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TOTAL DEPRAVITY – ITS SINISTER IMPLICATIONS

A prophet or a religion that needs to pretend that people are completely bad is slinging mud against himself or itself in public for a person or group that indulges in that kind of wishful thinking is certainly evil for we know that we are not that terrible.

And Bible Protestantism is just that kind of religion.

Total depravity is the biblical and Protestant doctrine that the unsaved person can do nothing really good or deserving of salvation. “The Bible teaches total depravity, and I believe in total depravity. But that simply means that there is nothing good in man to earn or deserve salvation” (page 4, Why I Disagree with all Five Points of Calvinism). One sin in your heart defiles all you do until you repent and are pardoned by God. The saved are those who ask Jesus to save them and they are saved regardless of what they do after. Only the saved can do real good. This is the point made in Job 14:4 that says someone clean cannot come from someone unclean and the same holds true for works.

The apostle Paul in the Bible says at 2 Corinthians 3:7 that when Moses received the ten commandments carved into two stone tablets from God that he received the ministry of death. He means that God gave us the ten commandments on these tablets and these commandments minister death to us. This is a clear denial of the Roman Catholic doctrine that the ten commandments do not give us death but life. Paul meant they were death to us because we couldn't keep them.

Total depravity does not say that the unsaved will be like demons and kill and rape at every opportunity. Some supporters of the doctrine suggest they would if it were not for God's power. God exercises some influence on them to help them stop themselves from doing those things all the time. He helps control their behaviour that way. But that is only outward help. In their hearts they yearn to do evil. Total depravity states that people never ever do real good and even their so-called good works are malign and pleasing to Satan. Total depravity also suggests that if people don’t behave like complete monsters it is for their own selfish reasons so they are complete devils inside. For example, a person who would like to kill might not do it. His not doing it is not done for a noble reason but out of selfishness – the fear of shame and punishment. He does not refrain out of the love of God. Calvin (page 95, The Institutes of Christian Religion) and Luther never taught that human beings were totally unrestrained in their actions but only in their hearts – only in what they wish they could do but dare not. (Incidentally, this is a good argument against the occult and psychic powers for if people had them or believed they had them they would be trying to do terrible things with them.)

The doctrine says we are rotten inside. We only act good at times because there is something in it for us (meaning we only pretend to be good), or perhaps because God has had to do things to stop us being as bad as we can be. Some believers accept both of these. Others accept one of them. If we are as evil as the doctrine says, clearly the only way God can stop us from becoming vileness incarnate is not by changing us from the inside but by forcing us from the outside. We would be like people willing to murder but who cannot for fear of the law.

The doctrine says that each person cares mostly for himself and not for God which is sin. This sin is the basic one from which all the others proceed. The person has a bad attitude and wants to be independent of God and right and wrong and determine for himself what right and wrong are. This attitude is at the root of sin therefore it makes no sense to agree with the Catholics that there are sins that do not imply a total rejection of God like venial sins and there are sins that do that are called mortal sins and which deserve the eternal hell unlike the former. Why? Because if the reason you commit a mortal sin is because you want to be independent of God then it follows that the attitude that brought the sin to birth is a mortal sin itself. If you steal John’s sweet because you hate John’s guts that is a mortal sin though it does little harm to John – the attitude expressed in the sin makes it mortal. When the attitude causes mortal sin it cannot cause venial for then all sin would be mortal for the attitude is seriously wrong. To have the attitude is saying: “I accept this attitude though it will lead me to many sins even if it leads me to murder and apostasy”, so it is very seriously hostile to God. It has to be mortal. Total depravity means that eternal damnation is where you belong.

We know by experience that total depravity is true for we do not want to be ruled by God - except we see that not as bad but as good. Yes we might like to be ruled by a God we make in our own image for he suits us but we don’t want any being telling us how to live. Even when I undergo some sacrifice it is because I feel like doing it though there is another side that hates doing it. I am still caring only for what I want. This in essence is what the doctrine of total depravity is about, us exercising our self-will and having no reverence for the will of God. Total depravity also implies that anybody who does not believe in it is simply a hypocrite who will not admit the truth. It is impossible to see how Christians could consider Roman Catholics who deny total depravity to be Christians. Roman Catholicism would then be a diabolical superstitious hoax that stands for a gospel that opposes the truth of total depravity and therefore opposes Jesus Christ. Roman Catholicism would be refusing to accept Jesus as the way to God via his atonement for sin which he made in our stead and which is available only to those who deny salvation is by faith and good works but who hold that salvations is by faith alone not by good works.

