It’s another rainy day on the farm. As I worked before the dawn at my current vocation in manure management or corruption collection, I thought I might brighten your day with some more corruption. I hope you are beginning to get my drift. It’s darkest before the dawn , and all that stuff.
If you read the last couple of posts, we established the fact that man was created innocent with a perfectly functioning body, mind and soul, but his nature being changeable became corrupt or rotten. When Adam mutated all of these properly functioning mechanisms were distorted like an alien life form. Do you remember the “Wonder Twins”? As a child, I lived for Saturday morning cartoons, French toast, and chocolate milk. For those of you who have been deprived of the privilege of spending one morning in seven being mesmerized by analog animation, the “Wonder Twins” was a portrayal of a brother and sister who possessed magical rings. When touched together, the rings gave them the ability to morph into whatever creature they wanted to become. They did so in order to overcome some villain and rescue the helpless. They would touch the rings together and chant “wonder twin powers activate, form of a ….” They would then with a flash and a roar turn into the form of whatever creature or force was required to accomplish the mission.
Well, Adam and Eve were kind of like the wonder twins in reverse. Once their superpowers were united they and all their descendants transformed into villains and were suspended in that form until the ultimate superhero came to save them. I don’t suppose Thomas Boston had TV, but he had a vivid imagination. He could paint a picture with words for us to see our own images played out in this story.
When man fell, our ability to reason and understand the ways of God became distorted. Adam was created without the need of a set of codified laws or instruction on how to glorify and obey God. He could reason what was required of him by his pure knowledge of God. Paul, when writing to Titus about making has flock aware of the false teachers’ errors in Jewish myths and traditions, said “… their minds and consciences have become corrupt.” (Titus 1:15) Just think about how difficult it seems to understand scripture and how confused we become with something that really is simple to understand. Merely observing creation should cause us to reason that God should deserve our attention. To keep our thoughts focused on God takes enormous concentration. Pleasing God and seeking the benefit of his grace is an extracurricular activity. How hard it is to learn and keep pure the very basic tenants of our faith. We will devote our lives to anything that advances our own health, wealth and the gratification of our desires but cannot devote one day in seven to our master. Employing our minds to do any spiritual good is out of our element, as if we are satisfied with the state we are in. We are never content with the lot we have been dealt but are content in the lot we have created.
Our affections are corrupted as we love that which we should hate. I love to watch football on TV.(Regular readers might notice that I seem to reference TV often. Hmm?) Watching football is not inherently evil. The fact that I would rather watch football than worship or pray is evidence of where my affections are directed. Even though I “love” to write these blogs, and my intention is to benefit my own and your spiritual good, pure affection is weakened by desires lurking in the background that can easily lead me astray.
Our wills are not motivated by good. There is a natural contrariety in direct opposition to God. The carnal will seeks for itself what might be received from God. If you ever honestly check your true motivation for any act of godliness, you will find that behind the outward appearance lies some desire of reward. If an appearance of good should emerge, it will soon disappear. As the prophet said to the old church, “Your goodness is as the morning cloud and as the early morning dew goes away.”
The proof of your defective conscience is that you could in anyway see yourself as better than anyone else. Your conscience is darkened. There is little light for it to work by. We cannot discern the issues of our own soul.
I doubt I am driving anyone to despair. Most of you probably know these things about yourself. How you respond to this knowledge will determine whether or not you benefit from having it revealed. Boston and I intend that you be blessed. To paraphrase the beatitudes, (Matthew 5:3-6), you should be happy that you are upset about your corrupt natures and are humbled by it. The fact that you have been made aware of your condition and long for heaven, where all will be made new, is proof of God’s love for you. There is no other way to be happy than to know of His love and faithfulness to provide that which we cannot achieve.
Happy is the agonist who knows that God is giving you the desire to struggle with your corruption. Dawn will come with the next of Boston’s state of human nature, the “State of Grace”.