When discussing original sin, many people think of the choices made in the Garden of Eden. But that isn’t where sin started. Sin began as a twinkling of rebellious thoughts in the mind of a high ranking angel in Heaven. Lucifer.
Ezekiel describes Lucifer’s trajectory:
You were the seal of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden,
the garden of God;
every precious stone adorned you:
carnelian, chrysolite and emerald,
topaz, onyx and jasper,
lapis lazuli, turquoiseand beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold;
on the day you were created they were prepared.
You were anointed as a guardian cherub,
for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God;
you walked among the fiery stones.
You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.
Through your widespread trade
you were filled with violence,
and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,
and I expelled you, guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.
Your heart became proud
on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
I made a spectacle of you before kings.
By your many sins and dishonest trade
you have desecrated your sanctuaries.
So I made a fire come out from you,
and it consumed you,
and I reduced you to ashes on the ground
in the sight of all who were watching.
All the nations who knew you
are appalled at you;
you have come to a horrible end
and will be no more.’” *
Lucifer is described as having had great privilege. He was a guarding cherub. But he became enamored of his own beauty and position, thinking them personal accomplishments and not freely bestowed gifts from the Father. Even when he harbored rebellion, craving power based on his newly-born narcissistic view of his place in God’s order, God had mercy. Although God could not allow Lucifer’s cancerous rebellion to continue unabated in the Heavenly kingdom, God did not destroy him outright. The angels had been given free will… to destroy one for choosing another path would negate the whole concept of free will. Instead, God expelled him from Heaven, as well as the third of Heaven’s angels he managed to convince with his arguments that God was a tyrant and they ought to be able to make up their own minds about the rightness or wrongness of their philosophies and life trajectories—and the concept Alternative Facts was hatched.
According to the Genesis account, as well as Ezekiel’s words, Lucifer decided to hang out in the Garden of Eden where he purposed to recruit God’s newest creation to his cause. They were a fitting target for his devilish mind, for they were made in God’s image and were also given the gift of creation, through procreation. Lucifer wanted to deface this image and replace it with his own twisted image to pay God back for the expulsion. He not only pulled this young couple into his rebellion, promising the secret wisdom that he claimed God was unfairly keeping from them (likely a similar argument used on the now fallen angels), but he also attacked their act of procreation, twisting this act of love into a weapon that has been wielded by every selfish generation since. First he attacked the couple’s procreation act, then the children resulting from that act. Think about that…the human family didn’t even make it two generations with all deaths by ‘natural causes’ (I put that in quotes because there was nothing natural about death in perfect Eden- generations of acceptance of Lucifer’s rebellion produced that concept). Cain murdered Abel because he craved having Abel’s blessing. He wanted to mar the image of God that was present in Abel. Cain had fully bought into Lucifer’s trajectory to become Satan.
We ask, how could a perfectly created angel, given so much beauty and privilege rebel against God and choose to become the embodiment of evil we now know as Satan? The answer we most often hear is that “if there was a reason for sin, there would be an excuse for it.” I see this same lust for power in our current age. People who claim to be followers of God are choosing paths that deface the image of God. In Paul’s words:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.**
We see droves of people embracing ‘alternative facts’, claiming their cause is noble and Godly while embracing rabid hatred for anyone who does not look or sound like they do. They rail that someone unlike them may be afforded privilege they’ve taken for granted for generations. They rankle that these people may even be afforded different privileges that they haven’t been able to claim as theirs alone. They’ve been given enormous privilege, and yet are driven to fury that someone not made in their image may be able to taste a crust of privilege. They have no excuse, they can only present their alternative facts to rally like-minded troops to their power-lusting army. They have adopted Lucifer’s trajectory.