Without God something dies inside us

When Adam and Eve decided they didn’t need God and a tree of knowledge was good enough for all their needs instead, something died inside them. They started acting very un-human.

Before the serpent arrived, Adam and Eve were being the humans that God originally created humans to be. Adam loved naming the animals God created. He loved the wife God gave him, he loved being naked with her (Genesis 2:25), and he loved looking after the garden God created. Whatever God gave Adam to do, Adam gladly did. In the beginning it was easy for humans to love God, love each other, and love God’s creation. This was what it was like to be human.

When the serpent arrived, however, he set about de-humanizing Adam and Eve. He started ripping the humanity out of them, starting with Eve’s relationship with God. Up to that point, humans had no trouble obeying and trusting God. A visiting alien watching humans in action would define us as “creatures that easily love God.” Unfortunately, the only visiting alien at that point was the serpent, who didn’t like humans loving God at all, and he successfully downgraded God in human eyes, to the point that humans didn’t even like God anymore. Adam and Eve even hid from God when he turned up to talk with them (3:8).

A huge chunk of their humanity died inside them that day. They started acting in a most un-human way, not only hiding from God, but also hiding their nakedness from each other. It was awful. This wasn’t what humans were supposed to be like. The true, original humans loved God and loved being naked with each other, but now Adam and his wife thought of God and nakedness as embarrassing and odd.

The message was clear: Without God something dies inside us. We act in ways that are totally out of sync with who we really are. God made it easy for us originally to know him, love him, and love each other, but instead we have the tragic picture of humanity in Romans 1:21, where “although (humans) knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him,” the awful result being, “their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Again, the message is clear: All that lovely humanity God put into us originally dies and fizzles into futility and foolishness when we decide we don’t need God and look to other gods instead to supply our needs. We become un-humans, de-humanized shadows of the humans God originally created us to be. Fortunately for us, God sent Jesus to restore what died inside us to its full, original glory.

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De-extincting the true, original human being

You mean humans need de-extincting? Yes, because the original human being that God created became extinct in the Garden of Eden.

God did warn Adam it would happen, “for when you eat of it (the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) you will surely die,” Genesis 2:17. You will become extinct, in other words. So the true human being that God created in the beginning died out. It was gone forever, extinct, just like the dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and sabre-toothed tigers.

From that point on we could not reproduce perfect replicas of the human being God created originally. That was now impossible for us to do. All we could produce was replicas of dead humans, that would live for a while and then disappear into nothing. Every human we produced would become extinct, never to live again. And how quickly and easily we could become extinct physically as a species too. One massive meteorite hit and that would be it.

We were a species in deep trouble, therefore. Our original form was already extinct. We also faced total extinction by disease and disaster. And what we’d become as the living dead was also killing us, as we turned on each other in hatred and violence. And what was the purpose of all that hatred and violence when we were all going to be extinct at death anyway? It was total madness. We deserved to be extinct.

And that was how things remained for humanity until God sent Jesus to de-extinct us and start the process of restoring us back to life in our original form. No scientist could do that. Scientists can’t de-extinct anything without some of the original creatures’ living cells in existence. And since we didn’t have any living cells remaining of the original human either, it was impossible for any human to reproduce or restore what God originally made humans to be.

We were extinct, and we remained extinct, until “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions,” Ephesians 2:4-5. It was God who de-extincted us, because only he could. And he “made us alive with Christ.” Christ became the living cell that God could reproduce his original humans in. And from there – “in Christ” – the Spirit gradually transforms us into the total likeness of the perfect human, Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Imagine that – being de-extincted back to life as the true and original human being again. And we are the only creatures on the planet this is happening to. No other creature is being de-extincted back to its original form. Just us.

What Evolution does not, and cannot, answer

Evolution cannot answer how our universe came into existence from nothing. But the Bible can. In Romans 4:17, “God calls things that are not as though they were.”

Paul wrote this in the context of Isaac being born when his parents, Abraham and Sarah, were incapable of having children. There wasn’t a leftover egg in Sarah’s womb that could be fertilized, and even if there was, Abraham couldn’t fertilize it. “His (Abraham’s) body was as good as dead,” and “Sarah’s womb was also dead,” verse 19. Neither Abraham or Sarah had the capability in their bodies anymore to produce a child. Their reproductive equipment was no longer functioning. God stepped in, however, and produced a living child from dead matter.

