Cain--Not a Good Start to the Human Race: Why We Need To Be Born Again

It is remarkable, in a negative sense, that the very first person born of a woman, born of human parents, turned out to be the murderer of his own brother. I never really thought about that until rather recently. That, Cain's evil action, is a horrible way to begin this new species which God created to be His temple and His very spouse. I don't think we usually give this fact much thought; but I find it shocking. I think there is much to understand and learn from the fact that he, the very first one down the shoot of this great, new model, turned out so badly.

As I mentioned in an earlier entry, Saint John refers to Cain as the son of the devil. I think he is speaking in more than a metaphorical sense. According to my understanding of the first chapters of Genesis, both the idea and the person of Cain was conceived based on what the serpent gave to the woman: both the information of how to have children together with his attitude of distrust in God. In a true, non-physical, way, the serpent is the father of Cain. All that the evil one seeks to do is destroy what God holds dear; he has nothing but disdain and total and complete hatred for all things human for we were made to be God's spouse. The serpent is the perfect archetypical murderer who Jesus called the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning. It is no wonder he assisted in the conception of a murderer.

Cain's physical father doesn't get off all that well either. Since, as the head of the family, he allowed it to follow a path God commanded them not to go down, since he allowed it to seek after life in distrust of God who made them, since he turned his back on his Creator and Lord and turned and trusted in the wisdom of the serpent, since he led his family to a deep spiritual adultery with his true spouse, God, the man, Adam, was a murderer for he spiritually and in many ways physically murdered himself and his family, the entire human race with his fall from grace. Both of Cain's fathers were murderers. I don't believe that that reality forced him to become a murderer; it simply makes it more understandable.

God did not give up on Cain either before he murdered his brother or after he did so. God reached out to him and tried to bring him back; Cain chose another way, his own way of self-glorification. He refused to be a temple of God and instead chose to build monuments to himself. He and his family sought to make a name for themselves; they sought to make their own truth; they sought to make their own life; they sought to make their own rules and their own morality; they sought to make their own fulfillment and heaven; they sought anything except God and put everything else in His place; they cut themselves off from the tree of life, from trusting in God the source of life, and so they built a culture of death...and died.

Saint John reduces the world down to a decision each of us makes between joining the children of God or the children of the devil: "Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil" 1 John 3:7-8.

The work of the devil was to steal the spouse of God; he did that and held humanity under his cruel bondage with seemingly no hope for survival. Children were supposed to come to us virginally having God as the father of the child (not in any sexual way, but as a gift from above). Because of the Fall, all children come from man and are not children of God. The way grace works is that it comes from God; by generation on our own, humans are incapable of handing on grace. What is called Original Sin is not some added on punishment God thought up but a natural consequence of how reality works: humans have no natural power to pass on grace, which is God's life. God has to pass on God's life; He does have us share in the passing on of grace to others, but grace comes from Him. The work of God, then, is to restore humanity back to grace and make us His children and spouse once more.

So the Fall created the condition we call Original Sin for due to the Fall, everyone is born a son of man. No one is born a son of God. Because of the Fall, all children come about through sexual relations and are children of men and in some sense children of the devil. This is why Jesus teaches that we need to be born from above, born again, born of God. Our first birth was a birth into the bondage of sin and satan, and our inheritance is only what our hating father, satan, wants to give us. God provides us a way to be born again so that we can actually become His children. That Way is His Son Jesus who allows us to die with Him in His crucifixion and so rise with Him in His resurrection to become a new creation.

Without God we are self-consumed seekers of our own life and glory, and the fruit of such soil and of such a tree is what we are in ourselves, lifeless dust and death. With God we are self-sacrificing lovers who seek to please our True Spouse, The Living God, and bear abundant and life-giving fruit for the healing of the nations. Without God we make ourselves a worthless object, and we make everyone else around us merely an object for our use and pleasure to be disposed of when we are through. With God we lose ourselves, become His spouse, re-personalize everyone around us and inspire them to live life abundantly as the companion of the Living God; we inspire them to realize the true dignity that he and every human person has as a precious vessel made to be the abode of God, the God who lays down His life for love of His beloved. God makes us imitators of Himself, a self-sacrificing lover who gives life to the world. How awesome is our calling.

Thanks for reading and for your prayers.
Copyright 2007.


Mary Anne said...

Who creates one's soul, then? Is is a mere natural entity? or one that springs from Satan?

Anthony Biese said...

Hello Mary Anne,

God is the Creator, and He still is the one to create us, both body and soul. Satan has no part in creation, nor is he capable of creating anything, other than a mess. He is a powerful and potent creature, but he is still only a creature and a twisted and, in the true sense, impotent one, too.
What I am saying is that God creates the soul, and the soul is meant to be a home for Him. The original plan was virginal conception wherein God would provide the fruit; thus, the children would be born His true children and endowed with sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace is not made to be passed on through physical generation, so once Adam and Eve chose the route of having children through physical generation, children were born without grace. Because they trusted in the wisdom of the serpent to achieve this new life of a son in direct disobedience to the one command, they somehow covenanted themselves to satan. Satan, thus, steals God's spouse and takes us to himself, in some sense. Humanity, then, is stuck in a deed-end relationship with an evil master bent on destroying us without any human hope for escape; this is symbolized when the Israelites were trapped up against the Red Sea with the Egyptian army bearing down upon them to slaughter them...and God saved them through the water of the Red Sea. The passage to a new life, the destruction of the enemy, is what happens in baptism wherein we are born again, born from above, and made God's actual children.
Baptism frees us from our bondage from sin and satan so that we can belong to our new spouse, Jesus. Then we spend the rest of our time in the desert on our way to the Promised Land being fed by the bread from heaven, the Eucharist.
I am not sure I have answered your question.
What I am saying is that the soul is created by God, but it is empty. It is made to house God's life, but we are born without that sanctifying grace. Satan doesn't do any creating; all he does is steal God's spouse, and as such, he has some claim against us so we are not free to go to heaven. Since in baptism we are born again, our old self dies thus breaking the bond we had with the serpent. Baptism frees us to be united to our One True Spouse.

Copyright 2007

Thanks for reading.