One thing made clear in Scripture is that this present world is under a curse brought about by man’s sin against God. When Adam chose to sin, the creation itself was “subjected to futility” and now yearns for freedom from its “bondage to corruption.” (Romans 8:20-21) The curse brought forth fang, claw, and thorn upon what had been perfect in every way. As for man, his heart and mind became deeply flawed; his spirit dead toward God. Sadly, he would pass his condition on to his offspring and thus, “death spread to all men.” (Romans 5:12)
What we see in the world today is a result of man’s tragic fall. The apostle John wrote that the “whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19) Satan, the great interloper, is now “the prince of this world.” (John 14:30) Constantly he works in opposition to God, blinding the minds of unbelievers, deceiving and destroying lives. Understanding the doctrine of sin as set forth in the Bible is the only way to make sense out of the tragedies that befall helpless human beings.
In a secular world tragedy is meaningless. Misery and evil are simply random. Unable to attribute catastrophic events and senseless evil to the fall of man, secularists have no where to turn for answers because there really are none. Many believe that people are good and live according to an innate sense of morality. They know instinctively that murder, rape, and robbery are wrong. Unfortunately, they fail at this point in two ways. First, they refuse to ask where that inner sense of right and wrong came from, suggesting it resulted from some evolutionary social construct. Second, they fail to answer why bad things, like murder, rape, and robbery, happen at all if man is basically good.
In 2017, Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, an American couple who wanted to see the world and experience new people and places, quit their jobs and began a biking tour of the world. In July of this year they were biking in Tajikistan when an ISIS terrorist plowed into them, killing both. Austin had previously written, “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. I don’t buy it.” He went on to call evil a “make-believe concept.” Fittingly, he had a scooter he called Rousseau, after the Genevan philosopher who championed the notion of human goodness.
You and I must decide who to believe. The Bible says there are none good, not even one. (Romans 3:12) That conflicts with a secular worldview that reflects Rousseau’s notion that “uncorrupted morals prevail in the state of nature.” Misdiagnosing man’s problem results in providing treatments that can never work. Rather than admit God’s existence and that man is a fallen creature, secularists choose to ignore how evil the world has become. Perhaps if Jay and Lauren had chosen to believe God over Rousseau they may have escaped their tragic end.
Misdiagnosing man’s problem results in providing treatments that can never work.
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln in an 1863 speech explained the horror of brother killing brother this way: “We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace . . . and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” His words have never been more relevant than they are today.