Certain theologies or beliefs have consequences. To believe the Bible teaches wives are in subjection to their husbands in a way husbands aren’t to their wives opens the door to more abuse than already may arise. The belief in inherited depravity suggests God views people as guilty before they have committed any crimes. Aren’t babies baptized because they are considered guilty in God’s eyes because of Adam’s sin and need to be washed of their sins? Certain beliefs about God can drive a wedge in one’s relationship with their Creator and lead to strange characterizations about God.
God does not hold people responsible for others’ sin? The Old Testament clearly explains that a parent is not guilty of their child’s sin and a child is not guilty of their parent’s sin (Ex 18:5-20). Secondly, Jesus obviously didn’t believe in inherited depravity. In Mt. 18:3 Jesus said: “…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Finally, belief in inherited depravity can lead to thinking only followers of God can be of any good to others. We all are made in God’s image and whether you trust God or not, you are still capable of doing much good in the world.
A belief in individual depravity can lead to other unbelievable theology. Since humans are not capable of choosing God, God must choose them. This leads to implausible interpretations such as in Eph. 1:4: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world…” It has been suggested God chooses some for salvation while forsaking others. Clearly, this cannot be the case for a God of love. God choose Christ to save any who believed (v. 13). Interpretations are fallible. It is not sin to use human reasoning in determining plausible beliefs of who God really is.
Calvinistic beliefs in inherited depravity can lead to a belief that God’s grace is not universal. Who wants to follow a God who is so utterly arbitrary? People are capable of making decisions themselves whether Jesus is who He claims to be and He didn’t save Himself so we might be saved. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, Rm. 2:11). Do we really think God tells us to not show favoritism (James 2:1) but that He is above that? God is not a hypocrite.
The truth is that God’s love is not conditional. The truth is that there is not a quota on God’s grace. Who would want to worship such a God otherwise? Don’t get me wrong. I believe in depravity. We all are batting a thousand. We all have chosen to sin at one time or another. I only know of one person who has lived a completely selfish life. God does not arbitrarily choose some to love and not others. God’s love is unconditional and universal. God is no different than any other loving parent. God hopes we will turn to Him for wisdom and guidance because He has our best interest in mind.