"Creation and Morality" February 2, 2013
Genesis 2:16, 17; Genesis 1:26-28; James 3:9; Acts 17:26; Proverbs 14:31; Matthew 5:44-48; Revelation 20:11-13.
In our study this week we turn in our Bibles to find assistance with the word morality, the belief or recognition that certain behaviors are right or wrong, good or bad.
The Creator of the universe planted two extraordinary trees in the Garden of Eden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.1 God's first created beings were told they could eat the fruit of all garden trees except one. They were specifically instructed not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were also told the consequence if they disobeyed their Creator. They would die.2 Why would God create such a tree?
Fast forward to three big stories being reported on the Internet and in news media recently.
Famous cyclist Lance Armstrong was recently stripped of his seven Tour de France medals for his use of performance enhancing drugs and blood transfusions. Now he is accused of lying, not only for years to the Anti-doping Association and his fans but also to Oprah Winfrey during a televised interview.3
Notre Dame Football star Manti Te'o's online "girlfriend" turns out to be a man.4
Protests over government gun control have heightened in the weeks since innocent children and teens were shot while at school.
Writing in the Adventist Review, Attorney Nicholas P. Miller asks us to consider several moral issues in the context of religious liberty such as gambling, drug use, violence and sex in the media. He points to the states that have now legalized the use of marijuana and same-sex marriage. He brings to our attention The Affordable Care Act which mandates that religious institutions provide coverage for contraception, including abortifacients.5
With no forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil in our gardens and surrounded by immorality, we turn now to Scripture for the Biblical view of right and wrong.
Romans 8:5 and 6 is one of the many passages in the Bible given to guide us. "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."
We are indeed moral creatures created in the image of God. We must constantly be on our toes lest we suffer the consequence of eating forbidden fruit.
1. Genesis 2:9
2. Genesis 2: 16-17
3. ABC News
4. ABC News
5. Nicholas P Miller, JD, PH.d., Adventist Review , January 17, 2013.