We Are Fallen

A Follow Up to the Biblical Fiction, ‘Fallen’

Recently, I posted a piece entitled ‘Fallen.’ You may have seen it. It is a story depicting Adam and Eve’s creation, temptation, and fall in the Garden of Eden. I love to read and imagine about the Garden of Eden: partly because I believe it is an extremely pivotal point in human history, but also because it is such a foreign environment to us. What was the Garden like? What was the serpent like? Why did it not surprise Eve that the serpent could talk? Why did Adam not say anything?

In writing it, I wanted to bring some realism to the story. Not that the Bible is not realistic, but it does not always give the detail of emotion and thought, it just simply narrates the fall of humanity. Yet so much can get lost unless you use your imagination.

I believe it was a normal temptation, just like any temptation we would have today. I imagine that Adam and Eve were on their regular stroll through the Garden and Satan happened to be there as a serpent and started talking to them. He started twisting God’s words and Eve’s thoughts and placed in her mind new ideas. Eve does not seem to have been actively rebelling against God; in fact, I believe she truly loved God. Think about it. How does Satan tempt you? He gets you to think about the sin, twists your thoughts to make it look desirable, and you begin to think that you need it in order to be happy, soon you are rationalizing away the act saying, “I can get away with it this time—just this once.” Satan used a similar strategy unsuccessfully against the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, in the desert, and still today he uses it against every one of us.

I believe it is good to put ourselves into history to imagine what it was like then and there. What was the culture like? How would the culture affect their thinking? Would I respond any different? These questions open a whole new world of insight into the story, and when we do this, we can also see what needs to be done today.

Because Adam and Eve fell, all of creation was cursed, not just the humans and the serpent. Are we then hopeless? No, because God gave us hope when He cursed the serpent saying that the woman’s offspring would crush the serpent and the serpent would strike the offspring’s heal. Of course, we know this as God’s prophecy of Jesus Christ. It is a wonderful prophecy. God was telling the humans that, “Yes, you failed. You failed miserably, but there is hope. Somebody needs to pay for this mess, but there is hope. Satan will be crushed and it will take some pain on our part, but there is hope.”

But did Jesus come simply to crush Satan?

God gave the humans a free will, the power to do whatever they jolly well pleased in and to the world. When Satan came along, they were given a choice: to listen to the serpent, or to listen to God Almighty. They chose to listen to the serpent, and thereby surrendered their authority over to Satan and Satan then became the “Prince of the World.” When Satan said he would give Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth if only Jesus would bow down and worship him, he was not bluffing: he had the authority to do so, given directly from the humans themselves.

That is the very reason Jesus came to earth. We had lost control. We were given authority over the earth and our destiny, but we had blundered and given it all away to Satan. We are losers. But Jesus—God—came as a man (he had to come as a man) to take that authority back. He was the Second Adam, but he did what Adam had failed to do: he defeated Satan, for everybody. He died even though he did not deserve death; He paid the price that we should have paid! With His great victory over Satan came a victory over death. Jesus did not just pay the price and remain dead: NO! He rose again and lives on to this day! Jesus is ALIVE! And we can be alive through Him! The great tragedy of the Garden is not the end, it only the prequel to the greatest story ever told: the story of GOD coming and paying OUR debt. We are wretches! We blundered, we fell, but God wants to pay the price. If we will only say “Yes” to God, He will show us His marvelous work.

God created, we rebelled, but God punished Himself for our rebellion.

But our duty does not stop here. Yes we fell, and yes, God has redeemed us, but the curse extended beyond ourselves and our souls. The whole universe was cursed because of what we have done—therefore should not Christ’s redemption extend to the whole universe as well? So often we focus on the soul and saving the soul—and that is the most important part—but our redemption goes way beyond that. We should be taking Jesus everywhere we go. Instead of just taking Him to souls, why not go farther and take him to our neighborhoods, to our schools, to our governments, to our parks. Christ deserves to be in our entertainment: he should be in our sports, in our movie industry, in our music. He should be everywhere. But how does He get there? Who takes God to the world?

We do.

We have the Holy Spirit of God living inside of us! In order to take God TO the world we must be IN the world. We should be taking God’s presence (His Spirit in us) to our schools (including colleges) as teachers, janitors, and students; to our sports as coaches and trainers; to the music and movie industries as musicians, producers, directors, actors, and writers; to our government as aids and secretaries—maybe even officials. We need to be in these places influencing them with the Gospel. We do not necessarily need to vocally witness to everyone, but we MUST witness through our lives. If we want to undo the curse in our cultures we must shine the Light into the darkest places and take Truth to the most ignorant people. Christians should be the salt and light of the world, otherwise our cultures will spiral downward and be lost.

