The Characteristics of Man's Defection
We humans have collectively faced two alternative ways.
(1) The first way was to accept the goal given us by God. I call this the way of godliness. It involves compliance with natural standards and pursuit of our cultural task, and leads to healthy culture in all fields, and finally to fulfillment.
(2) The other way was to defect. I call this the way of wickedness.
There was no third way. Man's Task is a single whole and can only be carried out as such. Any attempt to comply with some natural standards while neglecting others is also a form of wickedness, and leads to violation even of the favoured standards. For instance, the pursuit of efficiency at the expense of other values ends in inefficiency, as in a nervous breakdown.
These days it is fashionable to think of ourselves as independent. So the idea that our relationship with God is collective, not primarily a matter for individual choice, seems strange, but nevertheless it is true. Maybe you have never made a conscious decision to defy God, but we have all willingly done wrong at one time or another, showing our corrupt nature.
"Devotion to God is the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7), so those who lack it fundamentally misunderstand life and persistently go wrong even when they try to do good. (For instance, inevitably they unduly elevate some standards at the expense of others.) This is why all who persist in the defection are wrongdoers, however much they seem to respect natural standards and to pursue our cultural task.
Mankind has taken the way of wickedness, and we are all implicated in that adoption.
This universal human condition is traditionally called original sin.
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