Except A Corn of Wheat...

by Sharon: Bachelor of Science UM
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." John 12:24 KJV

This verse, attributed to Jesus in the New Testament, is glaringly wrong. Can you see why?

Never mind whether or not Jesus actually lived, or whether or not this translation holds the "true" words of God. For the sake of argument, let us assume all of that is true, and these were the actual words spoken by Jesus, and therefore the actual words of God to us. What is wrong with the above statement ? Where does this statement fail in its assessment of both how to grow crops and how to live ones life?

For years I had an organic garden I cultivated and tended. It gave me great joy to learn the intricacies of how best to grow flowers and vegetables. I learned much about germinating seeds and spent many happy hours in my house with small containers of dirt containing all kinds of seeds under warming lights, waiting for the first hint of spring.

We have the advantage of science which explains that when you plant a seed it can do one of two things, it can die (many do) or it can germinate. So what is wrong with this statement by Jesus?

Well first of all it shows that Jesus and those in his generation, did not know the first thing about what happens to seeds when they are planted! Apparently they thought that when you plant a seed it dies and then "springs to life" in some sort of "resurrection" event thereby producing bountiful harvests. That is not what happens to seeds when they are planted.

We have the advantage of science which explains that when you plant a seed it can do one of two things, it can die (many do) or it can germinate. Those seeds which remain alive under the ground and germinate are the ones that produce crops. Those seeds that die produce nothing. Dead seeds produce no crops.

In addition to my organic garden I was also a devout evangelical Christian. I tended my garden faithfully, as I did my Christian faith. "Laying down my life" for others was a given, as this is what Jesus commanded. So I concentrated on applying my efforts to seeing that others became successful in their jobs and careers, while not worrying about my own success, as "God" would take care of that. I also applied my efforts to seeing that the "Kingdom of God" was advanced by volunteering my time and money to make my local church successful. For decades I was certain that my devotion to the principles of Christianity would provide me with a secure future, in this world and the world to come.

Then the marriage I trusted in to secure my life ended. Suddenly I was left without job opportunities and no secure source of income or health insurance. The three children I had devoted my "career years" to raising, launched into successful young adulthood and left home for college and excellent career prospects. I had "died to myself" and the result was now I had no career, no husband, and three kids I couldn't afford to help or enjoy. A complete reassessment was necessary!

Fortunately I rebounded quickly and cast off ancient superstitious "faith based" thinking and replaced it with science supported "reason based" thinking.

This bible verse is just one of many that showcases the ignorance of Jesus and his generation regarding many subjects, which science has since that time accurately detailed.

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