The Trial of Mr Adam
by Tim George
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The Trial of Mr. Adam
Though there were a number of side-bars in this trial, for sake of brevity and clarity, they have been incorporated into the cross examination of Mr. Adam by the prosecutor. This shall be considered the official court record in the case of the State vs. Adam (no last name). The sworn affidavit of God often referred to do is available for all who care to refer to it.
Adam:I do not find myself guilty of being a sinner. Is disobedience of any kind sin? Disobedience only to authorities? Disobedience only to God? In Genesis 22:2, God says to Abraham, "Take your son Isaac and offer him as a burnt offering" (trimmed) and in Genesis 22:9-10 Abraham prepares to do this very thing, only to be instructed by "the angel of the Lord" in verses 11-12 not to go through with it. Did Abraham disobey God? Jean Paul Sartre argues that Abraham listened to a lesser authority in Genesis 22:11-12 than the authority that spoke to him in Genesis 22:2, and that Abraham is therefore guilty of disobeying a higher authority and his action should have been seen as sinful instead of righteous.
Did Abraham disobey God? Or was the "angel of the Lord" also God? Or was the "angel of the Lord" a being God was speaking through? If so, does this matter as it contradicts the direct communication in Genesis 22:2 and Sartre is right again? If they were the same person, both God, does Abraham have to uphold the first command and the second, or does the second command override the first command upon being communicated? Can God be so contradictory as to request two different things in a matter of a few verses and if so, is the latter request always what determines obedience upon being introduced? Surely, assuming both times the commander was God, you agree that Abraham could not have upheld the first command while performing the second command or the second command while performing the first?
Abraham is "tested" in Genesis 22 and by all accounts of the text itself (and not an ethical evaluation such as conducted by Sartre), he passed this test. Sartre's interpretation was done to demonstrate the flawed nature of the Bible, which here is our evidence. So, I am assuming that we must agree to suspend any such notion of the evidence being flawed itself as it is the foundation of our trial. Agreeing on this doesn't mean Sartre's argument is invalid, but rather that he must have made an error in his argument. What error did he make? Answers to these questions will help us understand obedience in a context that will relate to Genesis 1-3, the key text of the evidence as it relates to 'my' trial.
Prosecution:The prosecution is well aware of Mr. Adamís proclivity toward rationalization and verbosity. Because of that, I will keep my opening short and allow the defendantís own responses formulate the decision of this esteemed jury.
This case will hinge on the answer to two important questions. First, can the words and intent of the sworn affidavit of our chief witness be trusted implicitly. Second, do any of us have the right to decide for ourselves what is in the mind of our chief witness?
Listen carefully, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. The answer by the defendant to those two questions will decide this case.
Prosecution: Mr. Adam, do you believe you sinned against God when you ate from a tree which He forbad you to eat?
Adam: How is it sinful or disobedient to point out that there isn't evidence in the Bible that I am a sinner? I am not claiming that I judge myself sinless, only that there is no evidence of my becoming a sinner.
Prosecutor: A simple yes or no will suffice.
Adam: It depends on what you mean by ďsinĒ.
Prosecutor: Youíve read the same sworn affidavit the court has. By its definition, did you sin?
Adam: In NIV, the reference in Romans 5 works toward the type or here, "pattern", of the one to come and works toward the all inclusiveness of death's reign to include all persons, even the innocent-Adam that didn't sin although he 'broke a command'.
Prosecutor: Isnít it good that the sworn affidavit we have is timeless, as is its author.
Adam: I object.
Judge: On what grounds?
Adam: The prosecutor knows full well my public opinions of time and God. Heís merely trying to influence the jury with information that has nothing to do with this case.
Judge: Sustained. Mr. Prosecutor, you will keep your questions on track from now on.
Prosecutor: Yes your honor. So, to rephrase, you assert you didnít sin but merely broke a command. Is that correct?
Prosecutor: Donít the actions of God toward you after your sin, Iím sorry, your disobedience indicate, He considered what you to be a sin? After all, God doesnít curse non-sinners does he?
