If I may share a bit about my own life, I think it will help you understand my point of view better. My father was a hunter, a fisherman, and an avid outdoors man. One Christmas morning I received a bb gun from him as a gift. I thought it was one of the coolest things I had ever received. It wasn’t long after, that I went out in the woods to shoot. I had never killed anything in my entire life, but that would soon change.
A flock of blackbirds had landed in a tree above me. I raised my gun, took aim, and fired a single shot. The bird began a downward spiral, bouncing off branch after branch until it landed at my feet. I was horrified! I was so horrified that I cried for hours after. That was the day I fell from grace. That was the day I lost my spiritual connection to God. I had taken the life of an innocent creature and by doing so I realized my own mortality. It was the day I knew death was imminent for me as well.
The incident is a memory I wanted to repress. It still hurts me to this day when I think about it. I was so naive and innocent, and I believe it was the beginning of my descent, the beginning of my fall from paradise. The incident numbed me. It hurt me so deeply that I repressed my feelings. What is even more disturbing still is that I eventually became a hunter myself. I eventually lost my compassion for God’s creatures, just as I eventually lost myself.
To further my thoughts, my son Austin was born in 1997. He was the most precious thing I had ever laid my eyes on. His birth wasn’t an easy one, however. It was required for his mother to have a C-section in order to remove him from her womb. If I had to guess, I’d say he didn’t want to leave his the comfort of that place. It was as if he somehow knew what lay ahead of him.
I recall a moment when Austin was age 6 vividly. One afternoon I began to say to him, “When you grow up…” but he stopped me dead in my tracks! He immediately began to cry furiously, pleading that he never wanted to grow up! He said, “I want to be a kid forever”. It was the sweetest, yet most heartbreaking thing I ever heard him say. I nearly broke down myself, knowing that one day he too would reach adulthood, and that the innocence he knew then would slowly wane as he grew older. Such is the reality of humanity I think, and our fall from paradise.
Hos 4:6 suggests that we are killed for lack of knowledge. In other words, we are destroyed because we are ignorant, not because we are born carnal or inherently bad. It is ignorance that leads to our destruction. This is why the fall was necessary ... So we might gain knowledge and understanding. Adam and Eve were innocent, without fault, and very good
. I believe Adam and Eve knew God's glory well. Perhaps we all knew it well at one time, perhaps before we realized our own mortality.
I think Jesus came to show us how to re
capture that innocence, how to be re
created in God's image, how to be re
newed and re
born. I don't accept the premise that Adam and Eve were carnal prior to their descent. On that same note, I don't I accept the premise that we are born carnal, only ignorant which leads to a carnal mindset via sin consequence.
Sorry for the length. I just wanted to share my thoughts. What do you think? Are we born inherently good or inherently evil? I've heard arguments from both sides. You now know where I stand.
What say you?