Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the poison in the garden



We witness everyday the lasting effect of the Garden of Eden, and I don't mean in the church's interpretation of that story. The forbidden fruit did not subject humanity to God's wrath. Instead what resulted was the introduction to the human psyche of the destructive emotions of fear, guilt, anger, and retribution. Ever since the loss of innocence, mankind has been living a nightmare of their own making.


I have come to ask myself and others what they think Jesus accomplished which reversed the ill effects of the bad tree. The church's traditional answer has been to say that Jesus appeased God and allowed Him to relinquish the anger which resulted from eating the fruit. Instead of working on man to reverse the psychological damage of dividing the world into the good and the evil, the church insists that Jesus changed God instead. The essential problem was that God was poisoned too, causing a horrendously violent reaction against mankind. Man suffered because God was broken and needed to be fixed.


However, if the problem with the tree all along was solely its effects on man, then Jesus had no reason to work on God at all. His mission and message was directed at humanity's state of mind. If we pay much attention to what Jesus taught those of his day, it is hard to miss the extraordinary counterintuitiveness of his ethical instructions. His words challenge the most basic assumptions of the vast majority of humanity. All that man picked up in the Garden is thoroughly disputed by Jesus. His voice directed men away from all the negative emotions and self destructive activities engendered by what resulted from the forbidden fruit.


Yet, the church and its many allies continues to preach fear, anger, guilt, warfare, and retribution, denying Jesus with every such word. If you miss the beginning of the story, you surely don't get the conclusion.