Saturday, 17 May 2014

Playing God - Genesis 3

Ok, it's been a while. I've decided to push through Genesis since I've already started, but not promising it will be daily ;)

You may be familiar with the idea of playing God. It's a term reserved usually for medical science like cloning, etc. Of course, it can be seen to be a rather knee jerk reaction, but a challenge to the usual, if we can do it we should thinking is sometimes, if not always useful.

I'd suggest though, this is at the heart of what is going on in Genesis 3. Since this is a devotional blog, I'll be avoiding the various Genesis debates.

It is typical for Christianity to be seen as controlling of how we think in a pejorative sense, and atheists et al to refer to themselves as free thinkers. Of course, no one is entirely free, we are limited by finitude, biology, worldviews, etc. So when in Genesis 2:16-17 it says

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”
the idea that God is some kind of spoil sport, is it because we see this in the text, or read into it because of our modern individualism? Is this thought control or something less sinister? Is what in view the wisdom to apply ethical principles, or the elevation of oneself to God to decide morality itself?

A clue is given in Genesis 3:5 "God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." The grasping after absolute self-determination is not simply wanting to be knowledgeable or wise, but to be God.

But to show that God is no killjoy, see what is said of Jesus in Philippians 2:6-8

who, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form, 
     he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

There is a way of being like God. Not a grasping after absolute autonomy, but a freedom found in humility and service.

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