Saturday, September 27, 2008

So What Went Wrong?

Let's review: according to the Judeo-Christian tradition, humanity was created by a purposeful God who made people in his own image and who also made them to be productive. That sounds pretty great - so why do we have all the trouble we do today?

One word: the Fall.

No, not the season. Rather it is a mistake made so early in humanity's history that it effected our past, and it continues to effect our both our present and our future. The Fall occurred when humanity knowingly chose to do evil rather than remain in a state of trustful innocence.

The story itself occurs in Genesis chapter three. That chapter is complete with a talking snake, seemingly magical trees, and God himself walking in the garden. For modern folk, all this can seem a bit fantastic. In the classes I teach, I often mention the correspondence test for truth. The correspondence test basically asks if we can see a concept evidenced in the world we live in. I will be the first to admit that I can not show you a talking snake, but I can tell you that when I knowingly choose to do wrong, the process parallels the temptation in Genesis. Though not in these exact words, I often think "Did God really say . . . ? Wow, that looks good . . . . OK, I'll just try it . . . ." The end result: death. Sometimes it is the death of innocence; sometimes it is the death of trust. Sometimes I get hurt, and other times I hurt others.

Genesis chapter three deserves much more commentary that I can appropriately provide in this blog, but allow me to conclude with one final thought.

The Fall story is not the death of all human goodness, nor is it a story of abandonment by God. After the sin occurs, God seeks out Adam and Eve, and he even provides clothing for them. In spite of our fallenness, God is still in the business of providing. That gives me hope.

IDEA LEADERS: (1) How do you know the difference between right and wrong? (2) When you cross that line, how does it effect those you lead? (3) In spite of this world's brokenness, where do you find hope?

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