Why Do Good?

Our problems originate inside.

inside-out-1

Our hope originates from outside.

 

Over the last three days I have posted these statements on social media:

“Racism” is not the direct result of history, nationality, ethnicity, nor privilege. Racism is the direct result of sin in our hearts.

“Greed” is not a result of big business, banking institutions, capitalism, or economic class. Greed begins in every human heart.

“Hate” does not originate in ethnicity, nationality, political persuasion, or economic class. Hate originates in every human heart.

inside-out5My focus is the same: human problems begin with our sinful selves.

Some evangelicals believe correction for our problems begins “outside” (my biology, environment, psychology, privilege, etc). But if that is true, then we will subscribe to the source of fixing problems through external intervention (government, law, policy).

The only true change against privilege, negative home situations, or psychological dispositions is the saving grace of Jesus. The gospel changes our “hearts” then motivates us to “do good” (Titus 2.11-14 leads right into Titus 3.1, 8, 14).

inside-out6If we begin by believing that “doing good” is our first response to sin then our view of salvation begins with us rather than with the redemption we need found only in Christ.

If “doing good” has solely a human origin then humans get to define “the good.” Motivation of “doing” belongs to the individual. What is “good” for me may not be “good” for you.

inside-out7But if “doing good” is a focus on others because of Another, then the origin of and motivation for “good” is prompted by Someone who is Good. “Good” now has a standard.

Only the exclusivity of the gospel allows for the inclusivity of help. If we don’t have the first, then the second is up to the whim of the individual or institution. [See my essay on exclusivity – inclusivity.]

inside-out8Some Christians want to pawn-off policy issues with trite bumper-sticker theology. But if we do not have a biblical foundation for government, law, policy, etc. then biblical truths will not permeate the culture. 

My students have heard me say this for decades: “My environment – biology – psychology may accentuate my behavior but it is not the root cause of it” (Mark 7.21-23).

I agree with my friend Stacey “certain outward forces or institutions perpetuate, promote, and propel the indifference of the human heart.”

If you would like my pictorial overview of a cultural – versus – Christian viewpoint concerning sin, salvation, and service, click this link: christian-versus-cultural-views-of-sin-salv-serv

inside-out-1Another of my many mantras classes have seen goes like this, “The problem is not out there (I point to things around me) but in here (I point to my chest).”

True change, lasting change, eternal change has a Source outside us which changes us inside.

Mark, like the rest of the human race, has many internal struggles. But Mark also knows that the human race will be saved not by themselves but through the sacrifice of Jesus. Click the link for The Comenius Institute to see some of Dr. Mark Eckel’s activities.

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One comment

  1. Ezekiel 36:26-27, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (ESV)

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