After God made Adam, He put him in the Garden of Eden “to dress and to keep it” (Gen. 2:15). Although Scripture does not provide any more information about these activities, we can be sure that Adam’s work involved the use of various tools to take care of the garden that God had planted (Gen. 2:8).1
Genesis 3 confirms this inference by informing us that Adam and Eve engaged in some skilled activity that involved their using an unspecified tool for fabricating for a specific purpose something that had never existed before:
Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
A close consideration of this revelation about their first actions after they had fallen shows that it has direct applicability to some key issues pertaining to the debate about the propriety of Christian use of rock music.
Who Made These Fig Leaf Aprons?
God made the fig tree (or trees) that the leaves came from (Gen. 2:8-9), but the Spirit tells us that Adam and Eve took the fig leaves, sewed them together, and made aprons for themselves (Gen 3:7). Plainly, Scripture is saying that Adam and Eve, and not God, made these aprons.
Furthermore, the text does not say in any way that God directed them to make these aprons. In fact, we have no basis for holding that they had ever received any prior revelation concerning taking fig leaves and crafting aprons from them.
What Was Involved in Making These Aprons?
To make these aprons, Adam and Eve used their God-given creative abilities to invent an entirely new use of the leaves from the good fig tree that God made. In doing so, they in addition had either to invent or to put to a new use some kind of tool to sew them together and to do something similar about the thread or other material that they used to sew the fig leaves together.
What Was God’s Assessment of Their Making the Aprons?
After they had made the aprons (Gen. 3:7), Adam and Eve hid themselves from God (Gen. 3:8). God then dealt with them about their sinful eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:9-24).
After He had dealt with them about this sin, He made coats of skins and clothed Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:21). His doing so shows that He deemed the aprons that they had invented unfit for accomplishing the purpose for which they had made them.
Application to Issues Concerning the Propriety of Christian Use of Rock Music
The first recorded instance of human creative activity involved taking good preexisting materials that God had created and producing an entirely new entity that had never existed before. Even though everything that Adam and Eve used to make these fig leaf aprons was a good thing that God created, the resulting product was not fit for use for the purpose for which they made it.
The application of this revelation to issues concerning the propriety of Christian use of rock music becomes clear through an analysis of how many Christian proponents of the use of rock music argue for their position. As we consider their arguments, we must keep in mind vital points of correspondence between what they say and what we have discovered through our comparative examination of Genesis 3:7 and 3:21.
Some proponents of Christian use of rock music argue that instrumental rock music necessarily is inherently fit for human use because they hold that God created all music. Not only does the Bible provide no support for this view, but also it provides explicit revelation that points to fallen humans, and not God, as the originators of human musical styles (Gen. 4:21; see this post for an explanation of this key point).
In response to this biblical data, proponents of Christian use of rock music argue that all human musical styles are still good because God created as good all the elements of music that fallen humans have combined to form all the musical styles that they have originated. Because all the elements were created as good, they hold that all combinations of those elements must also necessarily be good and fit for human use.
Our analysis of Genesis 3:7 and 3:21, however, has shown that Scripture presents a key instance when human creative activity involving the combining of good things that God created did not result in a product that was suitable for the purpose for which it was made. Because Scripture provides us with this explicit evidence, we know that any argument that insists that every way of combining good musical elements that God has created necessarily must result in a musical style that is fit for human use is false.
Supporters of rock music, therefore, cannot legitimately argue that rock music necessarily is inherently fit for human use because it merely combines good musical elements that God created. No such necessity for the fitness of such a combination exists and making such an argument is refuted by the direct implications of Genesis 3:7 and 3:21.2
Biblical revelation about the unsuitability of the fig leaf aprons that Adam and Eve invented shows that Christians who use rock music cannot justify their doing so by arguing that rock music is necessarily a fit-for-human-use musical style because it was originated by combining good musical elements that God created. Proving that rock music is a musical style that is fit for human use requires more than asserting that it is merely a combination of good musical elements.
1 We are unable to know definitively where Adam got these tools and how he learned to use them. It is possible that he invented them.
2 This examination of Genesis 3:7 and 3:21 does not prove that rock music is unfit for human use. It only proves that an argument for the necessity of the fitness of rock music for human use based on its being a combination of good elements is invalid.
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