According to the doctrine of total depravity, the reason then people stay in Hell forever is because nobody can manage to live up to the moral law of God properly and it is because they cannot put things right that they need to suffer forever in Hell.

For Rome to teach that not all sin deserves eternal punishment and that most sin is venial, sin that doesn’t deserve all that, is to teach that we can do without Jesus to some extent at least and many of us don’t need him at all. For example, nine year olds would usually be too young to sin seriously for they are immature in mind meaning they can be saved without even believing in Jesus in any real way.

It is commonly objected that it is impossible to be a sinner if you cannot stop sinning until God gives you the desire to stop for that implies that you are forced to sin. The idea of being forced to sin is contradictory. Suppose a person won’t repent of constant sin. That person is trapping themselves in sin by their own freedom. They just won’t repent until they feel like it which will be never for their sin will be a habit. There is no contradiction. If this seems ridiculous then remember that sin is in the will. Killing a person is not sin if you don’t mean to do it. If you mean it, it is murder. And if you intend to kill but cannot the act of will that makes it murder is the same meaning that you are a murderer. The Bible is right to say that a person who wants his neighbour dead is a murderer or the same as a murderer (1 John 3:15). It is possible for the “holy” nun to be as wicked as the thieving whore who spreads venereal diseases. It is possible for the kindly doctor to be as evil as Jack the Ripper inside. They may not seem evil but seeming good is no proof that they are virtuous (Matthew 23:28). James observed that the person who breaks one of the divine Laws breaks all of them (2:10). To steal for example is to break the commandment against idolatry for it is putting a material thing before God and it is adultery for we are to behave as if we are married to God and it is murder for it is killing the relationship with God. Wilfully wanting to sin is a sin and it is this sin that the Bible says we are committing the whole time.

Christians believe that though God cannot do evil and can only do good he is still voluntarily and freely good so it is possible to be a sinner and incapable of good and still be to blame for your sin (The Institutes of Christian Religion, page 97). They say God does good because of his boundless goodness and not because he is forced so we can do evil because of our boundless evil and not because we are forced. It is certain then that belief in God opens up the way for total depravity to be true for it denies that inability to do something means you are not responsible for it. Those who hold that belief in God is bad for humankind will have something else to go on.

Calvinists say that God does not command what cannot be done in one way and does command what cannot be done in another. We cannot do good without God’s help and we are responsible for we will not accept his help. It would be immoral if God punished us for not being able to create the world when he did not give us the power to create. But he has given us help to conquer sin and we will not take it. A free person acts on the things he or she is aware of. For example, if there are three options, A,B and C you can choose A and B freely if God stops you thinking of C so if A and B are sins you are still a sinner though you could not think of C. The Catholic Church holds that God cannot hold you accountable for sin when you cannot do good without his grace. But it says that God’s main command is, “Do not sin at all and keep your life pure from sin from birth to death”. Yet it says we cannot keep this commandment and are blamed when we break it. They might as well believe in the Calvinist God. It would be more honest if they admitted their God was the same unsavoury character as Calvin worshipped.

While it is true that Calvin and Luther did not hold that the good works of the unsaved person are sins they still believed that the works were destroyed by other sins so it was not the acts that were bad in themselves but the sin that polluted them (page 48, The Catholicity of Protestantism). In other words, when an unsaved man tells the truth that is good but it is the attitude which is separate from the work but which is still the cause of it, “I have sins for which I am not sorry and I do this good deed because it suits me”, that creates the problem and is the reason the man deserves no praise. So it is both a sin and not a sin.

What are the implications if the doctrine of total depravity is true?

The doctrine of total sinfulness implies that we cannot be saved unless God does something for us, unless he tries to pull us out of the cesspool. He has to forgive us and to make us able to do good works. It does not mean that the only way of salvation is by something suffering for our sins to expiate them in our place for this teaching means there is no forgiveness at all.

Believers in the Bible teach that one must be convicted of being incapable of doing anything to earn God's favour. It follows that our depravity should be stressed to us by believers if we are not one of them. If we get upset that is our problem for we don't want to know the truth about ourselves. We need the conviction because it is according to the Bible, the thing that makes us feel like total dirt and willing to turn to God to save us by faith alone. Every moment we feel self-esteem that is when our sinful nature endangers our salvation by making us feel in less need of it. We can't expect forgiveness from them for the wrong we do for it would be wrong to expect them to forgive what God still has against us.

