Years ago in a graduate psychology class, my professor said, “I am going to ask a controversial question. I do not want you to be influenced by your classmates, so I ask you to close your eyes and not peek. The question: Do you believe man is inherently good or inherently evil? Please raise your hand for inherently good. Now please raise your hand for inherently evil.”

At this point, the professor added, “I want you to be brave enough to let your decision be public. First, please raise your hand if you believe man is inherently good.” At least 20 in the class raised their hands. “Now If you believe man is inherently evil, please raise your hand.” Two students raised their hands.

With my curiosity still in gear today, what would be your answer to this question: Is man inherently good or evil? Thankfully, 40 years ago educated people could debate this question with passion, respect, intensity, and persuasion without character assassination. The discussion could be subject driven, but today (sadly) it is too divisive of a topic and becomes destructive.

This debate of humanity’s good vs. humanity’s evil originated when humanity began. The truth will rise to the surface when a human being’s behavior is explored; man’s behavior is influenced by his belief system.

Today as we explore our belief systems, I believe this question will have a very personal answer. My intent is for you to come to your own decision after examination of mankind. May all of us live out our answer with kindness, compassion, and genuine love for all people in today’s world. God makes this possible.