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The beginning of the covenant; Faith vs. Faithlessness

Genesis 3: What is the temptation scene a metaphor for?

Postby Joint Venture » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:53 pm

What is Adam and Eve being tempted by the serpent and eating the apple a metaphor for? Did God know Satan would exist? Am I screwed if I've tried but failed to believe in Jesus with seriousness?

I want to understand Christianity because some of my family members are Yogic and believe everyone and everything is God and we're here to face challenges and get reborn if we don't reach Enlightenment in this life. Honestly it makes way more sense than "believe in Jesus or go to hell, literally."
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Re: Genesis 3: What is the temptation scene a metaphor for?

Postby jimwalton » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:46 pm

> What is Adam and Eve being tempted by the serpent and eating the apple a metaphor for?

The temptation scene isn't a metaphor but a historical event. Adam and Eve were not necessarily the first human beings, but (if they evolved, which is likely) they seem to be the first humans who have evolved to the point of being spiritually capable and morally culpable. Since they were now capable and culpable, God revealed Himself to them so that they could understand who he was and form a relationship with him. When confronted with the choice, they chose instead to make themselves the center of order and wisdom, thereby separating themselves from God and the life he offered them. We can easily understand this story outside of "metaphor."

> Did God know Satan would exist?

Being omniscient, that would have to be a "yes." God knows everything. But since God wanted a love relationship with the people He had made, love must be chosen and not forced. It's not just a matter of religious practice (about which God couldn't care less, Isa. 1.11-15), but of a meaningful relationship. Humans have to choose that kind of relationship and enter it willingly. God knew Satan would approach his people. That's why he warned them ahead of time, made his instructions clear, and let the know the consequences. The choice had to be theirs and theirs alone.

> Am I screwed if I've tried but failed to believe in Jesus with seriousness?

Keep trying. The kingdom of God belongs to those who persist. If it's true, you don't want to miss it just because it might be difficult.

> ome of my family members are Yogic and believe everyone and everything is God and we're here to face challenges and get reborn if we don't reach Enlightenment in this life.

If everyone and everything is God, and God is everything, then there is no subject/object relationship, and therefore no particularity—only a blank unity. Therefore there is no diversity or distinct basic to reality: ultimate reality is a bare unity about which nothing may be said. With that kind of perspective, there is no foundation for knowledge, love, morality, or ethics. It's, in my analysis, an empty philosophy.

And my problem with reincarnation is (from a Hindu perspective), attaining Nirvana is not often achieved by humans. Though it is the goal, few there be that find it. What that means, however, is that reincarnation for most people is an ENDLESS cycle of meaninglessness. Beings circle through an eternal chain of human being, animal, insect, cow—whatever—in search of the almost impossible to grasp golden ring of Nirvana. Each cycle is weighed according to “goodness” as to whether or not one advances upward in the line or downward, but how can one be a good cat or a good bug? And since they are told in life that life and even their station in life is determined by fate (karma), and it cannot be changed (and they shouldn’t try), their theology teaches them they are hopelessly caught in a meaningless string of determined life cycles that they cannot alter, from which they will likely never escape, and therefore, at core, life for most is ultimately meaningless.

You may think this makes way more sense that "believe in Jesus," but to me it's all emptiness, vapor, and meaninglessness. Let's talk more.


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