The Ancient Lie of Eden Retold

February 20, 2017 by missionsandmysticism

“I have often loved darkness, observed lying vanities, forsaken thy given mercies,
trampled underfoot thy beloved Son, mocked thy Providences, flattered thee with my lips, broken thy covenant. 
It is of thy compassion that I am not consumed. Lead me to repentance, and save me from despair.  Let me come to thee renouncing, condemning and loathing myself, but hoping in the grace that flows even to the chief of sinners. 
At the cross may I contemplate the evil of sin, and abhor it, look on Him whom I pierced as one slain for me.  May I never despise His death by fearing for the efficacy for my salvation.  And whatever cross I am required to bear, let me see Him carrying a heavier…Thus may my soul rest in Thee, O immortal and transcendent One, revealed as thou art in the Person and work of thy Son, the Friend of Sinners.”
(Valley of Vision, pg 39)

This is a good, clear example of how the concept of our sin is downplayed and ignored by Seth Barnes, the visionary of Adventures in Missions.

“God had to call me out from the comfort of a world I could control before I could hear his call to walk in the mystery of sonship….I could have missed the plot and seen myself as a victim. But God was taking me through a process as old as mankind. It began with Adam being called out – out of the garden.”

 This would be laughable if it wasn’t so scary! Adam was not “called out” of the Garden to walk in the “mystery of sonship”. Seth is twisting Scripture. This lack of recognition of sin cannot equal saving faith. (John 1:8-10)
Adam was BANNED from the garden of Eden because of SIN and rebellion against the clear commandments of God. Adam was driven out, not called out!  Let’s look at Scripture since Seth did not share any to back up his interpretation.
“Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” Gen 3:22-24

 

In God’s great mercy, Adam did not physically die immediately (although he did ultimately), however he was banned from the Tree of Life.  This is God’s graciousness, preventing Adam from living physically in a corrupt body for all eternity.  Even before this  in Gen 3:15 Christ is promised to us as the One who would “bruise [Satan’s] head” defeating the curse incurred in the Garden. What a different story than Seth’s version.

“God’s love is a great comfort. But perhaps it’s not supposed to be as comforting as some would like to believe.  …God’s love is not a theological blanket that smothers everything else the Bible says about how He relates to us. That myopic, feel-good approach to God’s love often ignores its wider implications. Specifically, it overlooks the fact that God’s love carries an inherent condemnation.” “…there was a greater purpose behind God’s creative work. He did not create the world as the main attraction, but as the theater where His redemptive plan would take place and His love would be put on display. Even the corrupting blight of sin on God’s creation is integral to the display of His love:His redeeming love would forever remain hidden without sinners to redeem. source  source

One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of sin.

“Nevertheless, I (Jesus) tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;  concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:7-11

The Holy Spirit can not be at work in a place where there is no mention of sin.

To downplay sin is to downplay the need for the Cross,

“for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“But God demonstrates His love for us in this:  While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“…and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

“Repent then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out…” Acts 3:19

and is a lie as old as the Serpent himself,

“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Gen 3:13

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Cor 11:3

The rest of his post is just nonsense because he began with faulty theology. Seth continues,

“This tension begins with God the Father; it’s a gift that he gives to his children. God is an inside guy who lives in the wild places outside. Inside his kingdom is life everlasting. There’s a perpetual party going on just inside the gates.
 
He has extended us an invitation to join him inside. It’s a place of celebration and comfort (check out Matt. 22). We get to hang out with the poor in spirit there – those shunted to the side by a society that is moving too fast.”

Why is this so difficult to understand?   A good teacher of the Word of God makes it clear for everyone.  This is nonsensical.
Seth used one Scripture in this post.  Did he even use Matt 22 properly?
This passage is comforting to those who admit and acknowledge their sin and need for a Savior, but it is not good news for those who avoid repentance.  It is the parable of the wedding feast; a feast that will be for the redeemed.   The poor in spirit are those who are contrite over their sin and recognize their desperate need for a savior not those who are “shunted to the side by a society that is moving too fast.”

“And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. (The Jews) Again he sent other servants, (God’s patience and mercy) saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” ’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.  The king was angry, (the end of God’s patience to Jews who rejected His offer of salvation) and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. (judgment, AD 70 on Jerusalem) Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.(free offer of the Gospel to all Gentiles) And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. (Christ’s robe of righteousness, Is 61:10) And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. (no excuse) Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (hell) For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Rev 22:17)

  Spurgeon on Matt 22
“How many are willing enough to receive gospel blessings, but they are still at emnity with God and have no delight in the only Begotten Son. Such will dare to use the forms of godliness, and yet their hearts are full of rebellion against the Lord.  The wedding garment represents anything which is indispensable to a Christian, but which the unrenewed heart is not willing to accept, anything which the Lord ordains to be a necessary attendant of salvation, against which selfishness rebels…Have I anyone here in such a condition of heart, that while he has been sinning by making a false profession, and knows it, yet he sullenly refuses to confess his fault?
Yield thee, man! Yield at once.  Fall at the King’s feet at once. Even if you are not a hypocrite, if you have any suspicion that you are, fall down and say, “My King, make me sincere; I submit myself to thy will, and am ready to put on the wedding badge; if there is any method by which I can honour thy Son…let me wear His colours and be known by all men to be truly a lover of the Great Prince.”

 How does Seth’s post compare?
Young Racers, this organization is not offering you anything to save your soul much less those you will go to serve.  The Gospel is the best news!  Lay down the burden Seth is placing on you and take the easy yoke of Christ in His precious, complete and finished payment for your sin.  

 

 

 

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