Death, suffering and violence BEFORE the fall is GOOD?!!


Well-known member
It is rather shocking to me that I meet the claim from several corners, that before Adam and Eve transgressed, death and suffering were a vital part of the ecosystem and considered "very good." People seem to posit this when they struggle to harmonize the fall in their reasoning, seeing that many very ancient animals ate each other and were diseased, and seeing that the fabric of physical laws seems to demand there be imperfections in biological function and competitive destructive behavior.

A book I have read on this, Death Before the Fall, espouses this very view, and a Protestant defender of the faith Gavin Ortlund has also spoken positively of this view, just to name two brief examples. Are we really to consider that "very good" includes imperfections, and even more—things we feel and consider intuitively seem reflective of moral evil—animals ripping each other apart, insects burrowing into victims, all of creation "groaning" with painful sufferings?

Now it can be pointed out that plants were described as food, and if you consider a plant as living—which the Bible and logic might be used to defend—then to eat these plants necessitates a form of death before the fall. Under the world we see today, endless replications would meet with terrible consequences, over crowding and depletion of resources—and many do not seem to think about how the command to "be fruitful and multiply" was actually pre-fall.

Some go so far as to have humans riding around peacefully on giant dinosaurs with hundreds of razor sharp teeth the size of large spears and daggers. The T-Rex is said to likely have the strongest crushing bite force of any animal ever, able to kill other large dinosaurs with a single chomp. Are we to think these teeth could really efficiently cut and process plant materials and the entire digestive system designed for meat could live off of grass and leaves?

Modern day cats, who require the majority of their diet be meat or they simply die, and are completely designed around efficiently detecting and chasing down prey, with incredible whiskers and phenomenal agility; somehow could they have the ability to peaceful chew and digest the grass they now constantly throw up? We see grass-eating animals do not have pursuit and agility skills in the same way, since the only abilities they need are anti-predator, mainly running fast or long distances.

I personally cannot justify such a view. There is a reason death, simply as a principle and idea all of itself, is only and always connected with judgment in sin in the Bible—it is not "very good." Death and suffering before the fall reflects on God's character in a powerfully negative way—it makes the evils and imperfections of creation, not a consequence of rebelling against God, that God hates, that God never desired, that makes God weep—but in fact God's primary description of "very good," making horrible suffering something God likes, a factor of God's blessing and goodness itself.

The whole point of the Garden of Eden story, is to show that God's initial and direct intentions were only for good, and not for evil, just as he constantly says all throughout Scripture! The idyllic states described in the Bible do not glorify or approve of scenarios with constant victimization, suffering, opppresion and mutual competitive destruction—but in fact deliberately contradict that with perfect peace and "none shall harm in all my holy mountain" and "no more crying and sorrow and pain."

We intuitively feel when we see a spider sucking the guts out of a helpless moth, when we see a dog chasing down and mauling a little kitten, when we see a group of lions ripping the limbs off of zebras, as they keep them alive in agony, when we see a group of sucking flies overwhelm a cow with bites drawing all its blood, that all these things are in no way whatsoever "very good" and do not reflect the intent and desire of God—this is not what heaven is going to be like.

And so to protect the character of God, to properly describe the evilness of sin, to ascribe to God the glory and honor due his judgments, we simply must acknowledge this creation, although mercifully containing elements of God's redemptive goodness because of Christ's great sacrifice, is still completely cursed and twisted and marred, and does reflect the pure goodness of God's intentions. "Do I rejoice in death" saith the Lord?!
Animals were not eating animals before the fall.... There was no death nor disease.

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth
and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all
the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that
move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give
every green plant for food.” And it was so." Genesis 1:29-30​

How that man sold commentary is beyond me.

God declaring after mostly each creative act "good" means, "good [enough]" or "to specification."
The same as we do after a job well done. We say things like "job well done," or "that was good enough" when we come to the end of what we are doing.
After we mow the grass and inspect our work, if we are satisfied, we think to ourselves our work mowing the grass was "good enough" or "just the way I wanted it to be" (to specification.)
This is the meaning of "good" in the Genesis creation narrative.
Are we really to consider that "very good" includes imperfections, and even more—things we feel and consider intuitively seem reflective of moral evil
Please consider:
The words of Genesis 2:18 are very familiar to us today: The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.’

