I have read supposedly spiritual books written from the assumption that humans are basically evil. Such a supposition can be found in parts of Catholicism, puritanism and bad religiosity of various kinds. This a basic and erroneous good versus evil supposition where pleasure and holiness are dichotomised and separated. In this mindset we have defined ourselves in the fragmented condition Paul calls this body of death. Such morbidity can be found in various religions. It can surface in the notion that women’s bodies are evil because they are beautiful, enthralling and sensual. The Greeks had it in Plato - the idea that matter is bad and mind good. It comes into Christianity via Neo-Platonism and is a variation of the sacred/secular dichotomy.
But God has not only told us that in Him we live, move and have our being. It is asserted that Christ is all and in all. Now that Christ is our life we impart life to all parts of creation. ‘For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive’ 1 Cor 15.22. You will be alive in the Spirit and the things you touch will have spirit and life imparted to them.
I read Mathew Fox’s ‘Original Blessing’ many years ago. I could see that he was onto something when he cited the scripture in which God pronounced the creation ‘all good.’ Not to mentioned the fact that I had personally been repelled by the anti-life attitudes of fundamentalists and dour religionists with their stuffiness and attraction to the old and the dead. In my youth our church ‘had a thing’ against dancing. Supposedly this was to protect morality and the integrity of marriage. But it was not difficult to see that dancing was a ‘no-no’ because it was energetic, romantic and a lot of fun!
Humans came forth from the womb of the trinity. We have been drawn back into that fellowship by the achievements of Jesus. We have an alpha and omega of origin and destiny. We are sons and companions of God. You did not come from dust and you are not returning to ashes. You have an inheritance.
Good is the expression of our union with God. It is the expression of His life and nature in us. Good is what we are when we are sons in spirit and in truth. Sin has no existence of itself. It is the product of separation from God; of living outside of Him and independently of Him in the knowledge of good and evil. In this separation, we are not only not good. We degenerate into evil, abusing our God-nature and each other.
So what are we if we are a product of the devil’s lies and separated from God? We are sinners, our nature is warped and we tend to decay at best and to death at our worst. We spasmodically realise our ideals, and they often stand apart from us and tyrannise us. When Christ is not our life, we have the nature of separated and alienated Adam and Eve.
But here’s the thing. Under the fall we were not irrevocably evil. While our nature was distorted our origin remained the womb of the trinity, even if as we lived in the dualism of the knowledge of good and evil. There was always our better self to which God could appeal.
So what happened at the cross? Our Adamic life was put to death in Jesus. Our conflicted nature was undone. We rose again when Jesus rose included in His life. In Jesus God made the two one. This is to say we were made one with God and one with ourselves. Our ideals are no longer separate from us. Because Christ is our life we have become one with our ideals. Christ is our life. We and Father are one. You are one with yourself and with all who believe.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God came among us with a body. He came in the flesh. In the incarnation this mystery is multiplied and manifest as you, I and the church. The new creation springs from THIS IS MY BODY. Jesus forever honoured and sanctified the flesh by coming in the flesh and coming at Pentecost to dwell in our being.
It is grossly mistaken to go on today about original sin –as if this controls you, pulls you down and is your real nature. It is not. Not when Christ is our life. Live in what He has done for you and in whom He has made you – a son of God who is one with our Father. We possess both the nature of God the Father and the nature of the Son of Man/son of God. Our real nature is who we always were: Sons of God.
In Jesus God has really made the two one. There is no longer two of you – no who you are in Christ and who you are in Adam. Not if you are a new covenant person living Christ as your life. What Father believes, you believe. What is on His heart is your heart. So don’t live in separation, confusion, ‘miserable sinner’ syndrome or false humility. He has made you sons of God in spirit and in truth.