"Your life is an occasion. Rise to it!" - Mr. Magorium

Monday, June 1, 2009

Adam, Eve, and Original Sin

When I was around sixteen I happened to be the only student in my Sunday School class one Sunday. My Sunday School teacher started the class session by commenting that the story of Adam and Eve was in that week's Christian Science lesson sermon. My disinterested response led him to ask me if I knew what it was about. I was surprised at the question; I'd expected him to ask why I disliked the story.

"It's about sex being bad," I replied. (I don't think any teenage male wants to hear about sex being bad).

"No," he replied, "That's what most people think it's about."

He want on to explain that the central point of the whole story is when God asks Adam, "Who told you that you were naked?" (Gen. 3:11) You see, God had given Adam and Eve everything they could ever need right there in the Garden of Eden. But after eating the forbidden fruit, suddenly Adam thinks he lacks something. My teacher told me the real question God was asking was, "Who told you that you lack?" To my teacher, the real original sin was the belief that we needed something God didn't provide for us.

Today who tells us that we lack? Every twelve minutes or so our televisions tell us that we aren't attractive enough, slender enough, or driving the right vehicle. Frequently television commercials plant the seeds of discord by describing the symptoms of some disease or disorder, and then telling us to ask a doctor about their prescription product. And besides that, we unconsciously accept the lie that our nation's economy depends on our sense of lack.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, on page 494, Mary Baker Eddy tells us that, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." People get themselves into trouble when they can't distinguish between a need and a want.

This doesn't mean that we have to make do with worn out clothes and cars. The quality of our possessions is a reflection of our sense of self. We have the right to decent food and clothing, a comfortable and secure home, reliable transportation, and fulfilling employment. Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions..." (John 14:2). If we seem to be lacking any of these fundamental things in our lives, then perhaps it's time to start listening more closely to God. He doesn't come knocking on our door to deliver the things we need. He will, however, lead us to the means to have them; but only when we're listening.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I've never heard that interpretation of the story before, and really feel your teacher hit the nail on the head. Beliving we lack something, thnking we need something God hasn't provided for, makes crystal clear sense.

    Manipulators (including advertisers) *do* work on our wants and desires, building them up to where we precive them as needs...and then we are really set up for the fall.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Randall!!