During the creation of the world, God erected a door between paradise and godlessness, locked it with his prohibition against using it, and gave Adam and Eve the key of disobedience.

God established Adam and Eve on the paradise side of the door. The world on the other side of the door was a mystery to them. Adam and Eve had no experience with it. They were strangers to godlessness. 

The source of their knowledge about the mystery on the other side of the door was hearsay. Furthermore, there was a conflict in the testimony. God testified that death awaited Adam and Eve in godlessness (Genesis 2:17) (Genesis 3:3). The serpent testified to the contrary (Genesis 3:4).  In fact, the serpent promised Adam and Eve deification in godlessness (Genesis 3:4-5). 

The non-hearsay evidence corroborated the testimony of the serpent (Genesis 3:6). 

Which testimony was the truth? Which testimony was the lie? Adam and Eve asked themselves. How does newly minted humanity resolve the conflict in the testimony? How do they break the tie? 

Obedience does not break the tie - it does not resolve the conflict in the testimony. Obedience sidesteps the question. It does not answer it.

Furthermore, the stakes were high. Adam and Eve faced the threat of death and the promise of deification. Resolving the conflict in the testimony was not a child's game without consequences. Both the risk and the reward were high.

The status quo was the safe bet. Yet, the status quo does not unmask the liar. It does not reveal who possessed the truth and who possessed the lie. The status quo revealed nothing about God and nothing about the serpent. There was only one way to learn - to get an education. There was only one definitive way to resolve the conflict in the testimony. There was only one way to break the tie. Only a taste of godlessness would resolve the conflict in the testimony. It would, as the serpent testified (Genesis 3:5), open our eyes and show us who is good and who is evil (Genesis 3:5). 

Eve decided to discover the truth for herself (Genesis 3:6). Adam concurred with Eve's decision (Genesis 3:6).  They decided to gather the evidence themselves that would resolve the conflict in the testimony. They would find out the truth for themselves. They would take a look at the evidence with their own eyes. They and their children would know the difference between God and the serpent even if the price they would pay for their education would be death. 

They put the key in the lock, opened the door, and passed through it. 

Why did God let the catastrophe happen?  This was the first time that Adam and Eve found themselves in a situation where their choice was either to ignore the conflict in testimony or to resolve it. They decided to resolve it. The knowledge gained from resolving the conflict in the testimony was worth the potential high price of their education. Furthermore, newly minted humanity had never encountered a predator. The serpent was their first.  They had not yet developed a defense mechanism against one.  They were defenseless. The good shepherd whose job was to defend the sheep from the wolves was AWOL. Newly minted humanity versus a fallen angel - no contest.  Why did God not post armed guards at the door? Why was the good shepherd AWOL during the crisis?  Why erect a door from paradise to godlessness in the first place? Why such a flimsy lock? Why did God give them the key? All of the evidence points to the fact that Adam and Eve were doomed to fail - that God wanted Adam and Eve to discover the truth about godlessness for themselves.

And they did.

They found out that godlessness sucks, that the serpent was a liar and that the promise of deification in godlessness was a lie. Adam and Eve discovered that death was the king of godlessness and that they now lived in his kingdom. God was the truth teller.

Rescue us, Oh! God!

By investigating godlessness for themselves, Adam and Eve discovered the truth about godlessness. Godlessness is autodidactic. The taste of godlessness taught them that God is our benefactor and that the serpent is a misanthrope. It taught them and us that God had credibility and the serpent had none.

To what shall I compare you, godlessness? God himself gave us the comparison. Godlessness is the hostile desert through which the Jews made their escape from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and his holy family in the promised land. The exodus of the Jews is the allegory God gave us to explain our predicament in life. 

To rescue the children of Adam and Eve from godlessness, God built an escape route from godlessness to paradise, defined it with holy places, made a map of them, established a Church, entrusted the map to the Church and burdened the Church with the mission of facilitating the escape - not frustrating it, not filtering it and not fouling it up. God did not give the Church the mission of judging the escapees. The only mission God gave the Church is to get the escapees from here to there - from godlessness to paradise. Any judgment of the escapees, God reserved to himself. The Church is the new Moses. The Church is the servant / leader of the escape. The Church is the escape. The escape from godlessness to paradise is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect.