Adam: Didn't God curse Jesus? He who hangs on a cross is cursed, right? So, it appears that 'Yes' is the answer to your question. Also, if youíll refer to the affidavit (Genesis 3 I believe) you'll notice that I am not cursed, rather creation around me is cursed. I suffer the consequence of living in that environment now and having to deal with it, but you know what they say about good deeds, right? So, I wasn't cursed in the first place and God does subject non-sinners to curses. Remember what He did to Jesus.
Prosecutor: So, Adam, you would compare yourself to Christ?
Adam: That was done by Paul. I am merely putting
forth his argument.
Prosecutor: Iím so glad you introduced evidence that you did not have access to at the time of your ďdisobedience.Ē The affidavit never says that Christ sinned. It says he became sin and died as a result. You cannot compare yourself to Christ because the very text you have alluded to in sworn depositions (Romans 5) doesnít compare you to Christ; it contrasts the two of you.
Adam: Thatís not what I said.
Judge: Mr. Adam, you will only speak when questioned. Do you understand?
Adam: But Jean Paul Sarte said Ö
Judge: Mr. Adam. You will follow the established rules of this court. If you want to pontificate, you will have all the time your desire in your closing statement. For now, you will respond to direct questions with direct answers. Is that understood?
Adam: Yes your honor.
Prosecutor: Am I correct to understand from your sworn statement that the crux of your defense is that you were given two commands that, at least in your mind, contradicted each other? Could you explain that to the court?
Adam: I was given several commands. First: I was told to ďbe fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, have dominion over other creatures... and use the plants and trees for food" I know there are some that think that command was given to what they call ďThe OthersĒ but it was made to me. I remember it well. Second: I was commanded not to eat from that infamous tree. Third: I was told to ďleave my father and mother, cleave to my wife, and become one flesh with her.Ē
I mean, what flesh would I exist in without Eve, as she had become a sinner? Should I not hold fast to her, even in disobedience? I too was given two commands. I obeyed the first. Then, based on the action of another, I could not uphold both, so I chose the latter as it specifically mentions "leaving father and mother" - so I did not sin by disobeying the command of Gen 2:17. I obeyed the commands given to me. I did disobey the initial command and there were consequences to this action. That's what happens.
If a man and woman are staying close to the beach to avoid the riptide and the woman chooses to play with danger to see if she can handle the danger and is sucked underwater, should the man leave her to drown for he was told (by his father) not to go beyond the safety line? Shall he judge her and leave her if his father also told him to hold fast to her? Which of the two commands from his father should he listen to? Does not the latter allow one to love their neighbor whereas the former only judges one's neighbor? Isn't this precisely what Jesus told those who called him a sinner when he healed a man on the Sabbath? Was Jesus a sinner for this, or did he transgress a command and yet not sin?
Prosecutor: Your point about Jesus and the Sabbath is totally irrelevant. Jesus broke no God given command when He healed a man on the Sabbath. He merely ignored man-made rules that he knew were invalid.
As to your dilemma with Eve Ö you have successfully explained your actions and I admit that I may have done exactly as you in such a situation. However it does not remove the fact of disobedience. God did not command you to eat fruit. You chose your mate over your God/Father. Once again I cannot say that I would not have done likewise. However it does not remove your culpability.
So back to your original statement concerning being caught between two commandments. Your analogy doesnít wash. God did not command Adam to both eat of the fruit and not eat of the fruit. Would you like to explain this to the court?
Adam: Okay, the analogy isn't to say that the command was both do and don't do one thing. The analogy is to set forth that two commands can contradict one another circumstantially. This is what is demonstrated in the case of Genesis 2 and 3. When two commands conflict, one must decide. Like Abraham, I chose to obey the latter command.
Prosecutor: So you remain steadfast in your insistence that the most trustworthy One you know ordered your death because He gave you two commands that could not reconciled. Is that correct?
Adam: I guess thatís right.
Prosecutor: You guess or you assert?
Adam: I guess I assert.
Prosecutor: Let me rephrase the question to help you make up your mind. Are you asserting that God gave you two commands that could not be reconciled therefore forcing you to choose the more important one to keep and disregarding the other?
