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Moral Conundrums
by Fred Pruitt

Remember the story of Prometheus? Mankind was suffering, and Prometheus, who was one of the former race, the Titans, who had ruled before the Olympians took over (Zeus, Hera, Apollo, etc.), wanted to help mankind. The Olympian gods had no desire to help man in his suffering, and would have seen man perish, but Prometheus decided to go against the commandment of Zeus and go up to the mountain and steal fire and give it to man.

Prometheus was successful in his mission: he stole the fire from the gods and gave it to men who were shivering in the cold. But Zeus bound Prometheus to a rock high in the mountains, and commanded birds to eat his flesh perpetually, for his transgression against the commandment.

The "mountain of God" is where you live in God and become Who He is, or rather He is Who you are. It is the pearl of great price which you sell all you have to buy. It is the transfiguration. It is the city afar off in our midst. It is the image you behold in the glass and which determines glory to glory. It is finding something hidden in mystery, hidden in Christ in God, and only in the revelation of The Christ do we appear as ourselves.

The only way there is by the fire. Lucifer was the first to try to take the fire. He did get the fire, but he used it wrongly and turned it in on himself eternally. Now he has opened in us the fire, which is the fulness of our selfhood, coming by the knowledge of good and evil which was forbidden to us, but through the Redeemer the Spirit turns the fire in us to outgoing light and blessing.

For some reason that reminds me of the nights before Saturday morning inspections at the US Air Force Academy. There was nothing more important in life than passing Saturday inspection. Your entire weekend depended on it. And as a freshman at USAFA, there wasn't much to look forward to even on the weekend, except that you could go to the student center where you could eat, bowl, see a movie, walk around, listen to records (remember them?), and all that was mighty precious. So the night before Saturday inspection was a big scramble.

Now one odd thing was this. We were told we had to buff our dorm room floors. They were linoleum tile, so for them to look nice you had to use wax and an electric buffer. The only trouble was, electric buffers were off-limits to freshmen, because the upperclassmen had to pass inspection, too, and they had all the buffers. So the dilemma was that all we freshmen had floors that needed to be waxed and buffed and we weren't allowed to use the machines to do that.

Somehow things are passed on from one generation to another, and we found out, unofficially, that what was expected of us was to break two regulations: one, stay up past lights-out, and two, use buffers which we were not allowed to use, after lights-out and the upperclassmen had gone to bed.

So that's what we all did. We did all the other things we could do, and then all hopped into bed at lights-out like good cadets, and waited a reasonable amount of time, and then we en masse snuck out of our rooms and went to the storage closets where the machines and supplies were, all being stealthy and quiet, so we wouldn't be "caught," even though all the upperclassmen knew what we were doing, because they had done it themselves when they were freshmen. So we all stayed up most of the night buffing our floors and pretending we weren't.

My point is that the only way to selfhood was to eat the apple.

Still is.

Jacob stole the blessing of his father (naming him the faith-inheritor in the line of Abraham) by deception from Esau. Yet the Promise and the Blessing went with him, he who had stolen it. And yet it had been intended for him all along. Tricky business.

It's the beginning of the journey. Everybody starts there. Knowledge of good and evil. Loss of innocence. Hiding in paradise. Ashamed. Cast out. Hard rigor. Thorns in the ground.

Until the day the scales fall off. Life swallows up good and evil. Innocence is restored. Revelation occurs in chaos and symphonies accompany everything. (Do you hear them?)

All this in discovering Christ in ourselves and ourselves in Him.

Romans 8:
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.