Making molehills out of mountains – Part 1

Recently, a dear friend commented positively on a blog article that led me to do a little reading. I had never heard of this particular website or the author, Glennon, but she is apparently quite popular having over 70,000 followers. For the rest of the week, I want to review parts of a recent article she wrote entitled A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On. On its surface, the article addresses the issue of childhood bullying. But, underlying it is an attack on the fundamentals of the Christian faith by someone who claims to be an insider. I am not trying to pick on the author who is probably a very nice person. I am just hoping to shed some Biblical light on her erroneous views of Christianity. For starters:

Children are not cruel. Children are mirrors. They want to be “grownup,” so they act how grown-ups act when we think they’re not looking. They do not act how we tell them to act at school assemblies. They act how we really act. They believe what we believe. They say what we say (Glennon).

It is a common perception of our society that children are born as clean slates. However, it is a lie that goes against both the Bible and our human experience. First, and most importantly, here are a few things the Bible teaches about our sinful nature:

For the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth (Genesis 8:21).

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me (Psalm 51:5).

We inherit our sinful natures from our fallen great-grandfather, Adam. The Genesis 8:21 verse is always striking to me because God makes that claim about our hearts when the only people left on earth are “righteous” Noah and his family. And, if you read on to chapter 9, Noah and his sons confirm God’s judgment by acting like the evil sinners they were.

Sure, children act like we act because they too are sinners. But, we do not have to teach them how to sin. No one taught my children to lie, steal, bite, covet, mock, etc. I did not teach my 2-year old to mock her brother in song! My wife and I do not go around the house melodically taunting each other and then biting each other when we do not get our way. My 2-year old and her siblings and her parents were born as sinners, live as sinners, and will remain sinners until God completely removes the sin from our lives after our deaths.

Is believing in original sin important? Yes! If you do not believe we are conceived as sinners, then why do infants die?

For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

If they are not yet sinners, then they should not die. Also, if you deny our inherited sin nature then we could all just work our way to heaven through our good works. Finally, if we do not inherit our sinful nature from the one man, Adam, how then do we inherit our righteousness through the one man, Jesus? Paul clearly tied the two together:

Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:14-19).

Glennon, and so many others like her, want to believe that humanity is just a little bent out of shape. We only need some better role models, better education, and denial of sin to churn out an endless supply of wonderful, perfectly friendly little people. Sorry, but the Bible and about 6000 years of human history clearly disagree.

Part 2 tomorrow.

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