Scientists would love to produce life from dead matter, too. They’d love to de-extinct a woolly mammoth, for instance, but they can’t without a living cell from a woolly mammoth. They can collect a million tons of DNA from dead woolly mammoths, and sequence the genome of a woolly mammoth and copy it perfectly in a laboratory, but they cannot bring a woolly mammoth to life again without a living cell. And even if they did create a perfect copy of a woolly mammoth genome, it could only reproduce itself inside an already existing living cell. It would have to be placed inside a mammoth’s closest relative on earth right now, like an African elephant, but the creature born would be a mix of mammoth and elephant, so it’s still not producing a perfect mammoth.

A full-sized, perfect living replica of a woolly mammoth cannot be produced from “things that are not.” And that applies to anything that’s become extinct. No creature that became extinct years ago, or only seconds ago, can be restored to life in its original form without a living cell from that creature being placed inside the cell of a living creature of the same kind. We cannot de-extinct or bring to life what’s dead. We cannot, as Paul wrote, “call things that are not as though they were.” We cannot “call” woolly mammoths that “are not” in living form anywhere on earth right now, and bring them back in their original form, like “they were,” or used to be, when they roamed the frozen north in their millions.

And Isaac wouldn’t have existed as a full-sized, perfect living replica of a human either, if it hadn’t been for God miraculously bringing Abraham’s and Sarah’s dead reproductive equipment to life again, where cells that “were not” now became “as though they were,” just like they used to be.

Evolution has no explanation for how Isaac came into existence, but God does.

Does it matter if God exists?

Evolutionary scientists have created a world without God. He never existed, they say. The world just came into being by natural forces.

Assuming that to be the case, then what kind of world have we got? What’s it like?

Well, it doesn’t exactly inspire much hope, because according to the theory of evolution, the driving force behind this world boils down to just one thing: Survival. You either adapt or die, chum, and all through creation it’s this way. The animals and plants we have today, evolution says, are those that adapted best and quickest to climate change, food supply and predators. They’re the survivors. They did what they had to do to survive and that’s why they’re with us today, because that’s the way the world is and always has been. It all comes down to “survival of the fittest.”

It all sounds terribly harsh and cold, but to an evolutionary scientist like Richard Dawkins, it’s beautiful. Look at the ingenious mechanisms plants and animals have come up with to assure their survival, he says – and how they came up with them all by themselves too, proving the world can take care of itself without any need for God, a higher power, or “Intelligent Design.”

Well it may be beautiful and enduring to the likes of Richard Dawkins, but the bottom line is still Survival. We’re all here for no other purpose than surviving. One has to wonder, of course, why a universe came into existence in the first place if its only purpose was to keep itself surviving, but that’s the world of evolutionary science. Survival is the reason for everything, and there’s no point in looking for anything more meaningful in this world than that.

It’s not surprising, then, that we humans are so completely preoccupied with survival too. We’ve created a dog-eat-dog world, where self-advantage is all that matters – beating the competition, climbing the ladder at work, being a nice guy in the community – all to promote ourselves and our own well-being. Why? Because it’s survival of the fittest, right? That’s the way life is, and for billions of people on this planet, that is the way life is. Every day is a struggle for survival, and yes, only the fittest survive. But evolutionists don’t seem to mind that at all. It thinks survival of the fittest is beautiful.

But that’s the insane world of Evolution. It cares for nothing but how things evolve to survive, and if the weak have to suffer and disappear because they don’t adapt, so what?

So, does it matter if God exists, or not? Well, look what the alternative to God is….

Are Christianity and Evolution really that far apart?

Darwinists and Christians have locked horns ever since Charles Robert Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. The issue is how we humans came to be.

For Christians there is only one way we came to be: We were miraculously created by God. In 1871, however, Darwin wrote that we came into existence by the reaction of chemicals in “some warm little pond,” and we evolved into humans after that through adaptation to environmental change and circumstance.

Is there provable evidence either way? Yes, Christians say, because in the Bible version of the Origin of Species, the book of John, God created humans to become his children, and that can be seen happening with observable evidence today. There are humans who are obviously and noticeably like God.

So, what’s God like? The Bible says he’s like Jesus. That’s why Jesus came to this earth, to show us what God is like (John 1:14, 18). To be born of God, then, a person would have to be obviously and noticeably like Jesus. So, what was Jesus like? He was “full of grace and truth” (verse 14). What people saw in Jesus was a man of immense kindness and wisdom. He deeply cared for people, and his teachings made so much sense: Don’t judge people, don’t hate, don’t seek revenge, don’t make promises and don’t ignore someone you’ve hurt, because they all have their nasty kickbacks.

Anyone born of God, then, would be like that. It’s one great living proof that God created humans, because what God created humans to be like can be observed and seen happening today.

But that applies equally to Evolution, because it too can be seen happening. The one great living proof that what Darwin says is true is that animals, plants and insects today are still adapting and mutating according to environmental change and circumstance. We can actually observe creatures evolving, like insects that evolve noticeable differences after years of insecticide use.

