A hammer to the thumb or a thumb in the eye, wrong is always bound to happen. Wrong is a normal way of life. Perhaps things going wrong in life is one of the most “normal” things. Have you ever known anyone who had nothing wrong happen in their life, or even attempted to argue otherwise? I think we can agree that wrong is regular and natural. But, I wonder, has wrong always been regular and natural, and will it always be these things?
When trying to answer questions, I try to reduce things to their fundamental elements in attempt to discover their essence, origin, meaning and significance. So, given this methodology and my beliefs, it is likely no surprise that my mind immediately gravitates to the story of Adam and Eve – human’s introduction to wrong. Namely sin and its consequences – the epicenter of all our definitions of wrong, however varied they may be. The Garden of Eden is ground zero for all the things we believe and say, “that’s not how it ought to be,” or the converse.
And then, as a discursionists, it is likely no surprise that I begin to wonder another thing… whether or not God granted free will to Adam and Eve. I actually think this is an important distinction to the main point of this discursion, which I will now introduce. Why do some people curse God when things go wrong? I suppose cursing something indicates that which we believe has responsibility. In essence, the word “responsibility” means the ability to respond. So, I suppose it could be somewhat natural for a person to curse God if they believe that God has the ability to respond. However, and all commandments against cursing God aside, I think such a person may be demonstrating not only a real volatile relationship with God, but also rather short-sighted theology.
If God granted Adam and Eve free will, and instructed Adam and Eve what not to do, then who is really responsible? The one who grants options and freedom of choice, or the one who chooses an unwise option? God entrusted Adam and Eve with great responsibility (along with free will), and at least with two distinct and important charges. First, God gave Adam and Eve the responsibility to “tend and keep” the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 2:15), which I would argue has as much spiritual implication as physical. Second, God said: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” – Genesis 2:16-17. In giving these commands, which appear to be interrelated, God made known to Adam and Eve their duties, the curse of death, the distinction between right and wrong, and the transfer, or perhaps better stated, the empowerment of responsibility. God gave Adam and Eve the responsibility to do right so that wrong would not be known on earth. Adam and Eve were the original human stewards (notice the interconnection of faith and works?).
Of course, one could still argue that God ought to be cursed when things go wrong because He enabled – because God made them, or because God gave them free will. My response would be to ask them if they would prefer not to have ever existed, or if they wish they had no choice to think or do what they please in life (I’m sure the Calvinists are chomping at the bit by now). And, of course, one could argue that God ought to be cursed because God could intervene as He, of all, has the ability to respond. But, that argument is diversionary and missing the point of stewardship and its implications.
The accounts in Genesis make it quite clear that Adam and Eve had knowledge of, so it would follow that they had a responsibility to care for that which was entrusted to them by God. Adam and Eve set aside their knowledge and in doing so didn’t take care of that which they ought. As a result, Adam and Eve are responsible for human wrong and all related consequences that disseminated the earth. So, let me propose that if you feel like cursing God, at least curse Adam and Eve instead, or better yet sin itself – that which is contrary to the nature of God, that which is wrong and that which is not how it ought to be.
*Origin of Discursion: Thinking about things that have recently gone wrong in my life and what I do to vent and make the most of things.