In his fascinating book, Honor and Shame, Roland Muller points out three main consequences to the fall of man in the Garden, and how those consequences have formed three main worldviews (and related cultures) today.
In Genesis 3:7 we read, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” From this verse we see that GUILT was a result of man’s disobedience. According to Muller, much of Western culture today is based on guilt and innocence, right and wrong.
On the heels of recognizing their guilt, Adam and Eve “…hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (v.8). In other words, they felt SHAME over what they’d done. Much of the Middle and Far East live within shame cultures today.
When God called to Adam as he hid, this was Adam’s response, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (v.10). While this verse alone includes all three consequences, the new one introduced is FEAR. Today, many cultures (especially in Central and South America) are dominated by fear of spirits, fear of the supernatural, etc.
Guilt, shame, and fear – all are natural responses to man’s sin before a Holy God. While every culture and every religion attempt to find answers to these problems, only faith in Christ successfully deals with each.
Hallelujah that through faith in Christ we can be forever free of sin’s guilt, shame, and fear! –Dave
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