The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” (Genesis 4:10-12 NKJV)
One of the keys to recovering a distinctly biblical perspective is correcting the false cosmology of mainstream American Christianity. It’s a deeply schizophrenic mess. On the one hand, buying into the materialistic Western epistemology (assumptions about reality) means we are locked in a single universe. Because of the odd way that Greco-Roman mythology mixes with Anglo-Saxon-Celtic mythology, we end up with a religious assertion that there is a Heaven and Hell, but the doctrine of afterlife is highly afflicted with materialistic reasoning. Thus, we have assertions that our understanding of Heaven/Hell must conform to this materialistic logic, but it is also larded with spooky superstition. In the end, you have something you cannot perceive with your senses, but it must be here somewhere inside our material universe.
So the first step is pointing out how the Bible presumes that fundamental reality is the Spirit Realm, and it’s not spooky. It is ineffable, but wonderful. Meanwhile, our reality here in this universe is a temporary bubble, a constrained existence with restrictions and problems. We are not in a context that God intended for us. We chose something else, tantamount to rejecting revelation and closing off our hearts from dominance, and choosing to enthrone our human reason over our hearts. All this blather about how faith must be intellectually reasonable is actually confirming us in our fallen state. Western Christians have locked themselves out of contact with the Spirit Realm, because they have this a priori assumption that the mind isn’t a part of the fallen nature, and insist that God must address us on the level of our intellects. There is an unconscious demand that God agree to our decision to pull truth down onto our human level of control.
So we struggle against Western Christians who demand a literal meaning backed by some bogus theory of “propositional truth.” At the same time, these same Bible wonks insist certain crucial Hebrew phrases cannot possibly be taken literally because our culture makes no room for it. Western Christians read the heathen mythology of the heart back into the Bible. Thus, it becomes a symbol for something quasi-emotional, and not easily known or trusted. This is directly contrary to the Hebrew belief that the heart is a superior faculty of both sensing and knowing, separate from the sensory and intellectual faculties of common conscious awareness. This is not a deep dark secret of Hebrew mythology; it’s common knowledge among those who take the trouble to study Hebrew intellectual traditions. It shows up in consumer grade commentaries on Scripture, but most people cannot absorb it because it’s just too contrary to the social conditioning.
When Scripture says God could hear blood crying out from the ground, that’s as close to literal as you can get. It’s not spooky superstitious nonsense, though Western minds cannot avoid associating it that way on some subconscious level. That’s where the schizophrenia comes in, with the conscious orthodoxy fighting a priori assumptions. God heard that cry. It stood as living moral evidence before Him. The problem is that our society has no place for the faculty of heart-mind, and it is in the heart where moral reality registers.
So it’s not enough to see a clear and distinct separation between the Spirit Realm and our universe, but there is a boundary layer where the two intersect, and it’s fundamental nature is moral. God created all things, and it stands to reason on any level that His Creation would reflect His personal nature. Anything He makes would bear the imprint of His character. In order for us to understand that, we have to throw aside the image of the universe as some kind of inert material, and embrace the blunt Hebrew language saying that Creation is a living thing. At the same time, we experience Creation as a jillion living things. Every living thing is discretely a person on some level. And the Hebrew Scripture goes on to assert that God made it like that intentionally, that His Creation is a living thing that depends on His life. So the dirt can talk, but its language isn’t a matter of cerebral facts; it speaks the language of revelation, which is moral truth.
Cain’s killing of Abel was unjustified. Scripture makes it plain that killing is no sin in itself. There are too many places where He flatly commands executions of individuals, and established that principle in the Covenant of Noah. Noah stands as long as there are rainbows. Taking human life is not the issue, but that it must serve a morally just purpose — it must meet God’s approval. And that justice bears little resemblance to Anglo-Saxon mythology about moral justice, since God is not some Germanic pagan deity. His is a moral justice that characterizes the “primitive” ancient Hebrew people. That culture just happened to be the one God designed and formed specifically as the best place to reveal Himself. Knowing God starts with knowing that culture and it’s definition of justice.
Of course, that means you don’t have a clue about Jesus without understanding something of that culture, because Jesus insisted that His teaching was implicit in that ancient culture. Jesus used that same terminology of living from the heart, while the intellect was designed to serve instead of reign. Most of the stuff Westerners find spooky is connected to that moral boundary layer between this world and the Spirit Realm. If you deny that the heart is superior to the intellect, you deny that the moral boundary layer exists, and you cut yourself off from understanding that God is speaking through such paranormal manifestations.