Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why Do People Do Bad Things?

In the first article, Why Do People Do Bad Things?, five reasons are offered. What is helpful about this article is the teaching that all men sin, including the admission that "shocking deeds are often perpetrated by seemingly ordinary people in the neighborhood". Yet, as we will see, all five reasons that are offered only explain the temptations and the means by which men are brought to the point of committing sin. The article never deals with the real issue of man's heart and union with Adam, nor does it deal with the doctrine of Original Sin and its effects on the human race.

Reason #1: Mere oppression may make a wise one act crazy. - Ecclesiastes 7:7

The first sentence reads,
The Bible acknowledges that at times people feel driven by force of circumstance to do what they otherwise would not do.

Now we have all experienced this in our lives. We have seen this in our neighbor's lives. Biblically, we have seen such examples as Abraham deceiving Pharaoh in order to protect his own hide.

Yet another explanation is much more Biblical for this. It is God who brings about circumstances in His divine Providence in order that the true nature and character of our hearts be displayed. A tree is known by its fruit. It is God who forces the creature to display its fruit for the Day of Judgment.

Another assumption in this thinking by the WT [Watchtower] is that men are able to normally choose good because they aren't really that bad. It is only bad circumstances that makes men bad. However, this denies the Biblical teaching of Total Depravity that we see in the Psalms as cited by the Apostle Paul in Romans 3.

Reason #2: The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. - 1 Timothy 6:10
The old adage, Every man has his price, implies that even good people are willing to violate the rules of decency and morality when enough money is involved.

Now this section seems to admit that at least some men only seem to be good. However, this section does not go into the issues of the heart and that all men are sinful from the heart. That some men have a personality change when tempted is a reflection of the deeper issues. The love for money is not merely external or a surface level sin.

Reason #3: Because sentence against a bad work has not been executed speedily, that is why the heart of the sons of men has become fully set in them to do bad. - Ecclesiastes 8:11
That scripture points out the human tendency to think that one can get away with anything when those in authority are not watching.

This explanation simply explains what happens when the restraint of sin has been removed. It is true that God in His Providence has restrained the evil intentions of our hearts by using government officials or even our parents in the disciplining of our children. But that is just the point! This explanation only tells us why men sin when given the opportunity in certain circumstances. It doesn't really explain the why. Once again, the WT falls short.

Reason #4: Each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin. - James 1:14,15
All humans are susceptible to wrong thinking. Everyday, we are bombarded with countless suggestions and temptations to do wrong...Even so, the outcome depends on the choice one makes...

Now this section is technically true. Yet again, the presuppositions that are poured into the words make for a radically different viewpoint. It seems to be simply assumed that mankind is some kind of morally neutral sinner. This assumes freewill. It is precisely because of this viewpoint that Christ is not to be found anywhere in these articles. Freewill leads to the idea that we only need a Savior who helps us, not one that actually comes down from heaven to be our Substitute. It is also why freewill leads inevitably to groups abandoning the Trinity. Who needs a God/Man to be our Savior when we only need divine assistance?

Reason #5: He that is walking with the wise persons will become wise, but he that is having dealings with the stupid ones will fare badly. - Proverbs 13:20
There is no minimizing the influence-for good or for bad-that our associates can have on us. So often, people do what they have no intention of doing-all because of peer pressure or, as many say, because they fell into bad company, with disastrous results.

Again, this moralism is a truth anyone may recognize. One does not have to be a Jehovah's Witness or attend a Kingdom Hall to know this. Yet an everyday moralistic truth is not our true problem. So once again, this only explains the means by which men choose to do the particular sins they do.

So in conclusion, all of these explanations for why we do the particular sins we do does not answer the deeper question. If none of these things affected a particular person, does this mean that person is not a sinner in desperate need of Christ?

All of this assumes a freewill of man to be able to choose the right path and ignores his evil heart and desperate need for Christ. It ignores the covenantal nature of Adam's relationship in the Garden of Eden. It ignores Adams Federal Headship over all of mankind. It ignores the biblical meaning of Christ's death and resurrection. In sum, it ignores the Gospel.

In the next post, we will see the fundamental problem of freewill pervading the end of evil deeds.

No comments: