|Lecture 8 : [Human Fall 1] The Root of Sin|
|Date created : 2014-10-22/ Views : 1198|
Dr. Son, Dae Oh Divine Principle Lecture Series
Power Point Script by Tyler Hendricks: <ppt_lecture 8.ppt>
< Human Fall 1>
Note: the symbol “” indicates when an animation appears on the slide, in relation to the text.
The Root of Sin
Welcome back to our series on the Unification Principles. I’m your host, Dr. Tyler Hendricks.
What we have talked about thus far is God’s ideal, and it is very idealistic. But human beings live in a reality of grief and loneliness. Every day countless events which ought not to occur are occurring around us and we can easily witness others suffering due to such circumstances. We want to live a life where we receive plenty of good vitality elements and life elements, and lead a genuine life in this world and the next. But it is not so easy.
The daily news inundates us with stories of scams and brutal crimes, political corruption, and the suffering of dying patients. There are also many who suffer from physical handicaps, psychological problems and sexual perversions beyond their control, who then inflict suffering upon others. In our daily lives we are bound to experience the existence of evil.
In reality, humans possess an innate desire to choose good over evil. However, as we can see from St. Paul’s confession in Rom 7:22-23, all humans are swayed by the influence of some evil force beyond their control, so that they carry out the evil which their original mind rejects.
According to Christianity, the root of human suffering lies in the fall of Adam and Eve, the progenitors of all humanity. According to Buddhism, all people inherently possess a “Buddha-nature,” though they often fall into despair and suffering due to ignorance and attachment. Concerning this state of human affairs, Xunzi (Augustine) insisted that humans were born inherently evil, whereas Mencius (Rousseau) argued that humans are born good and only become evil when seduced by external influences.
The reason humans have yet to eliminate the existence of evil and subdue its influence lies in the fact that they have yet to comprehend the identity of
the subject partner of evil, which is Satan, and the manner by which he came to assume this position. Thus, it is necessary for us to first uncover
the motivation and path by which Satan became, as his title implies, “the adversary,” thereby opening the path for humanity to finally eradicate evil and create a new history of goodness.
The Divine Principle deals with this subject in the section entitled “The Human Fall”. Let us first investigate the source of human suffering, “The Root of Evil”.
In Gen 2, the Bible records an account of the fall. Gen 2:17 states, “But of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil though shall not partake. For in the day that you do you shall surely die” and explains that
the breaking of this commandment and partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the root of all evil.
Some have ventured to interpret this fruit to be of a literal variety, perhaps an apple or peach. Could this actually be the case?
What reason would the Parent of humanity, God, have to create such an enticing but deadly piece of fruit?
Jesus professed that food alone does not make a person unclean (Matt 15:11).
Also, it is impossible for the effect of literal fruit to be passed on and inherited, generation after generation.
If we intend to clearly understand the nature of this “fruit” then we must first understand the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, there are only two references in the Bible to this tree, Gen 2, verses 9 and 17. Thus, we will discover the significance of its fruit by comparison
with its counterpart, the tree of life.
References to the tree of life are found throughout the Bible.
From Prov 13:12 we can deduce that the Old Testament Israelites desired to attain this Tree of Life.
From Rev 22:14 we can further deduce that attaining to the Tree of Life remained the desire of those living even after the time of Christ.
Since the ultimate desire of fallen man is to attain to the Tree of Life, we can also assume that
this must have been Adam’s desire as well, even before the fall.
Gen 3:24 reveals that after the Fall, God placed a pair of cherubim with flaming swords to guard the way to the Tree of Life. Thus, we can deduce that Adam’s desire before the fall was to attain to the Tree of Life.
So what must have been the desire of immature Adam?
It was assuredly to become a complete man having achieved
God’s ideal of creation.
Thus, the Tree of Life represents a man who has achieved the purpose of creation.
Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which resided at the center of the Garden of Eden along with the Tree of Life,
must represent a completed woman, namely Eve.