If human beings are so evil and cunning and prefer evil then how do we know that the saved person is not an evil person tricking us? If total depravity is true then the apostles were more likely to be lying about Jesus and his return from the grave than telling the truth. If sinners are so bad that they would prefer to go to Hell forever than not sin then the apostles could have willingly died for their lies. Theologians say that they could not have been lying because no sinner would invent a religion that is so good and severe on sin. They would if it was meant not to be practiced but for hypocrisy and to dishearten those who believed that virtue was possible. Evil people need to preach good religion so that people will know what sin is and become as evil as they are. The doctrine of total depravity means that by no stretch of the imagination could the faith of Christians be reasonable faith. It is sheer guesswork. Believers of a different kind would see it as idolatry. If there is a God then we must believe what he says not what people say about him, but if we believe the apostles we are trusting that they were delivered from total depravity without any evidence and on that basis agreeing with their religious doctrine. We are putting a guess before God’s revelation if he has made one. The apostles are our real gods. How terrible it is to preach a faith that has no evidence, because faith demands suffering and dedication and commitment.

And if human beings are so terrible we dare trust nobody. The person who does not seem to be stealing from us is only the person who has not got the chance or the nerve to do it or has just not got caught. Should we assume that people around us are saved from their sinfulness to be on the safe side? But we are only assuming and there is no comfort or security in that unless there is something wrong with us. And it is wrong to assume the best when the worst is more likely.

It is easier to be happy to be a person who can do nothing to please God when you do good works and insult him by these works. The works are making you happy and charming and reluctant to do good according to his requirements which are that you must be washed of your sins and do them by his grace before he will accept them. Your works are advertising your brand of defiance of God and making it more desirable and attractive to others. It follows then that it is better to be openly hateful and evil. It does the divine cause less harm.

The total depravity doctrine slanders the entire human race. We all know that it is impossible for us to sin all the time. It is impossible to sin when you are distracted from morality or religion. The person who denies free will or the possibly of wrongdoing cannot sin. The person who believes in sin but who denies that we do it all the time when we are unsaved is branded a liar. If true the doctrine proves the world’s biggest religions to be swindles. The Bible denies that baptism in water ends total depravity so the Bible is telling us that the Catholic Church which officially and infallibly scorns the doctrine of total depravity and holds that the unregenerate person can do real good (though not good that God likes or rewards) is being fraudulent. He or she knows fine well that he or she is entirely godless if he or she is because you cannot sin without knowing it.

If you believe in the Bible then you have to be as evil as you can manage – inside your heart if you cannot manage to be totally evil outside - before you can accept the salvation it offers in order to subscribe to the total depravity doctrine. Telling prospective believers that they must be totally evil for they cannot be saved until they see that they are which they refer to as the Holy Spirit convicting you of sin. They are telling you to be evil to preserve the integrity of the Bible.

The Catholic Church claims, and refutes the sincerity of its sermons against sectarianism, that the unsaved can do good works but these works are not pleasing to God though it says they are not sinful which is an improvement on total depravity. It is a milder form of the total depravity idea. Good works only merit a divine reward and please God when they are done with his help and grace. The Church alleges that until original sin is removed to make you a child of God in the sacrament of baptism you cannot merit anything from God because the Bible says that there is no merit until Jesus saves. But if God turns up his nose at the good works of those who are unbaptised and they are good then God is evil and unjust. The people are doing their best. A God who insults sincerity is truly malignant. If he is not then total depravity is true and the good works are really hidden sins. The doctrine of total depravity and the Catholic modified version are both very hurtful and grossly politically incorrect. How can the Church be an effective voice against racism with that sectarianism? The Church can’t want to be as long as it maintains that God is good for giving babies the grace of salvation in baptism though they have done neither good or bad and then refusing it to good men and women and children just because they never got a sprinkle. How unfair this is!

Original sin is in essence my self-will. It is the desire to get my own way and not God’s. But that never goes away because anything I do I know I do it to satisfy some urge in me. Even if I dash to the vet with my neighbour’s sick dog I am doing it because I like to. I like it enough to do it even if say and feel I hate doing it. I am not doing it for God but for my feelings. I am like this all the time so baptism is just a rip off because it does not forgive original sin. It is still there as strong as ever. Moreover, the more good I do the further I am away from God’s will for then it is harder to see that I am motivated by good my way and not his way. The person who does good with a godless motive is nearly impossible to convert to God unlike the openly defiant sinner who sees her or his blackness in all its infernal grandeur. It is my perception of good I care about not his rules. Christian parents are only wasting their time and are being foolish if they think some water on their baby is going to help it and the world. All it does is start the child on a regime that grooms it for self-deception with all the harm that follows. What the Church calls original sin, Humanism calls potential and actualised self-esteem and proper self-esteem is the root of all human goodness so the doctrine of original sin is totally destructive and any believer that escapes this destruction escapes in so far as he or she accepts his or her right to be his or her own God. Self-will or original sin permeates all my thoughts and feelings and actions therefore the doctrine of total depravity is true assuming self-will is depravity. But it is undeniable that we are wholly anti-god. The Protestants have to believe that the Roman Church knows that total depravity is true and still it denies it so they would have to see it as a lying cult that blesses sin by pretending not to notice it.

