Thursday, July 14, 2016

Innocence of Children or Total Depravity

Totality is profound! Whenever I took a college in test I was a poor test-taker for that reason. Many questions used words such as "always", "never", "completely" and such which threw me off. I could always think of an exception which persuaded me to answer wrongly. Like those words, "total" is profound! That's why I question the Calvinistic point #1: total depravity. Essentially, (see, I allow some leeway with "essentially"), this notion propagates this:
"The doctrine of total depravity (or total inability) says that all men, as a consequence of the Fall, are born morally corrupt, enslaved to sin, at enmity with God, and unable to please Him or even of themselves to turn to Christ for salvation." (travis
It's true that Adam and Eve are the blame for "original sin". However, it implies that all men are born in sin; that even the newborn infant is a sinner. That notion condemns all infants, even children, to hell because all of them are sinners, and all those with unforgiven sin are damned!  I submit that "original sin" (inherited sin through Adam's genes) is a PROPENSITY toward sin. We are INCLINED toward sin even at birth!  It's obvious that from the womb a baby has not yet sinned, but it is shortly forthcoming.

Luke 22:40 says that people "enter into temptation" and birth is certainly not the route for temptation to enter. People can "flee from immorality" (2 Corinthians 6:18). Infants can't do much "fleeing" because they 1) can't yet discern what's immoral nor 2) run to flee from danger!

Sin can't be until temptation comes.
James 1:14 "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
There is a process for sinning: 1) temptation, 2) lust for the object of temptation, and then 3) actual sin. Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent. The fruit was the temptation. The fruit created lust for it, but they didn't sin until they acted. If they had continually lusted after the fruit they would have sinned in the heart, but they obviously sinned when they intended to  disobey.

When newborn infants lust (desire) nourishment, that's instinct and is a natural response because they have a biological need. Being hungry and signaling the parent is not rebellion. It's communication. No newborn infant has yet sinned!  I have a point: Sin is a learned behavior. It is not biological. Merely "being born is not a sin". Infants gradually learn to get their pleasure by dishonest means. The parents inadvertently "cause" that as they "condition" the child by "positive enforcement" to sin. If a baby is nourished before he has to cry, then crying is not needed. When the baby cries the parent gives him what he wants. After awhile a child cries for play things. The parent encourages crying (selfishness) by rewarding with the object for which he cried?

That's the "birth of sin" in the babies life. It's natural for both the parent and the child. It is said that we all are born in sin because that's our nature. We all are going to sin! That's a given because we all are subject to the desires of the flesh.

Back to "total depravity": We learn depravity because we learn sin. We CAN DO "good" things, but "DOING GOOD" is merely a roadblock to being born-again. Because we DO GOOD THINGS there appears to be little sin for which good people can repent. Only God is "good", according to Jesus. That doesn't mean that sinners can't do good things. It just means that God does not count doing good things as the way to salvation!

Babies are very loving. That's a "good" thing, but a person isn't said to be "good" because he does a good thing. "Good" in God's Lexicon is HIM Only. We all fall short of "total goodness", but God. (Jesus is God).  Any time the mark of "goodness" is missed that's sin. If a baby says "NO!" in rebellion to the parent's authority, that is not total depravity. It means that the baby sinned, but is still mostly love and amelioration!  Therefore, I contend that we are not born into "total depravity", but with the lack of "total goodness".

Babies are not enslaved to sin. As the infant is tempted as life progresses the baby is deceived by operant conditioning by "the world" to sin. Sin is a response to temptation. They gradually put on the yokes of bondage as their sins compound. True even one sin is condemning, but there are till "good things" in the hearts of children, but as far as salvation is concerned "good" doesn't count for redemption. Only by the blood of Jesus is even one sin cleansed! Infants are spied out by the Prince of the World as his slaves and he does enslave them when the child falls to temptation and sins. It's just inevitable because it's in their genes. It's part of the makeup of every human being.

Did you just have a newborn baby? He or she is going to sin! That's a curse. Has he or she sinned yet? Probably not! Watch for your baby's first sin and write it down. That's the birth of him or her into the devil's kingdom. For the rest of the child's life God with his grace will anti-tempt the child from sin by tugging at his or her heart. There is only one thing anyone MUST DO in life to avoid eternal death: respond to the spiritual pull of God!

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