I’ve always wondered why people who believe in total depravity say things to their kids like “good job” when they catch a baseball. Shouldn’t they say something like you caught the ball, but you still deserve to go to hell?
A pastor friend told me recently, though, that the term total depravity doesn’t mean you aren’t a good person, or aren’t capable of doing good, but that you aren’t capable of redeeming yourself. You are totally depraved, he said, at being able to access God.
That made more sense to me, to be honest. And besides, I’ve met plenty of people who don’t even know God who are good people. And I mean really, really good. I mean they love and care about people, they are moral, they are charitable, so the whole idea there is nothing good in them doesn’t seem to jive with reality.
Sometimes I wonder if God has an enemy and that enemy is trying to get us to not like people, because if we don’t like them, they won’t listen to anything we say. And sometimes I wonder if the idea of total depravity has been skewed to get us to not like people.
Ever thought about this? And do you think people can be good?