Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
Adam was created in the image of a morally perfect God (Genesis 5:1). But then he fell. And his offspring inherited his fallen likeness (Genesis 5:3). We all have the taint of sin. The fall was a calamity that ruined mankind in a spiritual sense.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world,
and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for
that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12, KJV).
“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20, KJV)
“Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Proverbs 20:9, KJV)
In spite of an abundance of scriptures that tell us that fallen man is prone to sin, the LDS insists that by nature man is inclined to righteousness:
“It is fully proved in all the revelations that God has given to mankind that they naturally love and admire righteousness, justice and truth more than they do evil. It is, however, universally received by professors of religion as a Scriptural doctrine that man is naturally opposed to God. It is not so.” (Journal of Discourses 9:305)
However, the writer has personally never ever seen a single revelation of God that intimates that mankind is naturally inclined to righteousness. The Bible reveals that fallen man is born self-centered, not God-centered. He sees and reacts to everything in life through the grid of his corrupted self, as though he was the kingpin of the universe, which is the place that by rights belongs to God alone. In other words he usurps God by denying Him His sovereign right to be central and supreme. And because of his fallenness, even if he wants to do so, man finds it impossible to remove his self from that central, dominant, position in his life.
In line with the Bible and in direct contradiction of LDS teachings, the Book of Mormon confirms that because of the fall mankind has inherited an evil nature:
“For we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually …” (BOM Ether 3:2).
The only man in the entire world who was selfless and lived a completely God-centered life, was the Lord Jesus Christ. And there was a reason for that. He didn’t inherit a fallen nature because he was miraculously conceived by a virgin through the power of the Holy Ghost. This is why when He was unjustly treated, maligned, insulted, falsely accused, and so on, he never ever responded as a fallen man would have done, i.e with self-centered displays such as anger, hurt feelings, resentment, sulking, bitterness, bad attitudes, threats, or thoughts of revenge.
The Bible tells us that at one stage God became so fed up with the human race because of their inherent, evil bent that He wiped out the then entire population of the world, except for Noah and his family.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:5-8, KJV)
But that wasn’t the solution, because in no time at all Noah himself was overcome by sin, as were his sons (Genesis 9:20-25).
When we consider the violence, corruption, immorality, perversion and outright wickedness that abounds, it becomes obvious that mankind hasn’t changed at all. We’ve just become more clever and sophisticated, and more perverted too, at doing what is sinful. The awful truth is that if the sinful bent in man was not restrained, chaos would reign supreme. Our overflowing prison cells and choked up law courts are a testimony to this fact.
And if we were honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that we too would be capable of committing the most heinous deeds if the circumstances were compelling enough and we were sufficiently tempted or provoked or had reached the necessary stage of desperation, anger, lust, loss of self control, or whatever.
That’s why in John 8:3-9, when they confronted the Lord Jesus with a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, His response was to invite anyone who was without sin to cast the first stone at her. Her accusers were religious, God-fearing people, who lived according the very strict laws and ordinances of Judaism. Yet they all walked away, one by one, as their consciences smote them.
Because sin is subtle, all too often we don’t recognize it for what it is. For instance, on the outside the lives of the Pharisees looked good. They were fastidious about living in obedience to their religious laws and ordinances.
But Jesus explained that it was our inner natures that were the crux of the matter. He said that on the outside the Pharisees were like a beautiful, sparkling, clean cup, but on the inside they were tainted with sin; corrupt and putrid, like a rotting corpse (Matthew 23:27-28).
And we’re no different. We’ve learned to be good hypocrites. We’re nice, congenial and civilized on the outside, but all the while our hearts and thought life are filled with things that should not be there. And more often than not our motives are wrong. In many instances the real, deeply hidden reason behind our actions is pride, otherwise known as self worship — we want others to admire us. And not only do we fool them, but we also pull the wool over own eyes. We’ve become so adept at justifying, nurturing and protecting our self, that we wrongly imagine that our motives are always pure.
Some people insist that their sins don’t hurt anyone else. But they’re wrong. Sin doesn’t only affect the guilty parties. Our actions and attitudes, whether good or bad, have a ripple effect that touches the lives of a great many others. And all too often innocent folk are negatively influenced, discouraged, hurt, or even have their lives ruined as a consequence of our sin. But because of our self-centered way of reasoning we’re seldom, if ever, aware of the negative effect our sinfulness has on others.
Sin is the cause of all the heart-rending suffering in the world today. But its most devastating consequence is that it separates us from our Creator. How could a pure, righteous holy and good God condone or tolerate sin in any form or associate with anyone who does?
“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and
canst not look on iniquity.” (Habakkuk 1:13, KJV).
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2, KJV)
“It is inconceivable that the all-holy God should govern His universe with even the slightest moral laxity. If the principles of absolute righteousness were not strictly upheld, there could be no true heaven; the universe would become a moral chaos, if not an inferno. The very safety of the universe depends upon the inflexible righteousness of the divine administration. Sin, whether in Satan and his angel-confederates, or in the human race, is not only moral leprosy, it is ugly enmity against Him who is pure light and love.” (Page 91, Awake My Heart, by J. Sidlow Baxter)
God has decreed that there will be no sin in heaven. Otherwise it wouldn’t be heaven, would it? He has set aside a day when He will judge sin, and consign every trace of it to hell. With this in mind He has provided a way, through Christ, for fallen man to escape that judgment and to become conformed once again to His moral likeness. Those who scorn His infinite sacrifice will bring God’s judgment for their sins down upon themselves.
The following article explains the biblical way of salvation, which includes the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of eternal life:
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Copyright © 2013 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.