“Hear me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him” (Mark 7:14-16, RSV)
A British Prime Minister once commented, "Corruption never has been compulsory." In one sense, he was in agreement with the Bible; sin is not, at its base, something which can be blamed on forces outside the sinner. As James wrote, "each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire" (James 1:14).
There is always a choice involved in sin. The biblical view of man is that sin entered the world by the choice of Adam and Eve to disobey God. And each person since then has carried the responsibility of his own sin.
Jesus pinpointed the problem. We are not defiled by our surroundings. No custom, kept or abandoned, will defile us. It is from the heart that evil things come.
When the Psalmist prayed, "Create in me a clean ...