Seeing is believing.

But that applies equally to both Christians and Darwinists. A human who clearly demonstrates the characteristics of Jesus proves that God created humans. And a creature that clearly demonstrates the characteristics of evolution proves that Evolution happens too.

Are Christianity and Evolution really that far apart, then? No, because both can be seen to be true by observable evidence. Creatures can be seen to be evolving physically, just as humans can be seen to be evolving into the likeness of Jesus. Evolution happens; creatures change. But what God created humans for can also be observed, because there are creatures on this earth right now who are evolving the radical characteristics of Jesus. They can be seen changing too.

“Hello. I’m a homosexual. How can I help?”

Roaring towards you on your side of the road is the driver of a car with his head down texting. To avoid a head-on collision you jerk your steering wheel to the right, and into the ditch you go, your car flips over several times and lands upside down with you helplessly trapped inside it. The engine has stopped, fortunately, but the smell of leaking gas is ominous.

It’s at this point that a car above you screeches to a halt, a man jumps out and runs down to your car and yells through your shattered window, “Can I help?”

What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is to ask if the man is an atheist or a Muslim? But what if your rescuer had yelled through the window instead, “Hello. I’m a homosexual. How can I help?” Would it make it any difference at that point what the man was? He could be an alien with three heads, or the bully you hated most in school, or the person you dreaded most having to accept help from, like a woman, or a Catholic, or a witch, but at that moment the only thing that counts is the presence of a fellow human being who can get you out of the car before it blows up.

Suddenly, in a crisis when you desperately need help, all differences evaporate. It’s the same when surgery is the only thing that will save your life, and the surgeon is black, or a woman, or his voice is effeminate, or she’s wearing a hijab. Do you scream at that moment that you don’t want such a person touching you, and the only surgeon you’ll accept must be white, male and Christian?

From the surgeon’s point of view too, what if he, or she, has never liked Christians and refuses to operate? But the saving of a life changes all that, doesn’t it? It doesn’t matter who or what the person is. There may be a moment of hesitation as prejudices press for expression, but who yells through the shattered window of a car to a helplessly trapped person inside as gas is leaking, “I have a list of questions I need to ask you first: Number One, are you homophobic? Number Two, what do you think of Muslims? Number three…..”

To Jesus it didn’t matter who or what any human was when he died on the cross. Saving lives was all he cared about, and it removed all hateful feelings and prejudices. It’s interesting, then, that he encouraged us to love people as he loves them (John 13:34).

Jesus’ response to homosexuality and same-sex marriage?

A group of ministers from several denominations met to discuss the pros and cons of same-sex marriage. Half of those present condemned same-sex marriage on moral grounds, but the other half condoned it on compassionate grounds. There was no meeting of minds; it was either condone or condemn.

But Jesus neither condoned nor condemned when faced with a woman caught in adultery. He said: “I don’t condemn you, but go and sin no more.” He had enormous compassion for the predicaments we humans get ourselves into, but he wasn’t soft on sin either. In the meeting of ministers, however, it was like hearing one half of Jesus’ statement, “I don’t condemn you,” from one half of the room, and the other half of Jesus’ statement, “go and sin no more,” from the other half of the room. No one put both Jesus’ statements together.

When homosexuals or same-sex couples want to attend a church, therefore, what response will they get? Or better put, what response should they get for that church to be an effective witness to Christ?

Well, based on how Jesus dealt with the lady caught in adultery, it’s a delicate balancing act between heartfelt feeling for human weakness and strong admonition to change one’s life for the better. Jesus didn’t say, “I don’t condemn you madam, please carry on sinning,” like some Christian churches that allow people to continue in their sin in church, but nor did he say, “You’re going to hell, lady, because of your sin,” like other Christian churches that don’t allow some types of sinner to enter the church at all. Jesus did neither; he neither condoned nor condemned.

Jesus showed us how broken human beings are healed and restored. It’s by a combination of compassion and a call to repentance. In combination they work wonderfully, but tip the balance too far either way and problems result. Lean too much toward compassion and a church can become soft on sin – and that’s no help to people when sin lies at the root of humanity’s problems. But lean too much toward morality and a church can become hard on sinners – and that’s no help either, when love lies at the root of humanity’s solutions.

I imagine Jesus’ first response to a homosexual or a same-sex couple wanting to attend church would be compassion, because these are hurting people who’ve been messed up by sin, just like everyone else. He would also let them know that they are entering the church to recover from sin, not continue in it.

Broken people need both compassion and a gutsy call to repentance. It’s both, not one or the other.