I was sitting at my computer, musing about the purpose of mankind. Musing is so much more satisfying than balancing the checkbook (yes, I still do that) or paying bills, but I digress. I cannot believe that an entire race, a race capable of space travel, is nothing more than a cosmic accident that evolved over the eons into the most destructive parasite on earth. No, we are beings created and designed for a reason.
How were we made? To be honest, the Bible really doesn’t give us the details. Were we simply spoken into existence? Did God literally take a handful of clay from the ground and mold it into a human being like a great spiritual sculptor? Was He the catalyst that sparked the primordial ooze into a living blob that slowly over the spans of time, developed into the human species, and all the other forms of life as well? Or are we the product of a biological interaction of a superior being? Based on what we actually know, any one of these scenarios is possible, and none of them diminish in any way the sovereignty of God. But none of them tell us why God created us.
To answer that question is to search for the very nature of God. Something that humans in their present state of development cannot fully comprehend. Was God lonely? Are we really nothing more than pets to Him? Was God bored, so he created a race of playthings? Creatures he could manipulate at whim? Is God a narcissist, so he made someone to feed His need for constant adulation? No, we are called the “children of God” for a reason. Please understand that I am not attempting to presume upon God in any way, but here are my thoughts on the subject.
In any loving functional family, parents do not choose to have children to fulfill selfish desires. It is not a need to have a child to “show off”, or to love us back, that compels us to procreate. It is a deep instinctive desire to pass on our values, our knowledge, and our genetic code, to another generation; in the hope that they can learn from our mistakes and make the world better than the generation before. Having children fulfills our need to love and nurture, and so it is with God.
God is an omniscient being, and it is my belief that God’s intention was to mold us, groom us and teach us so that he could some day share; when we as a race were ready; his infinite knowledge and wisdom with us. Just as any loving parent does not give an infant steak and lobster for dinner, or gives the car keys to a preschooler, the process of teaching was meant to be slow and thorough. By proving ourselves worthy with the little things, God would then trust us with the bigger things.
But Eve was impatient. In some families you have the obedient child. The one who does as he’s told, who pays attention to the teachings of his parents. This child is content with being given privileges equal to the responsibilities he takes on. This child has a special relationship to his parents because they can trust him. When he becomes an adult, they can send him out into the world with confidence. Then there is the headstrong child. Ready or not, this child wants the privileges and wants them now. Too stubborn to listen to the wisdom of his parents, he wants the short-cuts and will turn to those who can provide them. He is a source of anxiety to his parents and is not close to them. As an adult, this child is frequently in financial or moral trouble and turns to his parents for a solution. Eve was this kind of child
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, was not literally a tree, and she did not literally take a bite of a piece of fruit. Through the wily machinations of Satan, Eve became privy to a secret she was not ready to know. A secret she shared with Adam, and betrayed the trust of God. The acquisition of this knowledge, gained through disobedience, was the original sin. This knowledge, obtained without the wisdom to know how to handle it, is the basis for all of our ethical struggles. It is why there is such animosity between the spiritual and the scientific. God did not intend for it to be this way.
The human mind is a powerful and wonderful thing. The technologies that we have developed, the scientific breakthroughs are not inherently evil things. God wants us to know these things. He wants us to use our minds to learn how the Universe works and how to cure disease. But because of Eve’s impertinence we push on gaining a wealth of knowledge, without the wisdom to know the unintended consequences. God wanted us to know how to use the resources of this earth without laying it to waste. He wanted us to know how to heal the human body without creating genetic monsters in the process. He wanted us to know how to harness the abundant energies of the Universe, without creating the means with which to destroy ourselves.
As Christians, we have to fight the temptation to regard science as an affront to God. Remember, it was God who gave us our minds, our capacity to learn and our hunger for knowledge. To use the Bible as our only source of knowledge is to limit our minds. “The Bible said it, I believe it, and that settles it” ; when we do not even fully understand and agree with what the Bible says; is the mantra of a closed mind and a decaying spirit. This attitude will turn us into illogical beings unfit to share the greater truths God wants to share with us when we are ready. For science to disregard the spiritual is to deny an entire aspect of our being. It is through the spirit that God teaches us the wisdom to know how to use our knowledge in ethical ways. It keeps our eyes on the right goal; a mature race, ready and worthy to share in God’s kingdom.
The human race is approaching the adolescence of its existence. We are becoming increasingly dependent on our own technology. We are arrogant and stubborn and too proud to admit to needing God’s wisdom. Maybe this is why the world seems to be such a hostile place now. Like a loving yet wise parent, God is letting us experience the consequences of our actions. It is my hope and prayer that the human race learns its lesson. Before we wander so far from God, we can’t get back.