Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reading the Bible - Genesis (Creation and the Fall)

Wow, there is so much to be said about this book, it's definitely loaded.

First, there is the creation. I was always confused as to why there are two separate accounts of creation. Both are beautiful. And, surprisingly, they both seem to roughly follow how evolution hypothesizes the world was created. I know a lot of people struggle with the idea of creationism vs. evolution but I don't get why. I wouldn't deny either. I do disagree that evolution happened by chance, I think it's just too amazing and intricate not to have been led by the hand of God. Same goes for science (molecular, anatomical, physical etc.) - in my humble opinion.  Just because we understand a mechanism that God works by, doesn't disprove that He is the one who created it, designed it and drives it. At least not in my opinion.

Then there is the fall- the temptation by the snake and the attainment of the knowledge of good and evil by Adam and Eve. For a long time I struggled with this too. I didn't understand the significance of this sin - why is knowledge evil? As I grew older and studied more, especially in college, I started to understand more. Especially having been a science major. There are so many amazing, baffling and powerful discoveries going on in so many scientific fields right now. Take stem cells, nuclear physics, and biochemical engineering of human organs as just a few examples. There are many more, I am confident. But we discover all of these things, amazing things - but we act on them before we really think them out. Just because we have discovered how to do these things, does it mean we should? We don't know the repercussions of our actions- take the industrial revolution and global warming as another example. Sometimes I wonder if the world would actually be a better place if we didn't have all of these discoveries. If we just lived in harmony with nature (here's my tree-hugger side coming out!), and ultimately in harmony with God.

Now I am not going to deny that I most likely could not survive today without the comforts of the discoveries and inventions of human kind. To be honest, by now there are most likely several occasions where I probably would have died had I not had antibiotic medication. Not to mention heat to survive the horrible MN winters (why do we live here again?). But I am just entertaining the possibility that, perhaps we were never meant to discover these things. Perhaps we were all meant to live in ignorant bliss of things and let God alone lead us. Perhaps humankind was never supposed to know all of these things the way that we do. Us thinking we can figure things out means that we don't rely on God for everything, instead we rely on our intellect - and really we were never supposed to have such capacity because we lack divine wisdom.

Once I started thinking this way, I started understanding 'The Fall' in a whole new way. So many of our problems today come from thinking we know, we understand - when maybe we do understand the mechanism but we have no idea the repercussions of such knowledge. On macro and micro scales I see this as true. I know in my own life I feel most distant from God when I try to control things. It's so scary, SO scary to let go and let Him lead me with His will through things. Sometimes I don't even know how to do that!

That is the fall of man, that we are no longer by default abiding by His will, instead, now that we have this knowledge, we have choice. And now, we have to fight, work, and strive our entire mortal lives, to re-align our will, with His.

Isn't that at the core of what we really struggle with? If our will was His will, would we have to have all of these debates and discussions of right and wrong? Of good and evil? Of sin? Or would we be living in perfect harmony, the way that God wanted it to be, had Eve and Adam obeyed him?

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