Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I'm creeping along

In answer to one of the questions: Is it hard to read the whole 12 pages at a time. at least i think that was the question. It is extremely difficult for me to read large chunks at one time. I get very drowsy, and loose focus. I've always been this way. So this is going to be something I have to break up into little chunks.

The first couple of things I'd like to address are misconceptions that I had of the bible from the time I was a little girl. I never understood, that God created our human bodies with the intention of them lasting forever. And after the fall of man, our bodies were caused to break down over time. But back then, it tool a lot longer, and I'm thinking it is from this "mist" which covered the earth. Some say the mist existed until the time of Noah's flood, because after that people didn't get as old. Thoughts?

Also, I have often struggled with the notion of people owning snakes as pets. I realize this is a popular thing to do, but honestly, It says in Genesis, that the snake is a cursed animal, and it was originally intended to be pitted against man for the rest of it's days. Why is it a good idea to have one as a pet? They have no loyalties, they WILL bite people or kill them if they take a notion to. Is it just something that is a fad? Does God intend for us to have as pets the very animal that doomed Us?


At 1/11/2006 1:39 PM, Blogger see-through faith said...

no idea about snakes, but I wouldn't have one as a pet. Not other things eitehr to be fair - we have a dog.

one misconception though is that all snakes are dangerous to humans. they aren't

nor are they slimy. My 2 year old held a red rat snake at a national park in Florida years ago and I bravely touched it (they were teaching peopel about them, not encoruaging them as pets - they belong in the wild and do serve a purpose -killing rats!)

At 1/11/2006 9:09 PM, Anonymous Mary Beth said...

I've known people who had great snakes as pets. Didn't bother me.

Once when I was a child we found a dead garter snake - buried it in the backyard with all the other dead birds, squirrels, gerbils...and made a little stick cross for the grave. Then worried about whether that was appropriate. I have no idea. There's a highway there, now, though.

At 1/11/2006 11:35 PM, Blogger LutheranChik said...

Susie, I think it might help you to think of the snake story as analogous to stories in other cultures about "why things are the way they are." For instance, in my neck of the woods the Anishnabe people had a lot of stories about animals -- why woodpeckers peck wood; how dogs got to be friends with humans. So I think it's maybe a bit of a stretch to read what sounds to me like a creative answer to the question of "Why don't snakes have legs, and why do we tend not to like them very much?" and make it a theological statement about God's opinion of the zoological suborder Serpentes...know what I mean?

(Re my own liking snakes...I grew up in the country, and am fairly indifferent to them unless they've got rattles at one end of 'em...if they leave me alone I leave them alone, and I think that impulse is mutual.)

At 1/12/2006 7:04 AM, Blogger LutheranChik said...

One of the themes you keep seeing in these Genesis stories of prehistory is the gradual degradation of life on earth. Everything starts out wonderful -- the first human beings are in partnership with one another, they don't have to work, their food falls from the trees, the animals are friendly (and verbal, even!)...everything is hunky-dory...and then this event happens, in which both the human beings presume to try and "be like God" (at the urging of an animal that, in the mythology of the Hebrews' Near Eastern neighbors, had a kind of equivocal and magical character) and things start going haywire. Life gets harder for the human beings -- not only do they lose their immortality, but they have to work hard to survive, and what had been an egalitarian partnership now becomes a complicated, equivocal power-over relationship; murder enters the human picture; as you progress through Genesis you see humans' superhumanly great ages diminish to the lifespans we are accustomed to; humans lose their friendly relationship with animals, and a vegetarian world becomes a carnivorous/omnivorous one; human beings lose their ability to speak to one another, to relate to one another. This isn't a textbook on zoology or anthropology or history; it's like an epic poem that paints a picture of human beings "who've lost that loving feeling" toward and who've become estranged from God, one another and the rest of creation. But throughout this you also find a God who, for whatever God's reasons, wants to keep in relationship with this flawed, complicated species. And that's also a major subtext of the whole Bible.


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