Thursday, September 23, 2010

Taking The Roof Off

Every man has built a roof over his head to shield himself at the point of tension...The Christian lovingly, must remove the shelter and allow the truth of the external world and of what man is to beat upon him. When the roof is off, each man must stand naked and wounded before the truth of what is...He must come to know that his roof is a false protection from the storm of what is.
This quote comes from Francis Schaeffer, the late Christian theologian and intellectual. He is speaking of non-Christians, however, I believe that this statement also applies to Christians. What have you constructed a roof over in order to protect your worldview from the realities of the outside world and biblical truth?

I believe that God is sovereign of all aspects of humanity, including salvation. However, there are Christians that believe that God has a limited role in salvation. They believe that humanity must be allowed free will or else humanity are just robots, doing what they have been programmed to do. The problem is that man is already a robot, and free will is not the answer.

Free Will

What is "free will"? Most will say that it is the ability to make a decision free of any outside influence. However, does the bible teach the idea of "free will"? Is the decision making ability of humans free of outside influence? The biblical answer is no. The bible says that man is fully and radically fallen into sin.

Genesis 6:5 describes pre-flood humanity in less than flattering terms. It says"the wickedness of man is great...that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Sin is a radical corruption, and no mere sickness. Humans are not sinners because they sin, but sin because they are sinners. Humanity is not spiritually challenged, but is in a firm and resolute rebellion against God.

"Yes, but God was speaking of the wicked people prior to the flood" is the common retort I have heard on this scripture. Well, just move two chapters over and see what God says about humanity post-flood, and what He thinks about humanity, "...[F]or the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth..." (Genesis 8:21).

The bible goes on with its dismal and depressing description of humanity's radical descent into depravity. Jeremiah 12:23 tells us that nothing good can come out of the human heart, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil." In other words, humanity can't do good, period. The sin in your life is there like the color of skin, hair or eyes. There is no "spark of goodness" just waiting to be fanned into a flame, regardless of what humanistic society through its books, movies and television shows tell you. Nor is the sin in your life the result of damaged emotions, or a lack of prayer, fasting or bible reading. Sin is not the result of low self-esteem. Sin is your natural state, just like a lion is naturally a meat eater.

The view of humanity as being radically depraved is consistent throughout scripture:
  • Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?"
  • Psalm 51:5, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me."
  • Psalm 58:3, "The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth."
Of course, I have received push back when using Psalm 58:3. Like a petulant child with hands on hips and stomping his foot, "I am not wicked!" they claim. Yet, the bible clearly says that we all were "children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3). Paul is saying, in Ephesians, that we were children upon whom wrath rightly and justly belonged! Only the true believer in Christ realizes the extent of the wrath from which he/she has been rescued from.

Further man's depravity is not just limited to doing sin, but also includes the suppression of God's truth (Romans 1:18). Just look at the virulent atheists that have ranted against God from the Enlightenment thinkers to the "New Atheists" of our time. They have twisted their irrepressible religiosity into a godless idolatry. While they may not genuflect at dumb idols, they replace God with chance when it comes to the origin of life. With every book they write and every statement they utter they add more evidence to the reality that the children of Adam are utterly and hopelessly broken. This reality corresponds with Paul's final summation of humanity:

As it is written, "there is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips, whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Romans 3:10-18
Man is a slave to sin. In modern language, man has a defect in his programming that does not allow him to seek after God. Man would rather do things his own way rather than submit to God's sovereignty. This is even seen in Christianity. Just look at how Christians flee the full sovereignty of God over every aspect of life. They desperately cling to free will as if it is a solution, and do not recognize that it is a problem. The problem is that free will is not biblical, but rather that humanity is so fallen, so depraved and so wicked, that they will not seek after God unless He graciously changes their fallen nature. This is the good news!

God made a way, through the life, death and resurrection of His son, Jesus, for salvation. You no longer have to be bound to sin like a slave. Today is the day of salvation! 


  1. Excellent post Derek. You explained the fallen nature of man deeply, yet succinctly. It took me a while to understand that man is not naturally neutral when born and he/she will develop into a good or bad person with age and experience.
    One thing that helped me to undertand the falleness of man is to think about babies. Parents don't have to teach children to be bad. Children instinctively know how to be selfish and "bad" all on their own without any lessons. Children are taught good behavior because good behavior is foreign to the mind of a child. I don't know if that's a strong argument for the falleness of man from birth, but it helped me to understand it.

  2. Thank you for the comments and the follow. You are absolutely correct, parents don't have to teach their children how to lie or steal. I hope that you will continue to enjoy my blog.