Origins

C.S. Lewis wrote, “All that we call human history–money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery–[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

Why would humanity spend its existence searching for meaning and purpose? Why do we all desire answers to the questions of life? Where do these inborn traits come from?

The answers to those questions lie in understanding our origins. If we do not understand why God created us then we will never find our purpose because we will search in the wrong places. Let us consider our primary, original purposes and perhaps this will help clarify your purpose and destiny a bit further.

GOD’S IMAGERS

In the beginning God created Adam and breathed into him. This is incredibly important because God did not breathe into any other created being in this realm. Only Adam, only humans, have this distinction. Indeed, this is what separates us from the animals. Modern evolutionists are fond of calling us animals, and in a sense we are quite similar to many of the creatures on earth, but we are radically different because only we carry the image of God imprinted on us.

Being an “imager” of God, a term Michael Heiser uses, means we reflect His qualities and attributes. We are made to be like God. Within us we carry abilities and gifts directly given to us by God that we were created to use to bless humanity and the earth. When we discover these through prayer and meditation and study, we will walk in our purpose and destiny and find the fulfillment we desire.

GOVERN CREATION

God’s command to Adam was to rule over the creation. Humanity was to “fill the earth and subdue it”. We were meant to landscape and garden and coax the beauty out of the earth. We were meant to domesticate animals and care for them. We were meant to shape the earth into a paradise where all humanity could live in peace. We still carry that mandate even though sin and death have made these tasks much more difficult.

When we understand we were created to be rulers and have authority, we understand the inborn desire we all have to dominate something. Whether that something is art, science, people, ideas, machines, animals, mathematics, etc., does not matter. We all carry within us this desire to master something and our struggle is to do just that. This is because of our rulership mandate.

It’s important to note that we were not originally designed to rule over people. This is a result of the fall. When the people of Israel begged God for a king to rule over them, God told them no before finally giving in to them. God’s design is for Him to be the ruler and for us to govern as His subordinates in the earth. When we are properly aligned within that structure, we will not see other people as threats to our desires but as fellow imagers who need our help to carry out their purpose and who can help us with ours.

CREATE

God does not specifically tell Adam to create, but creation is so integral to God’s nature it seems obvious that we were meant to create. Creativity comes in many forms, so I am not referring to a specific type of creativity. Whether one creates art, science, math, mechanics, poetry, kinetics, or music, all these are some of the many ways we can create.

Creation is about bringing something new into existence that is filtered through your consciousness. You are the unique factor in the process. My music composition professor in college was a world famous composer. He was fond of saying, “There’s only twelve notes!” He went on to say he believed no one could compose a truly unique composition because there would always be some piece of it that was not original to you. I agree with him because we are incapable of creating as God creates, and only God can bring something that never was into existence.

In other words, we can create using the universe around us, our minds, our spirits, creation itself…but we cannot create something from nothing. That should not stop us from creating. As His imagers we inherently desire to bring things forth into existence, and even if parts of our creations are not original, anything we create will be unique simply because it passed through our being into existence.

LOVE

When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with their question about which commandment was the greatest, Jesus responded with two commands about love. He said to love God and love people. Perhaps our greatest reason for existence is to be carriers of His love in the universe. Because God breathed into humanity, we have the capacity to carry a part of God within us. Indeed, when we submit and receive salvation we are “born again” meaning our original spirit is imbued with life and power from Holy Spirit.

Once we are regenerated, God literally dwells within us. This means we have God’s love at work within our physical bodies and within our minds and spirits. When we are regenerated we suddenly have the ability to be a channel of God’s love from heaven into the earth. We can bring His love into the creation and to other people because He lives within us.

We have no higher calling. Jesus made this plain. We were designed primarily to reflect God’s love back to God and to other people. When we walk in this love we are walking in our original design and purpose. Everything else in your life will flow from this place. We must start and end with love and allow God’s agape love to bookend our lives.

ORIGINALS

You and I are originals. We were created to be imagers of God, to govern creation, to create, and to love. Understanding these original design specifications helps us to understand ourselves better. Walking in these traits and allowing them to shape who we are through the power of Holy Spirit will bring us into alignment with God so we will have peace and joy each day.

I pray you discover your destiny as you journey this path of life. It is only found within a relationship with Jesus because He is the original designer. Remember that you are uniquely and wonderfully made and God has a purpose for your life. May you surrender to Him and discover that truth today.

