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prisonchaplain

Who's in control?

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In the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit, they were in perfect relationship with God. They had dominion, or control, over the Earth. Nothing in creation controlled them. Not drugs, not alcohol (the gateway drug), not food--not even sex. If we are saved, redeemed, born again, then, by God's grace, let us return to our place of dominion. Let us be free from all created bondage!

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I would argue that deliverance from addictions is part of the Christian life.  Not to say that 100% of Christians are instantly non-addicted, with a single prayer.  Rather, that faith-filled rehabilitation is bound to be more successful.  For an example: http://www.acadc.org/page/page/2495014.htm

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Perhaps my view is different.  First off - I do not think that Adam in the garden was that much in control.  I believe that the context of the dominion of Adam in Eden was not so much a station as a statement of intended destiny and potential.   Being ignorant of good and evil I believe Adam was more "protected" than in control.

 

I also have a different view about going back to Eden.  I believe we are on a great journey that we will become much the better for and that we have far greater chance of controlling something because of our fallen experience.  I believe that before Adam was physically a being - G-d intended that man suffer the bondage that comes with the addiction of sin.  Finally I believe that we are completed and made much better because of Christ and his atonement which delivers us from sin's addictions. 

 

Though the time is not yet - we will someday be in control.   Some think that once in control ourselves we will not need G-d.  Perhaps not - but the bond of knowledge of the once student to master - in my mind is much greater than a slave even to the benevolent master that keeps control all to themself.

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[said in a bad Forest Gump accent] You see, life's like a golf swing.  When you try to wack it, by helping God out with your 'superior' tactics, the ball goes nowhere.  When you let the club do the work (God's will, God's way, God's power), then it takes very little effort to go quite far.

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Many religions see Eden as some sort of idealistic paradise lost and to which they long to return. As Latter-day Saints, we understand it quite differently.

 

Specifically, we know that we need opposition in order to progress (2 Nephi 2) and there was no opposition in Eden prior to the fall. So while it may seem like a paradise by comparison to our current fallen state, it would have been an unending prison of stagnation compared with the Glory which God prepared for us before the creation even began - but with the fall, and by necessity also the Atonement, we have the opportunity to grow and gain far more than Eden could ever have been. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;"

Edited by puf_the_majic_dragon

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I'd only argue that there was opposition in the Garden.  The prohibition against taking the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was the opposition.  Ironically, Adam and Eve did know good and evil, prior to taking the fruit.  To obey was good.  To disobey was evil.  The just never experienced it.

 

Also, most religions recognize that the Garden was paradise.  We also know that there is no going back.  What lies ahead is superior, for we will rule and reign with Christ.  Our relationship with God is deeper, for our having gone through the crucible of free will.

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... If we are saved, redeemed, born again, then, by God's grace, let us return to our place of dominion. Let us be free from all created bondage!

 

Given also your last remark, "Our relationship with God is deeper, for our having gone through the crucible of free will," some people might perceive a contradiction.  But are you admonishing that although we do fall into "bondage" [as a result of the weaknesses that are common to all God's children along with our own individual challenges] we ought to strive for freedom but also appreciate what we've gained by virtue of the struggle?

Edited by UT.starscoper

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UT, you are addressing bigger questions than I am.  I'm saying let's not be addicted.  Let's be bound to Christ rather than stuff.  But, yeah, sure...of course God knew what He was doing when he placed that opposition in the Garden, and then allowed the Enemy to personify it.

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I was only probing to see where you wanted your thread to lead.  And I hope you won't perceive me as being impertinent if I seem to challenge you for what in my mind is the sake of discussion.  But if you say to me, "let's not be addicted", I wonder what to think next since it's such an easy thing for us to say if we are not presently struggling with that particular form of opposition.

Edited by UT.starscoper

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I was only probing to see where you wanted your thread to lead.  And I hope you won't perceive me as being impertinent if I seem to challenge you for what in my mind is the sake of discussion.  But if you say to me, "let's not be addicted", I wonder what to think next since it's such an easy thing for us to say if we are not presently struggling with that particular form of opposition.

 

The battle is worth fighting.  Whether it's drugs, alcohol, pornography, lust in general, food-lust, etc.  We are not our own.  We were bought with a price.  Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  It's so easy to just give in, and think that we have our little weakness, and it's not a big deal, since God is mercy and grace.   No.  This is defeat.  This is bondage.  We should strive.  Then again, we should call upon God to strengthen us, and embolden us.  I know people who have overcome addiction to crack cocaine.  Surely we can control our appetite's--one day at a time, with God's empowerment.

 

My purpose is not to condemn the struggler, but rather to poke and provoke the one who has become complacent, and accepted the lie that their particular indiscretion is just an acceptable personality flaw/trait.

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The battle is worth fighting.  Whether it's drugs, alcohol, pornography, lust in general, food-lust, etc.  We are not our own.  We were bought with a price.  Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  It's so easy to just give in, and think that we have our little weakness, and it's not a big deal, since God is mercy and grace.   No.  This is defeat.  This is bondage.  We should strive.  Then again, we should call upon God to strengthen us, and embolden us.  I know people who have overcome addiction to crack cocaine.  Surely we can control our appetite's--one day at a time, with God's empowerment.

 

My purpose is not to condemn the struggler, but rather to poke and provoke the one who has become complacent, and accepted the lie that their particular indiscretion is just an acceptable personality flaw/trait.

 

My brother says that the mission of a disciple of Christ is to comfort the afflicted first and then the second mission is to afflict the comfortable.

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In the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit, they were in perfect relationship with God. They had dominion, or control, over the Earth. Nothing in creation controlled them. Not drugs, not alcohol (the gateway drug), not food--not even sex. If we are saved, redeemed, born again, then, by God's grace, let us return to our place of dominion. Let us be free from all created bondage!

I agree with this a lot. very much. I think one of the main points of this existence is to learn how to discipline ourselves so that we can live the godly life and not be bound by lusts, obsessions, and sins.

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I agree with this a lot. very much. I think one of the main points of this existence is to learn how to discipline ourselves so that we can live the godly life and not be bound by lusts, obsessions, and sins.

 

I like to think that following the "path" or "way" of Christ is liberating and a means to true freedom.  In fact the only way - and that we will not make it on our own.  At the same time - I do not believe that G-d ever intends to do anything for us that we are capable of doing ourselves.  That he will only do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  Those that look to G-d for help and yet fail - I do not believe it is because of G-d that any of us fall short (including myself as I have so often fallen short) but it is because we fail to invest - or as you have put so well --- "learn how to discipline ourselves".

Edited by Traveler

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In the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit, they were in perfect relationship with God. They had dominion, or control, over the Earth. Nothing in creation controlled them. Not drugs, not alcohol (the gateway drug), not food--not even sex. If we are saved, redeemed, born again, then, by God's grace, let us return to our place of dominion. Let us be free from all created bondage!

 

Alright, so nothing in the context of drugs, alcohol, food--not even sex--controlled Adam and Eve.  That's fine, but isn't that precisely because there *were no* drugs, alcohol, etc. in the first place?  Thus no so-called opportunity to experience those particular challenges.  So, it seems to this reader that one can't have dominion or control over something that isn't there.  Isn't it a little like being the mayor of a city where nobody else lives?  Or like thinking that a child who hasn't been exposed to any virus is in control of her health?

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