The Bible’s view of man, the Bible’s anthropology, is so crucial for Christians to know and understand as they undertake the responsibility of bringing the Gospel to the culture.
At the heart of so many culture wars is this crucial doctrine. Who man is, what is fundamentally true about our nature, is unpopular among the culture.
What the new social wars are demonstrating, specifically as it relates to the sexual revolution of our day, is that our culture has taken the next step away from biblical anthropology.
The Bible teaches that mankind is wicked by nature. At our core, we are sinful, rebellious human beings, with a moral inability to do anything good at all.
Jeremiah 13: 23, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.”
Jeremiah 17: 9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
John 6: 44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”
Romans 3: 10-18, “[A]s it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’ ‘Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.’ ‘The venom of asps is under their lips.’ ‘Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.’ ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.’ ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.'”
Romans 8: 6-8, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Ephesians 2: 1-3, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
In my experience, the battle with the culture has primarily been between whether humans are “good” or “bad” by nature. Disney channel movies love to contradict biblical anthropology by teaching children to “listen to” or “follow their hearts” as if our hearts are beacons of righteousness that ought to guide us along our “journeys.”
People get very offended by the idea that the very essence of their being is one in which they are rebels against a holy God. Thus, the contention has always been to contradict that, and fight for a more positive view of mankind.
However, I believe secular society has taken a step further away from the Bible, and the evidence for this tectonic movement is Transgenderism.
For years as I battled in person and online with people over homosexuality and its moral legitimacy, my opposition was keen on making homosexuality “natural.” You might even call it, “innate.” The point was two-fold: this is who I am, I have no other choice.
However, the culture has quickly shifted to not only the celebration of unnatural sexual desires and practices, but to transgederism, which is essentially the denial of anything being natural or innate at all.
The heart of the transgender movement is that a person can be defined in no objective way at all. It is very subtly in contradiction with the homosexuality movement, which is to very much pin down a real and intensely personal definition of a person.
Transgenderism is about self-appointed definitions which can be fluid and ever-changing.
If who a person is finds its definition by said person, and there are no rules to this, and this can change arbitrarily, then what we have accomplished is not a grid for understanding human nature, but the demolition of human nature. In other words, human beings do not have a nature at all; nothing is intrinsic to human beings. There is essentially no meaningful way to define or understand what and who mankind is. After all, we just can’t with labels….
Thus, the shift we are seeing in our nation today, is not so much a fight for the innate goodness of human beings, but the fight against human beings all together. We are what we say we are, when we say it. We cannot be naturally good, or evil by nature, because both of those are labels. Both of those are objective. Both of those are unavoidable. Both of those are immutable. Both of those are definitional. And modern Progressivism cannot handle universal objective titles.
Which is, ironically, a great demonstration of the truth of biblical anthropology.