*Image is from Rodale’s Organic Life
Genetics. We can’t get away from them. Pretty much everything we eat, unless you are a strict geophagist, has a genetic component. And what constitutes a genetically modified organism? People have been modifying the genomes of plants and animals for millennia. Just look at all of the varieties of apples we have, or man’s best friend.
It seems that the term, GMO, is reserved for creatures whose genome has been altered by means that are beyond natural cross-breeding; alterations that would never happen in nature, by any stretch of the imagination.
And what about our genomes? We are finding that things people once thought were simple choices, like alcoholism, lesbianism, being socially insensitive most of the time (now known as autism) have very strong genetic components.
I, of course, struggle with autism, and I am certain I could very easily become an alcoholic, which is why I am very careful about how much and when I drink.
So why does God tell me through the Bible,
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)?
God does not say I shouldn’t drink alcohol at all, but I shouldn’t let it take me over, instead, I should let Him take me over. But for someone who is a candidate for alcoholism, I can understand how that would be a very tough statement for someone who actually does struggle with alcoholism.
And why, when God knows it is extremely difficult for me to think of the perspective of others (actually it is impossible, on my own, without a lot of coaching, first), does he say this in Philippians 2:1-4:
(1) Therefore if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, (2) then make my joy complete by being of one mind, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose.
(3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. (4) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
As I was talking with a friend about this the other day, suddenly the following flowed out of our conversation. Now, keep in mind that I have a biology minor, so I am somewhat well-versed in the scientific perspective of biology in general, and genetics in particular. But as we were talking, God seemed to pour this through us:
Yes, we are all genetically predisposed to various things, be it singing, stealing, dancing, dealing, cooking, cheating, making things, murder, smiling, smoldering, you get the picture. It is impossible for us, on our own power, to follow what the Bible says, to even want to follow what the Bible says, without this:
(5) Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. (6) Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. (7)So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ (8) The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you it is with people born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 5-8)
So, Jesus is saying that to be part of His kingdom, I need to be genetically modified. I need to be unnaturally changed by the supernatural to even be interested in living life to the fullest.
Does God actually change our physical genome, or does he just give us the supernatural power to overcome our genome, I don’t know. I just know that I want that!
Jesus, later in that chapter tells us how we can experience being born again:
(16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16 -17)
Believe in Jesus, and God will genetically modify you by giving you his Holy Spirit to help you do the impossible.
Wow! I want to be the ultimate GMO! How about you?