At the center of the garden in Genesis was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was the tree that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from. There is so, so much significance to this! The location of the tree, the name of it, the prohibition to eat from it....all carry signiificance.
I am currently reading a book entitled "Repenting of Religion" by Greg Boyd. Loving it. Almost always love Boyd's stuff. In it, he is opening my eyes to some new things. I want to share a few nuggets with you:
- We were never intended to be judges, only lovers. Givers and recievers of the lavish and unmatchable love of God. We were not even intended to have the "knowledge of good and evil"-- because with it, we die by it. And the knowledge of good is every bit as bad as the knowledge of evil. Boyd says this: "We are not satisfied being God-like in our cpacity to love; we also want to become God-like in our cpacity to judge, which is how the serpent tempts us. But in aspiring towards the latter, we lose our capacity for the former, for unlike God, we cannot judge and love at the same time."
- Our obsesison with our righteousness misses the point. This is when good becomes bad. The goal of the gospel has never been to get your bad behavior to turn good. It is rather about recieving the love of Jesus, the righteousness of JESUS (not you), and living into his righteiousness. "God is not first and foremost interested in acquiring a people who believe all the right things and act all the right ways. God's first concern, and really his only concern, is to have a people who are united with him in love."
- How we treat overweight people in the church versus how we treat homosexuals in the church is a great example of our tendency to live with the knowledge of good and evil at the center--instead of the tree of life. Boyd says: "The sins a particular religous community is good at avoiding tend to be the ones identified as most important to avoid in the mind of that community, while the sins a community is not good at avoiding seem to be minimized or ignored altogether- regardless of what emphasis the Bible has put on those sins."
There is so much more profound stuff to push out. But the bottom lins is this:
When we live our lives with our eyes and hearts focussed on the "good and evil" of ourselves and others, we are religious and majorly missing the point of God's plan for us...we are not recieving Christ love and we certainly are not carrying it to others.
Your journey with Jesus has nothing to do with your righteousness and everything to do with HIS! That is the genius of God's brilliant plan!
Our righteousness is as filthy rags. Isa. 64:6