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Ghetto and Good

In Apologetics, Devotional on September 4, 2016 at 6:06 pm

WP_20160804_16_59_26_RawBecause I dabble in philosophical questions, I sometimes make comments that don’t go down very well at parties: I suggested that I thought human beings are naturally evil.  There was some disagreement, and then all conversation, as it always does, turned to Donald Trump.

There’s quite a bit of evidence that human beings are naturally evil–watch the evening news or read the comments on pretty much any post where someone offers an opinion.  But there’s also quite a bit of evidence that people are basically good. Everyone knows lots of people who are good and not too many who are bad–bank robbers and such.  I know lots of people who are good too.

I picked up a book in Warsaw at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.  The book contains excerpts from The Ringelblum Archive, a collection of documents and testimonies collected by Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum and his team of researchers between September 1939 and January 1943.  Dr. Ringelblum did not survive, but his collection did.

In one interview a man named Aron Einhorn says,

It is difficult to say whether this moral swamp which we see around us nowadays is the result of the abnormal conditions prevailing in the ghetto, or whether the ghetto uncovered that which had previously been covered up, masked.

He goes on to describe this “moral swamp” of thefts, looting, cheating, cruelty, indifference, oppression, and WP_20160804_16_57_37_Raw corruption.

The ghetto was filled with a large proportion of people who used to be good.  They were good because they had homes, clothing, food and hope.  Many had money, respect, freedom and safety.  It’s easy to be “good” when you have these things.  When these things were taken from them, or at least became scarce, their true nature came out to the surface.

When I look around my community, I see a lot of good people.  I also see a lot of people who have homes, clothing, food, safety and hope.  Many have money, respect and freedom.  But are they really good?

Am I really good?  If I’m honest, there’s quite a bit of fear and self-centeredness slithering around inside me.  As I walked within the area that was once the Warsaw Ghetto and stood at the sight where the residents of the ghetto were put on trains bound for Treblinka, I wondered what I would have done if I had lived there in 1942.  I’d like to think I would have been good, but there’s a very good chance I would not have impressed Aron Einhorn.


The only remnant of the wall that surrounded the Warsaw Ghetto.

If the Bible is right, we are naturally evil, and we will be judged accordingly.  What people don’t realize is that we will not be judged by what we’ve done.  It’s not what we do that is the issue, it’s who we are.  What I would have done had I lived in the Warsaw Ghetto is a much better indicator of who I really am, than living in my townhouse near a lovely golf course.  I will be judged for who I am.

This is pretty scary,  but if the Bible is right, there’s also some good news; the best news.  It’s been arranged that, if you want, you can judged as if your very nature were perfect and someone else will take the judgement that you deserve.  You need only ask him to take your place.


Why Christians keep bugging you about Jesus.

In Books, Movies and Television on June 23, 2013 at 1:23 am
after rescuing Marahute, Cody accidently falls off the cliff.

The First Fall

I was walking down Granville Street in Vancouver yesterday.  There was a man standing on the corner of the busy intersection yelling things about Jesus in an aggressive cadence and passing out pamphlets.  Most people has a smile on their face as they continued down the street.  They ignored him in much the same way as they’d ignore a guy selling ironing boards.  More than a few wondered, “Why even bother?”

It is very rare when a movie clip gets as close as this one does to capture a Biblical truth.

Take a look of this short clip from Disney’s The Rescuers Down Under.

The boy falls twice.  The first time is just after he rescues Marahote from a poacher’s snare.

A little later he falls again.

There is no difference in altitude from the first fall to the second, but there is a signficant difference in attitude.

 In both he is equally helpless–falling to his death, in fact, unless someone intervenes.  Christians believe that everyone is falling and none of us can fly on our own power.  We also believe that there are two alternatives as to how that fall will end, and one of them is really really good.  And the other one . . . not so much.  The guy on the street yesterday cared so much that he spent hours on the street telling people he didn’t even know.  

Christians can be annoying at times, but given the cliff and the eagle and all, it sort of makes sense, doesn’t it?   

The Second Fall

The Second Fall