Good Vs. Evil

Let me ask you a question. Human beings. Are we inherently good, or are we inherently bad?  Most people will argue that man is inherently good and that the corrupting influence of society causes men to do evil things. But I have found the opposite to be true. I believe and am convinced that man is inherently bad and it’s only a matter of God’s grace and a healthy fear of the law that prevents men from being far worse. 

Now, I know that this is not easy to swallow. We certainly want to believe that we’re good people and we would rather see our moral failures as aberrations…simply blots on an otherwise pristine canvas. But again, I beg to differ and I will back up my belief with the following question.

If man is in fact inherently good and his evil acts are the result of the corrupting influence of society, then who corrupted society in the first place? I mean a society comprised of inherently good people ought to remain…..well, good. But that seems to be far from our present reality.

Do you have children? Perhaps you have a little nephew or niece. Have you ever seen them act selfishly? Have you ever heard them lie? Have you ever seen them throw a fit because they didn’t get what they wanted? Who taught them to do that? Was it their parents? Not unless their parents are masochists. Was it society? What does a two year old know of society? The answer to the question is; nobody taught them to do evil.  They didn’t need to learn to do evil because it was an inclination that they already possessed by virtue of their humanity. Each human being is born prewired to act selfishly, be disobedient and at times even cause great harm.

There are various names for this human proclivity for evil, but the bible simply calls it sin nature. It is the result of the fall of man. And this sin, like a virus has permeated every aspect of humanity. It has manifested itself in centuries of warfare, death and destruction. This sad reality inspired the apostle Paul to write, “No one is good – no one in all the world is innocent.” and again, “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious ideal.”

Some 40 plus years ago The 5th Dimension recorded the hit song “Aquarius”. Despite two world wars, Korea, Vietnam and an ongoing nuclear arms race with the former Soviet Union, they proclaimed that the world was on the cusp of a new enlightened era.  A prolonged period of peace and prosperity hallmarked by “harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding.”  Millions of idealistic hippies took up the banner and marched onward toward this promised utopia. Perhaps you were one of them. Well, open your eyes and look around you. It seems we came up short.  Unfortunately dreams don’t make reality.

So is there no hope for mankind? On the contrary, there is great hope. In his letter to an early Christian community, the Apostle John stated; “If we say that we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to God, He can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.

And if this is true, and I certainly believe it to be so, then there is hope that men can change, or rather men can be changed. Maybe the 5th Dimension wasn’t so far off.  Maybe there is a brighter future for mankind. Perhaps they just put too much faith in men changing themselves. Something mankind has been unable to do for millennia on end. There’s always hope, one just needs to know where and at whom to look for it.

You think about that…

God Bless You and See you on the Road.

Bob Anton: Christian Motorcyclists Association

For more information on CMA or questions or comments concerning this column, please contact Bob Anton at 631-897-8122 or baftmny@aol.com