Everybody likes to say that Eden before the fall was perfect. Adam and Eve could not sin because they did not know of good and evil. I disagree. Adam and Eve could do evil things in their innocence of good and evil. So sin was possible. God made us with free will. We have the free will to use a baseball bat to play a game. We can use that same baseball bat to kill someone. Today we know which is good and which is evil. Back then, maybe not so much.
God made Adam in His own image. In his own image, he made him. One thing was missing, though–knowledge of good and evil. God thought this was a good thing because it insulated Adam from some of the consequences of his behavior. If Adam didn’t know he’d done a bad thing then was it really a bad thing he’d done? Yes. Knowing or not knowing doesn’t change the impact of our behavior. You shit in the nest every morning. You make a new nest somewhere else every day–because you shit in the nest every morning. Shitting the nest is still bad even though you think it’s fine, Adam.
So there was Lilith. Jews and Christians don’t acknowledge Lilith as part of the canon in the Torah or the Old Testament. She’s a shunned folk tale from Hebrew literature circa 3BC. Lilith, the tale says, was made from the same soil as Adam and was his first wife. She claimed equal status with Adam and would not subjugate herself to him. The fight got so bad she threatened to kill all of Adam’s offspring. Angels intervened and got her to agree to only curse Adam’s children and flee Eden as an owl.
Lilith predates Eve. She was made of the same soil as Adam. Lilith also predates the story of the fall. So Lilith could not know that she was doing anything wrong. She just knew that Adam was an asshole for saying that she was subjugated to him. She also knew that they were homeless because as soon as she left the nest to go wash up that motherfucker shit the nest.
God was Lilith’s father. I can’t take God’s name in vane. It’s enough to say that Lilith’s curses for her father can’t be spoken. Here is God’s problem. Lilith and Adam have done bad things they don’t know are bad. God made them in his image except for knowledge of good and evil and immortality. This was done to protect Lilith and Adam from sin. That went well.
Divorce was not a thing in Eden. Without Lilith, there would never be more than two people made in God’s image. Lilith’s fury over being forced to surrender Adam was so great the only answer was to let her escape Eden never to return. That’s a problem.
So . . . Eve, who God made from Adam’s rib. She’s not got it much easier. Adam still shits the nest and treats her like a pet cat. For more on this, you can read, “It’s Eve’s Fault” Also check out “Adam’s Defense“. The serpent says she has a better shot at getting him to come correct if he ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The same tree Adam says God told him not to eat any of its fruit. Life for Eve as it was or risk death? Eve got there, got where death started to sound like a plan.
Eve didn’t die. God banished them from Eden. Survival meant hunting and farming. It was a hard life but a good life and they had two sons, Cain and Abel. Things worked out.
And there is your metaphor for utopian societies. People know of good and evil and still, do bad shit. Protesters are shocked that their tantrum hasn’t stopped evil in the world. As they screamed and rioted and looted and burned buildings a cop shot Rayshawn Brooks. Shit happens and somehow that’s something that can be changed, must be changed.
The Free Will Problem
This is the problem for BLM and AntiFa. Both of these have a free will problem. To accomplish their goals free will has to be abolished. It can’t happen. They want something even God couldn’t get—perfect obedience and perfect free will.
Perfect obedience is on a sliding scale with perfect free will. To have perfect obedience free will has to be eliminated. To have perfect free will you have to risk losing perfect obedience. Further, even if you achieve a nation with the objective of achieving perfect obedience there is always that small minority that fucks things up. That annoying little bunch does bad shit in spite of all that is done to get them to comply.
Eden before the fall was destined to fail. Lilith saw it. She fought with God and Adam to keep her equal footing and lost. Eve saw it too but took a different path for her fight. She chose to defy God and disrupt an untenable situation. She lost Eden and gained a family farm.
Plus One Murdered Black Man
So . . . George Floyd and Rayshawn Brooks are tragedies. It should not happen but it did. We are right to mourn their deaths and ask for better behavior from our cops. I don’t have a problem there.
My problem is with some of the Shining Path folk who want a pre-fall world. They don’t like it that we know of good and evil and still do bad shit. The standard they set is of a utopia where people would always make a perfect choice. That perfect choice is the one they feel is the right choice in hindsight. The choice their god would make in a pre-fall Eden.
In the case of Rayshawn, we have an encounter with the cops that went south. The mistake I see is continuing the fight as Rayshawn fled. It’s so hard in the heat of that fight/flee response to shut it down. We pay cops to fight when needed. So it’s what we want them to do when forced into a hands-on encounter with a suspect. Rayshawn was fighting to flee from the two cops that had detained him. Three men dealing with a bad fight gone south.
More Than Three Lives Changed
So now one man is dead and two men are accused of murder. The Shining Path folk are mad that all their violence and crime didn’t achieve the objective. Another black man dead at the hands of a white cop.
We live in a broken world. Nobody knows when the end times will come and Jesus restores the kingdom. Until then it’s more shitshow. Another black man will die at the hands of a white cop. I can’t predict where and when, just that with such a large and old empire the numbers on the side of it happening again.
We can’t riot and loot our way out of this. The only other escalation is war. Even then the survivors have to figure out how to carry on. So . . . sorry, but the only answer left is compassion. Forgiveness gives us the peace we’ll need the next time we lose another black brother at the hands of a white cop. Riots and the Shining Path can’t do what God does through grace.