Lies of the Culture
Lies constantly battle against Truth. In fact, it was one little lie that started this war. From this one little lie we create all the trouble in the world. That lie, "You will become like God, knowing good and evil" came to us in Eden. (Genesis 3:5). The implication here is that the temptation was for Adam and Eve to place themselves as the arbiter of what is right and wrong, to become their own gods. God said to them "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the 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).
The Serpent’s strategy was to create doubt in the minds of Adam and Eve about what God had said. "Did God actually say…?" (Genesis 3:1). Adam and Eve did not have a firm grasp of what God had said as evidenced by Eve answering the Serpent about the Tree of Knowledge that God said "…neither shall you touch it, lest you die." (Genesis 3:3). God never said "neither shall you touch it." Unsure of what God had said they began to doubt.
They looked lustfully after the fruit and decided what was best for them. They made excuses for their disobedience. The tree was good for food. Food is good. "We need to eat, right?" The fruit was pleasing to the eyes. "Certainly, we were meant to have beautiful things that make us happy. God wants me to be happy after all. Wisdom is a desirable trait. It’s not good for someone to deny us wisdom. Why would God do that? Surely he did not say for us not to eat of that tree."
They asked "Did God really say…?" and answered that he did not. From that one lie, Adam and Eve fell into idolatry, making themselves into gods. And when sin is finished, it brings forth death. (James 1:15). But, sadly, Adam and Eve believed another of the Serpent’s lies "You shall not surely die." God had said "for in the day that you eat of the fruit thereof you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:17)(emphasis added). While in law school I had a professor, who was a linguist of ancient languages. In fact, he is the only person I know who can watch The Passion of the Christ and not need the English subtitles for the spoken Latin and Aramaic in the movie. Dr. Kickasola told our Biblical Law class that the literal translation of the Hebrew idiom that the King James Version scholars rendered as "you shall surely die" is "dying you shall die." In the Hebrew phrase we find the imperfect form of the Hebrew verb (you shall die) with the infinitive absolute form of the same verb (dying). This literal translation of the Hebrew ("dying you shall die) gives a better picture of what occurred. There was an immediate spiritual death ("dying…") which resulted in a separation from God. But the implication of the Hebrew is also a physical death ("you shall die"). Essentially the verse means that once dead spiritually, you will continue to die physically until you are dead.
Like this lie—that we can be our own gods—that brought the war on creation, there are little lies that destroy our culture. These lies include such supposed wisdom as "You can't respect others if you don't respect yourself," "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," and "Rules were made to be broken." They are subtle and sound good, but when actually lived out wreak havoc on society