What Dwells Within

During the chaos of a raging war, a plane removing a group of boys from Britain is shutdown above a tropical island. Initially, the boys enjoy living without adults and the teachings of proper conduct. They spend their days playing games. Even so, the newly elected leader Ralph attempts to maintain order by blowing a conch shell to gather the boys for meetings.

However, Jack, the head of the boys’ choir, is captivated with the act of hunting. After, several attempts, he, and his band capture and decapitate a pig. The hunters place the sow’s head on a stake as an offering to the beast purported to roam the island at night.

A young man named Simon finds the speared pig that he calls the Lord of the Flies – based on the armies of insects encircling its head. Soon, Simon is entranced and believes the sow is warning him that the students will never escape the beast, because a monster exists within them all. Comprehending that the fiend does not exist externally but rather within each boy, Simon hurries to the beach to share what he has learned.

When Simon returns, the whole clan is in the throes of a frenzied rehearsing of murder. When they see Simon’s mysterious figure appear from the jungle, they believe he is the beast, and they kill him.

The lust for blood rises in the hunters. Ralph hides as Jack, and his group, start a fire in the forest to draw him out of his hiding place. Weary from running, Ralph collapses. Suddenly, he realizes a British naval officer is standing over him. The officer is amazed at the vision of the bloodthirsty children and demands an explanation. But, Ralph and the other boys are unable to explain and can only weep over their actions.

In 1972, the cartoonist, Walt Kelly stated, in his comics strip Pogo, “We met the enemy, and he is us.” In the 1988 music video, “Man in the Mirror,” Michael Jackson personally challenges himself and others to change so that we can help the world.

If William Golding, the author of the above story, The Lord of the Flies, songwriter, Michael Jackson, and even the artist Walt Kelly all acknowledge that humanity has tendencies to act immoral, then why does society persists in saying that we are all good?

According to the Psychology Today website, Paul J. Zak, researcher of the Moral Molecule, states that people are evil when they don’t feel empathy. In his September 8, 2011, post, “Why Some People are Evil,” he says, “So how do human beings go from good to bad, to evil? My experiments have shown that 95 percent of the thousands of people I have studied release oxytocin when they receive a positive social signal. Oxytocin-releasers include having someone trust you with their money, being touched, and even watching an emotional movie…the oxytocin circuit in the brain needs nurturing to develop properly.”

Mr. Zak begins with the premise that men start out as good, but then through circumstances, negative emotions, and even victimization, the hormone, oxytocin diminishes and opens the door for evil behavior. Zak continues, “And then there is petty evil. High stress inhibits oxytocin release and makes us temporary psychopaths. We know that we are not our best selves when we are stressed out. Stress narrows one’s focus to oneself, and we cease being socially competent.”

So here’s the clincher: The boys in The Lord of the Flies story rebelled because there was no one to suppress their inborn immoral behavior. Thus, mankind’s refusal to believe in God leads them to champion their morality by performing good works to overcome their guilty conscience.

However, when good works do not achieve a release of guilt, secular humanist must resort to the chemical imbalance excuse, and, the implementation of “how to stroke one’s ego,” to explain the lack to righteousness in our lives. Which again, shows men trying to compensate for something innate.

Therefore, the adage, “A leper cannot change its spots,” applies here. If a scientist adds another animal’s DNA to the leopard’s chromosome structure, then a newborn cub will appear different than its original form. Thus, the only way for a man to overcome sinful behavior is to add the Holy Spirit to our lives.

How? When we acknowledge our sins and give our lives to Christ, the Holy Spirit then indwells our hearts. He helps us suppress sin and teaches us to live righteously. It is not something we can do on our own.

Galatians 5:16-18 says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” (NASB)

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