In the hostile desert of godlessness, the children of Adam and Eve play the role of either pilgrim or settler. Settlers have put down roots deep into the hostile desert of godlessness. They are stationary. They neither flee the sourness of godlessness nor seek the sweetness of paradise. They do not see themselves in need of rescue from godlessness. When God comes to rescue them, they tell God to bugger off. Pilgrims, however, are not stationary. They have pulled up the roots from the hostile desert of godlessness. They seek the sweetness of paradise and flee the sourness of godlessness. They are making their escape. They pray that God will rescue them from the hostile desert of godlessness. They wait for their savior. Their hope is the Lord. 

The job of the Church is to transform settlers into pilgrims?


Shatter the illusion conjured up by the serpent that sugarcoats the sourness of godlessness. Shatter the illusion with the sledgehammer of truth as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. What truth? Much is true but much truth is irrelevant. The truth that matters is the truth that shatters the illusion. 

Godlessness is autodidactic. The sourness of godlessness shatters the illusion that sugarcoats it. Death, illness, oppression, inequity, etc. are the sledgehammer of truth.

Fill the earth with the knowledge of God. Paradise is different than godlessness. We are strangers to paradise. Paradise is foreign to us. The memory of Eden has faded. To fill the earth with the knowledge of God, revelation was needed. The revelation was made when the Son of God paid us a visit.


Like foolish children, Adam and Eve ran away from their home with God in paradise and took us with them into godlessness. They abdicated paradise for godlessness. They opted out as Lucifer and the gaggle of angels that follow him opted out. When God gave them the gift of paradise, God wanted them to keep it. However, they fumbled the ball - they muffed it. 

Godlessness sucks. In godlessness, we are fish out of water. We were in trouble. We needed help.

So the Son of God dove into godlessness after us to rescue us.

He did not say "goodbye and good riddance" as the door between paradise and godlessness slammed shut behind us. 

He did not delegate the job of rescue to his subordinates. He did not send his flunkies. The Son of God did the job himself. Our welfare is so important to God that he came to rescue us himself. (Thanks be to God.)

None shall perish because our rescuer is the God who loves us. God does not fail. God does not come up short. God does not miss the mark. The only people not rescued are the fools who refuse to be rescued - those who tell God to bugger off.

God designed his rescue plan to reduce the likelihood of post delivery paradise opt out to near zero.

Our lifeguard stays on the dock and watches as we are drowning in the stormy sea of godlessness but only for a moment. The delay gives us a taste of the sourness of godlessness. He gives us the experience that Adam and Eve so desired. By letting us drown for a little bit in godlessness we learn for ourselves that godlessness sucks. The illusion conjured up by the serpent that sugarcoats the sourness of godlessness is shattered. 

The delay between the delivery of the gift of life and the delivery of the gift of paradise is the source of all the complaints about God's rescue plan. It is the cause of harsh criticism. Indeed, the delay is harsh medicine. However, the effectiveness of the medicine justifies its harshness in the eyes of God. When God gives us with the gift of paradise as he gave it to our parents, Adam and Eve, we, unlike them, shall not opt out. Oh! no. We shall keep it. The prodigal son is never going back to the pig sty and neither are we. By experiencing the pig sty for ourselves, we know better than to opt out.

Godlessness is autodidactic.  It itself is the sledgehammer of truth that shatters the illusion as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. When the illusion is shattered, rational people flee the sourness of godlessness. It is contrary to their self-interest to do otherwise. 

When the sourness of godlessness becomes unbearable, he rescues us. He pulls us out of this world and puts us into his world. As Our Lady said at Quito, we make that great leap from time to eternity.

Therefore, let us stop referring to our rescue from this world as death. Instead, say God rescued him or her from this world and, when the time is ripe, we, too , shall be rescued. In the interim, hope in our Savior and cling to the life preserver that he tossed to us - cling to love of him and our neighbor. Cling as Jesus clung while we wait for rescue.