A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

Just One More Feral Child

Myths, legends, and fictional stories have depicted feral children reared by wild animals such as wolves and bears. In Edgar Rice Burroughs’ (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950) best known literary fictional creation, Tarzan, a British Lord and Lady with their infant son are tragically marooned on the West coast of Africa. The ship they are travelling on is burnt by mutineers and they end up landing near uncharted rainforests. The story goes that the parents die and Tarzan, the little toddler survives. He survives but is brought up as a feral child learning to eat and live with the apes that adopt him.

A feral child (feral, wild, or undomesticated) is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behaviour, and, crucially, of human language. Modern day literature is littered with a long list of feral children.  The famous cases such as Victor d’Aveyron (the wild boy of Aveyron); Amala and Kamala, the wolf girls from India; Genie, the “modern-day wild child”; and the mysterious Marie-Angelique Memmie LeBlanc, the Wild Girl of Champagne are just a few that jump to the forefront.

Theories that though born normal, some eventually develop a seed of serious mental or psychological disturbance. Others postulate Precocious schizophrenia, infantile psychosis and autism. Child psychiatrists and social experts non the less warn that no matter how fascinating, scientifically interesting or even romantic some of these stories seem, it isn’t much fun to be a feral child, wolf boy or wild girl. We shouldn’t forget that all these children have been abandoned, neglected or even cruelly abused.

The flip side of the question is, and what would we be like if the influence of our current society was not present? The linch pin to this seemingly easy quagmire lies in a theological doctrine called Total depravity.

Man unlike any other animals is a moral being  but as a consequence of the Fall of Man, every person born into the world is enslaved in a  ‘feral’ state to a master called sin and, apart from the efficacious  grace of God, is utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to accept salvation as it is offered. Total depravity also called absolute inability or total corruption is a theological  doctrine that derives from the biblical concept of this original sin. It is man’s natural condition apart from any grace exerted by God to restrain or transform man.

“All that God has to do to harden people’s hearts is to remove the restraints. He gives them a longer leash. Rather than restricting their human freedom, He increases it. He lets them have their own way . . . It is not that God puts His hand on them to create fresh evil in their hearts; He merely removes His holy hand of restraint from them and lets them do their own will” -R. C Sproul

There is no doubt that man could perform more evil acts toward his fellow man than he does. But if he is restrained from performing more evil acts by motives that are not owing to his glad submission to God, then even his “virtue” is evil in the sight of God.-John Piper

Self Regeneration?

Morality is a visible indicator of human culture, a mirror of the nature of individuals and peoples. It is a myth that man in his natural state is genuinely seeking God. Men do “seek” God. But they do not seek him for who he is. They seek him in a pinch as one who might preserve them from death or enhance their worldly enjoyments. Apart from spiritual conversion, no one comes to the light of God. Rebellion against God is total and universal.

Apart from the grace of God there is no delight in the holiness of God, and there is no glad submission to the sovereign authority of God. In this total rebellion everything man does is sin and he is crippled and unable to submit to God and do good. Like a feral child deeply embedded in an alien culture and master called sin; he remains bound to this muted nature that irrevocable revets to his soul. He remains unable to keep the moral laws of God (Ten Commandments) however much he tries to edge towards righteousness. He lies, steals, commits adultery and fornication, his thoughts are continually flawed, he is angry at heart- murderous and he waxes ice-cold towards loving and serving the God who gave him life. He is dead in sin and dead in trespass as the Bible says..

What is deserved in this decrepit unregenerate state is eternal punishment and alienation from a Holy God.

The reality of hell is God’s clear indictment of the infiniteness of our guilt. If our corruption were not deserving of an eternal punishment God would be unjust to threaten us with a punishment so severe as eternal torment. But the Scriptures teach that God is just in condemning unbelievers to eternal hell (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Matthew 5:29f; 10:28; 13:49f; 18:8f; 25:46; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:10). Therefore, to the extent that hell is a total sentence of condemnation, to that extent must we think of ourselves as totally blameworthy apart from the saving grace of God. -John Piper

Jesus Christ taught that unless a man is born again, he dies a reprobate, unregenerated  and alienated from God and will not see the kingdom of God. This new birth is so important that no one can see heaven without it. The history of humanity and even Christianity has seen many errors concerning the new birth. These teachings depart from Scripture by attributing to man the ability to regenerate himself.

To believe in the power of man in the work of regeneration is the great heresy of Rome, and from that error has come the ruin of the Church. Conversion proceeds from the grace of God alone, and the system which ascribes it partly to man and partly to God is worse than Pelagianism. – J. H. Merle d’Aubigne (1794-1872)

“The salvation of God is for those who do not deserve it and have no preparation for it”                                                                                                                                -Charles Spurgeon

Spiritual regeneration is a sacred act of God in which he imparts new spiritual life into a sinner. As the Gospel comes to him, God speaks through it to summon him to Himself (effective calling) and to give him new spiritual life (regeneration) so that he is enabled to respond in faith. Effective calling is thus that God that Father speaks powerfully to man through the Gospel.

