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Humanity

I was at a bible study last night. Mostly listening to the conversation happening around me, trying to feel the flow and the truth, learning something from my brothers rather than trying to present articulately the view of reality that I believe Scripture outlines. We talked about the problem of evil in the world too, and for those that know me know I’ve got some thoughts on that. Anyway, a friend said something that made me think a lot. He was talking about the fall of man and how the order of creation became such a mess and said, “for our humanity we were cast out.”

Interesting idea. I understand it. As a human, I look at you and realize you’re not very good at doing what is right and, in fact, there’s a lot of evil in you. I look at me, and I see the same thing. Everyone has this serious problem of being selfish and sinful beings. That’s the boat we’re all in, right? That’s humanity. That’s part of what it means to be human, we sin. Because of our humanity, sin is inevitable.

At least, that’s how the idea runs in my head. But lurking behind this concept of humanity is something dark and nasty. I want to blame something other than my own sinful heart for the mess I’m in. I want to blame something I can’t control. Something that isn’t my fault. I want to blame the simple fact that I’m a human and that’s how humans are. I want to blame my sin, at least in part, on the nature of humanity and the inevitability of my being a human. I don’t want to take responsibility for my own life and life choices. The truth is, humanity was never what was wrong with us and was never the reason we were cast out.

We did not lose Eden because we were being too much like humans but because we were trying to become God. God created humanity and he made us good. Humanity is a beautiful, wonderful, and pure thing. It’s our God-complex is the problem. It’s when we try to ascend beyond our humanity that we become something less than human. That’s precisely what Adam and Eve did, trying to rid themselves of their need for God and so become gods themselves. Instead, they became less human and ashamed of themselves. They were cast out because they tried to replace God with themselves.

We can never be too human. True humanity is not something we have to struggle with but something we must strive for. True humanity is sinless for true humanity is always being human and therefore always lets God be God. True humanity is Christ Himself. His life is a perfect demonstration of what it means to be human. Jesus showed just how precious and beautiful true humanity is. But we… I have to stop trying to sit where God belongs and let the glory of true humanity drive me to impassioned and humble obedience.

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  1. schasta218
    April 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Wow – that’s crazy. I’ve often thought and re-thought about the story in the garden of eden. There’s so much wisdom hidden in that story.

    + The tree is called the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9) – Doesn’t that seem, in todays society, like a strange thing to avoid?
    + God’s response to Adam and Eve’s hiding is “Who told you that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11) – That seems like a strange response.
    + Yeah – wasn’t the desire to be “sinful” that made humanity fall, but the desire to be like God. It’s crazy to think about. Our christian society values intellectuality more than God ever did. God even seems to loath it in some ways. God chose Israel, a country that had been enslaved for over 200 years and was, needless to say, probably not the most educated society, to be his chosen people.

    I don’t know. I value intellectuality a lot, and it makes me sick when I actually think about it in this light. Maybe it’s different today than it was back then, and maybe the knowledge of good and evil is inevitable – and actually needed in the world we live in.

    I often view the human part of myself as bad and sinful, and view the god-complex side of myself as good. And that’s really messed up.

  1. January 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

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