Have you ever considered the implication of this NOT GOODNESS being corrected before everything was judged to be VERY GOOD, verse 1:31? Does it imply that GOD created something as not good, ie, lo tov?

How could Adam be alone when GOD was in full fellowship with him? How does the presence of GOD need to be augmented by someone else for Adam to be 'not alone'?

Did HE make a mistake or did something change within HIS creation so Adam was alone? Do we not believe that the only thing that can separate us from GOD is the free will choice to be sinful, to rebel against HIM?

And how does GOD fix this not good? HE brings the animals to Adam to name them and to see if his helpmeet was among them: Gen 2:20 The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

helper: S5828. ezer
Definition: a help, helper

suitable: S5048: neged:
in front of, in sight of, opposite to
Does anyone have a reason so many, ie, most, commentators of this verse leave out any reference to the word neged, that is, “in front of, in sight of, opposite to” as to its meaning to the verse or to the English, suitable? It seems like a wild guess as to what it means here...

So Adam did not just need a companion (perhaps, wife as most commentators suggest?) but he needed help with something... and the help was not just a general help such as with his gardening job but a specialized, suitable, helping as by a teacher, mentor or example, perhaps.

Does this need for a specialized helper impact at all upon the question: "Whose idea was it that Adam look among the animals for a his suitable, ie specialized, helper?" GOD knew HE had Eve in the wings for him so it must have been Adam's idea that an animal might be suitable, right? So why did GOD acquiesce to Adam's wanting to look among the animals for his helper instead of just telling him, "Nope, I got someone special for you!?" It seems like there was some separation between them after all, eh? Some lack of communication between GOD and HIS perfect, faithful, creation? Some miscommunication, perhaps?

Or does it imply that Adam was not as he was created, ie perfect and innocent, but was being a little rebellious to GOD, ie, unfaithful in his heart against what GOD wanted for him? This story can be seen to imply that Adam was sinful at this time in the garden. Was this why he and Eve were characterized as `RM, erm, that is, naked, the exact same word also used of the serpent to describe his beng cunning in evil ?

If so, then their appearance in the garden cannot have been their creation because they must have had time after their creation to understand GOD's commands and to break at least one of them to become sinful.

Since the rabbis were convinced Adam and Eve were created in the garden, they rejected the idea they were already sinners when they arrived in the garden (GOD cannot create evil people - at least, not until HE needs to do so for some unknown reason, a reference to the inherited sin fiasco ...another blasphemy altogether...) so they interpreted `rm as naked, not cunning in evil though the spelling was exactly the same. The Church Fathers agreed with the Hebrew scholars and ignored the implications of this story. Eisegesis can be fun, eh?

Neither has it been proven that very good refers to a moral state of being and not to GOD's purpose. If the purpose of God's creation of the earth was as a reform school to chasten, convert and sanctify His fallen, sinful Church then His creation of the earth for the purpose of the redemption of His church could indeed be called very good even though part of the church was already fallen and not doing so good.
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The Bible overwhelmingly supports original sin:
Christian interpretation and pov overwhelmingly supports original sin... but I do not think that interpretation is correct, sigh.

Please bear with me and consider:
IF original sin means that we inherit a sinful nature from Adam and NOT that we are guilty of our own free will decision to sin, then I cannot accept it until some questions are answered to my satisfaction...

1. Sinner only by a free will choice to sin
IF we are created as sinful without any choice to be sinful then it stands to reason that this lack of mens rea means I am not guilty of any sin / crime and should not be held accountable OR IF I am guilty, that I must have intended to sin to get a sinful nature. If I have a sinful nature from Adam then it is either Adam who is guilty of all my sins or it is GOD because HE did not have to create me a member of Adam's sinful family!

