Sinful from Birth


The human tendency to "want what we want when we want it" is one of the more obvious proofs for the doctrine of original sin. In these egocentric demands, we are simply living out the results of the Fall. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of good and evil it was from the desire to "be as God."

Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, our race has sought ever since, both individually and corporately, to be placed on the throne that only belongs to the One True God. We feel an imperative to make ourselves the center of the universe, to be catered to by all others, to be "number one". This is an echo of the rebellion of Satan. In our natural state we are, unfortunately, not without significant resemblance to him.

This is true even from birth. Psychologist and author Bruce Narramore has this to say about babies: "In the frustration of the infant's wishes, we see the result of the child's own frustrated desires. This reaction to a frustrated desire for omnipotence could be a forerunner of what we see in later life as pride, selfishness or God-like aspirations. Infants want to be treated the way they want to be treated, and they become angry if they are not treated that way. This seems to correspond to the desire to be like God".

Narramore accurately recognizes that human sinfulness is as present in children as it is in adults. This is a difficult concept to accept when we observe the seemingly angelic image of a sleeping infant's face. But as any parent will tell you, a baby is quite capable of temper tantrums, and that from a very early age. Ask any observant mother and she will tell you that she has come to learn the meaning behind her child's angry cry. It is all about frustration and impatience. These "proto-emotions" are indicative of a being that wants what it wants when it wants it, one with an overweening sense of entitlement.

If one were in flawless harmony with God, he would totally trust God to provide all that is needful in its time, and not ask for one thing more. He would never cry in anger. Such a being would have no need to do so.

The key word is trust. Perhaps if our first parents had remained confident of God's perfect love and provision for them in Eden, they would not have wanted something else when the Devil presumed to offer it to them. A perfectly trusting creature is content with its place as a creature. It has no wants that must be granted or else! The only thing this creature knows is needs; needs that it also knows will be totally satisfied by the One it trusts in.

The human tendency to try to elevate unnecessary wants to the level of survival needs is indicative of our "Goddishness". While it may be all right for us to have wants that are not inherently evil, it is never all right to demand something from our Creator. A demanding spirit is a fallen spirit. Only God Himself has a right to anything He wants, and, interestingly, even He does not force our obedience to Himself. Instead he woos us with the thing we need the most-His love.

In a society in which the centrality of self is being ever more exalted, it is vitally important that Christians not allow themselves to be lulled into embracing a "spirit of the age" which tells us we are worthy of our sense of entitlement. We must hold on to the truth that, apart from the appropriated blood of Christ at work within us, we are evil and unworthy of anything but the just wrath of God. None of us likes facing this hardest of all truths, but redemption is impossible unless we do.

© Shea Oakley. All Rights Reserved.

Converted from atheism in 1990, Shea Oakley has written over 350 articles for electronic and print publications since 2002, including Disciple Magazine (and Pulpit Helps Magazine),The Christian Herald,The Christian Post, Christian Network and In 2003 he graduated from Alliance Theological Seminary with a Certificate of Theological Studies. Shea and his wife Kathleen make their home in West Milford, New Jersey.

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