Friday, August 3, 2012

The Rebuttal

I recently received an irate comment on my blog post entitled “The Lie.

I was surprised because that was a pretty early posting of mine, quite old, from back in March of 2011.  I’m not sure how this person stumbled across it, or why it engendered such hostile feelings, but I would like to reply to his concerns  here.  

Here is the comment in its entirety (I fixed some punctuation/grammar):

“Why are u spreading such lies and trying to deceive innocent minds...who ever said that the fruit was an apple...And the human beings God created in Genesis 1:26-27 are a totally different set of people...they were created on the 6th BEFORE Adam and Eve and sent out onto the ENTIRE EARTH to multiply and populate it.  Adam and Eve were created and placed in the little Garden of Eden.  Adam and Eve were not smart.  They didn't have any understanding before they ate the fruit.  They did not understand the concept of good and evil.  And they did become like gods.  Even God said they became like him when he pronounced judgment on them.  Stop spreading lies and speak the truth.”  -- Hasheem Six

Let’s look at it, bit by bit.  (Hasheem's words will be in italics throughout.)

Why are u spreading such lies and trying to deceive innocent minds?

I am not aware of any lies in this post and I certainly would not want to spread any.  I pray about my blog posts and I try not to say things that don’t line up with the Christian scriptures.  I am human, so I am prone to error.  I don’t mind error being pointed out to me, and if you convince me, I will certainly stop.  However, I did not find your arguments convincing.  Let me explain as we go.

Who ever said that the fruit was an apple?

Certainly not me.  Nowhere in my post do I see that I call the fruit eaten by Adam and Eve an apple.  There is, however, a picture of an apple in the left hand corner just to add a little color.  No one (but God, Adam, Eve, and the snake) knows what fruit Adam and Eve ate.  We do not now have access to the fruit of the Garden of Eden, so I cannot give you a name or picture of that specific fruit.  However, it has become quite common for people to refer to the fruit as an “apple,” and I think most people understand that you are using figurative language when you do so.

By the way, in Wikipedia’s dictionary, they define apple as:

   1.      The round fruit of a tree of the rose family, 
 which typically has thin red or green skin and crisp flesh.
2.      An unrelated fruit that resembles this in some way.

Did you know the apple was part of the rose tree family?  I surely did not.  And I think the 2nd definition, “an unrelated fruit that resembles this in some way,” could possibly be applied to the fruit in the garden.  But, certainly no one should be dogmatic about that.  To my knowledge, the scripture only tells us that it looked good to eat.

And the human beings God created in Genesis 1:26-27 are a totally different set of people...they were created on the 6th BEFORE Adam and Eve and sent out onto the ENTIRE EARTH to multiply and populate it.

I’m not sure how you arrive at this assumption, Hasheem.   If Adam and Eve are not the progenitors of the ENTIRE human race, then why would their sin affect all of human-kind? 

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Romans 5:12-21)

Repeatedly, we are told in the scriptures, that sin entered the world by ONE man.  That sin was “passed upon all men” because it passed thru the line of Adam.  Our sinful nature is genetic. 

If not, why wouldn’t a just and righteous God look down and say, “You know what, everyone is behaving well except for Adam and Eve.”  Squish.  Squish.

No, instead, sin infiltrated ALL of man.  Adam’s son Seth was born in Adam’s image (Genesis 5:3) –- a sinful man.  (And yet, his line is the line of Christ –- the one sinless Man.)

If not all men sinned through their relationship with Adam (as his children, and children’s children), then why would God destroy ALL the earth with the flood?  (See Genesis 6).

And if not all were sinners, through Adam, why did Jesus need to come?  Some of us would be okay – part of a strain of humans that never sinned.  Right?   

For God so loved  THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16 [Emphasis mine.]

