Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lies Straight from the Garden

It’s a beautiful rainy day here in Northern New Mexico where I live. Since that’s a rare occurrence around here, we’re all enjoying the cooler temperatures, and of course the moisture—especially my garden!

This morning though, I was thinking about Adam and Eve and what it might have been like in the garden. We know that God created it, and that it was very good because Genesis 1 tells us that after God got done creating everything He declared it “very good.”  I have to assume there was the right amount of moisture, not too much, and not too little. Unlike the high desert, and also unlike those places that get a lot more moisture than we have, it was just the right amount and I’m sure the plants were growing like crazy with that personalized “God-care.”

Also, in the garden it seems that Adam and Eve didn’t have to work overly hard—maybe they had time to pursue their hobbies (naming all the animals is something that Adam did), or relax. One thing we know for sure is that they had the time and energy to “walk with God” regularly in the garden. We know that because the biblical text tells us that right after the fall God came down to do what He regularly did which was to walk and talk with them.

Then entered the serpent.  .. dum, dum, dummm, duhhhmmmm as my kids would say. He starts off by asking Eve a question. “Did God really say?” I sure don’t have to think very hard to think of examples of Satan asking us the same question here today. The attacks on the Bible that are quite easily found on the Internet are one example of that. The attacks on what the Bible actually teaches are another one. (Did God really say that He hates homosexuality?)

Then Eve complicates the matter by adding on to what God said the phrase “you must not even touch it.” That too is something that religions do: add onto what scripture teaches by adding on rules and regulations that supersede what God has actually said. One example of that is the rule that many religions put on religious people that says they can’t drink alcoholic beverages. What God’s Word actually says is that a person shouldn’t get drunk, and also that nothing should enslave the Christian (that would include an addiction to alcohol). These “additional” rules were actually what Jesus was fighting against most often when He interacted with the Pharisees.

The next lie Satan tells is of particular interest to those who have studied Mormonism because what Satan tells Eve next is that she won’t actually die, but instead her eyes will be opened, and she will become “like God.”  It’s not actually a lie that’s unique to Mormonism, it’s just that Mormonism so blatantly teaches it. Most other systems of belief though, that elevate man, and bring God down to the level of a man are in essence teaching that mankind is “like God.”

I’m always fascinated by these three falsehoods because I think that they form the foundation for most of the temptations Satan throws at us today, and probably throughout history. The question for us is, are one of these issues facing us personally today?

Did God really say?
Not only that, but you also must. . . 
You can become like God.

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