Thursday, July 19, 2007

Is man good or evil?

I first encountered this question when I was in high school. We were asked to write an essay answering the question, "Is man good or evil?"

When I answered this, I was sure and convinced that man by nature is good since we were created from the image and likeness of God. I always believed in that until my brother wrote this essay.

Man by nature is evil. Nature is defined as inherent tendencies of a person or in other words "instinct." Instincts are acts where thinking or reasoning is excluded. This is sometimes referred to as "gut feeling" or for women it's "women's intuition." In example, if someone throws a stone at you, "instinctively" what will you do? Without thinking, we would respond to this in the same manner and would throw back a stone. Other examples are; when we were born, they say that our clenched fist symbolizes our greediness, any person abused or hurt would result to violence, revenge and hate. Our nature or flesh (as in the bible), which is evil will never get along with the spirit, which is good. Gal. 5:16-17 says, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For( the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do."
I say man in nature is evil because the bible says in gal. 5:19, "You know what comes from the flesh: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality... jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, etc." The word "comes" from the flesh tells us that the things are inherent to the flesh, while on the spirit they are referred to as fruits, which means something that takes time, effort and is a result. One saying often heard is "there is always a good in every man," which explains that human is full of evil but the spirit convicts us to do good.
If man by nature is good, what comes into our mind when we see our enemy? What comes out of our mouths when we are angry or insulted? What do we do when we hate someone?

Man is evil. Man is sinful and only God is good, citing the words of Jesus in Mark 10:18, "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone." That's why we need a savior to save us from the evil we are in, and we need to follow Him to be like Him; perfect and holy. Lastly, I'll quote Romans 3:10, "As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one."

So what do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think your brother nailed it.