April 2009
March 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
Recent Entries
Movie Metaphysics: The Dark Knight
What's Going On Here??
Why I'm Getting Rid of Google Chrome
Twitter and Me
To the 52, From 1 Of the 48
A Note To Authors (and PR people, too)
Beat Coastal, The Sequel
Obama's Backdrop

August 31, 2005

Who Can Do Good?

Every so often, I hear a familiar arguement. A Christian, usually in arguement with a non-theist (covers atheists and agnostics), will say something about God as the source for morality. The non-theist will become quite agitated, and offer up examples of good deeds done by unbelievers (and sometimes anti-believers). The question is then asked:

"Can a person who is unsaved do good deeds?"

Instantly, several verses spring to mind.

As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. (Romans 3:10-11 ESV)
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6 ESV)
And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. (Mark 10:18 ESV)
But then, you can look throughout history and see things that have been done by unbelievers. Ghandi is a perfect example. Even in daily life, non-Christians do good deeds all the time. What can we say?

I think part of the problem is in the definition of the word 'good.'

1. Being positive or desirable in nature; not bad or poor.
6. Worthy of respect; honorable.
17. a. Of moral excellence; upright: a good person.
b. Benevolent; kind: a good soul; a good heart.

I think that our definitions fall short. Good is judged by motivation, and our motivation to do good must come from the source of good, which is God. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV)

Jesus said it -- God alone isgood. Our capacity to do good comes from our creation in His image. At the fall, the image was tarnished. When we come in faith to Christ, a portion of that image is restored -- that portion that enables us to reflect His nature by doing good. True good, and not the counterfeit that is often held up as good.

Everyone can do things that mankind sees as good. Only the child of God can do good deeds that are seen as good by God. It's His opinion of our deeds that ultimately will matter the most.

Posted by Warren Kelly at August 31, 2005 06:05 PM | TrackBack
Email me!
Email Protection by Name Intelligence