Prosecutor: Based on your testimony, you chose this path of disregard for the first commandment because of your great love for Eve. Mr, Adam, if you loved Eve enough to die with her (and I believe you did) why did you throw her under the bus as soon as God showed up?
Adam: I never threw Eve under a bus. When I said ďbecause the woman You gave me,Ē I was simply making a statement of fact. Why people read into this pointing fingers to avoid blame theory is because it makes for a good hook in a sermon, yet it makes for a poor exegete of Scripture.
Prosecutor: Weíve covered so much ground it might be wise to, with brevity, place a couple of questions together to give the court a better understanding of what you are asserting. Were you at any time warned by God not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil?
Adam: Yes I was.
Prosecutor: And what penalty did God promise if you disobeyed that command?
Adam: God told me I should not eat of that tree or I would die. While I did live 930 years, I don't for a second think God meant I would eventually die. I'm pretty sure, though I didn't know what death was at that time, I'm pretty sure he meant I'd die within moments of eating it.
Prosecutor: And why did you choose to do something for which you were certain you would die?
Adam: Donít you understand. I became sin for all of you. I ate that fruit so you could all become like Jesus. I took sin for my bride just like Jesus took sin for His. Thatís what Godís sworn affidavit tells us in His New Testament letters. The first man, Adam, and the last Adam performed the same sacrificial act for their bride, both taking on all the sin of the world through death and both being cursed in doing so. It's powerful stuff.
Prosecutor: So your contention is that your actions were on par with those of Christ at the cross?
Adam: Well Ö
Prosecutor: Is that your contention?
Adam: Yes it is.
Prosecutor: Can you explain why few in this courtroom or outside this courtroom would be sympathetic with such a defense?
Adam: Because most of you blinded by your traditions and assumptions and therefore canít see. I mean, my act was such a beautiful illustration of what Christ fulfilled on the cross.
Prosecutor: Thank you Mr. Adam. By your analogy Christ loved us so much he directly disobeyed God the Father in order to spare all of us. How that squares with, ďnot my will but yoursĒ is beyond me but Iíll move on.
What did you think God meant when he told you before the fact that you would (and I quote), "Surely die," if you disobeyed Him?
Adam: I had a notion that something terrifying would happen to me.
Prosecutor: Thank you Mr. Adam for your honest and (at last) direct answer. Now, along another but related line, do you consider God to be trustworthy and reliable anything He says?
Adam: Yes I do.
Prosecutor: By your own admission, you acknowledge that God is trustworthy. If He warned you that something "terrible" would happen to you if you disobeyed Him, why did you ignore that warning?
Adam: Well, because I was willing to let the terrible happen to me. I was not deceived and so I didn't believe the lie that "surely you won't die" as Eve did. (For clarification, I wasn't even with Eve at the time she was tempted.) I was sure, by taking the fruit and eating it, I would die. I did not think God was kidding around or a liar.
Prosecutor: So Mr. Adam, do you readily admit that, even though God had been your perfect benefactor, you willingly chose to disregard His word and risk the penalty thereof?
Adam: I had to. His second commandment required me to disobey the first. Nothing else made any sense.
Prosecutor: How did keeping what you call command 2 (which I assume is cleaving to your wife) force you to disobey command 1?
Adam: We were "one flesh".
Prosecutor: So are you telling the court that "one flesh" means having to do everything your mate does in order to remain one flesh?
Adam: No and I apologize for I shouldn't have said that. I should have said, "so that we would become one flesh" instead.
Prosecutor: Just so the court understands. Are you now saying that you and Eve were not one flesh at the time you chose to risk whatever terrible thing you knew would happen to you for disobeying God?
Adam: I wasn't one flesh with her until the time I chose to risk whatever terrible thing I knew would happen to me for eating of the tree God commanded me not to.
Prosecutor: So Mr. Adam, what you are telling us is that you couldn't be one flesh with Eve from the time she was created until after she disobeyed God and sinned? Eve had to be fallen before you could be one with her?
Adam: No, that isn't what I'm saying. Based on the evidence, I knew my wife in Genesis 4:1 and this happened after leaving my father at the end of Genesis 3. As Gen 2:24 explains, these are the steps in the process toward "becoming one flesh."
