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Monday, January 21, 2019

Dialogue on Genesis 2 and 3


Genesis 2 recounts that by the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing.  He had not yet created the first man, Adam.  God rested from all the work.  In retrospect, God should have taken an extended vacation before creating Adam!  In looking back at all of man’s actions over thousands of years, to include numerous atrocities, I simply have to ask the question, “What was God thinking when he created man and woman?”  God apparently had a plan and a vision for what man and woman would be.  That plan appears to have gone awry quickly.  God placed the first man, Adam in the Garden of Eden and assigned him to take care of the Garden.  Man was the first caretaker.  Man was given a restriction to not eat from the tree of knowledge but otherwise was free to do as he chose.  After creating a number of animals which he allowed Adam to name, God felt that Adam was still alone.  So he made a helper, Eve.  Genesis describes Eve as someone suitable for Adam.

God created woman to be the companion of man.  This was God’s plan.  Sometime after that some men and women created another option.  They decided that another man could be the sexual companion of a man.  Or another woman could be the sexual companion of another woman.  There is no coverage in Genesis that these same sex relationships are what God wanted.  People from the very beginning have done what they want to do.  Man has often made decisions without asking whether his Creator was okay with the decision.  The decision to have same sex relationships was one of the first decisions of man/woman that ran contrary to God’s original vision.  Did God intend for us to have the right to modify his plans for us?  It is not a matter of are same sex relationships correct?  It is the issue of do we have the right to modify what God intended for us?  Many of us think we have that right.

Genesis 2 and 3 do not initially address whether Adam and Eve were married in the sense of the word we have come to acknowledge.  It also does not address if Adam and Eve were initially sexually active for pleasure or procreation before the fall from Grace.   Only after the fall from grace and the commission of the first sin does Genesis 4 address Adam and Eve being sexually active to the point where Eve becomes pregnant.  Genesis does not address what Adam and Eve must have thought when they observed Eve’s physical appearance changing after she became pregnant.  Did God tell them what was happening?  How did they know what to do during the actual child birth?

No passage of time is illustrated in Genesis 2 or 3.  One can’t tell if the violation of God’s rule against eating from the tree of life was done shortly after Eve was created or years after Eve was created.  Regardless one can come to the conclusion that Adam and Eve were flawed creations.  The events that would follow would only lend support to such a conclusion.  Man didn’t stand a chance for long term survival.  We would never collectively be what God wanted us to be.  We would march off into any direction we chose, not what God intended for us.

God’s concept of man was well intended of course.  Seeing how the plan quickly went awry only leads the reader to ask again, “What was God thinking when he created mankind?”

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A dialogue on Genesis in the Bible


I am a 61 year old man.  From DNA results my ancestors are related to the Eviya and Eshira people of Gabon, Africa.  The truth as I know it is that hundreds of years ago, one or more of my ancestors was kidnapped from a life of freedom in Gabon.  They were enslaved by European Americans who had invaded the North American continent and systematically wiped out a Native American culture that already existed there.  European Americans through a combination of diseases they brought with them and aggressive land grabbing annihilated a culture in North America to the point that today it barely exists.  Before these events, life was created on Earth thousands of years ago.  We tend to not focus on our historical past to find understanding to our present.  I believe that is a major mistake. That is my truth.

Seeking some understanding to life in the United States and the events of today and the past, I have turned to the Bible.  A religious historical document that stands at the foundation of many of our lives and beliefs.  This series of blogs takes into account my understanding, questions, and reactions to the words in the Bible.  Let us first start with Genesis, the beginning.

I recall as a teenager writing to the company that published a dictionary.  I was questioning the accuracy of the definition of the word “beginning”.  I had spent 8 years in a Catholic school environment.  I recall reading catechisms and being taught in a classroom setting the beliefs of the Catholic church.  As a teenager it occurred to me that based on what I had been taught, somehow a God, Gods or some form of life always existed.  There was no beginning.  There just was life that existed beyond the understanding of human thought.  I’ve always remembered that moment.  Although there was no answer, it was a moment of clarity for me.

In the bible, Moses is stated to be the author of Genesis.  Somehow he passed on the content of Genesis to future generations.  The story/events were finally put into writing in biblical form.  Genesis 1, starts off with “The Beginning”.  I always assumed that Genesis was talking about the beginning of life on the planet Earth.  We as people seemed focused on believing that all life began with the creation of human beings on Earth.  I see no reason to not believe that our Creator, God, or whatever you want to call “Him” has created other life forms beyond human beings.  So why do we think the beginning of life revolves around us here on Earth?  It seems somewhat of a self centered approach to life.  Human beings self promoting ourselves into the number one spot on the life cycle!
Are there other inhabited planets and life forms out there?   I really don’t believe that human beings are the best life form that God, our Creator, could have made.  How and to what extent do such other life forms worship our Creator?

The “beginning” referenced in Genesis, may be the story applicable to life on Earth only.  It is possible there are other stories of “beginnings” for life forms different from ours on other planets and other solar systems.  As I read Genesis 1, it covers the creations of God, such as water, living creatures and the natural resources of the Earth.  The thought struck me, “if God created all these things and humans in the role of caretakers, don’t we have an obligation to protect the environment that He created?”  Why should we destroy what God created?  Genesis does appear to give people the role of ruling over animals.  We were given every seed bearing plant to use as food to include every tree with fruit.  As Genesis 1 ends, it is apparent that what God was doing was “working” at creating human kind and the supporting systems for human kind.  It would not be a smooth creation.  Drama and humanistic problems were coming quickly.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

We Truly Can Be Our Worst Enemy

I've heard that there is a new movie coming out in a few months.  The theme revolves around how the problems a family is having is basically their own fault.  I recently realized that we as people do not realized that help and advice to our personal problems is often within a family or through an organization we belong to. 

Maybe it's because we don't want to share problems or questions with others?  But the same problem you may be going through may have been handled by someone you refuse to seek advice from.  Even when that person has offered help.  It may be a question of us not trusting someone enough to seek advice or open up about an issue?  Regardless, the non questions results in us losing an answer or option that could resolve our current dilemma.

I am 61 years old and have been through a myriad of experiences in my life.  I consider my status as a retiree going on 6 years now with a comfortable annuity as a sign that my life has been a success.  I live a comfortable life with a few luxuries and am able to travel to see some of the world. My health is good and I live a mostly stress free life.  I have offered my advice on how to get to the place I am at now, but have very few takers who seek my advice.  So what I do is just continue on with my life of enjoyment until someone realizes, "Hey, maybe I should ask him how to handle a situation? or "Let me ask him how he got to the point he is at now!"

When I was younger I also failed to follow the advice I'm giving above.  We need to be taught to seek advice, especially within a family.  Lessons learned by others can help us avoid pitfalls in our own lives.

So next time you reach a point where you need help, seek the advice of several people.  Don't be your worst enemy!