Weird is the New Normal: Day One

Day One: Weird is the New Normal:  A Lenten Walk Through 40 Questions in Genesis

Weird – “of strange or extraordinary character.”
Normal – “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern”
  • Merriam Webster
Day One – “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?” – The Snake
 (Gen. 3: 1  CEB)
First off…THERE IS A TALKING SNAKE!!  Not weird at all, right?  We (most Christians) have understood this talking snake to be Satan (the adversary, the accuser).  What is the adversary up to here with his crafty self?  Satan is trying to introduce the first humans to doubt…the harmful kind of doubt…  “Did God really say that you can’t eat from any tree in the garden?”
Well…did God say that?  The short answer is, “No.”  God didn’t say they shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden.  See how sneaky old snake face is?  Just a grain of the truth can make us swallow a whole LIE.  The LIE is not the splitting of hairs of exactly what God said and didn’t say.  The LIE is to raise a doubt about Who God is.  Never doubt the goodness, redeeming, non-controlling love, and mercy of God!  That is Who God is – God’s character, out of which all of God’s good Creation came.
There are some things that we can (and must) doubt.  Doubt is not always bad.  In fact, in order to move from one stage of faith development to the next, we have to pass through doubt. (For more on this see Brian McLaren’s book, Faith After Doubt) But let’s not doubt Who God is.  God is redeeming, non-controlling love.  From Genesis to Revelation, the character of God is redeeming, non-controlling love.  The LIE is to think that God said, “Don’t eat from that tree,” because God was trying to withhold God’s goodness from Adam and Eve. To quote Romans 8:32,
He [God]who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
We may not fully understand theology or the Bible. We may doubt somebody’s interpretation of some Scripture, or our own interpretation for that matter.  (I always try to remember to be humble enough to say, “I could be wrong” on certain points of theology.)  But I stand with both feet on this:  God is redeeming, non-controlling love. The entire arc of Scripture, and Jesus (the Living Word), and the witness of the Holy Spirit in my heart tells me that! Even if I don’t understand the “why” of something God says, I can always trust the “Who.”  So, get behind me, snake face!
Reflection:  Is there a lie that you have believed that has hurt you or your relationship with God or your neighbor? 
Action:  In order to prevent truth decay, pass everything through the “Jesus filter.”  Jesus doesn’t just tell the truth – He is Truth. (John 14: 6) When you are tempted to say or do something today, ask, “Is this something Jesus would say or do?” 

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