Prosecutor: Iím just curious; at one time did you leave your mother?
Adam: The same time I left my father. I don't care to explain that one further and jump into Shack discussions...you can understand it as God or you can understand it as Eden, or some other way, but the answer is as stated.
Prosecutor: I'm quite sure you didn't have access to The Shack at the time of your decision so would you please simply give us the name of your mother.
Adam: God was both my father and mother.
Prosecutor: Hum Ö Are you suggesting to this court that the only way you could obey God (leave and cleave) was to disobey God (eat the fruit)?
Adam: I didn't say it was the only way. You suggest another way, but your suggestion could have not been left unanswered, answered with exactly what I did, or maybe something else. However, is there a need to ask him a question he already answered for me? Isn't is evident that in giving the two commands as God did that he was declaring the latter more important than the former? The creation of Eve as a help-meet was to create the basis of mankind. If I do not follow her, that act of creation is destroyed. By creating her, God added complexity to the obedience of the command.
He plainly explains the process envisioned by stating "Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh." So, based on this, even if I did turn to him with that fruit in hand, I would expect no other answer than, "Eat it, you fool." But, that's all guess work.
Is a second command to take its prior command into account? How so? Does it mean that it assumes the prior command is more important as it was made first and so, if anything, the second command is to be transgressed? Or, does it mean that the second command assumes the first in its making and therefore command 2 overrides command 1? Or, must both be upheld in all instances?
Prosecutor: Thank you for confusing us all again. I would like the court to note at this time there is no second commandment in the sworn affidavit submitted to this court. What Mr. Adam is claiming to be a command is actually an observation and a statement of fact inserted by the author (God). There isnít one piece of evidence that you, Mr. Adam had any idea this was Godís intention. Perhaps you did but we can only take your word for that since there is no record of such a thing.
Adam: Your honor I object.
Judge: To what?
Adam: There is a record. Itís in Genesis 2:24
Prosecutor: No sir it isnít. You sir, are not addressed in that verse. There is no record in the submitted affidavit of those words ever being spoken to you or around you.
Adam: But theyíre true.
Prosecutor: That isnít the question. The question is, can you prove to this court, you had prior knowledge of these words at the time you ate of the fruit and willingly disobeyed God?
Judge: The objection is overruled.
Prosecutor: I didnít think so. Did it ever occur to you that this trustworthy God might offer a solution you could not forsee? Or, in truth, Mr. Adam, didn't you just decide that your ways were certainly on par with God's ways so you felt free to interpret your situation as you saw fit?
Adam: Did you ever consider that God showed me beforehand that this might happen with Eve, and if it did, I'd have to choose between two options: Let her die alone and mankind with her, or, Die with her? While considering this, what if Eve was my test: to decide if mankind was worth it, or if that "alone-ness" was better? In this framework, there is no right answer. It's really up to me. God's will was that I not be alone, wasn't it?
Prosecutor: I would remind you that it isn't this court or the prosecutor that are on trial. I have in my hand the sworn testimony of God and He speaks to no such scenario as that you have presented. You are assuming that the only options were for Eve to die alone or for the both of you die together. So, I ask again; Did it ever occur to you that this trustworthy God might offer a solution you could not forsee? Or, in truth, Mr. Adam, didn't you just decide that your ways were certainly on par with God's ways so you felt free to interpret your situation as you saw fit?
Adam: No. It didnít occur to me. Like I said, how do you know God didnít clue me into this test? How do you know God didnít let know ahead of time I would have to choose between His two commands?
Prosecutor: Did He also tell you the proper choice was to disregard commandment 1 so that you could keep commandment 2? Oh, Iím sorry. There is no commandment 2. So thereís really no need to answer that one. Mr. Adam, didn't you just decide that your ways were certainly on par with God's ways so you felt free to interpret your situation as you saw fit?
Adam: It is as you say.
Prosecutor: I have no further questions. The defense rests.
Judge: Mr. Adam do you have any witnesses.
Adam: I am my own witness; therefore I have already spoken.
Adam: I still claim my innocense and state that I did not 'go to God' with my problem because there was no need to do so.
