The following is part of a discussion I am having with a gent on LinkedIn.
I agree with you that we shouldn’t put anything in the mouth of God that he has not put there. Neither should we attribute anything to him that he has not said. I totally agree. As an example of this I suggest that this is exactly what you have done in bringing up systems.
I’m just guessing here but I don’t think you meant by ‘system’ that you meant only groups of people operating as a family, government, or religion. If you had, I still wouldn’t be happy with it. The reason is this. The Bible does not use the word system to describe how people interrelate in the various spheres of life. It uses the word ‘covenant’ (and maybe some others that don’t come to mind right now). Let me be quick to point out that I use words that are not found in Scripture. For example, I talk about the ‘Trinity’ all the time and that is not a word found in Scripture.
The difference between your use of ‘system’ and my use of ‘Trinity’ is that ‘system’ takes me away from the Bible to understand and discuss the concept and ‘Trinity’ takes me to the Bible to understand and discuss it. The word ‘system’ is not an innocent word that simply means a group of people working together. It has philosophical, historical, and psychological roots that cause it to mean a lot more than a person who doesn’t know what is going on might think.
In addition, when a non-Christian term is used to describe something the Bible uses a different word for, and it has a very different meaning, you not only take us away from the bible in an intellectual way, you also take us away from what could have been food for our souls. If instead of studying ‘systems theory’ we had spent our time studying ‘covenant’ we would have grown in the knowledge and grace of God. We would have become more godly and more mature in Christ. It would have taught us to know and love our Bibles even more than we do now. Vibrant relationship with God is our goal as ministers and counselors.
Another problem with using non-Christian words as if they were synonymous with Biblical words or concepts, when they aren’t, is that we are doing the same thing the Israelites were doing when they made the golden calf, in Exodus 32, and called it their God. Saying that God’s questions are psychological questions, the systems are really covenantal units, anger comes from fear and/or sadness, we need to forgive ourselves, and any other psychological terminology that seems to translate a biblical term or concept is to put something in God’s mouth that was never in his mouth. And he is not pleased with it. It might be a good idea to check out Exodus 32 and see what he thinks about creating another god and calling it Yahweh.
Two final things: First, I got the notion that Cain was angry, from Genesis 4:5-6; “So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?” God warned Cain to get a hold of his passions, but instead he went out and murdered his brother.
Second, all of the human relationships were present in the garden before fall. God established religion when he began creating. Everything brought glory to God and related to God. When God created Adam and Eve, they were in fellowship with him. This is religion. It is what Jesus’ death and resurrection restored, and it is what we call people to when we counsel them. God established the family in the garden when he created Eve. And he established government when he appointed Adam to name the animals and rule over them and told him which food to eat and not eat. The only thing added after the fall was repairing the fall.