Ohhhhhh… they’re so cute… so precious… so innocent…
Who hasn’t looked at a baby and sensed an aura of innocence around that gorgeous little gift from God?
But, oh, there’s a dark side to those little bundles of joy (and not the kind you might be picturing about the time of the next diaper change).
God’s Word says each one of us—yes, even those tiny beauties—are born steeped in sin.
“I know that nothing good lives in me,” admits the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:18, “that is, in my sinful nature.” (NIV)
Paul eloquently lays out this dilemma for man, particularly in Romans chapters 5 through 7.
Yes, God created his original man—Adam—perfect and without sin.
But God’s gift of freewill left man (and woman!) vulnerable to Satan’s tempting schemes…and mankind has paid the price ever since. (Thanks be to God, though, He sent His Son to pay that penalty for us…so there’s always hope in that story!)
But let’s get back to that sweet baby…
Innocent?? Or Sinful??
How we answer matters. It’s perhaps one of the most defining aspects of our worldview (the lens through which we see and react to the world and people around us.)
If we answer SINFUL…
In faith, we realize we are utterly lost without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus—we’re so steeped in sin that we would have no escape except through Him. We also realize that, considering our fallen state, Truth comes from God, not our own corrupt minds or hearts.
In family, we look at our children, and other loved ones, with full knowledge they can, and will, disappoint at times and fight their own battles against sin and foolishness.
In politics, we’re more suspicious of any system of government created and run by sinful man. Our tendencies are to be more dependent on the Lord—not the government—to meet our needs.
In short, if we answer SINFUL, then we tend to operate in a biblical worldview.
After all, we can’t see a sinful creature with human eyes when we look at a newborn. That realization comes by the Holy Spirit’s revelation through God’s Word.
So what if we answer INNOCENT?
In faith, Original Sin is seen as a myth. Man’s corruption is a result of his surroundings, his upbringing or the failure of people around him. Ultimately, man still has that innate ability to recapture his innocent state if he learns enough, tries hard enough. That’s why “faith” is considered something learned or achieved from within—not an external gift.
In family, life is an ongoing quest to create those ideal relationships, often seeking advice from “self help” books or experts…perhaps even seeing the Bible as offering valid suggestions. That’s because there’s an inherent faith in the perfectibility of man.
In politics, hope springs eternal that man can eventually “get it right” by creating a perfect (Utopian) system that meets the needs of all people. Government can actually help man be restored to an ideal life if government provides cradle-to-grave services and safeguards.
In short, if we answer INNOCENT, then we tend to operate in a humanist worldview.
Let’s keep those distinctions in mind … and ask the Lord in the next week to show us how our worldview is (or perhaps is not) shaped by His Word. We will take those lessons next week and apply them as we look both at our nation’s founding, and future.
Our thanks to Answers in Genesis for giving us permission to use this After Eden cartoon.