February 27

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” vss. 4-5

The ancient Hebrews used this little story about the man and woman in the Garden of Eden to share some great insights about the nature of good and evil. Unfortunately the story has been used through the centuries to perpetuate some hurtful and dangerous notions about sin and the relationship between men and women. To this day some people believe that women are easily deceived and often use their wiles to tempt innocent men with forbidden fruit. As a result of such beliefs there’s a persistent misogyny that has been responsible for the marginalization and discounting of women on every level. On top of this, various theologians, using this passage as a proof-text, came up with some wrongheaded teachings connecting original sin and sexual desire. No wonder so many struggle with issues of sexuality–we’ve been taught for centuries that sex is dirty and that thoughts about sex are bound to be sinful. In reality this story has nothing to do with sex and it certainly doesn’t teach that women are inferior. It was meant to describe the continuing tendency of humans to think of themselves as divine and eliminate any need for God. It’s so hard for us to accept any limitations on our behaviors–we don’t like to worship anyone but ourselves–in our hearts we really would like to be gods! And that’s where sin begins!

Thought for the Day: Why is it hard for people to talk about sexual matters?

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