The Gospel says that God the Father sent His sinless and Holy Son Jesus Christ to die in the place a sinful people as a substitute. Jesus  faced the Father’s wrath and paid the price for sin in full on the cross. The Father’s wrath was appeased. The Bible says salvation is only through repentance and faith in the Jesus. But only God working powerfully in us can make us alive and grant grace to repentance. This is monergistic regeneration to indicate that it depends solely on a Sovereign move of God in the fabric of the human soul. Jesus described this process to Nicodemus this way:

“   Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You  must be born again.’  The wind  blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:7-8.

“God’s grace is resistible in the sense that we can and do resist it. It is irresistible in the sense that it achieves its purpose. It brings about God’s desired effect” -R.C Sproul, Chosen By God

This regeneration does not depend on man or on any desire or decision or did on his part. The Spirit moves in the person, giving him a new nature and allowing him the capacity to express faith through repentance and a desire to know and trust God. This view holds a very high view of God’s Sovereignty.

Finally back to the question;  what would we be like if the influence of our current society was not present? The question should rather read; what would we be like without God? God in his grace goes out looking for feral sinners dead in sin-he draws them and regenerates them and calls them his own. He clothes them with the righteousness of Jesus Christ who became the propitiation for their sins. Even today God is still looking for one more sinner-just one more feral child.

I found you.

“And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you,  but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born. And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing h in your blood, I said to you h in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you  in your blood, ‘Live!’                              Ezekiel 16:5-6


6 responses to “Just One More Feral Child

  1. Rick Lannoye June 3, 2010 at 20:26

    Sorry, but there would be no hope for anyone if God were the type of being who could torture billions of people for eternity.

    I’ve actually written an entire book on this topic–Hell? No! Why You Can Be Certain There’s No Such Place As Hell, (for anyone interested, you can get a free ecopy of Did Jesus Believe in Hell?, one of the most compelling chapters in my book), but if I may, I’d like to share with you one of the many points I make in it to explain why.

    Let’s say you end up in Heaven trying to sing endless praises to a God who is, simultaneously, torturing billions of others. Unless you are given a de facto lobotomy (in which case, YOU would no longer be YOU, so you might as well have not had a soul to begin with), you would have to begin wondering, “When am I next?” and the joy of Heaven would be lost, replaced by gloom and foreboding! Why? Because you could never rely on a God who is so mean to be honest about making any exceptions.

    After all, which is more difficult? For God to actively cause so much immense pain, for so many, for so long, or to go back on whatever promises he made to a few others that he would not put them in Hell too at some point?

    It would be like accepting an invitation to live as a guest with one of these maniacal men we’ve been hearing about lately who kidnap, imprison, rape and torture young girls in secret basements. Can you imagine such a guy, simultaneously, having some other young lady as his dinner date, and treating her with respect and care? And even if he did for a while, wouldn’t his true nature unleash itself upon her at some point in time, as it has on so many others? Of course!

    But the REAL good news is that the God of Jesus will do no such thing.
    If one is willing to look, there’s substantial evidence contained in the gospels to show that Jesus opposed the idea of Hell. For example, in Luke 9:51-56, is a story about his great disappointment with his disciples when they actually suggested imploring God to rain FIRE on a village just because they had rejected him. His response: “You don’t know what spirit is inspiring this kind of talk!” Presumably, it was NOT the Holy Spirit. He went on, trying to explain how he had come to save, heal and relieve suffering, not be the CAUSE of it.

    So it only stands to reason that this same Jesus, who was appalled at the very idea of burning a few people, for a few horrific minutes until they were dead, could never, ever burn billions of people for an eternity!

    • Born4Battle June 6, 2010 at 15:46


      Lots of fuzzy logic there, for sure! Might tickle some itching ears, but not exactly what Jesus really said about hell and everlastin torment.

    • Acidri June 7, 2010 at 17:24

      Rick, thanks for your comments. The doctrine of eternal punishment is probably the most unpopular, hated and feared teaching in the entire Bible. The thought of people burning in hell for eternity is most repugnant to the human mind. It is a doctrine which the natural heart revolts from and struggles against, and to which it submits only under stress of authority. The church believes the doctrine because Jesus taught it and it must believe it, or renounce faith in the Bible, and give up all the hopes founded upon its promises.The eternal aspect of hell reflects God’s justice, honor and majesty. Hell expresses God’s wrath against sin. If you have repented and placed your trust in Jesus Christ, then you are completely justified before God and clothed with Christ’s perfect righteousness.

  2. Carl Gobelman June 4, 2010 at 14:43

    A good succinct discussion on the doctrine of Total Depravity! Thanks for the read.

  3. Rethabile October 15, 2016 at 17:07

    True. That was great . My question is, and please answer I am genuinely interested, what about real Feral children ? Are they just as guilty as the rest of us ?

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