Wednesday, March 01, 2006
  A Flawed Creation...
cross Over on CodeMorse I had this discussion based on this post.

Morse then asked this:

Why would God intentionally allow a flawed creation?

My answer:

When God created the Earth it was good. So the question would be, "Why would God allow sin into his creation, thus corrupting it?". A question for the ages this one. A brief answer is that Adam and Eve are the only humans that truly had free will. Absent of the taint of sin they could make a free, moral choice. They choose badly. For God to have prevented that would have made them automatons.

Now I believe that every human since then has been a slave to sin and the creation has suffered as a result. Spiritual radioactive fallout if you will. Some believe that people still have free will enough to choose God and break free of sin's grip. I believe that the Holy Spirit is the one that does the freeing. That aside (as it isn't the point of the question) creation still suffers from the fall.

Continuing our cross-blog discussion Matt raises some more questions (he's good at that, being a lawyer and all ;-)).

Why is this necessary?

Well the way I see it, God didn't take away free will (by enslaving man to sin) or extend that sin to his offspring. It was a natural consequence of Adam's (and Eve's) actions. They opened the floodgates of sin. As a result of their sins, we all now live in a tainted world.

If, in a flawed and sinful world, people are still trying to do the right thing, then doesn't that show an innate and willful desire to rise above our anger, our sin, our base humanity, and be better than?

It shows to me God's fingerprint on his creation. We desire to be like our creator. And he has given us a way to do that. He has a plan that will redeem his creation.

What purpose does it serve, to stain a person at birth? Why tie weights to a runner’s legs before he begins the race?

Is it because God is training us? Forging us into better people through suffering?

Or is it because God is whimsical, and capricious?

God didn't put the sin on people. It's like being born in a post-apocalyptic world full of harmful radiation. It's a natural consequence of being born into the world. God has given us the cure for it though.

Now God does use adversity to train his children (note: we aren't all God's children) but that discipline isn't sin itself. Rather he uses the consequences of our sin to shape us and make us stronger.

Update with more good questions.

Without the prodding of a third, serpentine, party, would Eve have eaten from the tree? Maybe, but it seems doubtful.

Well let's look at what happened (according to Genesis).

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "

Eve was already adding to her orders. God didn't say that merely touching the fruit was bad.

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

Odds are she would have come to that conclusion on her own, eventually. Not sure why it seems doubtful. I think that God knew about the snake and he also knew that Adam and Eve would fail. I think he knew this for absolute certain (being omniscient and all). I give my children orders all the time knowing that sooner or later they will disobey me. That doesn't mean I should stop giving them orders, fail to punish them if they disobey, or tie them to a chair of they can't obey.

Their actions were their own (free moral agents). Creation was perfect, spotless and without blemish. That doesn't mean that any human in that same position wouldn't be tempted when it came to having new knowledge. I don't think giving her and Adam free will made them imperfect in any way. Perfect in form does'nt necessarily mean unable to sin or even unwilling to sin. If temptation wasn't there then after all how could we resist it.

Radiation sickness could come from being too near a naturally occurring radioactive material. Happened all the time in the old days of mining. And that's how Mmme. Curie died, no bomb required. It was in her environment naturally, just like sin.

Re: your child/pot/stranger analogy

Adam and Eve weren't children. They were adults who God enabled to make their own decision. If my grown child made a bad decision when I told them not only that the decision would be bad, but that it would have consequences and they made that decision anyway then it would be their fault. Now if that does happen (and I'm sure that it will) I will still love my child and provide for them (as God has done). I would try to undo any damage that has been done (again God has done that). None of that would change a natural consequence (them being burned/Adam and Eve recieving knowledge that was their undoing) or even a logical consequence (not being allowed around a stove/being cast out of the garden).

God didn't decide that all of Adam's descendants were inherently sinful. They just are. It is their nature. They are separated from God. God didn't wave a wand and make them that way. All God did directly was tell them that life would be hard for them and their descendants as far as labor, childbirth, and eventual death. As far as "original sin" is concerned I look at it this way, if Adam who walked with God daily, talked with him, saw him, had perfect relationship with him was capable of sinning then I don't really see how anyone else would be incapable. That may not be the "Church"'s definition, but it's how I read the Scripture.

And we aren't all God's children (again as far as Christianity/the Bible teaches) because nowhere does it teach that we are. If you want to believe that we all are then I can't convince you otherwise but I'd be interested in knowing why you think so. I'll tell you what the Bible does teach.

Romans 8:15
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, " Abba! Father!"

We (Christians) have been adopted into God's family. Only in that way (a very important way) is anyone other than Christ, God's son. Christ is God's only begotten. Begotten from the Greek monogenes, means single of its kind, only used of only sons or daughters (viewed in relation to their parents), used of Christ, denotes the only begotten son of God.
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