Did Adam & Eve get a raw deal?

I’ve been reading a chapter a day from the Bible for about a year. I’m pleasantly amazed how passages pop-up in my mind that provides answers to situations occurring during my life.

I started thinking about Heaven, Paradise and Adam & Eve’s unfortunate situation. It occured to me that A & E got a raw deal.
But before I discuss it, I want to be clear that I mean no heresy nor do I question God’s works. For He get’s annoyed when the clay questions the potterer.

Now Back to A &E. Adam was made from dust and put in a paradise on earth. He was in a completely safe enviorment from all mental and physical maladies. Even though God warned him he knew nothing of consequences or punishments for there was no past history to refer to. They never existed for him.

Completely vulnerable as they were,God permitted the archangel satan, the most powerful created being in existance, to enter the Garden of Eden and deceive them. They called A&E’s fall the “Original Sin”. But was it? Was not the “Original,(first), sin” committed in Heaven called pride?

Which brings me to “Heaven”. We are taught that if our name is in the “Book of Life”, we will have eternal happiness and peace in Heaven. Wasn’t there a rebellion and the first sin committed there? How? In the most Holy of Holies, gazing on God’s face and with full and perfect knowledge of who He is and what they were could this have happened? If it happened once in the most perfect Heaven, and we still maintain our free will, why couldn’t it happen again?

Sorry if I offended anyone. But when you read a good book, it makes you think.

ideaman

I think original sin only refers to human beings. Sure, Lucifer sinned in heaven along with all the other fallen angels, but he was an archangel. When Eve was tempted by Satan and ate the fruit, it was our original sin. that’s how it was explained to me. maybe it helps?

If you mean by warned, and that Adam didn’t know the consiquences, it doesn’t matter all that much. Adam was given ONE commandment, and that was DON’T EAT THE APPLE. I think he could figure out that an all-knowing, all-loving God had a reason for saying not to do it. Still, he deliberatly disobeyed.
I imagine he permitted Satan in to see what would happen. If his some of his angels rebelled against him, what would humans do?
In theory, the angels could rebel again I imagine, but they know the consiquences and so have no reason to.
Besides, I don’t think there was a “Book of Life.” At that time, God didn’t really intend people to rebel, or for sin to enter the world. There was no need to have a book with people who are “in” or “out” because, for a while, everyone was "in."
As for why Lucifer did it-I’ve heard that it was because God wouldn’t reveal his plan to him, and so he simply rebelled. Its the theory I subscribe to.

Hope this helps!

Grace & Peace!

[quote=ideaman]Adam was made from dust and put in a paradise on earth. He was in a completely safe enviorment from all mental and physical maladies. Even though God warned him he knew nothing of consequences or punishments for there was no past history to refer to. They never existed for him.

Completely vulnerable as they were,God permitted the archangel satan, the most powerful created being in existance, to enter the Garden of Eden and deceive them.
[/quote]

Ideaman, thanks for this post. The idea regarding their culpability, though, is not about them being unable to make an informed choice, not necessarily having knowledge of what it means “to die” as if God had stacked the deck against them. The idea is that they were able to a make a choice period between love of God and love of self. God does not want us to love him for fear of punishment. God wants us to love him for love of him. You can take God’s, “in that day you shall die” not as a threat, but as a warning. God knew the consequences of their actions, but it was not necessary for Adam and Eve to know fully what would happen–it was necessary for them to know only that to choose against God was not to choose God. And this, I would argue, they knew perfectly well.

They can be pitied for their folly in choosing themselves over the Mercy, but they cannot be pitied for not knowing what their choices were–they knew. In the words of Charles Williams: “They had what they wanted. That they did not like it when they got it does not alter the fact that they certainly got it.”

Regarding the serpent being Satan himself, this is somewhat arguable and the tradition is more to be found in pious legend than in Scripture. I would argue that the serpent in the garden represents the latent imperfection in people–Adam and Eve could not be as perfect as God unless it was through God’s grace that they were made so. Their perfection was, in the words of Jean Borella, “supernaturally natural” insofar as they remained united with God. But strictly speaking, their nature contained a latent imperfection–the mere fact that they were not Perfect as God is Perfect. The only thing, therefore, to which Adam and Eve could lay claim as their own, the only thing about themselves that they could say, “this is mine and has no part in God” is this imperfection, the thing in them that was Not God–the mystery of which is that it cannot properly be said to exist–it is not Real as God is real. It is nothingness and emptiness. The abyss. The serpent represents the desire to know the abyss. And by following the serpent’s advice “you shall be like gods,” Adam and Eve separated themselves from God, entered fully into their own imperfection and became gods of the abyss. Again, "“They had what they wanted. That they did not like it when they got it does not alter the fact that they certainly got it.”

The parallels to Satan’s own fall, according to tradition, are clear. It makes me wonder sometimes if they are not just versions of the same story.

This is mostly speculation, for the most part. But I do not think it is against orthodoxy.

In Islam, Iblis/Shaitan fell when he refused to bow to man as commanded by God. This was for two reasons–he thought it ridiculous that he should be made to bow to clay, and because he loved God so much that he refused to bow to anyone or anything else. It is said that his destructive behavior ever after is an attempt to prove to God that humanity was never worth the effort in the first place.

It’s an interesting story, but I think the parallels to the Adam and Eve story in Christian legend are interesting–that Satan, like Adam, choose himself as the object of his own worship, choosing to try to possess for himself the God (or the Godness) that gives himself freely to all. Jacob Boehme, the Lutheran mystic, describes God as a flame–fire (power) and light (love). As Satan came to know God more, Boehme believes that Satan came to want the fire without the light and when he came to possess it, attempting to divide the unity of the Godhead, he experienced the fire of God as wrath.

