Why Genesis 1:28 Doesn't Apply
I’ve noticed that otherwise well-meaning people who are aware of and outspoken about these problems our world is facing have a habit of blaming the Christian creation story as the root cause of our issues. As a Christian who seems to think more unconventionally, I feel I should say something about this and explain my understanding of it.
It is the typical Biblical creation story. Genesis 1:28. "And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”"
This is exactly the beginning of the narrative that dominates our lives today and destroys the planet. This has been the going narrative since the Fertile Crescent. This narrative has been propagated by Christians wherever they have spread throughout history and has infected us deeply. You can see that some cultures rejected it, particularly indigenous people of other lands (one example close to home being the 'american indian' indigenous peoples of this continent).
My explanation regarding this story is that this particular command to subdue the earth and hold dominion over it was not given to us - it was given to Adam and Eve. The point that we absolutely must interject here is that this was given to perfect beings. Adam and Eve, as perfect beings, were given this command by God. Everything would have worked out fine to give a command in this kind of language to perfect beings because their pure nature would have absolutely prevented them from doing any harm to the Garden. Remember that the Garden was a perfect creation. It was untouched by sin.
The fatal flaw that everyone seems to have made is that they have thought that this command to subdue the earth and hold dominion over it applies to us. It does not apply to us. It does not apply to fallen man. This is why, after the Fall, the Bible talks repeatedly about good stewardship of the land. The entire paradigm changes. But yet we have continued this narrative that we are special and that dominating the land around us is our sacred right and that we will be immune from any negative consequences from dominating the land into submission. Negative consequences do occur now though, after the Fall. Before the Fall, no negative consequences to the Garden could have happened.
This is the best explanation I've ever come up with to relate how and why this narrative has become so endemic in our thinking - and why it is wrong and based on such a false premise. The real root cause of our issues is always false premises.
4/12/2018 12:44:27 pm
I have two thoughts on this. "Subdue", doesn't necessarily mean "completely destroy". If a population of animals has grown too large and is doing damage to the ecosystem, you might subdue it by killing the excess in one way or another, perhaps by introducing a predator, as has sometimes been successfully done. You don't necessarily have to completely destroy the species. And I think it is obvious that we need to subdue ourselves with regard to this. That looks to me to be deeply involved with what Jesus was saying, as well. We weren't counting what we had and living within it. There was, and is, a powerful force of denial of the need for that in most people. And he wasn't seeing this as a good thing. "Blessed are the poor in spirit" "Blessed are the meek". " Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness" Second, Jesus rejected some parts of Jewish law in the Old Testament. He rejected the idea of "an eye for an eye", for example. He felt what we call "the golden rule", should replace that. He didn't see previous human thinking about right and wrong as beyond criticism. So saying that the Old Testament is Christian, is missing this criticism of it.
12/28/2018 12:58:37 am
Oh dear, David. None of that nonsense is relevant to anything at all. Take it for store of folk wisdom that it is and bin the supernatural shit.
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