The curse is very evident in the world. We all see it. Jesus died to undo it—to defeat Satan and save our souls. But now we must take that Redemption farther, we must take Christ’s redeeming blood to the most lost of places.

So why are we waiting?

C.D.

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Fallen

A Biblical Fiction: the Gospel part 1

My name is Abahu, and the Master is my Father. So you want a story, do you? If you let me, I will take you away to a world of unknown possibilities—but be careful! My Father has enemies who wish to destroy you and me. But I am His son, and He is a King with unknown power. I will tell you, His story.

The world I will take you to is an old world. Many ages have come and gone since its beginning, but it started out quite simply. Well, kind of, my Father created it simply perfect. He spent days perfecting the world, making all kinds of varieties of animals and trees, fish and birds, mountains and rivers, and with one grand finale He made men—His most prized creation. His masterpiece, as it were, and He loved it. He loved everything, and called the world Tavi. To you and I it would have looked very strange, but remember now, He is a King of unfathomable power, and therefore His world had unfathomable possibilities. He placed His masterpiece in a special garden He had created for them, and gave them one rule. You see, He wanted to test their love. Can you imagine being a creature that had no choice but to love their creator? Where is the romance in that? Where is the commitment? If my Father had simply placed them there with no restrictions, there would be no story!

My Father loved this first couple; He took countless strolls in the Garden with them, but one of my Father’s highest ranked servants grew jealous. He revolted against the Creator and filled the Heavens with his pride. Since my Father is a justly jealous God, He can share His glory with none other because none other deserves His glory. The humans were most satisfied when they dwelt in His glory, and He was not about to give it away. My Father banished His servant and a third of the angels that had followed in the jealousy. They fell from Heaven to the new world.

Now this highly ranked servant, whose name was Nahor, was cursed to roam back and forth upon Tavi. One day, the lady human, Martha, was walking through the Garden with her husband, Avda. Being the newest creation she was naturally curious and full of talk—a trait well kept among the more fine featured of her descendants.

“Husband,” said the lady, “where is the Master today?”

“He has not yet come, my Love,” replied the man. “But He is watching from afar, as usual.”

“Let us walk down this path,” she suggested when they had come to a junction.

“Dearest Martha, flesh of my flesh,” replied her husband, “you know that path leads to the center of the Garden, where stands the one thing we must not partake of. Let us keep walking upon this path which leads to the most delicious of our Father’s tree, called Life.”

“O, husband, how could we ever disobey our Father? Of course we will not do that one thing He commanded against! But there are many other lovely things in that area that are fair to look upon!”

“And none fairer than you, my love. Very well, let us go and look upon that which He hath made.”

And so they went taking the path which led to the center of the Garden fully conscious of the presence of that thing which was restricted of them to partake of. But the unsuspecting humans knew not that Nahor was there, the great deceiver, newly cast out of Heaven, full of hate for that which still obeyed and loved the Master. He indwelt the slithery serpent, wisest of all creatures, in order to disguise himself. Understand that it was not unusual for the humans to have interaction and conversation with the creatures my Father had made. After all, the possibilities of that world are unknown to us.

My Father had told the humans not to eat a certain fruit. He gave no explanation, and they did not need one. They had plenty of fruit to eat, their favorite being that which grows on the tree called Life.

“Hello there!” said the serpent from the tree.

“Well hello darling!” cried Martha. She was fascinated by the shrewd serpents and loved conversing with them since they were so intelligent.

“Are you coming to eat from this center tree?”

“Of course not, what ever made you think that? The Master said not to even touch it! Far be it from us or you to disobey the Master!” she scolded the serpent.

“But don’t you know that this fruit will open your eyes to the truth. You will be as the Master Himself!”

Martha hesitated, surprised at the unusual behavior of the serpent, “But God said that if we eat this fruit, we will die right away.”

“Oh, you won’t die. God knows what the fruit can do for you! He is keeping you from eating it, but it is ever so delicious!”

Martha eyed the tree suspiciously. It did look beautiful and she could smell the sweet aroma wafting toward her from the tree. She thought of the wisdom of the serpent, and how he said it would make her know things that God knew. She reached for the tree and plucked a fruit, just to have a closer look, she told herself. The lady lifted the fruit to her nose and smelled it. Oh, it smelled so pleasing. She looked at it, her heart thumping.

Avda was silent.

She brought the apple to her mouth and before she knew what she was doing, took a bite.

It was as if time came to a halt, as if the new stars my Father had made quit swirling through the heavens; one could almost hear the turning of the planets upon their axis.

Martha smiled, a thrill of excitement flashing through her whole body. She gave the fruit to Avda, who took it and pondered something before he too, ate the fruit.

