hi, hope you don't mind if I put my two cents in. I am new here and noticed the post.
It always amuses me how modern man argues that people are inherently "good". Aren't they ever around children I wonder?? Don't they see the world in which they live?? Every child has to be taught right from wrong. Their first inclination is to do wrong, this is not imputed to them as "sin" for they are not accountable. But none the less they still do so. Here is a simple example. If something is broken in the house and I ask my kid who broke it, his first response is "I don't know" a lie. At three he needs to be taught to tell the truth, why his nature is to "sin" and to lie. The examples of this go on and on. What is the big arguement between kids at play most of the time, it usually boils down to one word "MINE!", selfishness. We as responsible parents teach them otherwise. Good is not intrensic in our children nor in human nature. It is however in our christian culture that we live in. These values have been "de-christianized" over the years and taught just as they are for their moral value, but none the less they are christan values.
As far as "having a priest who alone can forgive sin" You sound kind of angry about the idea of being confronted with your own sinfulness. The only "priest" you have to answer to is Jesus and He is reasonable. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isa 1:18" sound quite reasonable to me.
But this has nothing to do with being "good" or "bad" does it? "that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" Gal 2:16b AND "6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Heb 11:6 So it is more about faith and not about "being good with out God" because "But we are all as an unclean thing, [u]and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;[/u] and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isa 64:6 So how shall we stand in front of a perfect God and tell Him of [i]our[/i] goodness? There is a way to see how we measure up to His perfection. As has been stated God is love. Well go to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 the Love verses (in King James it's charity but same word agape is translated) and take out charity/love and put in God and see the charater of God, then take out charity/love and put your name in and see how well you measure up, I am humbled every time I attempt this.
4[u]Charity[/u] suffereth long, and is kind; [u]charity[/u] envieth not; [u]charity[/u] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
[u]8Charity[/u] never faileth:
hope you enjoyed this, hope my HTML commands to underline things worked and hope the King James wasn't too much of a distaction, it's the only version I have on disk.