Many folks today proudly dismiss the traditional Christian teaching that mankind is fallen. The concept of “universal sin” is viewed as an unscientific tale. It is, they say “foolishness”, worse than a fable, indeed, some say,a dangerous fantasy. For them, the concept of the biblical Fall, the expulsion from the Garden of Adam and Eve, and all of the uncomfortable spiritual ramifications that come with it simply cannot be.
It’s just a ‘metaphor’, they tell us, a misguided attempt to explain the wrong and unfortunate choices that we humans sometimes make. After all, we’re all basically good, and the “Fall” just isn’t kosher.
This modern “explanation” sounds so contemporary…so plausible…so uplifting! So soothing…so therapeutic!
But I, for one, am not persuaded. My mama had to try to teach me to be good. I wasn’t born good. I had a penchant for bad from the “git go”. I had ME-centered rebellion pretty much down pat from the start.
And so did you, whether or not you’d like to admit it.
Author Steven James put it well when he observed:
“The true nature of man left to himself without restraint is not nobility but savagery.”
A quick glance at the headlines from around the world today ought to confirm this observation….though denying the obvious is most often our default position these days. After all, deniability and buck-passing is part of the fallen package, too.)
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” —(Jeremiah 17:9)
“There is no one righteous, not even one….” (Romans 3: 10…)
The Bible, of course, teaches us what the problem is: we are born with a fatal spiritual disease. We are morally corrupt one and all. We walk in darkness. We are fallen and unrighteous at the core, and we deserve Divine Justice. That’s a bitter pill to swallow for “upbeats” like ourselves, but it needs to be done.
“After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”
“Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.”—Psalm 119: 105
Blood, Sweat, and Tears Now Fill Our Years
The Way was lost at such great cost!
When Adam disobeyed…
Blood, sweat, and tears now fill our years1,
God’s blessing there betrayed.
There was no gain, just guilty stain,
Here east of Eden, friend4.
The Way was lost at such a cost!
No need now to pretend.
Now Satan fans the Evil plan,
We twist beneath its pow’r.
In this dark day, we’re locked away7,
And Sin controls the hour.
“Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.”—Song of Songs 2: 4
“The bridegroom was a long time in coming and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.”
—Matthew 25: 5-10