2. Against scripture
I need to know how this doctrine doesn't contradict the doctrine so clearly laid out in Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son (US) shall not bear the iniquity of the father (ADAM), neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked (THOSE WHO CHOSE BY THEIR FREE WILL TO BE WICKED) shall be upon him.
How can we say neither the foetus nor the infant dies for their own sin if they have no chance to choose sin? Do we not say they die in Adam's sin? This contradiction with scripture must be rethought.

3. Death proves sin
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, implies death proves sin. So yes, people die at all ages but they must die for their own sin, not anyone else's: Jeremiah 31:30 "But everyone will die for his own iniquity;... says it clearly.

4. Loving righteousness cannot create evil
1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. Can darkness come from light? Can stagnant foul water come from a spring of pure life giving water? Of course not and neither can dark (evil ) come from Light (loving righteousness). This foolishness is like striking a match and expecting dark to fill the room!

GOD cannot create evil people by any means including forcing them to be born without their aquiessence into Adam's sin. Orthodoxy only needs this blasphemous doctrine because they have completely accepted the hypothesis that we are created in sin on earth so there is no time for us to sin by our free will.

1 John 2:16 For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-- comes not from the Father but from the world. To create us with a sin nature means that all these things comes for our nature as HE created it. This verse denies that very openly.

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts --murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. Is 'heart' another name for our created 'human nature' or 'sinful nature'? Then you know what I think...

Gal 5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. The sinful nature and the Spirit are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. The flesh and the Spirit are contrary to each other, they are in conflict! One cannot produce the other as a fulfillment of any purpose whatsoever. How is it reasonable to think GOD creates that which HE is in conflict with...? GOD's Kingdom is not divided by the creation of evil as it would be IF HE created it: Luke 11:17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. the context that Satan will not cast out demons which must extrapolate to therefore Christ would never be involved with creating evil.

IF it is blasphemous to say Jesus cast out demons by the finger of Satan, how much more to say that HE created all human evil by creating us in Adam's evil and liable to judgement?? And this is also in the context of: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."

Gal 5:19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. If these things are outside of the Kingdom of God then GOD as the HIGH KING cannot nor would not (if HE could) ever create them or the impulse to do them or a nature that would inevitably lead to them. And does not the creation of evil create dissensions, factions within HIS Kingdom??? Duh, it suddenly creates eternal evil enemies but no dissensions or factions??? <headshake, facepalm> Put this in the context of the sinful good (elect) seed who are born / created sinful yet are sown / born as people of the kingdom, Matt 13:38 and as believers are not condemned for their sins, Jn 3:18 though born / created as sinners. What a mess!

I contend that before we were sown into the earth by the Son of Man, we chose to become people of the kingdom by our free will decision to accept YHWH as our GOD and HIS Son as our saviour from all sin by faith, not proof. Some chose to reject HIS claims to be our GOD and put their faith in HIM being a liar and a false god and by so doing made themselves unable to ever fulfil the purpose for their creation, unable to be redeemed as having put themselves by their free will outside of HIS saving grace and fit only to be banished to the outer darkness. Some of the elect people of the kingdom rejected HIS call for the judgement upon these reprobate and became sinful themselves, forcing the postponement of the judgement until they could be made holy, that is, in total agreement with all HIS plans, especially the judgment, Matt 13, the parable of the good seed and the tares.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. THESE are the things GOD creates - wherein is there any place for sin and evil to be created?

5. HIS Bride as filthy rags
Since the wedding of the Lamb to His Bride finishes the Bible story after all evil is vanished from this reality, it would seem to be the culmination of the story, the whole reason why we were created, the purpose in fact of our creation.

I need to know how this purpose is enhanced by our being created in Adam's sin where we are sick and evil and the best we can do is filthy rags (we all know the allusion here). Orthodoxy claims HE proved HE could create innocents with a free will so there is no reason to put us into Adam's blood line at all unless HE wanted us to be evil in HIS sight and this was HIS method. I have asked this question of orthodox believers for years and have found no reason let alone a good reason for why HE would do this.

It is as if HE could only have a perfect Bride if HE first created her as grossly sick and evil, perhaps the grosser the better. This doctrine severely limits HIS creative ability as if HE ran out of the power to create innocents and could only create sinners.
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