We often forget that we live in a world of sin, that the world around any Christian will still be so entrenched in sin that the concept of righteousness will not exist. The Bible clearly divides our lives into two: the first being what we are like before we become a Christian and secondly the person we become when we are no longer a slave to sin. In this second instance the Christian may also be known as a saved sinner or a follower of Christ.
Romans 6:6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.
People today, living in the western world have got so accustomed to excusing sin that we have totally ignored the mercies of God, the forgiveness of our sinful nature and have completely distorted the grace of God which is what we receive (ie our salvation). We know God’s grace is contrary to that which we do deserve (ie punishment). Both salvation and gifts / blessings of the Holy Spirit are free and are attainable only through Jesus Christ, and not through any other means.
We are told that “humans are the way they are because of their genetic make up”. Our genetic makeup prevents us from being that which we may desire and makes us into that which we are born into.
Therefore, when you call someone a sinner just because they are sexually immoral you are being unreasonable and judgmental as they were born that way and nothing you can say will change that. At least that is what you will think if your world view is aligned with that of modern western civilization.
Richard Dawkins will have us believe that the only time we are not selfish is to help us further our own genetic self or our descendants (ie our own children) . He further argues that our work and co-operation with others, on which our society is based, is there only to help ensure our own survival and that of our own children. Our understanding of what is right and wrong will therefore always be based on that which will help support our self-preservation rather than the rights of others.
On human destiny and environment
You may have heard that some members of the elite thinkers, environmentalists and the United Nations’ think tank have come to the conclusion that in order to maintain sustainability of the earth and its ecosystem we should have no more than half a billion humans at any one time. This leaves us with approximately six billion extras that cause global warming and disruption to the delicate balance of nature. Many have therefore argued that the strong should continue to subdue the weak and to dominate the progress of humanity. We should therefore not intervene when wars break out, mass murder and genocide is committed as this is simply one way of dealing with human over- population.
So when we talk about Human Rights we should think carefully about what we say. In fact, a group of people in one part of the world will have a completely different concept of this idea of Human rights from our western culture. For example, if you ask a question about Human rights someone who comes from the Brazilian tribal area of head hunters is inevitably going to give you a different answer from someone who has actively been fighting racism, sexism or religious intolerance.
In fact, this ideology i.e. control of our behaviour, is precisely what drives people like Dr Dawkins and others to say that religion is bad for humanity as it enslaves and prevents personal development. Let me take this opportunity to quote Billy Joel whose understanding of Sin is significantly different from that which we find in the Bible and which we call Original Sin.
“I wasn’t raised Catholic, but I used to go to Mass with my friends, and I viewed the whole business as a lot of very enthralling hocus-pocus. There’s a guy hanging upon the wall in the church, nailed to a cross and dripping blood, and everybody’s blaming themselves for that man’s torment, but I said to myself, ‘Forget it. I had no hand in that evil. I have no original sin. There’s no blood of any sacred martyr on my hands. I pass on all of this.”
“I believe that all important matters have to be settled here, not in the clouds somewhere after we kick off.”
Billy Joel, American musician
I love the book by William Golding called “Lord of the Flies” in which he attempts to show how self-destructive we as humans are. For those who are unfamiliar with this book, William Golding builds a setting where a group of young children are stranded on an island and who eventually lead to murder and abuse of some by physical dominance over the weaker and less able children.
Here is a definition in New Testament Greek of the meaning of sin:
ἁμαρτάνω hamartanō (ham-ar-tan’-o)
properly to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), that is, (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin: – for your faults, offend, sin, trespass. The literal meanings of the Hebrew, and (Greek, “hamartanō”, “sin,” “sinner”, etc), disclose the true nature of sin in its manifold manifestations.
Sin is transgression, an overstepping of the law, the divine boundary between good and evil (Psa_51:1); (Luk_15:29); iniquity, an act inherently wrong, whether expressly forbidden or not; error, a departure from right; (Psa_51:9); (Rom_3:23); missing the mark, a failure to meet the divine standard; trespass, the intrusion of self-will into the sphere of divine authority (Eph_2:1); lawlessness, or spiritual anarchy (1Ti_1:9); unbelief, or an insult to the divine veracity (Joh_16:9).
Sin originated with Satan (Isa_14:12-14); entered the world through Adam (Rom_5:12); was, and is, universal,
Bible is clear when pointing the finger at us and telling the listener where they stand when compared to the holiness of God.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
There are others who have tried hard to convince us that religion is a product of the human mind which has induced the concept of self harm in order to control the masses by a clever few. Therefore, comments by people such as Dr Dawkins saying that religion is a form of child abuse is to be understood as an attempt to liberate the human mind and to allow its own evolution until it reaches a higher understanding of how we should live our lives.
Who else wanted to liberate the human mind?
Karl Marx who was famous for propagating his ideology known as Marxism which evolved to Communism or common ownership of everything by the masses, emphasized that one should serve the many. In other words hurting one individual where this will be beneficial to a group of individuals is acceptable.
This led to very oppressive regimes in Russia, China, Cambodia, Cuba and many other Eastern European nations where the ideaology was superior to the values of individuals and institutional atheism which led to mass murder being justified by means of atheist arguments and where there was the belief that it will all turn out well in the end. So from where did they get such ideas and why was it so easy to manipulate if, on the one hand, they said religion is used to control the masses but on the other hand they had to enforce their ideology until there was no opposition.
“The wretchedness of religion is at once an expression and a protest against real wretchedness. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feeling of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of unspiritual conditions. It is the opium of the people.”
“The social principles of Christianity preach cowardice, self-contempt, abasement, submission, humility, in a word all the qualities of the canaille.”
