What’s Up With The Apple?

Someone recently asked me the following:

“So here’s a question that has bugged me unceasingly since I became a Christian. God is all-powerful, all knowing, compassionate, merciful, etc. He knows us before we’re born, he knows who we will be and what we will do. If that is the case, WHY did he place Adam and Eve in the garden and then tempt them by telling them not to eat the fruit of just one tree? In my readings, Adam and Eve are naive and childlike in every sense of the word. It’s like leaving a child alone in the kitchen and only telling them to not touch the hot stove. Do you know what they’ll do first? Touch the hot stove. I believe God, being God, knew this. So why did he even give them the opportunity to sin? And why curse them and all future humanity by casting them out of the garden and cursing them with all kinds of unpleasantness? That’s like throwing the kid who touched the stove out on the streets. The punishment just doesn’t fit the crime.”

The story that’s the source of the question here can be found in Genesis, chapters 2 and 3. It’s the story that is the basis for all of humanity’s current relationship with God and why things are the way they are between the two.  The question is an important one and it all boils down to love.

Without choice, how can love exist?  God want’s us to love him; in order for us to do that we have to have free will. In order for there to be free will, there must be a choice; hence, the apple.

I think one of the reasons that people have trouble with this concept is that personal responsibility doesn’t seem to be a valuable thing anymore. It’s kind of like the lady that sued McDonalds because she was burned by a cup of coffee she was balancing between her legs, in a car while trying to add sugar and cream to it. Having worked at McD’s several times over the years I can attest to the fact that a warning has always been on the coffee cups they use. Yet, this woman with 20/20 eyesight seems to feel it’s McD’s responsibility to make sure she doesn’t get burned while balancing a hot cup of joe in a place where a hot cup of joe was never supposed to be!

Isn’t the fact that they put a warning label on the cup AND the fact that most citizens of the US are aware of the fact that coffee is most often served hot, good enough? Apparently, the courts don’t think so. The final ‘award’ in damages was in the neighborhood of $600,000.

Talk to any tort law specialist and they’ll tell you that had they been around when Adam and Eve were pleading their case to God they would have been quick to hand the Almighty a lovely brief on why it really wasn’t the kid’s fault that they screwed up!  There are many people that would agree with this view and feel it was God’s fault that Adam and Eve sinned.

They seem to ignore the fact that God gave them a warning (Genesis 2:15), and that they both understood the warning (Genesis 3:2-3). They also skip over the desire of God to be loved. Think about it. How can you love someone if you have no choice in the matter?  The truth is, we are intelligent beings, God made us that way so that we could choose between right and wrong, good and bad, loving Him or not.  Sure, He knows how all of this plays out and to be honest, I’m not sure how that works in God’s mind; but he still wants us to be free to decide for ourselves. That being the case, it makes sense that there would be a tree and an apple and a choice to make.