All interesting stuff.

Under the Mercy,
Mark

Deo Gratias!

Pertaining to what FuzzyBunny116 said about Lucifer’s fall. I just wanted to say that what I was taught, and what makes most sense to me, is that Lucifer fell because he thought that he was at least God’s equal, and refused to accept that he was a lesser being. Basically, he rebelled against being God’s subordinate. Anyhow, that’s what I learned. Just wanted to say that :slight_smile:

Deo Volente,

Let me begin by saying that at first glance I was somewhat alarmed by your post! After reading it several times over, however, I begin to understand (perhaps) what you are getting at. You seem to be describing in a very subtle and nuanced way the mystery of personhood as it is experienced by Adam and Eve, in relation to the *wholly and holy Other Person(s), *God.

What part of your post worried me? Well, this at first:

But strictly speaking, their nature contained a latent imperfection–the mere fact that they were not Perfect as God is Perfect. The only thing, therefore, to which Adam and Eve could lay claim as their own, the only thing about themselves that they could say, “this is mine and has no part in God” is this imperfection, the thing in them that was Not God–the mystery of which is that it cannot properly be said to exist–it is not Real as God is real. It is nothingness and emptiness. The abyss. The serpent represents the desire to know the abyss.

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the term *latent imperfection. *I would suggest to you that the word perfect, or imperfect, may be unsuitable for describing our original parents. In one sense, the sense you use, they were imperfect – since God alone is the fullness of perfection and being. Since they were, as all creation is, dependant on God’s conserving power --“In Him, we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28). Since God perserves them in His power, and since they depend on this, they are in the sense you use the term, imperfect.

However, in another sense of the word, Adam and Eve were perfect. They were created by God in orginal justice and in friendship with Him. Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church says “Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection.” (CCC 302).

So, we could say that in one sense Adam and Eve were imperfect as compared to their Creator (or even as compared, in the order of being, to the Angels – we were created lower on the heirarchy of creatures!). But we must also be careful to say that Adam and Eve were perfect in a sense, because they were *perfectly ordered – *as the Catechism says: "The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman, and the finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called ‘original justice.’ (CCC 376).

Aside from the difficulty with the term imperfection, I find your post very intriguing and see in it something very similar to paragraph 396 of the Catechism:

God created man in his image and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this friendship only in free submission to God. The prohibition against eating “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” spells this out: “for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die.” The “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” symbolically evokes the insurmountable limits that man, being a creature, must freely recognize and respect with trust. Man is dependent on his Creator, and subject to the laws of creation and to the moral norms that govern the use of freedom.

Deo Volente, I was so intrigued by your post that I went back and read through the majority of your previous posts here on the forums. You are very articulate, deliberate, and well spoken and also consistenly charitable. You obviously have read quite alot, and are sincere in your search for The Truth. At the risk of turning this post into an occasion for harmful pride :wink: on your part, I just want to say I am grateful for your insights and am thankful that I *reread *your above post several times.

I see by your prior posts that you are High-Church Anglican, and that there is a certain – beautiful allure – that the Catholic Church holds for you. If it is not too cheeky of me, may I suggest that your next order of business be that you immerse yourself in the works of Cardinal Newman?? :slight_smile:

God Bless,
VC

Hello ideaman,

All creation revolves around love for God. Our human purpose in life is to love and serve God. Those who love and serve Him or repent to love and serve Him go to heaven through the blood of Jesus. Those who hate God do not go to heaven but go to hell.

The only way to love God is to have the free will option to choose not to love God. To obey God is love for God. Adam’s free willed choice to not eat from the tree of knowledge was his tremendous opportunity to love God. Adam failed to love God. Through Jesus we have the opportunity to repent and return to love God.

Seeing that the purpose of all creation revolved around Adam’s choice to eat or not eat from the tree of knowledge, I think we can assume that God made sure that Adam clearly understood the choice set before him.

Please visit Choices Of The Heart

NIV 1JO 5:3****This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.NIV JOH 14:15

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

NAB JOH 15:22

“If I had not come to them and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; now, however, their sin cannot be excused. To hate me is to hate my Father. Had I not performed such works among them as no one has ever done before, they would not be guilty of sin; but as it is, they have seen, and they go on hating me and my Father.

NAB EXO 20:5

“. . . you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Remember, there will be a NEW heaven and a NEW earth…

some people say that the first sin was caused by the apple in the tree, when really it was the pair on the ground

I think that the will of God is perfect. And, whatever befell Adam and Eve was the will of God or due to the will of God.

I have thoughts on this, but not a general theory.

We can see how complex the sin was, and the levels and stages of things in which Adam and Eve were deceived before they sinned.

One of the neat parts of the account is how God goes searching for Adam and Eve and says “Where are you?”

Thank all of you for your great responses. I am fully aware we will not really know and understand until we shed this bodily veil.

But I can’t help but think that those 12 Jewish guys hanging with Our Lord 24/7 and drinking wine, that somebody had to ask Him what really happened. Maybe Christ didn’t know. He did say he didn’t know when he was coming back.

I keep reading in the Bible how God is patient, forgiving, loving, considerate and kind. Yet after watching the Animal channel on TV, I wonder why this loving, kind and considerate God created a Kangaroo with a pocket but made his arms too short to reach it!

What’s with that??

dom

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