by Richard Pelfrey
“but what’s confusing you is just the nature of my game” – Mick Jagger
For this lifter, on the outside looking in, it seems absolutely absurd. God turns on the lights and the water and then builds a paradise for his two most-prized creations: Adam and Eve. They have no worries. They don’t know work or pain or hunger or aging. They’ve got it made down there in Eden, walking unashamedly naked with the Lord. And only one rule: don’t eat the fruit from that tree. Then what do they do but break the one rule – cursing all of us.
How stupid can you be? Adam and Eve knew clearly what they could and could not do to stay in God’s good graces, and all it took for them to forget was two little prods from a beast (whom they were rulers over!). “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” and “You will not surely die…” But imagine being there. Imagine how much different it would be if it were you down there naked talking to a snake. He is, after all, the most crafty of the animals, and he knew how to get us. He knew to cause confusion and doubt and to introduce the possibility of more power.
Here’s the thing. When we are immersed in our selfish desires and stupidity, we have a hard time seeing it. Others can see how stupid what we are doing is, but to us it makes perfect sense. We are blinded by the opportunity to increase our earthly status or pleasure, and faith and reason easily go out the window. This is why we need each other. This is why we have fellowship and intercession, because we have the power to reach into other people’s bubbles of absurdity and pull them out.
Let’s look at what Adam did. It is clear that he was right there next to Eve while this whole thing was going down. He knew the rules as good – no, better than she did. And what does he do? He just stands there, he doesn’t make a peep. When the apple (or whatever it was) gets passed his way, he doesn’t hesitate to take a bite. Now when God confronts Him – “who told you that you are naked? Did you break the rule?” He gives the Almighty an excuse and tries to pass the buck – “this woman that you gave me, she talked me into it.” Adam had the direct connection to God, he knew what was going down was wrong, but he took no stand. This silence is what caused the fall of man and everything that came with it. It was a great victory for team Hell.
How many times have we let our fellows fall into sin, or even gone there with them, because we didn’t have the courage to speak up? On the street, we fear being thought of as a goody-goody and say things like “I ain’t no snitch”. However, the same thing happens in the Church. Only difference is we don’t want to be accused of intolerance and we say things like “that would be Pharisidical”. We half-quote Jesus saying “judge not…” When Jesus really says in Matthew 7 that we are to judge, just carefully and in love; with God’s conviction, not Satan’s condemnation. Galatians 6:1-2 expands on this idea: “…if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”.
We can not sit idly by and watch our brothers and sisters fall victim to the persuasions of the serpent and then blame them for our own shortcomings when confronted by God at the time of Judgement. We must take the shortcoming of Adam and Eve and use it as a lesson. Let’s make an effort to speak up. Let’s bring each other back to the path when we get caught up in our temptations and confusion. Let us carry each others’ burdens lifters, and in this way not get caught in the garden with a snake who would like to confuse our faith.