Misconceptualizing God–Part One

 

Two lies are stated in Gen. 3.4-5, both of them subtle. The first is explicit but technical so as to deceive: “you shall not surely die” (KJV). While the pair, after eating did not die physically at once, that very day they died. Here are two reasons: 1. They needed a remedy since they were now alienated from God (by hiding) and from themselves (tried to cover their nakedness). After this sin they were clothed with animal skins which involved an innocent victim (the substitute). 2. Paul tells the Christians in Eph. 2.1–“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” Here the apostle says to the living before they believed, they were in some sense “dead”, so a death occurred at the fall.

The focus of this post is another lie, though even more subtle, implied in vs. 5: “for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The hint is ‘that God is holding out on them’ with the idea that God is not sharing, or put another way, that God is not all good. God’s ultimate goodness is in question. It’s an accusation against God. This was the first accusation and all others follow. The devil is not merely “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12.10)

Jesus correctly charged the Deceiver as a liar and murderer:   “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8.44b NET) So it is clear that Jesus identified the cause of the pair’s death and the Deceiver’s lying nature.

This second lie of misrepresenting God recurs again and again in theology and philosophy both by Christians who are not careful enough and, of course, by unbelievers. Paul does not list for the Corinthians the various ways of the devil’s deception when he says: “for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Cor. 2.11) but he expected his readers to know and understand the dangers during our brief time in this life. Therefore, a careful study of the bible is commended.

Author: Alex the Less

B.A. (1976), M.Div. (1983), Journeyman Carpenter (1991), B.B.A. (2009)

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