I Know What and Whom I have Believed Part 5: The Human Dilemma
What the postmodern liberal, neoliberal, and emerging churches have in common is a view of humans as essentially good. At the heart of the PCUSA ecumenical movement we find a pluralism that is in no way biblical. When humans are essentially good, the problems within the world are put on the shoulders corrupt social systems, thus liberation rather than salvation is what is needed. A great deal of the funds that are given in good faith by people in the pews for missions is instead sent on to liberal, liberation groups as clearly documented in many areas, including here. The views of so many of the ordained leaders of mainline denominations are in no way biblical and is all together a different religion.
I stand upon the shoulders of the great reformers in once again proclaiming the essential belief about the human dilemma. Human beings are created in the image of God (Gen. 2:7) in that we have many of the same types of characteristics as God does. Thus we have intellect, which is not simply a physical manifestation of our brains, but is also an attribute of our soul (1Cor. 2:11). This also means we have the capacity to examine ourselves and to have some understanding of ourselves and others (Ps. 4:4; 2Cor. 13:5; Gal. 6:4). Humans also have an implanted moral conscience, which can be seared by our sinful nature (1Tim. 4:2), but nevertheless still gives us some knowledge of right and wrong (Rom. 1-2). We are also volitional and have the capacity to make choices and move toward accomplishing our choices. Because of our sin we cannot always do what we want to do or what we believe to be morally right (Rom. 7:18).
Humans are also completely fallen. Holistic depravity is at the heart of what it means to have a sin nature (Ps. 51:5). Human depravity does not mean that humans are as bad as they can possibly be, but rather that sin effects every human capacity (Isa. 64:6). Even our best achievements are still tainted by sin and evil (Ps. 53:1,3; 14:1,3; Job 25:6). Sin means all of the following: failing to meet God’s standards (Matt. 1:21; Rom. 5:12-13) and the consequences (Mark 3:28; Rom. 3:25), departure from God’s law (Titus 2:14), wrongdoing (Rom. 1:18, 29), wickedness, anything that might be opposed to God, lack of faith, disobedience, transgression, etc. Humans are fundamentally sinful (James 1:14-15) and are bonded to sinful passions (2 Peter 2:19). Our intellects are darkened and warped (Rev. 3:17). Our wills are twisted and we are powerless to choose God (Gal. 5:13,16; 2Cor. 4:4; Eph. 4:17-18). We are emotionally corrupted, with differing degrees of disorders: There is no true peace, joy, and love without God (1Peter 2:11). We are morally corrupt, although we still have some initial understanding of what is right and wrong, but we twist it (Heb. 9:9,14). We are estranged from God and others. We have a freedom in regards to others and ourselves, but because of our sin nature, we do not have the freedom to choose God (1Cor. 2:14; Luke 16:4,9). All of us sin and are depraved (Rom. 3:9-20) and we are enslaved to our sin nature (2Tim 2:26; Rom. 6:6; Jer. 13:23; John 8:34; 1Cor. 2:14; 2Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:1,2; 4:17-18).
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