So I read several times over in the Christian mens forum where the Christian reply was talking about the biggest greatness in Jesus is that we are flawed and he is not. So now we are forgiven, even though it looks as if we have to constantly remind ourselves just how flawed we are.
For Christians, how exactly does this "lift" you up? Basically you are constantly telling yourself that the only reason there is any worth to you is that your creator loves you. But on the flip side, your creator created you absolutely flawed.
For non-Christians, does this bug you as much as me? It turns me off, I don't want to listen to anymore of it. So much that I do in life to keep motivation, to excel, to further myself is to tell myself that I am worthy because I am good, that I can do something continually better. If I tell myself that I am flawed, I simply will not push myself as hard.
I guess such a religion sold well to slaves and others who had no other hope in this life that someone did care about them. It just doesn't sell today, and I have to wonder if this isn't why we are seeing more and more people leaving the big religions, even though they have and want spirituality in their hearts and lives.
We weren't created flawed. We are fallen. There is a difference.
It isn't uplifting. It is humbling. But, it is true. Faith isn't always uplifting. Honestly, lots of Christian churches struggle with this, because they skip the sin problem. They get two chapters into Genesis, and stop -- God created it, and it was good ... so, God wants you to be always wealthy, happy, and healthy. But, everything isn't good. Without the doctrine of sin, without the fall, there is fundamental disconnect between the faith and the reality on the ground. What does that say to the person sitting in the pews that isn't wealthy, or happy, or healthy?
I think a religion that is couched in some pie-in-the-sky notion that men are perfectable would necessarily ring false. Some don't like to admit it ... but deep down, even 'good' people know they've got some evil in them. Some control it better than others -- but, to pretend otherwise would completely discredit the faith in my mind.
Graded on the curve, I am a "good" man. I have a wife and kids, a good family, a good church, a good life. I do right more often than wrong, and I have a conscience. I am also well aware of some of the thoughts and actions that can come from otherwise good people. I know that, even though I do alright in comparison to some others, that there are temptations and sins that I struggle with -- pride, wrath, lust, sloth. I can't take seriously a faith that ignores all that.
That humility "doesn't sell today" speaks more to the people than the faith. But, pride is one of the sins on the list. I don't doubt that pride drives people from faith, even though they want more.
Near the end of Genesis 1, the text reads that God created the beasts of the earth, &c., & he saw that it was good. Then man is created, but God does not see that man is good. So yeah, creation in its entirety is said to be very good, but not every part. The omissions are quite glaring considering the commissions.
Now, as to the goodness of man. I'm pretty sure that up until recently, it would have seemed too stupid to any man of sense to think man is simply, or mostly, or in the decisive respects, good. The evidence to the contrary is far too obvious. Perhaps most of pol.sci & most of democratic opinion is today geared to explain away or obfuscate this evidence.
Presumably, men of sense learn humility because they confront the facts of human evil, the problem of understanding the origin of this evil, & the possibility that it is, as it seems, incurable. But on the other hand, nobody has this sort of thing on their mind when they're enjoying themselves. So it would seem a kind of oblivion is required for pleasure, maybe for happiness.
God said it was 'very good' after creating man.
Well said... JB...
I think that the reason so many atheists and liberals "don't get it" when it comes to "brokenness" and humility being virtues is a matter of pride... they want their libertine lifestyle regardless of conscience, as long as it doesn't hurt anybody... fair enough... and they take a utilitarian view of religion as a "method" to self-improvement... and therefore have no use for cultivating these virtues... it removes the "relationship with God" from the equation and reduces Him to a behavioristic process or a "self-help" pep talk...
Sure, if you completely ignore the arguments I have laid out, yes, I just want Zig Zigler in a robe with some fancy lighting
There is a fine line when it comes to "healthy" pride, though. Priding anything limited to this world more than God, even if it is not an arrogant pride, is a sin because you are placing something temporary and fallible above the infinite good and eternal existence of God. It's often hard to draw the line here, and I am certainly proud of many aspects of my physical life, but you have to always watch yourself to keep God as the ultimate reason for your life's goals, rather than the glorification of your Nation, growth of your family, or success in your job. It's certainly important to care for and pursue those, but know how to look beyond them.
Christianity is not an ego-inflating hugfest--or at least it's not supposed to be. The first step in dealing with a disorder is realizing you have the disorder. If you refuse to admit to any imperfections at all, if you consider yourself infallible, omniscient, etc., then you simply can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and anyone who disagrees or dares to be injured by you is automatically in the wrong, since you are flawless. After all, if you have no flaws, then it is not possible to do anything wrong, by definition of flawless.
A religion based on "You're flawless." is just another form of LaVeyan Satanism.
For me, believing the reason I am flawed is because of the notion of sin, rather than I am just human is the disorder.
If I am flawed because I am human, I can live with that. I can learn, I can better myself. I have some limitations based on the body I have, the brain I have, where I live, all things that being human I can also work to over come.
Being flawed because my maker threw in these notions of good and evil, and that I am going to be drawn to taking this evil I can't reconcile with. That this God made me want to do what God doesn't want done, so that God then had to come back to earth to be perfect reminding me that He made me imperfect not based on being human with human flaws, but with the concepts of good/evil that make me imperfect.
To know that I am human, that I have limitations is humbling. To believe that I "fell" or that I was created with some notion of "sin" isn't humbling, that is keeping me down or in a set place.
If I am flawed because I am human, I can live with that.
Are animals flawed, do they sin?
I don't believe in the notion of SIN or good/evil. The flaws of being a human are the same as flaws that animals will have. They are limitations based on are physical and mental attributes, not metaphysical rule sets.
If you don't believe in good and evil, then how do you know that you're "good"? From the OP ...
So much that I do in life to keep motivation, to excel, to further myself is to tell myself that I am worthy because I am good, that I can do something continually better. If I tell myself that I am flawed, I simply will not push myself as hard.