Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Fallen Letter

Dear Fellow Christians,

okay... once and for all! there was never an GARDEN OF EDEN! there were never just two ppl, an adam or an eve. scientifically the earth is billions of years old. God is very old. so quit acting like we'll return to a perfect state.

if you want a fall, it'd be when the first multi-celled organism ate another multi-cellular organism. it may have been when the single-celled organism ate another one to become a multi-cellular organism! hell! i dunno! what i do know is we can't keep believing in a fall or original sin or baptism washing away.

i heard a devout Christian say that they really don't like how their baby is filled with original sin because it cries all the time. WTF?! why not just get it baptised? then the original sin would wash off and you'd have no more crying.. that didn't work?! baby is still crying? prolly cause it's not a sin! it's the only way the baby can tell you what it needs. this type of moronic thought is what is driving ppl away from Christianity.

also... let's rearrange our thought on the fall.. cause apparently ppl like this idea. so how about we start out as a little baby, we're selfish because we have no concept of other ppl... much like Adam and Eve. only thinking of themselves, unaware that their actions could have consquences. we make mistakes, we do what is forbidden, and sure.. we sin.. but we LEARN! we GO AND SIN NO MORE!

we fall UPWARDS. we go from a place of selfish innocence to a place of spiritual maturity. in our spiritual maturity we see the bigger picture (albeit not the whole one) and we trust that we are guided, loved, and sustained by God. so much so that we are able to forgive and love our enemies.

what do we think about that? is that something we can do with?




Tit for Tat said...

Adam and Eve as metaphorical babies. Damn how could I miss that one. Now this has some room for growth within your faith system. Stimulating thought Luke. Thanks. WAHHHHHHHHHHH.

Anonymous said...

I love it. Got no problems with it at all. Think I ought to drop out of medicine for awhile and go to Lancaster. You are learning some great stuff up there. Keep sharing.

Anglican Gurl said...

I really like this idea, who is it from? Original or from some where else? If the fall never happened, or happened different than the "church" and our doctrines think, then why did Christ die? Is there original sin?

Karmen Lewis said...

Hi Luke. This is my first time commenting on your blog. I guess I'm getting a little more brave. Wading into the water of all you intellectual types is quite intimidating. So forgive me if my comments sound off target or are redundant.

In regards to your post, one of the things I often think is that I never asked to be here, to be created, to be thrown into this world. It seems like some sort of dirty trick for God to create me and then have so many crazy hoops to jump through. By hoops, I think I mean so many rules, expectations, ambiguities, varied interpretations of scripture, etc.
All that to say....I'm becoming cautiously aware that we (humans) are the ones who have missed the simplicity of the plan. Just like our friend Dr. Paul has said it's as simple as 'choosing to love and live loved.'

My meager 2cents.

Luke said...

@Anglican Gurl: it is a blend of irenaeus (2nd century theologian before augustine) and Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834) view on Genesis. plus combined with Kushner's interp way back on the "book reviews" post a few weeks back, i've really figured out how to articulate how i view Genesis... and how it doesn't conflict with science.

"Wading into the water of all you intellectual types is quite intimidating." Karmen

wow, i'm an intellectual?! cool! i gotta show my profs this! i love how you talk about "the simplicity of the plan" to choose love (well, ala Dr Paul). i think that's what it's all about! but we have 2,000 years of tradition to deal with. i honor the best that the tradition has to offer and yet i have to stare down the worst as well (colonization, hate, fear, wars, slavery, etc). love seems so simple in theory, but in practice it becomes much harder. for some, love is structure and for others it is complete freedom.

i think the interp. of the "Fall" has led Christianity to hate a lot of God-given gifts and opt for a rigid totalitarian style of rule. LOTS of rules and plans and judgment and hierarchy to keep those sinners in line. but if we view our sins as a learning experience that draws us closer to God, that kinda renders the strict following of the rules obsolete. plus it shows that things are getting better, not worse. i tend to view things like the end of slavery, women's rights, end of jim crow, end of apartied, central airconditioning, increased literacy, and inter-faith dialogue as good things that improve upon the past.

but, like ya said, that's my two cents. ;-)

thanks for visiting! hope to hear more from ya in the future.

Luke said...

oh..and AG, i forgot that i didn't answer the most impt. question, prolly, of why did Christ die? the old model is that Christ is the second Adam and erases original sin... well if that's true, then Christ is a crappy savior. it didn't work! we still have original sin... or maybe it's part of the plan all along. humans being limited working towards a broader understanding. Christ came and taught us how to live fully, how to be a full citizen of God's kin-dom. what does this mean for the death? i dunno. there are a lot of atonement theories out there. i go with a mimetic theory/nonviolent idea, although Christus Victor and Substitutionary Atonements are otherways to go.

RJ said...

yeah Luke.. I am with you all the way: atonement, metaphor, falling upwards... with one caveat... we still f*k it up no matter how wise and humble we become... and there is always more grace... not cheaply and not without a cost.. but God's grace is always bigger than even our f*k ups, yes? thanks man...

Anonymous said...

Hey Luke
Can you please briefly explain
1. the mimetic theory/nonviolent idea,
2. Christus Victor idea
3. Substitutionary Atonements?
By the way, I liked the way "central airconditioning" was thrown in there! lol

Luke said...

@RJ, Right with you dude! thanks for adding that, that is impt!

@Julia: "Can you please briefly explain
1. the mimetic theory/nonviolent idea,
2. Christus Victor idea
3. Substitutionary Atonements?"

1. Christ didn't have to die, but this is what happens when you go against a machine/system/institution that has a vested interest in keeping the status quo. Christ died but came back and forgave. note how he didn't come back and say "HA HA! SEE?! I WAS THE SON OF GOD, NOW YOU'RE ALL GONNA BURN!!!" which so many fundies like to think he did. Christ stops the cycle of violence, ends retribution. the sad thing is, the church pick it up and has been seeking vengence on behalf of Christ, exactly counter to the message.

2.Christus Victor is the classic view, based on Adam and Eve, namely that God, in order to redeem humanity, sent Christ as a "ransom" or "bait" so that the Devil, not knowing Christ couldn't die permanently, would kill him, and thus lose all right to humanity following the Resurrection. it shows how Christ establishes a victory through defeat and that Christians are called to enter into this upside down world, where winning is losing. i don't buy into this, but there are aspects i like. a little too militant for me.

3. Substitutionary Atonement is also based on Adam and Eve but takes the stand that Christ CAME to die, and it's all about the blood. i like to say that this model is "God kills God to appease God and change a rule that God made!" It stresses the vicarious nature of the crucifixion as being "instead of us". so God is the hammer, we're the glass and Jesus is the frying pan the jumps in the way and saves the glass from being smashed.

Anglican Gurl said...

I do not like either of those atonement theories. Maybe it is because I tend to ignore that part of the liturgy. Or it could be me uncomfortable with violent deaths. Didn't you say you did not hold an atonement theory? Or something like that, like you are unsure what to make of it?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Luke

Ma said...

First, for those of us still discovering our beliefs and not as well read as most of the posters, yes, you can be intimidating.
Second, seems like most of the rules are man made not God made. At least in the New Testament, as I recall from eons ago basically the message was/is God is Love. Believe that God loves you enuff to forgive you whatever you believe is stopping you from being.Love IS simple. Humans complicate it. People make the hoops.
I Think I read where the original word for sin means missing the mark. So, using the parent image for God, what would you rather your kid do? Never try. Be perfect(no pressure there). Try their best, miss the mark but try again and learn and discover and grow.
What if God were all of us?
It is simple.