The righteousness you seek
Is the very hell you’re running from
The secrets that you keep
Are not the things that you’ve become
Story 2: An Evolved Idea
Everything was as it should be… at least that’s how it’s remembered. The ecosystem there was a thing of beauty. Humans fit in just like all other animals, plants, and bacteria.
There was no sense of death. Sure things died, and you tried to avoid it. But death wasn’t evil… yet.
Humans walked with the Divine in such communion that from the outside one would wonder if they had any sense of a separate divine being.
For some time, many humans had begun to think some things were good and some things were evil.
They didn’t really do anything about it. They’d say it was for the Divine to decide… but the fact that they identified a separate divine being showed there was a growing separation.
Then it happened. One day Tul the Caveman heard someone speak up. This person called for justice, said there was evil that must be stopped, and he pointed out three men. Tul and the group wildly supported this leader and the Cult of the Serpent was formed. The Cult of the Serpent then killed these three men.
Death was now evil. …and for the first time everyone sensed death.
Everyone had already died in this sense when they’d first tasted the fruit of knowing good and evil, but now it was apparent to everyone.
They all started grabbing leaves and decorating themselves. No one wanted to admit they were trying to cover up, but Tul felt better with the leaves on.
But this was just the beginning. A blood bath broke out. One person would kill another over any slight, and they in turn might be killed by someone close to the original victim. The original leader was killed, then the one who killed him was killed.
By the grace of God, one leader called a meeting. Tul listened intently as the leader laid out laws and a sacrificial system. This help stem the bloodshed a little. The people then began to wear the skins of the animals that were sacrificed.
Righteousness and power went hand in hand. A plethora of gods were sought in hopes of gaining that power. Women, for lack of power became less than righteous and therefore less than human. Tribes were thought more righteous if they defeated other tribes. It became a game of who’s tribe is what and who’s in and who’s out.
Some men became righteous because of their power. Others gained power because of their righteousness.
Tul was not a powerful man. He was weak. But, what he had he shared, and he was respected for this. Many even thought he had a connection with the Divine. This was rare by this time, and it may have been true.
But the leaders of the tribe weren’t so sure. Tul wasn’t helpful to their power. And Tul wasn’t so sure either. He looked at the laws people had made up. Then he looked at himself. He judged himself less good than other people judged him.
So, Tul vowed to try harder. He started using his own shame, weakness, and confessions as signs of righteousness. He worked really hard to make himself righteous and taught others to do the same.
He rose in the esteem of the leaders and people. He did everything right that he possibly could. He worship the right God, in the right way, on the right day… and in the end he felt exhausted.
…but the people and their leaders wanted the most righteous to represent them before God, so they made Tul the high priest over the tribe of Cain.
About the Story
I tried to introduce this story in part 1. This story didn’t happen. I made it up. But hopefully you can start to see the fruit of knowing good and evil in it. This fruit includes religion, sexism, might makes right, revenge, judgment, and the plethora of gods, idol worship, and sacrifices that will be instrumental in understanding the rest of the Biblical narrative.
The Science Teacher Story Part 2
I had confronted my 8th grade science teacher with all the power I could muster. He was teaching evolution. That was evil. He told me we’d talk after class. After class I tried to pick a fight. I tried to discredit, disprove, and even illegitimize his faith. He had told me he was Methodist. I told him he didn’t believe the Bible…
The thing that haunted me long after that conversation was this: He showed the Fruit of the Spirit. He was patient, kind, gentle, and full of self control. While I, on the other hand, showed a different kind of fruit. I knew good and evil, right and wrong… but he showed love. I couldn’t have explained it at the time, but now… I’m grateful.