Recently my wife and I were shaken by the news on TV of an 18 year old mom in Calgary accused of killing her 26 day old baby. The police have confirmed that it is a case of homicide as the baby’s head had been hit with a blunt object. As new parents it is beyond our imagination how a mom could ever do something as brutal and gruesome as killing her own baby. If the individual is indeed guilty of the crime, I deeply sympathize with her and the state of mind she might have been in when she committed the act. But I have to confess that such repulsive and horrendous crimes are everyday occurrences all around the world. I just read in the newspaper today about three teens accused of raping a 90 year old woman in the US. Do we need any more proofs to confirm the biblical view of human depravity? But the most educated and elite of our society still play the game of denying moral absolutes while the religious people continue to gloat over their self righteousness. In essence, both groups fail to grasp the depravity of human heart.
In a postmodern world that denies the existence of moral absolutes, one of the greatest challenges to the gospel is to make people understand the depravity of human heart. The depravity of human heart is one of the most easily verifiable truths because we see it all around us and inside of us but yet we turn a blind eye to it. The Bible considers human depravity as a state of rebellion against God. While we all may not sin equally, we all certainly have the capacity to perform the worst possible sin. When we think we are inherently good or there are no moral absolutes then there is no need for repentance. The coming of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross and the grace of God in offering us forgiveness will be totally meaningless. If such is the case what explanation can we offer to the repugnant acts of crimes taking place around us? We could either pretend such things are not happening or that they don’t matter. Either of these conclusions is ridiculous because we simply cannot deny the evidences of depravity stained throughout human history. The truth is we are morally depraved and therefore the Christian message needs to be heard by all people today because it is the only message of hope in these depressing times.
It is not enough for us to merely prove human depravity as a proposition by showing the crimes in newspapers. What we truly need is a truthful evaluation of our own heart. An honest contemplation will reveal to us that we are no better off than the people guilty of horrific crimes. A pastor friend of mine mentioned that he was deeply offended as a non-Christian when he first heard the words, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me” He did not believe that he was a wretch because he considered himself to be morally good. But later when he was convicted by God and had a glimpse of his inner life he mentioned, “Wretch was too kind of a word to describe me.” Blessed are those who have come to this conclusion because God’s grace is given to such! One cannot understand the marvel of the grace of God unless they see themselves as people who have fallen way short of God’s standards, When Jesus died on the cross He took the punishment for our sins upon Himself so that we can be forgiven. The miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ is His ability to transform this depraved heart and create in us new desires that reflect His nature and likeness.
By Ashwin Ramani, Calgary, Canada.