Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Nature" and the problem of sin

Charlie Allnut: A man takes a drop too much once in a while, it's only human nature.

Rose Sayer: Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.

- The African Queen (1951)
An article over at Boundless (referencing Mohler) tipped me off to something that I hadn't completely come to terms with before.

As Christians, we often condemn a particular sin (often homosexuality) for being unnatural. That is our argument.

"Why is it wrong?"

"Because it's unnatural."
read more/-

By unnatural, perhaps we mean that it isn't a God-given desire. We were created to be attractive to the opposite, not the same, sex. We were made to love one another and not to commit murder. When a gruesome killing occurs, we shiver in dread...it's so unnatural. It's perverted.

But this argument is not entirely correct. To say that "non-traditional" sexual and other desires are unnatural is to ignore the Fall of Man.

Unfortunately, since Adam, these urges have become a part of our nature as humans.


The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. -Gal. 5:19

In fact, one might even say that these urges are God-given....He gave us over to our sins that we might have the freedom to choose which nature to submit to. (Rom. 1:26, 27)

I suppose the challenge is to avoid condoning sinful behavior while realizing that we, as Christians, are the exception, not the rule (according to man). An aversion to sin is something that comes from God, through the Holy Spirit. Although we all feel the pull of both natures, it is only by submitting to the Holy Spirit that we will begin to see another kind of fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Gal. 5:22-26

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