The Cain Syndrome Lives On
“Cain came before God with murmuring and infidelity in his heart in regard to the promised sacrifice and the necessity of the sacrificial offerings. His gift expressed no penitence for sin. He felt, as many now feel, that it would be an acknowledgment of weakness to follow the exact plan marked out by God, of trusting his salvation wholly to the atonement of the promised Saviour. He chose the course of self-dependence. He would come in his own merits. He would not bring the lamb, and mingle its blood with his offering, but would present his fruits, the products of his labor. He presented his offering as a favor done to God, through which he expected to secure the divine approval. Cain obeyed in building an altar, obeyed in bringing a sacrifice; but he rendered only a partial obedience. The essential part, the recognition of the need of a Redeemer, was left out.” PP 72.1
It fascinates me at times…the things I like taking into my own hands. My best friend once told me (in confidentiality of course) that I could be a control freak at times. But come on, who doesn’t like wielding the power to control the outcome of any event? Who doesn’t like doing things their way? But is this the attitude that I have when it comes to salvation?
The story of Cain and Abel is oh too familiar to many of us. Two brothers who were both equal, both sinners, and who had both accepted the existence of God, but Cain refused to accept the great principles of redemption. He wanted to receive it on his own merits; by his own hard work.
Cain’s legacy lives on today and we can see it in many of us. The first example that popped up into my mind, after reading Sister White’s passage, was the teaching of indulgence. In Roman Catholic theology, the Catholic Church grants indulgence, the remission of temporal punishment due for sins that have already been forgiven, for specific good works and prayer.
But the “Cain syndrome’s” severity is not only evident in the doctrines of a whole church, but also in the lives of many who go out trying to do good to justify sin.
Now I know, how absurd right? Since when did doing “good” ever become wrong? I remember a story that my Sabbath School teacher once told me about the people who were facing judgment at the end of time. A woman step before our God pleading to see the Heavenly kingdom saying, “I was a singer in your church. I sang every Sabbath,” but she was denied. A man step before our God pleading to see the Heavenly kingdom saying, “I was preacher in your church. I preached your word,” but he too was denied.
Now I am not condemning singing in church or preaching, but we cannot do these deeds expecting them to justify our wrongs and give us redemption. For it is not through our own deeds, nor our own merits that we shall see the Heavenly kingdom, but through His blood and His blood alone.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is a none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12