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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Total Depravity: A Depraved Christian Concept

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 Every time I hear a Christian say: “I am the chief/worst of all sinners” my butt hole puckers up like it just got turd-splashed with ice cold toilet water. Of course these “chiefs” are aping the Apostle Paul, Ala 1 Timothy 1:15, but the reality is that they are either being disingenuous, self deprecating, or worst of all: braggadocios. Can you actually believe that someone would brag about being a sinful piece crap? Well, a lot of Christians do (it's novel don't ya know?) Now being all humble and “Pauline” may seem admirable, however, I highly doubt a little drinking, swearing, and premarital sex, before/after being saved, automatically awards a sinner with the title of “The Chief of all Sinners”. If Paul was living today, I think he would go slap-happy on any Christian making such a preposterous claim. The truth about Saul of Tarsus (Paul) was that if he visited your Christian-church, back in 1st century, he wouldn’t be bringing his famous green bean casserole for the potluck; he’d be bringing a heaping helping of chains, pain, and humiliation! Chief of all sinners? Yeah, I’ll put Saul/Paul in the “chief” category.

Personally, I blame all this self groveling hubbub on the faulty doctrine of “Total Depravity”. Total Depravity was formulated by St. Augustine in the early part of the 5th century in response to teachings espoused by a man called Pelagius. Pelagius denied original sin as well as the need for divine aid in performing charitable works. Pelagius viewed sin as merely self destructive habits. Augustine, on the other hand, believed that every man and woman is born corrupt via the Sin-DNA of Adam (Original Sin). Without going into too much orthodoxy and detail Total Depravity means that every part of man is rendered corrupt because of the sin of Adam. Since man is totally corrupt, he is incapable of regeneration outside of a miracle from God Himself. The problem with this, as I see it, is: if all men are totally depraved, it would follow, as inevitably as flatulence follows a high fiber meal, that man does not and cannot cooperate in any way to do good...nor can he assist in his own salvation. Thus, if it takes a miracle to convert the sinner, and if only God can perform this miracle, who is responsible for their failure to convert? In essence, it makes God a tyrant because the sinner is damned for failing to do that which he is incapable of doing. Yes Joseph, we have a true case of Catch-22 here!

Without opening the putrid Pandora’s box of Calvinism, I would like to say that man is in no way, shape, or form, a depraved beast incapable of doing anything good. We all have a piece of divinity that dwells within each of us. When we learn to embrace this divinity the door of truth opens and leads us to the place where Jesus Christ can save and work within us. Jesus did not see humanity as a worthless piece of dung…He came to show humanity the way back to God. Yes, you are curiously and wonderfully made! Of course this may just be Jesus’ and my opinion.

Now your turn…

How does the idea of total depravity help/hurt Christians?
Do you see total depravity as a stumbling block for non-Christians?

Note: 385 Christians found this blog to be depraved.

Next Week:

Let me tell ya about all the heretics I had put to death...I'm awesome!