Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

what is natural?

11/1/13

 

One of the basic tenets of Orthodox Christianity is the insistence that the natural state of man is one of willful wickedness and rejection of God. That thought is borne out by the church's infatuation with law and order politics and preemptive military action, both of which are sold based on a naturally ill behaved humanity. It is likewise reflected in the church sponsored political rhetoric which jadedly identifies 47% of the American population as unworthy government dependents.

 

A theology which trumpets that the vast majority of mankind will suffer eternally at the hands of God cannot help but dismiss the basic worthiness of most people. We should not wonder then that so many church members display such disdain for many of their fellow citizens. All the talk in the world about God's love and the church's concern for the souls of men cannot diminish the corrosive combination of viewing church members as the righteous few because of right knowledge and obedience and the rest of the world as those worthy of damnation because of ignorance and sloth. The human mind and ego cannot bridge that obvious disconnect.

 

Many will recognize that the work of Jesus involved a restoration of some type. Various ones may differ as to what that restoration means, i.e. what state or status is being restored. Seemingly though, the idea of restoration means that the restored state is the natural one. The very need for restoration implies that mankind operates unnaturally prior to restoration, not afterward. Could man have existed in an unnatural state prior to the change which made restoration necessary? That hardly seems possible.

 

Just this subtle difference in understanding would make a tremendous improvement in our view of the Bible and each other. Ceasing to denigrate one another as worthy of condemnation by God and by society would elevate our world in yet unimagined ways. In his treatment of the lowly and rejected of his day, Jesus showed the powerful effect of accepting others as worthy. Why the church can't see and embrace that power is a frustrating mystery.