In the last chapter we explored the goodness of God’s creation and how he intended human civilisation to develop. But that is not how the Bible story continues. Something went wrong. In this session we are going to think about what has gone wrong with the world and how that has affected humanity’s relationship to heaven and earth.
One of the questions every religion and world view must answer is, ‘What has gone wrong with the world?’
Drawing on the Genesis story, I suggest that the heart of what went wrong is a broken relationship; human beings rejected the trusting relationship with God that they were created to live within.
On p.50 I write that the result of throwing off the dimension of heaven is that ‘Humanity’s God-given dominion over the earth becomes selfish domination of the earth.’
On p.56 I discuss how humanity’s rejection of God introduced a dualism into the created order. Not a dualism between matter and spirit but a split in the human heart between desiring to ‘work with God to bring heaven to the whole earth or work against God to shape the earth to suit our own self-serving ends.’
In his book Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis says that being descended from Adam and Eve is ‘Both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth.’
In Mark 7:15-23 Jesus says,
“Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” He asked. Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Pray for God to give you the honesty to see areas in your own heart which are directed away from God’s good purposes for his creation and towards self-serving ends. Ask for God’s forgiveness and help to change.