Sex and the Christian

Sex is something that we haven’t really discussed in church. Indeed, very few topics have been more taboo in traditional church.  Perhaps there was the “special” meeting held by the youth minister where letters were sent home and parents were invited and everything was handled with kid gloves. Some pastors have boldly tackled the topic, with one even encouraging married congregants to have sex so many days in a row, but that is the exception. As a rule we simply do not discuss sex in church other than to talk about its sinful aspects.

Growing up I remember the “True Love Waits” campaign. We were encouraged to wait until marriage to have sex. Some did, some didn’t. Statistics show that Christianity has basically no effect on sexual habits of teenagers, and it hasn’t really affected adults either. In short, we are not talking about sex in the church and the consequences are powerful.

Trouble is, when we do talk about sex our characterization is ridiculous. Even as a teenager I remember thinking how stupid it was to pretend like something so amazing was so terrible. It’s akin to shaming people into dieting all while pretending that chocolate cake tastes like trash. Well anyone who has had chocolate cake knows it’s awesome. And anyone who’s had sex knows it’s amazing too. So we cannot classify sex as the taboo thing and then expect people to go along with it. It’s silly, and we need to stop it. We need to offer the world a Christian perspective that’s more realistic and convincing than our old “it’s a sin, so don’t do it” line.

ORIGINS

To understand the Christian perspective on sex we must go back to the beginning. God created Adam first and breathed life into him. In that moment, God breathed part of Himself into Adam. In a very real sense, God breathed His “godness” into Adam. This “godness” makes humans unique and allows us to create and rule over earth.

If you know Genesis, you know that God saw Adam desired a companion that was human like him. God caused Adam to sleep and took a rib from Adam and formed woman. It is important to note that God did not breathe into Eve. This does not mean that Eve is inferior in any way to Adam. Instead, it means that the “godness” within Adam that made him uniquely human was split in two with the creation of Eve.

What we call “masculine” rested within Adam, the man. When God removed the rib from Adam, He removed part of Adam’s “godness” and placed it within Eve. What we call “feminine” made up the part God removed. These two parts, masculine and feminine, are both within God and pieces of them are within all humans, but males are filled with masculine “godness” and females are filled with feminine “godness”.

This means that when a man and woman have sex, they are rejoining the original fullness of God that was placed within Adam. They are literally rejoining the divine and experiencing the complete joy of a unified human. This is why Christians, and the Bible, view homosexuality, pornography, adultery, and any other form of sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage as forbidden. It is not because Christians are prudes, but because sexuality is a sacred rejoining of the divine within us.

Now we understand why the scripture says, “A man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh“.

GOD MAKES GOOD

I mentioned earlier the silly tactic used by the church to basically demonize sexuality. It’s confusing and it paints a picture that is completely inaccurate. Barring sexual experiences that are abusive in nature, sexual activity is physically pleasurable. When we place it within its God-given context of marriage, sex becomes spiritually pleasurable as well.

Sex, then, is not evil it is good. Like other good things it is often abused and misused, but that does not make it evil. It is a powerfully good thing that God designed for our pleasure and to demonstrate the spiritual connectivity we are capable of as His children. Because we are filled with “godness” we have spiritual desires that need fulfillment. Sex is one way we can fulfill those desires because sex is good.

PURPOSE OF SEX

One last thing needs to be said in this discussion. Many traditional Christians claim that sex needs to be between a man and a woman because sex is for procreation. I’ve heard people say that God make sex feel good so we would engage in sex and create children. There is simply no biblical basis for this position. The scripture teaches that sex is for joining two people. While children may or may not result from that joining, it is not the primary purpose of sex.

As mentioned above, the primary purpose of sex is the rejoining of the “godness” within a man and a woman. This requires people of opposite sex because males all carry the masculine “godness” and females all carry the feminine “godness”. Sex was designed to show us the beauty of love and connectedness between spiritual and physical beings.

As Christians we need to shift the conversation about sex. We need to teach our young people about the origin, goodness, and purpose of sex. We need to remind humanity that sex was designed to be sacred and holy. We need to demonstrate that sex is not evil or bad. We need to show that sex is good within God’s design. Maybe then we will see a shift in thinking and a return to the beauty and sacred design we were given at the beginning.