Did God Really Say
Sunday, April 18, 2010

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and your will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  (Gen. 3:4)

                As we contemplate the things in our lives that would cause us to sin, somehow the story of the temptation in the Garden of Eden seems somewhat innocent.  When we view the daily onslaught of temptations from drugs to sex, from greed to gossip, from bitterness to revenge, from knowing what is good and not doing it to knowing what is bad and doing it – all these things make eating a piece of fruit to be totally out of character with sin.  But I believe a close examination of this story in the Garden, reveals the root of all of humanity’s problems we face today.

                You see, the very first temptation was all about doubting God, then playing God, and finally rejecting God.  Look across the landscape of America today and see for yourself that the devil hasn’t changed his modus operendi even a little bit.  Our government, our public education system, our academic communities, our media, the entertainment industry have all placed a big bulls eye on the reality of God.  They need for the majority of people to doubt God; to doubt His Word; and to even doubt His existence.  “Did God really say,” is the mantra of modern seminaries.  They take young, idealistic people, ready to go into the ministry, to serve God with their lives, and the first thing they do is subject them to an assault upon the reality of God’s word, and in some seminaries, even the existence of God (at least the God of Scriptures).  Through various means of biblical interpretation (or misinterpretation) they go about their assaults, aggrandizing the students who buy into their logic, and demonizing those who do not.  I speak from experience as one who was demonized.  Doubting that God said, “Thou shalt not” is the best way to convince people that if there is a God, He really has no rules.  And that brings up the second temptation.

                The second temptation was to play God.  We play God by wanting to have a say in what is good and what is evil.  The government wants to be our new god.  They want to say that homosexual behavior is good, abortion is good, foul language is good, spending when you have no money is good, cheating is good, bullying is good, the right of those in power to make their own rules of good and evil is good.  The entertainment industry wants to determine what is good and what is evil.  They want to make recreational sex good.  They want to make filthy language good.  They want to make crime without consequence good.  They want to make drug and alcohol use and abuse good.  They want to make peace loving people evil; God fearing people evil; people who believe God told us to take dominion of the earth evil.  And the list goes on and on.  We see academia wanting to define good and evil.  Global warming is a construct of people who believe that the source of life is earth, and since earth is fragile, then we human gods are charged with protecting it.  And of course we see that different religions want to determine what is good and evil.  Even in Christianity we have this going on all the time.  Churches split because someone wants God to have said, “Thou shalt not dance; or thou shalt not drink; or thou shalt not have a worship service with an organ; or thou shalt not have a pastor who doesn’t wear a robe; or thou shalt not take communion every Sunday; or thou shalt take communion every Sunday; or thou shalt not raise your arms in worship; or thou shalt not not raise your arms in worship – and on and on we batter one another because we desire to make the rules of good and evil and tell God what is right.

                Finally, the last step of the temptation is to reject God.  We are so dangerously close to doing that in America today.  We have doubted His word, we have freely substituted our own will, and now it seems that everything is so bad, that there must not really be a God after all.  Because, if there were a god, he would never allow such chaos to reign in the world.  The cycle of the enemy is nearly completion in America. 

                This all sounds bleak and indeed it is.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  The Church in America can still rise up.  We can unify upon God’s word (making radical behavior on the left and right as incongruous in the public eye as it is in God’s eye).  We can return to His definitions of what is good and what is evil.  We can quit trying to play God and “let God be God and every man a liar.”  We can quit making up our own rules of Christian behavior and let God so define it.  We can return to loving Him above all else and let that love then flow to one another.  The choice is ours.  We Christians still make up a majority of America, so it must begin with us.  We must eject from Church life all seminaries who try to cast doubt on God’s word.  We must re-establish our Christian universities with Christ (Harvard, Princeton, and even TCU, SMU, and Baylor were founded by the church although scant evidence exists of that fact).  We can turn our backs on legalism (if it’s not in the Scripture its legalism) and liberalism (if what is in the Scripture is ignored it liberalism) and find all the joy, passion, and real life that God’s word has to offer.

                We have to ask, did life get better for Adam and Eve after they doubted God and began to play God.  Was it better to live in a pristine garden, with no pain in childbearing, no hard labor for food, and no death to cause grief; or was it better later when one of their sons killed another, or when men started taking multiple wives; or when they labored and had to watch one another die.  We can’t go back to the Garden, but we can begin focusing on the Kingdom of God and begin showing the world what happens in a life and church when Christ begins to reign.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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