What kind of person would look at a child in a cot that is not baptised and then genuinely love a God who excludes that child and asks you not to want that child in Heaven with you until it is baptised? Why Christianity that says this thing is so popular is a mystery that warns us to pay no heed to anybody who says there is evidence for the resurrection and all that other stuff for many Christians are habitually unreasonable.

The Church says we must love the sinner but hate the sin. The Bible counsels that even when we are saved we are still frail creatures and the remains of the former depravity are still in us especially in the early years after being saved. So, assuming its possible, how then can we love the sinner and hate the sin which requires a very advanced level in spirituality and sanctification? Very few Christians behave anything like saints. So born-again Christians are being sanctimonious for they cannot really love sinners and enjoy thinking they belong to the elite circle of the saved.

There is nothing to love in a sinner so how could you love them? How could they feel loved by a person who sees no good in them so what good would the love do them?

Total depravity is an evil doctrine that is inferred by Catholicism and openly preached by the Bible’s religion. It is a misanthropist’s piece of wishful thinking. It is the cynic’s dream. It is the thrill of the masochist and the sadist who enjoys degrading his or her fellow person.

To us it is a reason for getting the Law to ban the Bible and pulpit pounding preaching that incites to hatred.

Total depravity teaches that we willingly sin and make ourselves depraved and we cannot escape from this in the sense that it is a bad habit we don’t want to break. It teaches we necessarily sin but we don’t coercively sin (page 97, The Institutes of Christian Religion). This means then that salvation is a reward for sinning because it involves God making us righteous not in ourselves but by imputation. It would be different if we were forced to sin but when you sin freely and God does that he is clearly rewarding your sin. The claim that Jesus paid for the sin and so it is not rewarded is just a cop-out. It is like a reward to the sinner therefore it is a reward and is as bad as a reward.

 One thing that could have stopped Calvinism and all religions which accepted total depravity from gaining greater popularity is the problem of people who are said to have been unsaved who cannot find anything bad on their consciences at times. For the doctrine to be correct it is necessary that you sin always until you are saved.

The Bible claims that if you cannot find a sin on your conscience you will find plenty of sins committed in ignorance. For example, if you forget to send the poor money it is a sin or if you have not thought of attempting to convert a bad person it is a sin. God told the Jews that he expected those who inadvertently committed a sin to repent of it and ask forgiveness for it turn him against them for they become guilty of sin (Leviticus 4,5). God said a person who breaks his Law and does not know it is guilty and shall bear his sin (Leviticus 5:17). Jesus sanctioned this frightening teaching even with his dying breath when he asked God to forgive those who crucified him because they did not know what they were doing (Luke 20:34). In Acts we read that God did have to ignore the sins committed in ignorance for some purpose but now he expects everybody to repent (17:30). In 1 Timothy 1, we read that God had mercy on Paul for persecuting the Church and cursing Christ because Paul did not know any better. He was forgiven because he was foolish. You are only forgiven by God if you have sinned. So ignorance is a sin. This is how Christians can accuse everybody of being wicked and even the greatest saint of being a sinner. It is reasoned that since saying to a policeman that you didn’t know what the speed limit was won’t get you off it is the same with God. Religion says that there is such a thing as culpable ignorance. If you refuse to learn that something is wrong and then d it then your ignorance does not excuse you. When sin is the supreme evil it follows that no excuse for not knowing is acceptable.
 
It is naïve to reject this teaching on the grounds that ignorance means that you don’t know what you are doing when you do wrong so you cannot be to blame. You know that neglecting or hesitating to educate yourself in right and wrong and to try and figure out what could go wrong in the day and the right way to handle it is wrong. Ignorance could lead you to cause somebody’s death or some other awful disaster so by embracing it you are really saying that you don’t give a toss about anybody. Your good works are mockeries in that case. Also, anybody you care about is not really cared about – it is the feelings you have for them you are worried about and not them.

Even the anti-Calvinist tome, The Other Side of Calvinism, accepts the claim that ignorantly doing evil is sinful (page 100).

Total depravity condemns our good tendency to do what is best for ourselves and to hell with God. It is a disgraceful doctrine for our desire for independence is a virtue.