Monday, June 23, 2014

New and Old

This past week I was challenged to watch a YouTube video with the premise that I could “educate” myself. Apparently it is a new concept to the person making the request, but it was old news to me. This particular re-building of the perfect society has a fairly recent name, but the idea really goes back to a question asked much earlier:

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Genesis 3:1 KJV)

A slight misquote of God’s word, and the response was just as bad a misquote:

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (Genesis 3:3 KJV)

Eve added that part about touching it, for God’s word was:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17 KJV)

The disciples and the new church misinterpreted God’s message, too. They looked for Christ’s immediate return and they would have no need for personal property:

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (Acts 2:44-46 KJV)

Eventually a truth became evident enough to include in the Bible, and would be incorporated in colonial records millennia later:

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10 KJV)

Captain John Smith put it into law at Jamestown:
. . . you must obey this now for a Law, that he that will not work shall not eat (except by sickness he be disabled) for the labors of thirty or forty honest and industrious men shall not be consumed to maintain an hundred and fifty idle loiterers.
I’m certain each of us would rather be “breaking bread from house to house” without concern for the source of that bread. We would certainly desire that phrase Karl Marx used so well, "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” if we lacked the ability to provide bread for ourselves.

Some look upon that as a political statement, or movement, but basically the desire is to negate what the fall of man earned:

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3:17-19 KJV)

No, this is not a new concept. Not just Solomon’s “no new thing under the sun”, but Paul’s addendum to Thessalonians 3:10:

For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. (2 Thessalonians 3:11 KJV)

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