“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.