What you believe is what you see! That is a scientific fact. We now know that the brain creates belief models from information received from its sensory organs, searches for information that confirms its beliefs, and generates individual realities from those beliefs. In my last email I discussed two interpretations of the Garden of Eden story in Genesis. When we view it through the eyes of ancient sources, we see a wisdom text that taught this lesson.
Act together by following the instructions of your Creator,
be the “united image of the Creator” –
guard and protect each other’s lives --
instead of ignoring the Creator and acting like wild animals.
Earlier I discussed the salvation message of the Jewish Jesus. The nations that will enter eternal life did the following things.
They gave food to the hungry, drinks to the thirsty,
shelter to strangers, clothes to the naked;
they visited the sick and went to those in prison.
The message Jesus taught was based on the Creator’s blessing of the first two humans in Genesis 1.
The Creator blessed and empowered humans to represent Him
by acting together as His Co-Creators and Co-Shepherds
over all life on earth.
In the teachings of Jesus above, members of those nations did things that good shepherds would do for their flocks. In this case, instead of the Creator having a flock, He has a Kingdom of Co-Shepherds that focus on caring about and caring for each other’s lives.
Take a moment and let your brain absorb the last sentence.
It describes the message and movement of the Jewish Jesus, the Jesus of history who lived in Nazareth and taught in Galilee and Judea. Now let’s Augustine’s reinterpretation of the Garden of Eden story. This is what he taught.
● The serpent in the Garden of Eden was Satan.
● Satan is engaged in cosmic war with God for the souls of Mankind.
● Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and created a universal sin (Original Sin).
● Original sin is inescapable because it is passed down to their descendants.
● People are “sinners at birth” and condemned to Hell.
● Members in good standing of the universal church (Roman Catholic Church) will be saved.
Two different interpretations of one story in the Bible create two different realities in people’s minds today.
1. People are the Creator’s Co-Creators and Co-Shepherds guarding and protecting each other’s lives.
2. Satan and God are involved in a cosmic war for the souls of mankind.
These interpretations produce different realities, which people use to view things that are taking place in their lives. What we view as the causes of things happening in our lives affects our decisions for responding to them.
Christians have been using Augustine’s interpretation for about 1,500 years now (Protestants changed “the Catholic church” part). There is a long paper trail that documents how that belief model has affected lives.
What would happen if Christians decided to switch realities and do what Jesus taught?
Think about it. Entertain the thought that people could do it. Visualize what your life would be like if you were surrounded by people doing what Jesus taught – “even if they didn’t believe Christian doctrines about him!” Talk about it with friends.