… about Adam and Eve?
In the garden we were created – nowhere, by the way, does Scripture say or indicate that we were perfect…in fact Creation was declared to be “good” not even “great” – when G_d created man ~ He declared man to be “very good” but not perfect!
I am curious as to where we get the notion that we were perfect – flawless – now I do believe that we were indeed sinless but not flawless! How can that be? Well let us consider this…if we were perfect before the tree – how did us losing our “perfection” by eating the fruit make us more like G_d? (Genesis 3.5) Becoming more like G_d is indeed G_d’s concern – not that we are less like Him but more!
What is it that G_d is truly concerned about? Now that we’ve eaten from the tree –> His fear is that we may now turn and eat from the tree of life and live forever in that state we are in since eating the forbidden fruit. (Genesis 3.22)
I’d like to assert that our removal from the garden of the L_RD , therefore, is truly an act of mercy on His behalf.
What is it that happened to us when we consumed the fruit? What changed in us? It has to be an attribute that we gained in order to make us more like G_d. Yet, I’ve only heard it taught as what we’ve lost – perfection or, occasionally, innocence.
What do you think about this perspective?
9 thoughts on “>Beginning Thoughts: A Little Ditty…”
>A question…just because I want to clarify. Is it your assertion that taking us out of the garden was merciful because it took us away from the tree of life so that we would not eat from it?
>I think, perhaps, what we lost was a deep kind of humility based on trust. The moment we entertained the thought that G-d was holding out on us opened the door wide open; enter in suspicion, followed by greed, then traipses in pride.
>Just thinking to myself here Don (well I guess to you as well!) but it seems to reason for me, that when we consumed the fruit that what changed in us was the notion that we in fact had a choice to make. Prior to the fruit, man was consumed with the work that God had given him. We worked in the garden and ate the food God had said was acceptable. After the fruit man became consumed with what he (or she) wanted. What we gained was the knowledge of choice. In essence, this is the heart of our sinful nature….Do I chose what God lays before me and says is enough for me? Or do I chose that which looks good to me.J
>@Breanna – Yes
>I had a good comment, but blogger freaked out and I lost it…I'll try to remember it…I think it is interesting to think about what we gained. We definitely had free will/choice at the time (we ate the fruit, which it would seem G_d did particularly want us to). Maybe we were living in a lack of awareness of our choice, but this doesn't fit with me. Perhaps what we gained was a "moral compass" of sorts. The text talks about gaining knowledge of good and evil. Knowledge itself is pretty powerful. Maybe it was like adding an entry to their mental "dictionary/encyclopedia." Before they ate the fruit, there was no entry for "good" or "evil." It would be like not being aware of something because you haven't encountered it. The object/idea exists but you haven't experienced it yet.
>I like your point that it is never implied that we were somehow perfect.——————————————-I entertain the notion that we gained discernment. Not necessarily the ownership of knowing good & evil for what it factually is but actually the knowledge (or capabilty) to re"define" good & evil ourselves. Worst off, I think we gained the desire to be part of defining right & wrong.We of course (re)define it inaccurately, then we re-define it, then it's still inaccurate, then we do it again, etc. God's definition is the only completely accurate understanding of good & evil. Good is what is of his nature, evil is what is not of his nature. But, we now have the means and desire to want to be part of that decision so we spend our time being distracted from turning to his knowledge. We are instead focusing on creating new & better ways to judge morality ourselves (sometimes in his name). This is the tipping point of when knowledge can be harmful (or cause death as the scripture informs). We are now incapable of not-dwelling upon what we feel is right or wrong.