Unless you have been living on a deserted island isolated from all contact with civilization, you must realize there is a lot of chaos going on throughout the world. The Church, politics, morality, social order, etc., all seem to be crazy (dare I say utterly insane?) at this moment in history. Good is bad and bad is good. People no longer talk things out but "cancel" each other. Lies have become tolerated and accepted, often without much needed critical thinking. Propaganda is rampant and good people wonder whom they should trust or believe.
Maybe we should return to reading the Sacred Scriptures for the guidance we need. Eternal biblical truths are available to us and we need to reflect on them and live by them. I suggest we begin with the book of Genesis. Remember when reading biblical texts, they are not meant to be scientific manuals, precise documentaries, or strict biographies. The bible is meant to convey truth concerning what we need to have eternal life. Sacred Scripture reveals God to us. The bible is a theological masterpiece.
So what are some of the basic truths found by reflecting on Genesis?
- God created. ("In the beginning, when God created . . . " Gen. 1:1) Absolutely everything has its origin in God. All creation was created ex nihilo, out of nothing. We are creatures, not God, subject to Divine Authority. We are not responsible for our own existence but are responsible for our eternal destiny by the choices we make.
- God created human beings in His image and likeness. ("God created mankind in his image . . . " Gen. 1:27) Human beings are endowed with intelligence and free will. We can think and make choices as God can. This elevates us above all other living, bodily creatures.
- God created them male and female. (". . . Male and female he created them . . ." Gen 1: 27) There are only two sexes by God's design. Human beings who try to determine they are something other than what they were created at conception are deceiving themselves. Cells throughout the entire body tell us scientifically if we are male or female.
- God told them to be fruitful and multiply. ("God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it." Gen. 1:28) We are meant to reproduce and create other humans with God's assistance—He infuses us with an eternal soul—by God's design. There is something unmistakably contrary to God's will with artificial contraception, deliberate sterilization, homosexual acts, masturbation, abortion, etc.
- Man has the capacity to sin by being disobedient to God. ("Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked . . ." Gen. 3:7) Eating the forbidden fruit is really about disobedience to God's command. Remember the first humans were given everything in the garden, and they still wanted more.
- Human beings can be deceived. (“'The woman whom you put here with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.' . . . The woman answered, 'The snake tricked me, so I ate it.'" Gen. 3: 12-13) The serpent tricked Eve who then convinced Adam of the lie. The devil hates humanity, tries to bring it down and would destroy us, if he could. He certainly wants our eternal loss. He lies and uses others to spread these lies. And we are all vulnerable.
- We are all going to die. ("But the snake said to the woman: 'You certainly will not die! . . . you will be like gods . . .'" Gen. 3:4-5) It was the serpent who told Eve that she would not die but be like gods. This was one of his many, many lies. We are all going to die as a result of sin and face God in judgment. Don't be deceived by thinking otherwise.
- The earth and all in it was meant for man and woman and not the other way around. ("Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth. God also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food . . ." Gen. 1: 28-29) Let us not forget to take care of our earthly home but also remember that human life takes priority over everything else. The earth was given to us but it is not an end in and of itself. Eventually the earth will cease while we go into eternity.
Fr. Ed Namiotka