Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gotta get back to the garden

One of today's recurring themes is respristination, the restoration of the Earth to its pristine state, the garden of Eden. This idea finds artistic expression in Joni Mitchell's song Woodstock:

We are stardust,
Billion year old carbon
We are golden,
Caught in the devil¹s bargain,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Well, we left Yasgur's farm looking like something other than a garden, let alone the garden. But at least we got an anthem to go with our arrogance. Yes, arrogance because we will never get ourselves back to the garden; its gate is guarded by a cherubim, one of God's throne angels, with a flaming sword no less.

The notion of getting ourselves back to the garden is expressed in a number of ways socially and politically. Some are benign, even a little silly, like holding hands across the country and thinking peaceful thoughts. Others ally themselves with the secular religion of the age and even have the sanction and power of government - aggressive global warming environmentalism and human embryonic stem cell research advocacy are examples. Those who have a form of godliness (we are stardust; we are golden) while denying its power (we are billion year old carbon) will inevitably lay hold of the only power that poses a credible challenge to real power: the power of Satan, though they scoff and call it reason. Reason divorced from faith says we can apply the same failed thinking by new techniques and get breakthrough results - a frontal assault on that flaming sword. It's a Pelagian attack to the rear, of course, but the arrogant will never learn. "Until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."

The garden of Eden is closed forever. God's mandate to Adam and Eve (and to us) was
"Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." The garden was to be the starting place, and the whole earth was supposed to look like it. That opportunity is lost forever. Now we are on a pilgrimage to the City of God. It is there we will find the Tree of Life, not here. Here we will have to put up with the taunts of the grinning serpent, "Has God truly said..." Like I said, the arrogant never learn.

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