The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Eve, and then Adam, committed relational infidelity against God when they asserted their autonomy and deified their desire. They decided they could and would act independently of Gods’ loving will for them and pursue their own agenda.
That in a nutshell, is the history of sin.
After the earth had been washed from wickedness and rebellion (Genesis 6:5-7), God told Noah and his sons to, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (9:1). At Babel, the people rebelled against this commission. They said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (11:4). They asserted their autonomy and deified their desire.
It explains all of the madness and chaos of the 21st century in a way the writer of Ecclesiastes would appreciate in that “there is nothing new under the soon” (1:9). He’s right. The sexual brokenness that we’re witnessing through sex outside of marriage, adultery, same gender unions, the attempt to gender transition, abortion, sex substitutes (i.e., pornography), are all just people in essence saying to God, “We choose to act independently of Your loving will for our lives and pursue what we want.” It is the spiritual revolt of the modern age.
They speak of their freedoms, their rights, and how they want what they want on demand –as if they are all little lords of their own universe and owe their existence and blessings to no one but themselves. I’ve heard it referred to as expressive individualism and like the people at Babel, we are definitely making a name for ourselves.
Because many have been shaped and formed by what is wrong, they speak of evil as good and good as evil. They don’t know any better and the echo chambers they exist in don’t allow for debate or questioning. This leaves them “free” to say incredulous things. One abortion protestor spoke of her abortion as the “best choice” she ever made. Representative Cori Bush said, “most abortions are an act of love.” You’re not free to think otherwise. Entertainers at the Glastonbury Festival led the crowd in chanting, “We hate you!”to the five Supreme Court justices responsible for overturning Roe. v. Wade. (Nothing quite like a music festival with peace, love, rock ‘n roll and a side dish of hatred for those who don’t see things the way we do, is there?).
Once again, in all of this people are asserting their autonomy and deifying their desires. I offer these words to help disciples make sense of the vitriol they now see and hear. To understand it is nothing new, it is fueled largely by ignorance, and we need to love them and work for their forgiveness. For our Lord, Jesus, faced all of this quite pointedly and personally at the cross. His prayer there to God was, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” (Luke 23:34).
That is a great place for us to start.