As stated before, if you thoroughly examine (and believe) the first three chapters of Genesis, then you can avoid just about every bad idea out there in philosophy, worldview, and religion. In these verses we see refuted the fallacies of asceticism and dualism.
Asceticism is defined by Webster’s as “practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline.” Here again we have a lie that has a measure of truth to it. We are supposed to not let our bodily appetites run our lives, and Paul said he “[struck his] body and [made] it [his] slave." But this can easily be taken too far. Think of monks and priests who abuse their bodies and deny their needs in order supposedly to get close to God. Behind that practice lies the belief that the physical universe is some how “bad” or at best a hindrance to our walk with the Lord. God, however, likes physical matter. The pattern starts with these verses and goes throughout the rest of the chapter: The Lord creates something and pronounces it “good.” All of creation is good, and that includes our physical bodies. This might not be too popular among Americans, but it's been a common error throughout history.
Another false idea is dualism. This is common in many religions around the world, especially in Eastern ones. This is the idea that all the universe is made up of equal, opposite, and warring forces. The “Light” and the “Darkness” are continually battling each other, and both are equally powerful, and (here’s a depressing thought) they never really will finish the conflict. Think of the “Force” in Star Wars, which has a "light" side and a "dark" side. As opposed to this, we have a God who both created “light” and separated it from the darkness. The apostle John tells us that “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." History is the record of the conflict between Satan and God, but this isn't a battle between equal forces. Also it does have an end: Read the book of Revelation. You might not think you’re a dualist, but if you ever let yourself slip into depression over how evil seems to be winning the fight and how God’s people are on the defensive, then you might be flirting with this error. The Lord God is sovereign (in charge), and the first word and the last word in history is his.
Lord, I praise you because you have created a beautiful world and I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Help me appreciate and be grateful for the simple pleasures you’ve showered upon me, without taking my eyes off you. You are sovereign God. Help me see the battle with the eyes of faith, knowing that the gates of hell will not prevail against your church.
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