I don’t believe people are good or bad by nature. I do believe people do what is in their best interest, for survival purposes. A few weeks ago, I would have told you the bible was nuts. Now I have to say what I know to be true. People need God. We need Jesus.
I don’t know if it’s our cultural programming that tells us we are wicked or if it’s our parents and all of their parents and ancestors collective guilt but guilt has been laid upon us within our own minds. This is the place where it does the most damage. When people perceive themselves as bad people, they tend to do bad things or just act badly and make poor choices. All the don’t do list becomes a to-do list. It has been found in psychology exams on children that when given a command to not do (phrased as a “don’t do etc.”) their minds reacted in ways that produced the undesired outcome although it was forbidden. That is the nature of the outcome of a negatory command. It is, in essence, a command to do the forbidden. Which leads me to wonder why the bible was even written – full of negatively phrased commands.
Parents, when trying to discipline their children, tell them what not to do after they do it. The bible tells us who’ve grown up in the church what to do before we decide to do it. Perhaps this is the reasoning for so many rebellious church raised children. They are raised in a restrictive environment without the room for exploration of natural consequences; it feels prohibitive. It is because of this collective mind poisoning that we need Christ – to cleanse our consciences. The Jewish people who wrote the bible had the worst conscience burden out of all cultures. Eventually, they became so legalistic, they even accepted the conscience burden of killing Christ. It took Christ coming back from the dead to tell them they weren’t so powerful as to usurp God, law and kill their creator by their misbehavior.
It seems almost comical that they believe that the God who created the Red Sea, then parted it, could be killed. They couldn’t forgive themselves, each other or their creator. They had essentially given up on life. Deep down, they knew their birth was not their fault. Their placement in a sinful environment was not their fault, their sin was not their fault. As the bible says, I created the destroyer. I forged the blacksmith. Yes, God says that in Isaiah. People wanted to punish God and capitulate their guilt. In their eyes, they were evil – as in God’s. They had already done enough deserving of death, why not go all the way and kill the One who made them. They didn’t believe in forgiveness. Why should they have? It was their God who instituted the laws of stoning each other for petty sins.
I guess what I’m getting at is that the Jewish God and His miracles were too small in the minds of the Jews to eradicate and forgive their sins. I would go so far as to say that they were shaped into monsters with the Jewish customs of bloody, violent and prohibitive by nature ways of absolving guilt. Jewish people, as a society, were exclusive. They didn’t allow association with people they believed were cursed or people that had flaws. Even women were considered dirty and unclean or unfit to be in men’s presence when on their period.