Karl Marx, German political philosopher and economist (1818-1883)
I have often criticized people on both sides of the argument when dealing with this issue of freedom and acquiring an understanding of why things are the way they are. Why is it then that Karl Marx is wrong in his assumption?
Firstly, it is necessary to look at the background to his statement which was made in nineteenth century Europe when a great deal of injustice took place. This is where we would find a very small group of people who control most of the national wealth. These same people used to go to Church on Sunday but continue with their oppression and abuse of their workers oppression on Monday.
The industrial revolution did not bring a solution to our moral problems and neither was it responsible for social injustice. It is human nature and our tendency to destroy rather than to build, to steal what was developed by others in order to allow us to both do nothing and be self-obsessive and self-indulgent but then to continue to take advantage of the labour of others which only serves to continue our self-indulgence.
Karl Marx had a close friend and financial support called Friedrich Engels. Note that without his financial support it would have been almost impossible for Marxism and Communism intellectual ideology to develop. So was Karl Marx sponging (one who habitually depends on others for one’s own maintenance) off Friedrich Engels and how dare he tell us about suffering when he only experienced this on an intellectual level.
After Marx’s death, Engels spent his remaining years editing Marx’s unfinished volumes of Capital. Engels made an argument using anthropological evidence of the time to show that family structures have changed over history, and that the concept of monogamous marriage came from the necessity within class society for men to control women to ensure their own children would inherit their property.
He argued a future communist society would allow people to make decisions about their relationships free from economic constraints. Sexual freedom was therefore very high on his agenda and constraints of marriage are just as detrimental to human development as is religion.
We find this idea present in many other proponents of the theory of evolution. What is this and why should we listen to someone who is sex obsessed, lazy and is happy to kill other humans in order to further his own ideology.
The fact is that if there is NO GOD and therefore no external to a humanity law giver, then all is relative and permissible and any frowning and disapproval of any such ideas are only a remnant of our evolutionary past. At this point I would like to share a story with you which will most probably be very distressing to anyone reading it.
Signs of Human development and progress
A group of men (around 5 in total) and one woman kidnapped, raped and tortured a young couple.
Hugh Christopher Newsom, Jr., 23, and Channon Gail Christian, 21, were a couple from Knoxville, Tennessee. According to a Tennessee grand jury, they were murdered and both were raped after being kidnapped early on the morning of 7th Jan 2007. Their vehicle had been carjacked. Five suspects have been arrested and charged in the case. The grand jury indicted four of the suspects on counts of murder, robbery, kidnapping, rape and theft, while one final suspect has already been convicted of federal charges as accessory after the fact to carjacking. Both victims endured horrendous torture and died horrific death which appalled many, both victims were black and all perpetrators of the crime were white.
Remember that this is just one crime I have picked at random in order to show you what is within human nature. There are many examples of fathers who kill their offspring in order to get even with their ex wife, of husbands who kill their wives in order to stop them from leaving them and marrying someone else, of unhappy employees who go on to kill their bosses and other innocent bystanders who just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I remember when a few years ago a friend of mine said that human evolution can only be measured in a number of ways. We have progressed from killing each other, we may have started with clubs, then knifes then guns, cannons, heavy artillery then finally we moved to mass murder using atomic bombs, chemical weaponry and so on.
I have always been amazed by our own capacity to be cruel to each other but at the same time ignore that savage injustice and find ways of justifying our own wrong doing.
Where does sin lead humanity according to the Bible?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many have tried to accuse Christians and the Christian faith of being oppressive and manipulative in order to enslave the hearer into submission. But this is a misunderstanding of massive proportions and can easily be demonstrated that it’s sin within that causes this lie to flourish in our societies. We see from the Bible (Jesus own words):
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
He goes on to explain the real reasons why we as humans desire to stay away from Jesus and the offer of forgiveness and reconciliation to God.
18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
- God is Love and just, justice demands punishment but the love of God wants to grant us forgiveness. This can only be achieved by punishing the guilty, and for this Jesus came to take our guilt upon himself.
- The main objective of coming of Jesus is to save and not condemn
- To bring enlightenment not to enslave
- Evil and good are in direct opposition
- Men love darkness (sin) and therefore stay away from light as this exposes their sin
- Sin will not be ignored, neither will it be forgiven on our own merits.
Justice and freedom
I know that some will say, this is not my fault, neither is it my battle and I have no quarrel with God. He should just let me be. The problem is that I have yet to meet anyone who is totally benign (not dangerous to humans) and really is happy for the world to go on as it is, without any intervention that can be deemed oppressive.
In other words we all like to fix this problem but this is impossible without God’s intervention, as any other influence we see today may be seen as oppressive, manipulative, freedom reducing and murderess ideology. This intervention can lead to the oppression of political opponents and the distortion of truth through the mediums of TV, radio and the Internet.
The freedom of human kind
We like to be free even when we don’t possess an understanding of freedom. In the world of Satan and Sin it is impossible to claim any possibility of freedom. If , by association, you are deemed to belong to a group of people who oppose the light then your origin and destiny is predetermined. As Bob Dylan famously puts it in one of his songs:
“You gonna have to serve somebody, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you gonna have to serve somebody”. Bob Dylan
They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security
This saying is so relevant for today’s society where we have given up so much of our liberty in order to maintain security in our lives.
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.
Finally, I would like to finish by saying, all should examine where they come from and where does it lead. Is there freedom after all and if there is none at all, whether it’s due to genetics or spiritual conditions which force us to make choices between good or evil. However, one thing is certain and that is that the choice is still yours. It may be limited but it’s free. If your life is at stake today choices that you make would determine your life’s philosophy. However, I would argue that before this should happen you should consider this question and decide what your answer is going to be.
Wishing you all God’s blessings and freedom from sin
Defend the word