Saturday, June 19, 2010
Heredity: “My family comes from Ireland, and everyone in my family drinks, so is it any wonder I’m an alcoholic?” We’ve all heard this logic. I come from a family of alcoholics, from a country that is known for drinking, so I bear no responsibility for my actions; it’s genetic.
Environment: “My favorite band says drugs are OK, and all my friends are doing it, so I have to do it too.” In other words, I do it because that’s the way things are. I’m not responsible.
I think you see where I’m going with this. In my last blog, “The blame game”, Adam and Eve placed blame on someone else, trying to say they weren’t responsible for their own actions. God held each one responsible for their own part, and he holds us responsible for our own walk of faith. This is the message of Proverbs 4:23-27.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
24 Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.
27 Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
Our parents are responsible to warn us about evil, and teach us about the world; it is not to protect us from the world. We can’t even protect ourselves from the world, but we are responsible to protect our hearts from its influence. We are also responsible for the words that come out of our mouths.
We are also responsible to keep our eyes leading us in the right direction, not allowing evil to take our eyes from the path that will lead us to God. I’m not saying there won’t be obstructions in the path, but by avoiding the distractions on the side of the path, we can keep our eyes where we need to, and avoid the obstructions.
We are the only ones who can take responsibility for our walk with God, and no amount of blame is going to change that. Stay on the path, avoid the distractions, and we will be able to guard our hearts, otherwise we will be too busy trying to blame others for our lack of faith.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I just read an article about how women have been overlooked by society to help solve the world’s problems, and I think the statement is both true, and not true. That is not what this blog is about. I always read the comments people leave, and it never ceases to amaze me how someone always brings up the bible, and twist the meaning, to support their beliefs. The comment in this instance says, “Perhaps you need to reread Genesis. The Bible blames a woman for the loss of the Garden of Eden. Eve was tempted and fooled by the Snake, and then seduced Adam. The entire premise of the Bible could be viewed as misogynist.”
What this person needs to do is learn to take things in context. Genesis 3 covers the fall of man, but my own title for this chapter is “the invention of the blame game.” The blame game was created to remove oneself from the responsibility of your own actions. The phrase, “the devil made me do it” likely got its start from this passage.
In all fairness, a lot of people believe that it was the woman’s fault, and I’ve heard a lot of preachers who still teach it that way. Due to the length of the passage, I will paraphrase parts, and ask that you read the chapter yourself.
In the first part, the serpent convinces Eve that the fruit is not deadly, and that it will open her eyes, and the best part, it will make her like God. Instead of listening to God’s instruction she listened to the serpent, and ate some. In verse 6, she gave the fruit to Adam, and he ate it. At no point does it say she seduced Adam into eating it. He was with her, and he heard the whole thing, yet he still made the same choice Eve did; to disobey God’s instruction.
Starting in verse 11, God asked Adam if he ate from the tree. Adam didn’t try to deny he ate the fruit, but he tried to pass the blame to Eve, saying, “The woman you put here with me- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Like Adam, Eve didn’t deny eating the fruit, but she tried to pass the blame to the serpent, saying, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate it.”
The thing I find fascinating about the exchange in this chapter is that God never truly places blame on any of them, but he holds each one accountable for their own actions, and punishes all three. After this, he banishes Adam, which means Eve as well, and bars them from the garden, to live a life of hard work.
I believe the lesson of this passage is fairly clear. Before we start passing on the blame to someone else, when we mess up, and do something we’re not supposed to, we should be willing to accept the consequences for our actions, and take responsibility for our part in the world.