Our perspective does not define the nature of man.  Only the Creator can do that.

Our perspective does not define the nature of man. Only the Creator can do that.

A recent on-line article by Ann Miller asks the age-old question “Is mankind basically good or evil?” (Click here for the full piece.) The writer attempts to answer the question in terms of political philosophy, with which you may or may not agree, but I would rather approach the topic differently.

The issue of the basic nature of man is one best left defined by the One who created us. We aren’t without direction on the moral condition of mankind which, according to Scripture, was damaged by the fall in Genesis 3. Throughout the Bible, then, we have descriptions of our natural selves in these terms:

“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:6)

“The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:2, 3)

It sounds to me as if one’s political persuasion doesn’t matter a bit when it comes to having an accurate view of what mankind is really like. A liberal or conservative outlook may shape how you see people, but the Word of God is the authoritative source if we want the definitive truth about our nature. Liberals and conservatives alike will struggle with corruption and thirst for power – it’s built in to us all. Adopting a certain political party or having a particular political ideology will never release a person from the depraved heart they are born with.

Man is bad. Really bad. God moved Jeremiah to write that we can’t even grasp how bad.

But identifying the real answer to man’s condition is only the beginning because a solution still must be found. Again, I believe the Creator clearly lays out the ultimate plan to address the problem of the basic evil nature of the human heart:

“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:18, 19)

Our natures were corrupted by the sin of Adam in Genesis 3 and our natures can only be reversed, cleansed, and made right by the free gift of life through faith in the righteous obedience of Jesus Christ. That’s why our nation’s problems will never be solved through political means. The Church has been called to be salt and light through proclaiming the gospel of Christ. Hearts must be changed to see real societal change in any land. The more resources the Body of Christ pours into only changing the balance of parties in Congress or in having our laws changed or whatever the political solution of the day may be, the further we are diverted from our mandate – to make disciples.

There is no debate in the Bible on our original question. Mankind is corrupt; Christ is compassionate; believers are the channels of that message.