I just finished reading a blog post by Dan titled, “I’m Christian, unless you’re gay.” The title was what intrigued me, so I clicked the link my brother-in-law had posted on facebook, and started reading. The topic he was addressing is how poorly we treat others, even though our “religion” teaches otherwise. I think Dan had many good points to make and would encourage you to read the article for yourself. The what I found myself disagreeing with was the role that sin plays in our treatment of others, whether they be gay, tatted up, homeless, rich, or of a different religion. I believe that what we do and how we treat others is linked directly to the condition of our soul. The Bible is the ultimate authority for the true Christian, and since a Christian is what I am, I will start with a brief summary of the Bible message. Then, in the paragraph following that, I will talk about the relationship between the condition of our soul and sin (the effect of our [fallen] nature).
The Bible is a collection of 66 books, written by approximately 40 different authors. It is divided into two sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament. Each of these sections represent the covenant that God made with His chosen people. In the first book (Genesis), we have the record of the origins of life. Adam, the first man, and Eve, the first woman, lived in a garden that God had made just for them. When God placed them in the garden, they were given the trees to eat of. The exception being the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. They ate of this tree anyway, thus severing the relationship they had with their Creator. This act of disobedience is what sin entered the world. The sinful nature that Adam and Eve acquired through their disobedience, was passed down to all of humanity. In Psalm (another book of the Bible), we are told that we are wicked from birth. This is because we have a sin saturated nature. God, being the only perfect being, can’t have sin in His presence because it is unholy and He is completely holy. That means in order to prevent Him from destroying all that he had made again, He made a covenant with Abraham. Part of this covenant required that animal sacrifices be made on behalf of the people He chose (Abraham and his descendents). God gave them His law (the 10 Commandments being the most popular example) and and expected them to keep it. Knowing however, that they could never keep it was why they had to offer up sacrifices for their sins. Many years later, God sent it only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. Under the old covenant, sacrifices had to be made on a regular basis to atone for the the sins of the Israelites. In the new covenant however, Jesus died once for the all the sins of all people. That means that those whom God draws to himself don’t have to offer sacrifices like the old covenant people had to. It is this sacrifice (Jesus giving Himself on our behalf), that paves the way for freedom from sin.
We naturally treat others badly because that is the default stage of our soul since the fall of Adam in Genesis chapter three. We have been given the ability to make decisions. However, due to the Fall, this decisions are often tainted by our sinful nature so that we are more inclined to do wrong than right. This isn’t to say that we will never do something kind to another person, but the only way we are able to do good is because of God’s mercy. This is where a relationship with God shows itself to be so very vital. You see, when Jesus (God’s Son) saves us out of His abundant mercy and love, He gives us a new nature. So it is our nature that dictates how we respond in a given circumstance, and apart from God, that response will typically be driven by our selfishness. So you ask, if Jesus gives Christians a new nature than how is it they still treat others horribly? That is a good question, thanks for asking. Even after being saved from our sin, and given a new nature, we still have the sin nature we were born with. The difference is now we have the new nature in Christ Jesus waging war against the sin nature. That is why you can get a loving reaction and a hateful one from the same person. The true follower of Jesus Christ, however, will be conviction of wrong doings and seek forgiveness, both from God and the person who was the recipient.
Now, I do not intend for this blog to be taken as a rebuttal of what Dan said in his blog, I simply mean to apply more understanding from the Christian perspective.