The Knowledge of Good and Evil
Sunday, September 13, 2009


“And the Lord commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil . . .” (Gen. 2:16-17)

                It began in the Garden of Eden and it extends to this very day.  We do not want God to have the ultimate say of what is good and what is evil.  We want that prerogative to be ours and ours alone.  Certainly that was Eve’s case.   She could eat of any tree, but the one she wanted the most was the one reserved for God alone.  What is good and what is evil?  It was true of the Hebrews.  God gave them 10 clear commands of what was good and what was evil.  But surely God didn’t know as much as they did, so they wrote volumes of material to say what God really meant.  And the Pharisees, they crucified God because He dared tell them the difference between good and evil.  And we do this up to our very time.  But we have added something different in our time.  We are fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Is. 5:20)

                Where we are today is based upon a shift of thinking that began with the wonderful idea of America – that idea of good people having the right to govern themselves.   Our founders knew instinctively what a precious and precarious gift this was.  That caused them to give us this freedom with certain admonitions.  Noah Webster said, "In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed....  No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people...."   John Adams, our second President, said, “A Constitution [is] made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  One founder after another warned the America of the future not to depart from the moral codes of good and evil so divinely given by God through Scripture.  Daniel Webster said, “The Bible is a book which teaches man his own responsibility, his own dignity, and his own equity with his fellow man.”  All this is to say, the founders knew that liberty given upon any other foundation than the goodness of God would be a liberty soon lost.            The very first commandment given by God – the first order of what is good – is that “You shall not have other gods before Me.” (Ex. 20:3)  It is when we diminish the very first command that we begin to diminish God’s right to tell us what is good and evil, and indeed when we become our own gods and dictate to Him what is righteous and what is wrong.  When we place other gods on the throne, surely good and evil will be defined by them.  Let’s take a moment to examine some of those gods.  First, the god of education and academia has surely displaced Yahweh in America.  Parents who would not dare take their children out of school for personal reasons, have no qualms about skipping church for a family outing.  Education defines what we teach our children about what is good or evil.  Animal rights, homosexuality, safe sex, self esteem, and evolution replace humanity as the culmination of God’s created order, one man and one woman for life, becoming one flesh with a life’s partner, considering others more important than yourself, and the order of creation.  And those who oppose such teachings are ridiculed in even the most conservative courts of public opinion.            Another god which Americans have placed before Yahweh is public opinion.  If public opinion says abortion is correct, then it doesn’t matter what God says.  If popular opinion approves gay marriages, then what Jesus taught about “one man and one woman, united and becoming one” becomes the evil of the day.  When public opinion rewards laziness, then Paul’s admonition of a work ethic becomes a heartless evil.  When popular opinion applauds diversity of religion, then Christ being the only way becomes demonized.  And the list goes on and on, but it is clear, that public or popular opinion is a god far more sacred in our culture than Jesus Christ.            And all of this is a result of us wanting to determine what is good and what is evil.  That is the original sin and that sin is still the most destructive sin of our culture and world.  For when God’s truth about good and evil is replaced by human opinion, then there is no objective basis for which wise decisions can be made.

Kingdom Road Ministries
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Victor, ID 83455

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