I did not mention Abraham's confidence because it was not confidence Abraham spoke from to Isaac. "God will provide," did not mean that Abraham was sure Isaac would not be killed as a sacrifice and the words certainly went a long way to Isaac's passive companionship on the way to his certain death. To understand them as Abraham's faith that God will not have him actually kill Isaac is to completely distort the story and make it stand for nothing. Abraham intended to kill his son. The only provision of a sacrifice he expected was Isaac's body. The words, "God will provide" are significant to Abraham's faith that God would still make good on his promises some crazy way he could not know of or see in process at all any longer - except possible through Isaac's death - and that surely isn't what he had in mind prior to being commanded to kill his son.
Prosecutor: Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury. The question here is not whether any of us here sympathize with Mr. Adam. None of us would want to be placed in the paradox he was. Choose to obey or live alone, separated from his wife now fallen in sin? On the other hand, we all find ourselves in such paradoxes on a daily basis. What God says and what we see seem so contradictory at times. So Ö impossible. When we fail to trust God we often chose the latter and so we prove the words, ďAll have sinnedĒ true once again.
The question here is not about sympathy. Of course we sinners will sympathize with another sinner. But what we have here is a man that has determined his ideas are equal to God's. Therefore, instead of taking his confusions and questions to God he made his own determinations and then blames God for those decisions.In fact, he claims there was no confusion. In his mind he was simply helping God accomplish His will by disobeying Him.
Mr. Adam skillfully sought to use the example of Abraham and his conundrum with Isaac to justify his own actions. What he failed to mention is that Abraham was confident that God would solve the contradiction for him. When asked by his servant where he would get his sacrifice, Abraham replied, Jehovah Jireh which is translated "God will provide."
If Mr. Adam had exhibited the same faith in the God he claims to be so trustworthy he would have taken his confusion to God, but he did not. I submit he did not because sin had entered his heart and he heeded that rather than running to the only One who could solve his problem. In the end, Mr. Adam sinned because he chose to. And, he chose to because his heart had become tainted and darkened.
Mr. Adam rests his whole defense on his assertion that he had "no need" to go to God. In fact, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Adam made sure he didn't go to God. Instead he took the fruit, and ran with his mate to hide as far from God as could get. His fear was well founded. There were grave consequences for his sin. But there also was also something he would have found if he had gone to God in the first place ...Mercy and Grace. The truth is that Mr. Adam avoided these earlier because they require one's submission and total trust in the One who shows mercy and grace. Instead Adam made a mistake that has been repeated by billions after him. Instead of seeking the One he claims to trust implicitly he sealed his fate with two fatal words; "I thought."
One need only look at Mr. Adam's weak attempt at justification in the way he fails to understand the matter of Abraham. Isaac was not the issue in that matter. It wasn't Isaac that had to solve the contradiction; it was Abraham. In speaking the words, "God will provide," Abraham exhibits a faith well documented in other parts of God's own sworn affidavit. He understood that there is only one that can reconcile the paradoxes of life.
So, what is left to say? Mr. Adam proved in his reaction to God's indictment after his sin he sees no failure in himself. Instead he blamed God for his failure. "It was the woman YOU gave me," he railed at the One he claims to be wholly trustworthy. He further mitigates the matter by comparing his decision to disobey God with Christís decision to obey God at the cross. Even if we accept his premise that he sinned to save Eve we must be appalled that he compared that with Christ becoming our sin to save us.
And so his final defense is "I did what I thought was best." He then tries to bolster such a weak defense by suggesting phantom conversations with God for which we have no record. What we do have record of is plain and devastating. Through the man sitting before you sin entered the world. He says he was just the conduit for sin not the sinner. He still says exactly what he did the day all this happened; ďItís not my fault. I was doing a noble thing. Iím like Jesus."
Well all the talk is over. It is up to you to decide. Does ďitís not my faultĒ offset the damage done to everyone of us, to every human being that has ever lived Ö that ever will live?
I rest my case.
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Nicely done court report of a very enjoyable thread, Mr. Prosecutor. Who played Adam? That guy is wick'd!
I love this! I laughed..I cried...Can't wait to find out how it ends. ;)
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