Consequently, the “fruit” of that tree
represented Eve’s fruit, namely Eve’s love.
Eve, according to the nature of her love, possessed the potential to bring forth either good or
bad fruit, and so the tree was referred to as “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
Therefore, the fact that they partook of the fruit is a coded reference to
the consummation of a love relationship. However, the reason this was considered sinful was due to the fact that
it was a love relationship that God had not sanctioned.
It signifies that Eve consummated a love relationship with Satan, represented as a serpent.
Then, what is the exact identity of this serpent who became Satan?
According to the Bible, this serpent could converse with human beings.
He knew the express command of God against partaking of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Rev 12:9 reveals that his abode was once Heaven.
He also possesses the ability to transcend time and space in order to dominate the human spirit. What sort of being could possibly possess such characteristics? Besides God, Adam, and Eve, what being stood in such a position?
There are no beings like this other than the angels.
2 Peter 2:4 reveals that the identity of this serpent who ensnared humanity in sin is none other than an angel.
In particular, Jude verses 6 and 7 reveal that the angels fell due to fornication. “And the angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”
Fornication is an act that cannot be committed alone. Then who was the angel’s object partner of fornication?
Gen 2:25 tells us that before the fall,
Adam and Eve were “naked and unashamed.”
However, Gen 3:7 reveals that after partaking of the fruit they felt great shame and covered their lower parts with fig leaves. This fact indicates that their lower parts were the objects of their shame.
Job 31:33-34 leads us to infer that their lower parts were sinful. In other words, they sinned with their lower parts.
Due to the first human ancestors’ fornication with the angel, all humanity is born to Satan’s lineage.
In Matt 3:7 John the Baptist reproached the people, referring to them as a “brood of vipers,” that is children of Satan.
Likewise in Matt 23:33 Jesus rebuked the people, saying, “You serpents, you generation of vipers”.
Why then must the fall be of a sexual nature?
Typically in Christianity, the fall (Gen 3:5) is interpreted as the result of man’s ambition and disobedience in seeking to become like God. However, when viewing the Bible as a whole, it is apparent that the fall must in fact be of a sexual nature.
The story of the fall as recorded in the Bible in Gen 2:4~3:24 is said to belong to the J (Yahwist) tradition (931 BC~). The author was most likely a prophet during the reign of King Solomon (972-932 B.C.).
At the time, Solomon utilized the geopolitical position of Israel as a trading hub to accumulate vast wealth. In order to avoid war and stabilize the government, he engaged in a foreign policy of contractual marriages with the relatives of foreign regents.
For this purpose, Solomon managed to obtain, in addition to his official wife (pharaoh’s daughter), a harem of 700 consorts and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:1-13).
Solomon went on to embrace the various idols that these 1,000 wives brought with them from their own cultures and even built altars for them where they could burn incense and make offerings to these idols.
Thus, the nation of Israel, which had foresworn to attend YHWH alone, soon became a religious hodgepodge.
Fertility cults worshipping Ashera or Anat, the goddess of sex and fertility, soon became prevalent. Fertility cults conducted fertility rites in which the high priest would engage in sex with a temple prostitute to represent sexual unity with the deity.
Particularly in the near-east, people began to revere the snake as a symbol of sexual pleasure, health, knowledge and fertility. Many Israelites as well abandoned their commitment to YHWH and began to revere such deities, thereby falling into sexual promiscuity.
So, it appears that the Yahwist author intended to reveal that the serpent which many had come to revere was not in fact a deity of grace, but a seducer and a deceiver; that this sexual deity, the serpent, was the one who brought about the human fall, causing Adam and Eve to commit the original sin and be expelled from the garden.
We should come away from this with the assured knowledge that the origin of human suffering and the root of sin is none other than the sexual transgression of our first ancestors Adam and Eve.
In our next session we will explore in greater depth the motivation and process of the fall. This will reveal how the fall works in our lives and our society, and how we can reverse it and free ourselves from it. I look forward to sharing it with you.