition of "good," non-Christians really do nothing against their nature. EVERYTHING they do is BAD in God's eyes because it is not done to glorify Him. If they happen to do something "good" in the relative sense of the word, it's still bad in the absolute sense of the word.

But completely independent of "absolute good" and a Biblical understanding of our nature, it IS natural for people to want to "do the right thing." People in general are fundamentally good in the relative sense. So doing good does not go against our "nature" in that sense.

The Bible informs us that we are wicked, evil, sinful, etc. because God created us to glorify Him but we do NOT. Even acts of charity (relatively good) are wicked in God's eyes if not done for His glory. ANYTHING not done for God's glory is SIN. I argue that 99.9999999% (if not more) of us live MOST of our lives steeped in sin. And and i don't mean just sinning several times a day. I mean sinning constantly, every second of every day, with only occasional moments when we fully glorify God. There are precious few moments when we completely forget about our own wills, egos, desires, etc. and focus solely on God's glory. I think these occur primarily in intercessory prayer and hopefully some in corporate worship. Of course there are other instances, but those are our best opportunities for forsaking our own glory for that of God's.

Danner

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