(continued from Part 2)
As for the forbidden fruit, it may have included the eating of a literal piece of fruit. I don’t know. I can only engage in educated speculation. I admit that fruit is fruit. There, I said it, as requested. However, I don’t think you get my point. I also believe the Eden narrative contains double entendre devised to be understood in either of two ways. I am not the first to conclude this. For example, have you ever wondered why we refer to the forbidden fruit as an apple today? Or have you ever wondered why the forbidden fruit was symbolized by a fig in the Middle Ages? I’ve already done the research. I’ve provided the answers to these questions on a silver platter in my blogs. Simply put, both the apple and the fig have a long history of symbolizing sex. This is why the Church used these symbols.
Think of it this way. We have a common expression today: “slept with.” If I say that John “slept with” Jane, it is a euphemism.
A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for something considered to be offensive, harsh, or blunt. The Bible is filled with euphemisms, especially when referring to sexual activity. Although it is true that having sex with someone sometimes includes sleeping with them, sleeping with someone and having sex with someone are not the same thing. People do not usually have sex while they are sleeping. Many people have slept with someone without having sex with them. Many people have had sex with someone without sleeping with them. Yet if I say “John slept with Jane,” most people would interpret that to mean that “John had sex with Jane.”
Or I might say “John bedded Jane.” Again, most people would interpret this to mean “John had sex with Jane.” That’s because the bedroom is the place where most people today have sex. But in ancient times, people in an agrarian society, especially rich people, often built elaborate enclosed gardens. Solomon was famous for such gardens. In ancient times, a garden was regarded as an idyllic environment for sexual activity, much like the bedroom is today. Numerous poems throughout history depict an enclosed garden as an idyllic environment for lovemaking. Writings such as the Song of Songs compared a woman’s body to a garden and the female sex organs as an enclosed garden. Plenty of other examples could be given. Today, sexual activity is often proceeded by drinking a glass of wine. In ancient times, fruit known as aphrodisiacs were often plucked from the tree of a garden to get lovers into the mood. Therefore, it is not a far stretch to conclude this may have been what happened in Eden.
The Bible was written thousands of years ago in cultures radically different from ours. When properly interpreting the Eden account, we need to ask what this story meant to the ancient Jews during the time of Moses. Unlike most Christians today, many of those Jews interpreted the Eden narrative in the same way I interpret it. This doesn’t prove I am right, but it sure lends strong support. These Jews were surrounded by pagan idol worshipers. Orgies placating their pagan gods and goddesses were a commonplace part of their rituals. The serpent had a long history of being worshiped as a sex symbol and a symbol of fertility, among other things. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. Asherah, a favorite Canaanite goddess, was contemporary to those ancient Jews. She was often depicted nude with a serpent. She was commonly known by the title “The Mother of All Living.” Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe Moses was trying to draw a parallel between Eve and Asherah. Maybe Moses was trying to compare what was going on in Canaan among idol worshipers and what took place in Eden. I don’t know this for certain. But I am certain that the idea is certainly far from “brainless.”
Speaking of the serpent, even your three-year-old daughter should understand that if God turned the devil into a creature that would crawl on its belly, as snakes now do, then the devil was NOT in the form of what we now think of as a snake before God pronounced the curse. How can you turn something into something that it already is? I told you this at church before your gestapo escorted me off the premises. You seem to want to justify your dictatorial behavior and your unfounded assumptions by either misrepresenting my position or belittling it. Who REALLY needs to repent here? By the way, even if I am filled with pride (let’s let God be the judge), that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am wrong. And just because you are a man of the cloth, that does not give you the license to act like a dictator. Do the members of your church have the freedom to think without concern for Auschwitz-like repercussions? Such mind-control techniques belong to Big Brother, not the pastor of a church.
The former pastor of your church knew what I believed. And although he disagreed, he was not disagreeable. He certainly did not escort me off the premises. And although I had permission from him to discuss my beliefs with others, I never did. Ask around. You will not find one member of your church that I have discussed this with other than you.
So in what form did the devil appear to Eve? I do not believe he had a red suit, horns, a beard, and a pitch fork. That caricature is nowhere found in Scripture and was invented by the Reformers to poke fun at the devil. The Bible describes Lucifer, who many believe was Satan before he became the devil, as the most beautiful of all the creatures God had created. Many also say that Eve was one of the most beautiful women, if not “the” most beautiful woman to ever live. So it is not a stretch, or, in your words, “bizarre,” that Eve and the devil would have desired to have intercourse with each other. And if all that happened was the eating of a piece of literal fruit, doesn’t it seem we should be ashamed of our mouths and not our sex organs? God did not have Adam and Eve cover their mouths; He had them cover their reproductive organs.
On another note, there was no indication in your last email that you even read my article “Prominent Theologian Considers Polyamory.” If you are too busy, then maybe your daughter should read it and explain it to you. Maybe she can understand why I believe much of what I believe.
Unless you acknowledge your gross mistakes and acts of horrendous injustice and mistreatment toward me, via an email apology (I’ll give you a week, the deadline is midnight, Friday, August 24, 2010), I will have no choice but to do everything in my power to clear my good name and expose your hypocrisy and unwarranted tyranny to the world via the Internet and other means. People in your position need to repent and be held accountable.
By the way, the fact that you disagree with me does not bother me. I would not want you to agree with me unless and until you had thought things through. Then, if you still disagree, fine. I’m all for a good, healthy debate. People can and should disagree without being disagreeable. In essentials unity, in nonessentials liberty, in all things charity. I agree with mainstream Christianity on the essentials. This is not an essential and many genuine, sincere Christians before me have reached many of the same conclusions. It is your unwillingness to allow me and other members of your church to think that fills me with heated indignation toward your recent actions. I believe that it is the Holy Spirit within me that is fueling this fire.