"By nature, before the rebirth of the
spirit, mortal man is subject to inherent evil tendencies, but such natural imperfections
of behavior are neither sin nor iniquity. Mortal man is just beginning his long ascent to
the perfection of the Father in Paradise. To be imperfect or partial in natural endowment
is not sinful. Man is indeed subject to evil, but he is in no sense the child of the evil
one unless he has knowingly and deliberately chosen the paths of sin and the life of
iniquity. Evil is inherent in the natural order of this world, but sin is an attitude of
conscious rebellion which was brought to this world by those who fell from spiritual light
into gross darkness.
"You are confused, Thomas, by the doctrines of the Greeks and the errors of the Persians. You do not understand the relationships of evil and sin because you view mankind as beginning on earth with a perfect Adam and rapidly degenerating, through sin, to man's present deplorable estate. But why do you refuse to comprehend the meaning of the record which discloses how Cain, the son of Adam, went over into the land of Nod and there got himself a wife? And why do you refuse to interpret the meaning of the record which portrays the sons of God finding wives for themselves among the daughters of men?
Men are, indeed, by nature evil, but not
necessarily sinful. The new birth -- the baptism of the spirit -- is essential to
deliverance from evil and necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, but none of
this detracts from the fact that man is the son of God. Neither does this inherent
presence of potential evil mean that man is in some mysterious way estranged from the
Father in heaven so that, as an alien, foreigner, or stepchild, he must in some manner
seek for legal adoption by the Father. All such notions are born, first, of your
misunderstanding of the Father and, second, of your ignorance of the origin, nature, and
destiny of man.
"The Greeks and others have taught you that man is descending from godly perfection steadily down toward oblivion or destruction; I have come to show that man, by entrance into the kingdom, is ascending certainly and surely up to God and divine perfection. Any being who in any manner falls short of the divine and spiritual ideals of the eternal Father's will is potentially evil, but such beings are in no sense sinful, much less iniquitous.
"Thomas, have you not read about this in the Scriptures, where it is written: `You are the children of the Lord your God.' `I will be his Father and he shall be my son.' `I have chosen him to be my son -- I will be his Father.' `Bring my sons from far and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one who is called by my name, for I have created them for my glory.' `You are the sons of the living God.' `They who have the spirit of God are indeed the sons of God.' While there is a material part of the human father in the natural child, there is a spiritual part of the heavenly Father in every faith son of the kingdom."