Information in the wrong hands is bad. Knowledge in the wrong hands is evil. Wisdom knows which hands can hold it.
Genesis 3:3-5 3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; 5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (NRSV)
[Scripture quotation from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]
[Image: “Creative Commons A collection of Gerd Leonhard’s key messages: what the immediate future hold for us?” by Gerd Leonhard is licensed under CC BY 2.0]
In Dialogue with Genesis 3:3-5
Sometimes that which comes in the name of God (perhaps*) makes demands contrary to our nature. “Don’t seek knowledge. Don’t be wise about matters of value and morality. Don’t resist power.” These injunctions seem to be more the currency of empire (the Domination System*) rather than the insistences that come in the name of God. Perhaps*. To attempt to live in conformity with these admonitions robs us of our humanity* and puts us in touch with treacherousness and evil, even making God a participant in that evil.
Resisting the treacherous and insidious is an eye-opening experience that exposes us, making us aware of how naked we are in the face of the powerful. Such exposure opens us to the possibility of our own deceit and the willingness to ‘throw under the bus’ those we care about (“She made me do it.”) in order to absolve ourselves of responsibility. Responsibility, however, is what makes us human*. Responsibility is what calls us to make decisions about the direction of our lives. Responsibility is what opens the window on the Commonwealth* of Peace and Justice.
If you hear God commanding, run in the opposite direction. Such ultimatums are seductive appeals that serve as recruiting ads for the Westboro Baptist Church and its ilk. Instead of such blatant edicts, pay attention to that still, small voice that speaks within the depths of your being, calling you to personal responsibility for yourself and for the poor, distressed, suffering, and marginalized of the world. It is your choice in response to the question, “What have you done?”: Empire* or Commonwealth*.