Is Mankind Good?
I was talking with a friend in the basement of her church just before Easter. I was there visiting for a musical performance and had not been there before. Parishoners' artwork hung on the walls all around us, many nature scenes, a vivid painting of scriptures scrawled in a labyrinth design painted by a woman I met later, and an intricate looped knot that my friend made. I think it was inspired by the origins of her denomination in the Celtic world. I asked about the loop and how it fit into their theology. I thought she'd say something about the Trinity. That's not what she said. I have to paraphrase from memory and, if she read this, maybe she would add more detail or nuance. But here is the gist of it:
She said simply that it was the idea of all things working together in harmony, all of nature and life, all good, all entwined, and all celebrating together as one. That sounds dreamy, doesn't it? But then she continued that Christian theology says you are a sinner and need to be saved by grace because you are imperfect and decaying. Well, that sounds awful.
But which is true?
I think any of us can look at the news and see anything but harmony. If we are good, why are there wars? Why do we drive over flowers sometimes? Why do we offend people? What about the little things like selfishness and pride, which are big things, and the big things like murder and hate?
Are we good?