I think the question that every Christian first needs to answer is this.
Do you believe that a talking snake convinced a woman to deceive her mate into eating an apple? And because of this the rest of the world are shitheads for all of eternity(which is a pretty long time).
Take your time before you answer.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
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no, i don't believe it
No, I do not believe it. Big surprise, right?
Your question gets straight to the crux of the matter. I know many Christians take the creation story as more allegorical than literal.
The problem with that is: IF we don't take the story of Man's fall as literal, there's really no need for Jesus to save us from our woeful eternity.
If we do not accept that the snake convinced the woman to eat the fruit, then WHY do we need redemption?
And, what kind of cruel trick must this god have played on these innocents by putting them amongst pure evil. The poor prototype humans had NO chance against the snake. They had no idea as to right and wrong UNTIL they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, which, of course was forbidden. And, again, they could not have known what would have happened to them after rebelling against this prohibition because they were INNOCENTS.
I often find myself overstating situations to my 4-year-old as a way of pressing home a point. That is, I will make a situation or challenge that I consider significant into something more serious.
In this way, I have to disagree with mac that if the story is allegorical, everything falls apart.
Because it can be not only allegorical but also a way of highlighting an important truth.
OK, backing into things with that preface, let me answer Tit for Tat's original question.
I don't know whether there were a literal Adam and Eve. Whether there were a first pair with souls, or a first pair that spawned humanity, or a first pair who went on and "did the do" with primitive sapiens of the time.
To me, the point of the story is less about whether Adam and Eve existed, and how "knowledge of good and evil" came to humanity than it is about separation from God.
It isn't necessarily that humans are so woefully bad, though the Genesis story and much of the Bible trends that direction.
The issue is that humans often seek after the divine when it is convenient or when they are in crisis, rather than seeking God a routine part of their life.
To me, the point that God makes, whether through Christianity or other paths, is that we should be giving attention to our spiritual side and acknowledging and seeking out God as a path to our growth.
I think it is a mistake to ignore one's spiritual growth, just as it is a mistake to neglect one's intellectual growth.
The great sin of the world from a spiritual standpoint is the failure to acknowledge God and the insistence on going our own way all the time instead of being willing to admit to our faults and failings and need for vast improvement spiritually.
Jesus came to address sin, yes, but it's not so much about nit-picking sins and behaving perfectly. Jesus came as an example and as the representative who DID do it right, to serve as the judge and advocate.
Hell, damnation and the like are, I still fundamentally believe, personal choices. That is, people who find themselves in eternal separation are those who will not get out of their own way to admit their failings and faults, be sorry for them, and desire to grow and be better as they pass into whatever next stage (or stages) are to come after this existence.
Now, I've condensed this down as much as I can, and tried to be as cogent as possible. That being said, I'm probably going to get hammered and/or peppered with a bunch of stuff now in response.
I'm here mostly because Tit for Tat asked me to comment on this thread, as he was interested in my take.
I have an entire blog dedicated to my own musing and considerations of my Christian faith and my progressive/liberal/carnal attitudes as well, and so I don't know that this comment is going to accurately tell any of you where I am coming from.
But I'm certainly anticipating some backlash around being an "apologetic" or "superstitious" or something or another, so allow me to start putting on my flak jacket and helmet now...
I, for one, believe in allegory - so to me Adam and Eve are peices in a 'story'...a story that is not meant to be taken literally (ie: that Adam and Eve were the first people on earth). I think we can learn a lot from the story...but I don't think it is neccesarily scientific fact.
I don't believe in 'original sin'. I think it's a grand theory to explain why humans are so problematic and imperfect - but I don't accept it as a 'condition'.
I think original sin creates a huge problem - in that we are born without 'choice' in some ways. Course maybe we are, but at least those mistakes can be traced to be being 'passed down' from parent to parent. Maybe this is the only 'original sin' that exists...the stuff passed onto us a children and taught as 'how to live'.
I'm not sure I believe in "original sin" in the sense it is often portrayed. I think I see it more as the "original break"
That is, at some point, we broke away from a closer and more direct path with God.
It may be, though, that is wasn't so much our fault as part of the process. If we didn't have that break and the room to grow and find ourselves within the godly, I'm not sure we would be able to truly grow.
I wonder, though, if presenting it as an internal fault and a problem of mankind's disobedience is a a simplistic way to internalize it and motivate us. Perhaps not God's original intent...maybe something more with human fingerprints on it...but the "original whatever" concept itself may not be entirely flawed...it just may not be sin in the way we tend to think of sin.
I don't know if that made any damn sense...
(working the pepper grinder now...)
I respect your point in as much as Genesis is Allegory. Well, straight fiction, if you ask me.
Still, we are left with NO reason for Jesus' sacrifice.
Please, help me understand your views on why God chose to sacrifice his only son for allegorical reasons.
Is it your contention that Jesus suffered in vain? If there is no original sin, that must surely be the case?
And, I berlieve the great sin of man is folowing a deity they know nothing of. To follow without question is parcel to foolishness. But, alas, the god that Christians subscribe to seems rather harsh to those who question his motives or actions.
How does one reconcile this dichotomy of a wrathful god (as in the OT) and a loving Jesus?
How is Jesus to save us when he cannot save himself?
His Father, the all-powerful creator, allowed him to be killed. Why? If I had the power, I would do anything before I allow my son to die - even if that meant changing the world at it's very core - IF I had the power.
I hope I was not too harsh. It is not my wish to offend your beliefs.
I think it shouldn't, however. I am accused ofcommiting the "great sin"...and I'm not offended :-)
My point, mac, is that the concept of "original sin" might not be quite as it has been played up in the church.
That human have been sinful overall and fallen so far from the path of God and need redemption remains very true. In our free will, we can seek to grow spiritually or not...we can seek to follow the paths God wants us to or not...and we don't.
We continue to be willfully separated from God, we continue to not appreciate His role and place in our lives, we continue to disregard Jesus' sacrifice, etc.
Human history is replete with disobedience, and it doesn't require some original sin passed down because of two people's mistakes. That part is allegorical, but the sin in humans is very real and we choose it. I don't mean little niggling things but selfishness, pride, and even more hurtful things.
We aren't bad in the sense that we cannot be redeemed...in fact, we have the spark of God inside us...it's just that we choose to do the wrong things and seek only after the world and, often, our own interests.
Welcome back from your blogging absence, my friend.
My point was, the scarifice was wholly unnecessary.
God could have cleaned all this up without sacrificing his son.
Jesus was sacrificed to his father, not man. God required blood, not man.
No, I don't believe it!
Hey John. Do you know whether Doug's OK?
Havnt heard from them for a while. Im sure he and the family are fine.
yes for the title, no for the content.
we maybe shitheads, but it's temporary... just as we're saints. but we're not neutral either.
that's what i got after 3 years of seminary. ;-D
Hmmmm. That is a pretty heavy subject. Glad to see someone approach it.
My answer is YES.
This just cracked me up because I read below you were taking a break and here you come back with a vengeance! Way to ease back into it :)
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