Immediately shame filled the man and woman, and they fled. They ran from that place with hearts full of guilt. They knew that somehow everything would be different.

Something else had changed outwardly, as well. They realized their nakedness. They had always been naked but never before had they the guilt to shame them for their nakedness. Not knowing exactly why, they were driven to cover up by sewing fig leaves together.

Grief and shame weld up in their hearts. They became angry with each other and squabbled like school children, when suddenly they heard a voice. A voice which they vaguely recognized as God’s, but now seemed much different—they did not know how different.

“Avda! Where are you?”

Immediately they hid. What did they hide from? They hid from the Master, expecting Him to be angry. Expecting Him to come down with a great shout and cast them away as He had done to Nahor. Of course they realized now that it had been Nahor that deceived them through the serpent.

“Where are you, Avda?” he called.

“I heard your voice calling and I hid myself because I was naked,” Avda replied.

“Naked? Who told you that you were naked?” the Creator asked. “Did you eat the fruit which I forbade you to eat?”

“Martha, that woman you gave me, she made me eat it! It wasn’t my fault!”

“Avda!” God scolded solemnly.

Turning to the woman the Master asked, “What have you done, Martha?”

But she replied, “The serpent tricked me and I ate it!”

God then cursed the serpent saying, “Because of what you did, you are cursed above all the creatures I have made and shall be restricted to slither upon your belly, made to eat dust—you and your descendants. No longer will there be good relations between you and the woman’s seed, and her Child shall tread upon you, and you shall strike His heel.

“And you, woman, will have excruciating pain through childbirth and shall long for your husband, and He will be your master.”

But to Avda He said, “The ground is cursed because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit, which I had commanded you not to eat; you will toil all the days of your life to grow food, because thorns and weeds will trouble your efforts and make you sweat and bleed in order to provide for your family. In the end you will die and because I made you out of dust, to the dust you will return.”

Then my Father caste the humans out of the Garden and sent a mighty warrior angel to guard its entrance.

So ends the story of the origin of the humans of Tavi, a wretched story, one of broken love and fellowship. This is not just a fictional story; it is, for the most part, a true story, the original of which can be found in the Great Book of God. But it does not completely end here. It continues on to be the greatest story ever told: a story of how God reaches down—well, you will just have to wait and read it some other time.

THE END

C.D.

What Would Jesus Do?

Wow, imagine this, Christopher Witmer is actually updating his WordPress! SURPRISE! Life has been good and God has been good, as always. That is the interesting thing about life, it can be either negative or positive, but when God is walking alongside, one can usually look back and say it was good.

I just recently ate my first full Chick-Fil-A meal on August 1st. (I wonder how many people remember the date of the first time they ate at a fast food restaurant . . .) I and the group I was with did it mainly to show support for the organization and its employees in light of the attacks they have come under from many who support gay rights.

I am intrigued by the modern discussion of homosexuality and the stark difference between the two worldviews. Unfortunately, both sides of the argument can sometimes come through very hostile to each other. As a Christian, I hope that I am known as a safe and accepting person to be around, even though I believe homosexuality is a sin, just as I believe adultery, period, is a sin (adultery including: sex before or outside of marriage, lust, et cetera). Many times the very thing these people are longing for is love and acceptance and the only place they can find that is in a perverted way of relating to each other. I find this very sad because what they truly long for is Jesus and His powerful love, but many Christians have turned them into a spiritual and political enemy, which is not giving them the love they need and desire.

We all want love. Love is an amazingly powerful force. When a person feels loved, he has a sense of worth and dignity; and he  can begin to see from the lovers point of view, and will listen to what the one showing the love has to say. God is not a heavy-handed old man sitting in a booth upstairs just waiting for us to make mistakes so He can call us out and punish us. Rather, He is compassionate and extremely long-suffering. He loves us with an everlasting love. Not a cheesy love, no, but a love that will change one’s life. It changed and is still changing–transforming–my life.

I wonder if maybe the reason it is so hard for Christians to demonstrate love is because we often do not fully realize the extent to which God loves us! How can one give what one does not have? The reality is that He loves us so much that He died to live inside of us! – Do not resist it! – But He is a holy and jealous God and we are completely sinful–there is no way for us to have fellowship with God and receive His love and blessing: except through Jesus Christ, glory hallelujah! God sent His own son, Jesus, to make a way for us to be connected to the Father who loves us.

Realize, Christian, that there is nothing that can separate you from God’s love, yet there is nothing “lovable” about you, and yet He loves you passionately. It’s called grace. It’s called amazing. Now live it. Show some love to your homosexual neighbor–it will probably change their life. . .and yours.

C. D.