Monthly Archives: March 2011

It looks good, and tastes good, but is it good for you?: The Fruits of Knowledge

Freud thought religion was the manifestation of an immature personality. ‘The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men,’ argued Freud, ‘The more widespread is the decline of religious belief.’” Let us examine Freud’s saying.

Freud mentioned that religion causes mankind to be undeveloped in character and that once we are exposed to knowledge; we no longer relinquish our personal control to what is considered to be sacred and pure. But instead, we choose to abandon the norms and values that religion has constructed. When I think of this “Fruit of Knowledge” that Freud addressed, my mind brings me back to the beautiful scenery pictured in the first book of God’s Holy word; Genesis. The story of life itself is manifested in the book of Genesis, where God created every living thing from nature, animal, and mankind. After His work, it was said, “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Gen 1:31.

Everything in heaven and in earth had been in excellent condition; however, God had commanded the man, which is later known as Adam, to refrain from doing one thing that would change matters for the worst by resulting in death. This was considered to be a warning to help protect Adam and Eve.  “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Gen. 2:16, 17.

Now God had given Adam and Eve many options to choose from, a selection of trees in the Garden of Eden, and had told them they were not to eat from just one; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Gen 3:1-7).

Presented in these scriptures is the desire for one to gain power. The serpent had stated to the women that “ye shall be as gods”, this had brought to her attention that she would now be responsible for herself, no longer having to follow the commands of God, but now having similar characteristics as Him by “knowing good and evil”. Although in reality this was self-endangerment, it had appeared to be self-empowerment to the women.

The serpent had proven itself to be correct. After all the women had eaten from the fruit and was still left alive. This had given her even greater assurance to cause her husband to follow her actions. Little did the women and Adam know of the serious and now lasting consequences they would have to endure for not taking heed to God’s warning. It is through self-empowerment and rebellion that we seek to disobey God’s word. We desire to “open our eyes, to be as gods, knowing good and evil”. This is the fruit of knowledge that Freud is referring to! How selfish of mankind! This is what happens when we think so much about our self-gratification and instinctual needs.

God was not trying to restrict Adam and Eve from living freely; in fact, they did live freely before sin entered their bodies! God was merely trying to protect Adam and Eve from destroying and defiling mankind with this infectious disease called sin. He warned them from the snares of Satan in attempt to preserve their holiness. Freud was correct in his saying. He stated that, “The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.” Were not Adam and Eve separated from the Father after they sinned? Eating from the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil had defiled their character, and caused their once mature and pure personality to become immature and impure.

Psalm 119:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” When we learn to do God’s will, wisdom comes to us freely from He owns wisdom. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5. If Freud were alive today, I would tell him to pick from the tree which bears fruit that does not only contain knowledge, but pure wisdom and knowledge; the tree of life, Jesus Christ! Not all fruits that look good, and taste good are good for the soul. But the Father bids us to “taste and see that the Lord is good…” Psalm 34:8.


The Awesome Power of Prayer

Prayer and Fasting Day

Speaker: Pastor Larry Bailey, Executive Secretary for the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 7: 13, 14

Many people, including Christians, underestimate the awesome power of prayer. Do you know the ABCs of prayer? We must Ask, Believe, then Claim it. How can we utter our requests to Christ and lack the faith that he will answer our prayers?

We tend to pray when we’re in despair, but what about when things are going well. Should we not say a prayer of thanksgiving or praise?

Over the last year, we have witnessed the signs of the times. Earthquakes and tsunamis in regions we never would have imagined; the mysterious deaths of animals; the economic crisis; and civil unrest in the Middle East. Experts are trying to identify the solution to these problems, but there is no need if you will solve the underlying problem–the lack of spirituality.

In the Bible, there are stories of countless miracles that were performed by Christ throughout his ministry here on Earth. He raised Lazarus from the dead. He healed the incurable. He parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites can escape bondage from Egypt. He caused the blind to see and the lame to walk. They all had faith that he could heal them. Let us not forget the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years, who tried so many remedies, but none worked. She knew if she just touched the hem of his garment, she would be healed. What did Jesus say in Luke 8: 48? “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”

If we had not relied on our own understanding, and instead turned to Christ where would we be? He knows our needs before we even tell him. We must always seek his counsel. Place your faith and trust in him first.  We may face great obstacles in our lives, but through prayer and faith, we can overcome.

What is your addiction?

When you think of the word, “addiction,” what words or phrases comes to mind? One could say captivity, chained, slavery, can’t live without.

Did you know that most Americans suffer from one or more addictions? Did you know that the majority of them don’t even know they’re addicted?

Sex, drugs, and alcohol are the usual culprits, but there are other addictions that exist such as gambling, shopping, food consumption, loved ones, and even sin. An addiction is the condition of being abnormally dependent on some habit.

There are three ways to get addicted: your flesh, your eyes, and your lifestyle. When Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights in the wilderness, what do you think happened? In Matthew 4, Jesus was tempted to satisfy his hunger by turning the stones into bread (flesh). He was then tempted to throw himself down from a pinnacle of the temple, to prove that the angels watching him would catch him –keeping him from harm (eyes). Lastly, he was shown all of the kingdoms around the world he would inherit if he were to worship the devil (lifestyle).  Thankfully, Christ chose to stand firm, resist temptation, and follow the Lord thy God.

Addiction is a choice, but genetics may also have a role to play. We have to be mindful that moderation and temperance is the key to leading a Christian lifestyle.

The only addiction we ought to have is Jesus Christ. He gave us life, he sustains us, and it is only he who can free us from the things or people in our lives who have tried to keep us in bondage.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 NIV

Today we ask, what is your addiction?

Here’s the link to the lesson on addiction in its entirety.