Psalm 14.1-3 – Sin and Salvation
Posted: 30 March 2011 in Psalms

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

I think it was the evening before last that an atheist posted the above verses on a forum, with the expectation that they should embarrass Christians. It is not immediately obvious why the said atheist had that expectation, but she certainly had it fulfilled, as one evangelical after another lined up to say that the final sentence in the above quote in no way applied to them, but only to atheists and other unbelievers.

An English priest, who lives in America, used to say that America is both the most religious country in the world, and the most religiously illiterate country in the world. Presumably the evangelicals mentioned above have never heard of the doctrine of original sin, or, if they have heard of it, they didn’t understand it, and it is just a club to beat their opponents over the head with. From one end of the Bible to the other scripture bears testimony to the fact that all men (and and that includes all Christians) stand condemned before God, because of their habitual rebellion against him. It also makes clear that they can only be saved through his grace.

Throughout the Old Testament period God’s chosen people were rebelling against him, and the prophets were endlessly employed warning of a coming judgment. Now we are into the New Testament period, the theological landscape has changed, and the concept of a chosen people extends beyond the borders of Israel. But the sinfulness of those chosen people has not changed. I do not see how anybody can easily be a Christian without an acknowledgment of their own sinfulness, and therefore their need for a saviour in Jesus Christ.

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