Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Simple Truth About This

The Simple Truth About This

Just after graduation from college my mind really started stirring for wanting to understand what religion was all about. Was it something that people had cultivated or was there something to it? When I was younger and growing up I somehow believed that, although I did not know God then that someday I would. Then came the time when the need to know if God was real or not was more important than anything else. It was time to find out.

“What would be the best way to try to find God,” I asked myself. The answer to that was simple. Read God’s word; simply read the bible very slowly and with more care than I have ever read any book in my life. So I borrowed the next-door neighbor’s bible and commenced with so much vigor and delight that I must have already had myself convinced that the finding of God, communication with God was only pages away. For I thought surely after all the things I had been told and disputed before, that in the reading of the words I would see the truth of God in them.

As I started reading about who begot whom, I was already taken into the words. I read about how God created the earth, how he created everything, how he said let there be the beast of the field, the foul of the air, the firmament in the heavens, and how everything that was upon the earth was created. Then it says he brings forth light by saying “Let there be light”.

Then out of the dust of the earth he creates man to be in his own image, and to know only truth and goodness. Then God places this man in a garden full of fruit trees called the “Garden of Eden”. In the Garden of Eden there were fruit trees all about, but there was one fruit tree that was different from all the rest in that it contained in its fruit the knowledge of “good and evil”.

God told the man, who was called Adam, that he could eat from every tree in the garden but he was not allowed to eat from the tree in the midst of the garden for it contained the knowledge of good and evil. Then the story tells how God made Adam fall asleep in order for God to remove one of his ribs, and from the rib of Adam God made woman, who was called Eve.

Then in the next verse comes a serpent, or talking snake. The talking snake told Eve that they should eat from the tree of good and evil, and that if they do they will be as Gods and know good and evil. So she grabbed a piece of fruit and took a bite and then she handed it to Adam and he ate some of the fruit.

Because they ate of this fruit, God condemned mankind on the face of the earth from that time on. He gave him sin, sickness, pain, disease, hate, sorrow, fear, anger, frustration, confusion, and made him ashamed of himself.

Is this not an act of vengeance? Would God be vengeful? But I thought God created man in his own image? Obviously he must have!

Why would an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God have to test his creation?

And yet this infinitely powerful God had to call out to Adam when he got back from wherever he went because he could not find him in the garden. Where was God at the time? God didn’t even know Adam had eaten of the “forbidden fruit” until he saw that Adam was ashamed to be naked.

This God of infinite love, infinite understanding, infinite truth, and infinite compassion, couple with infinite power, condemned his highest creation.

In truth Gods actions in this story would be far more severe than say for me to pour a glass of milk and place it on the table and tell my brother not to drink of it. Then come to find out that my brother drank of it, thus taking a gun a blowing his brains out. God’s vengeance and violence was obviously of greater magnitude than this, for God condemned and destroyed all of mankind. This God destroyed his own creation.

Why didn’t God just change him? With all of God’s power, why didn’t he just zap Adam and Eve away and try again? In fact it says in this story that God saw his other creations before man, and that he saw that they were good. Which implies that if something wasn’t good he could change it and make it good.

Or better yet, it would have been far less amazing than creating the universe in six days to have said “let there be goodness upon the earth,” and then the story would have gone on to say, “and there was goodness and He saw that it was good”.

Why is it that God had immense power in the beginning. Power that was magical beyond imagination, and then as time goes on his power dwindles to only being able to relate to one prophet at a time. Then God attempts to have one man convince the whole world of his existence, and supposedly die for everyone’s sins.

What happened to all of God’s power? How could one man convince all mankind to follow something that they knew nothing about and were by God’s own actions, rebellious to change.

In church history one stipulation of being a Christian is to take the bible literally, as it stands. Most of the more intelligent Christians admit that this story cannot be taken literally, but say that they consider it to be a symbol of God’s word. Others say that our interpretation might not be the same as God’s, and all other kinds of nonsense.

From my point of view, it should be accepted as how it stands or rejected entirely. How can something be a symbol of the truth? It is either true or it is false, and in this case it is clearly and undisputedly false.

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