A Good Start Stained
(February, 2003 POL)
Topic: Original Sin
Text: Romans 5:9
They had it all.
Adam and Eve had such a good start in life.
They were created "in the image of God" or at the highest level of God's created order -- the only creatures designed for intimacy or holy communion with God (read the whole story inGenesis 1Genesis 2:1-24Genesis 3).
They complemented each other. Though Adam was the first to admit it, Eve probably joined the refrain, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh."
They were in charge of the whole deal. God said, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every thing that moves on the earth." Everything was just about perfect.
Of course, our fairer gender often suggest our Lord did make man first; only to conclude, "I can do better than that!"
Then there is the not so Biblical tale of God telling Adam to go, be fruitful, and multiply; only to witness the young man return with puzzled look on his face and inquire, "what's a headache?"
Regardless, it was a good start. Everything was just about perfect. But you know what happened. God said Adam and Eve could use, manage, and enjoy everything around them except for one thing: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Some things are just too big for mere mortals to handle. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represented the extremes of complete knowledge -- omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. In other words, it represented the exclusive prerogative of the divine.
Hence, the Hebrew in this text is the strongest prohibition possible: "You must not, absolutely must not" eat from the tree or "you shall surely die."
Simply, reaching for divinity to be like God is not a human prerogative or part of the plan. But anyone with little kids knows how that goes.
When children are told they can hang out with anyone but or go anywhere but or do anything but, those buts become the targets of greatest curiosity, affection, desire, and determination.
Children get it from their parents who got it from their parents who got it from their parents going all the way back to the garden.
We're the Adamsons -- the daughters and sons of Adam and Eve. This butology -- making those everyone and everywhere and everything buts the targets of greatest curiosity, affection, desire, and determination -- is in our genes.