What then?  Are we better than they?  No, in no wise:  for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one:  there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.  Romans 3:9-11

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…  Romans 3:22-24

If you read Genesis 2 carefully, I think you will find that the Creation history (which began in chapter 1) comes to a close around verse 3.  A new history, that specifically of Adam and Eve, begins in verse 4.  It’s like giving an overview, and then providing specific examples.  History texts do that all the time.  First, here is an overview of the war, now here is a particular battle.  The battle happened within the context of the war, but we look at it individually to gain more insight into the history.  The Garden of Eden (the creation of man & woman and the Fall) is one particular piece within the context of the Creation.

Adam and Eve were created and placed in the little Garden of Eden . 

I am happy to agree with you here, Hasheem.  Genesis 2:8 totally backs you up on this.

Adam and Eve were not smart.

Oh, I have to disagree on this one.  Before they ate the fruit:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.   Genesis 1:27

Man was made in God’s image.  God is not stupid, so man was not created stupid.  Animals were not created in God’s image, so you may call them stupid if you wish (although I wouldn’t).  But, not man.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  Genesis 2:7

Adam was filled with God’s breath.  I’d really hesitate to call him stupid.

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  Genesis 2:15

Have you ever planted a successful garden?  Or tended one?  I tell you, I am horrible at it.  So, the fact that Adam and Eve were expected to care for this special garden makes me think they had some good smarts on them.   Maybe you think of farming only as working with your hands, but if you don’t use your brains, you are going to starve.  (Many of the very smart men who founded America were farmers.)

And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  Genesis 2:19-20 

One of the main things that separates us from most animals and distinguishes us as having intelligence is LANGUAGE.   Humans have language.  Adam and God were on SPEAKING terms.  And Adam named everything.  It takes creativity, imagination, and LANGUAGE to accomplish this one task.  Adam was smart.

Adam was also smart enough to see that he did not want to mate with monkeys or rhinos or any other animal.  He needed human, womanly, companionship.  (By the way, if there were so many other humans already on the planet, then why couldn’t they find a helpmeet for Adam?  Why not set him up as “The First Bachelor” and prance a few of the local beauties by?  Because there weren’t any!)

They didn't have any understanding before they ate the fruit.  They did not understand the concept of good and evil.

Hmmm.  Maybe it is semantics.  But, I think I disagree here too.  They did not have any EXPERIENCE with evil.  They knew “good” very well.  They were created by a good God and placed in a good world and in a good garden.  God had declared everything “good” in Genesis 1. 

Now, a good God would not expect you to do something if you were not capable of doing it, would He?  I mean, any parent knows that you can’t expect a one-year old to understand and obey all your commands.  So, you stay close by, you monitor and you move.  But, when that child reaches age two, your expectations are higher.  When you say, “No,” that little boy or girl often knows what they are doing when they disobey.  So, you begin to expect more and possibly spank more. 

The Christian God is a good God, by definition.   He would not be a “good” God if He were to give brain-damaged (“stupid”) people a rule that they could not possibly understand or follow. 

And they did become like gods. Even God said they became like him when he pronounced judgment on them.

Let’s see what that judgement was:

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:   Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.  Genesis 3:22-24

God said that Adam had become “as one of us, to know good and evil…”  The word “as” is often translated “like”.  “Like one of us.”  “Like” can mean in all ways, or in particular ways.  I am LIKE my mother in some ways, but LIKE my father in others.   Adam became LIKE God in that he knew both good and evil.  But he, obviously, was NOT GOD (in all caps) because he did not have eternal life (he needed to eat of the Tree of Life) and he showed his un-godlikeness by being thrown out of the Garden.  If he were indeed a god, like God, there would have been a battle here.   But, he did not have any god-like powers, except the knowledge of good and evil.

Stop spreading lies and speak the truth.

I hope I have convinced you that I am not lying.  That the beliefs I hold are biblical. 
If you are interested in finding out more about creation and what the Bible has to say, you may want to check out resources from Answers in Genesis or Institute for Creation Research.  

I hope you read this knowing that there is love behind it.  I’d never want to do anything to hurt you or anyone else by my words.  In fact, my hopes are quite the opposite of that.  I pray God’s blessing over you as you read and think about these things.