———————————————-Consider this (Its a limited analogy of course); A man works in a factory as an entry level laborer. He doesn't understand the intricacies of running the operation so he does only as he's told. All is good. His employer benefits from good labor and his family benefits from the paycheck. This hierarchy works for all. However a year later he becomes friends with the CEO's assistant and over many lunches learns of the gossip from up top, the flaws of the managers, the bad decisions, the weaknesses of all, missed opportunities, looming lay-offs, etc. Now he is pre-occupied. Infected with knowledge beyond his training or experience. Desperation, over-worry and ambition overtake him. He gives into the temptation to try to "help" those above him by intervening here & there (with best intentions). He now tries to motivate co-workers that are lazy, tattles on the "problem workers" (that he has decided are less than keepers), tries to coerce managers to face each other about their flaws, pushes his opinions on higher-ups and potential clients, etc. All the while that he does these things, he is NOT doing what he was put there for; to be a great simple laborer until management trains him for a new purpose. He has also left a wake of gossip, turmoil, misinformation, harmed morale, increased expenses and harmed profits. The knowledge was too much for him.Hunger for more knowledge (without the sacrifice to earn it), ambition to redefine the view of management and incapabilty to control the effects of his dabbling actually pulled him from his original assignment. His REAL job. ———————————————-Although the metaphor is flawed on many levels I think it portrays how even in normal everyday circumstances we have all been unable to handle 1. Over-Knowledge (knowledge without sacrifice and beyond our capacity)2. Desire to have input in the definition & direction that knowledge takes us3. Distraction from our real purposeI think this is exactly the infection of knowledge that we inherited from waaaaaaay back then…and continue to abuse to this day. You can see it in our politics, our religion, our interconnections at church, our families, etc. We constantly seek to define right & wrong by our own limited vision. Even worse we sometimes twist it to meet our own greed or comfort. We are always trying to discover the new morality and chastise previous generations, persons or goverors for misdefining it. We suck! Ha ha! Thanks Eve. Bah!I'm sure I've not explained this opinion well, so I can try harder if it's at all useful input.
>I agree with Don's initial proposition (at least in a sideways kinda way) insofar as my assertion has always been that "sin" (when viewed as wilfull insubordination) didn't enter the picture until Adam/Eve attempted to hide from GOD…prior to this, there certainly was "error" but not via the intentional inappropriate execution of free will. Without the knowledge of what is "good" or "evil" one cannot make an informed decision. Thusly, one who has never been taught that drinking radiator fluid (though it is sweet to taste and pretty cool to look at) is "wrong" cannot be charged with "sin". This does not mean that they won't become ill (or even die) as a consequence of their choice, but on a soteriological level, GOD (I believe) will not "judge" the heart of the person in the same way as one who had prior knowledge of the destructive power of radiator fluid.However, once we have knowledge (&/or experience) of good/evil (or health/sickness) and what makes for such things, then we have the choice to either run toward our HEALER or run away from that which can restore us.I'll be glad to clarify/expound upon these thoughts should they not be clear, but I think this suffices for now.Again Don, thanks for innitiating this!PAX & SHALOM!!!-will stuart
>Good thoughts Will. I like the analogy of the difference between error and sin (free will /error by choice)…if I'm understanding you correctly that is. Good stuff….Plus, I learned not to drink radiator fluid.
>Argh!!! It deleted my thoughts! Sorry I'm a little late to the ballgame. Had other things I needed to ponder prior to now. :)I think that to understand what Adam and Eve gained after eating the fruit, we need to see what they did. Their first action was to clothe themselves. Their second? Hide from God. Whatever it was they gained caused them to react in a way that I think reflects shame. Shame in who they are? Shame in what they did? Shame in what God wanted from them? Maybe it even went beyond shame to self-condemnation? I don't know exactly. Maybe they began to see who God really was. I would think it is a big difference walking beside and talking to your friend after you find out that He is the King of the universe, Creator of ALL things. I wonder if, as parents, we feed the fruit to our children. Not the whole piece at once, but little bites and tastes here and there. They start out running to God, holding his hand and walking with him naked in the flesh and in their honesty. As us parents "teach" them the ways of the world, our words and actions "tell" them they can't love with abandon, can't dance naked, can't be real with God or others. The joyful, free child is replaced by the sullen, discombobulated teenager who eventually becomes the prim and proper adult. Maybe that is why Jesus wants us to come to Him like a child, it reminds Him of how Adam and Eve were with him prior to eating of the fruit.There is something else niggling at the back of my mind about this question, but I just can't seem to put my finger on it right now. Since I didn't login, I will sign. :)~Jestine Myers