Friday, June 19, 2015

Boundaries Part II – The Genesis of Our Insanity

Back to Part I – Foundational Principles

“Well" you say, "you may’ve proven to me that I believe in boundaries, but I certainly don’t admit to believing in God.” Ah, but you do. It’s more accurate to say you dislike or hate God. Allow me to explain why. 

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’”

After creation God set up one last boundary for Adam—a moral one—and warned him to not trespass it or their harmonious relationship would be shattered and God would permanently withdraw His blessings of life and happiness.
This arrangement seems cruel or impossible to obey because we are on the opposite side of the fall, but on Adams side this boundary was an unalloyed good that allowed him to experience the joy of obedience. In every other matter Adam was free to do what seemed good to him, which rendered voluntary obedience impossible. It was only when God made a prohibition that Adam could feel the pleasure of submission. The command not to eat was a new kind of goodness, a new way for Adam to be happy. Because boundaries are good things that bring us joy.

“And unto Adam He said ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’”

But rather Adam chose to defy rather than obey. He broke our relationship with God by consciously and deliberately eating the forbidden fruit, and plunged all creation into misery, ruin, and death. When his actions were politely pointed out by His Creator, the Author of Life, Adam responded by blaming God for the rebellion, arguing if He hadn’t put the woman here everything would be just fine. He knew he’d offended a loving, innocent, personal God, ruined everything and forfeited life, but he couldn’t own up to it. And this is the genesis of our insanity. The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it to them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.

Ever since then we’ve been angry at God, knowing we’re in the wrong and unwilling to say sorry, finding it easier to just pretend we didn’t offend Him because He doesn’t exist. We want to push Him out of our minds entirely, and this continued obstinacy makes Him even angrier at us, in turn making us even more desperate to forget Him—but it isn’t an easy thing to do since we’re being constantly reminded of Him by the physical world He put His fingerprints all over. The great immovable boundaries still testify to His might and power, His goodness and joy, and as much as we by nature like them, we also hate them because of our moral fallenness. It’s a little like breaking up with your boyfriend because you were cruel to him: you know deep down you were in the wrong, but rather than own up to it it’s easier to take down all those pictures of him and pretend it never happened.

In short, because we resent Him we also resent His created boundaries. We long to tear them all away, cast them aside, put them somewhere safe where they can no longer remind us of what we did.
And to this end we bring our power over the physical universe to bear.
But there are some bad side effects of this plan.

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