Monday, November 21, 2011

Christians and the Care of God’s Creation

Let me start by saying I have not always held the views I will put forth here.  But as I have grown in my understanding of God’s word and seek to be obedient to all of it, it has become increasingly clear to me that we as Christians should be the most diligent people caring for God’s creation.  In this care for God’s world, yes it is His, we do not do as the environmentalists and elevate the creation over the creator but instead seek to be the best stewards of what is God’s that we can be because that is what pleases Him.  We are to care for, be a steward of, His creation so that it can be used for His glory and that does not happen if we simply see God’s provision as ours to do with as we please.  God is most glorified when we see His grace in providing all that He does is firstly for His glory and then our good.

For too long the Christian community has taken its cues for how we are to relate to the world around us from the Rush Limbaugh’s, Sean Hannity’s, Ann Coulter’s and so many other “conservative” radio personalities rather than from God’s word.  We have rightly seen the error in the environmentalist movement but instead of asking what it is they are reacting to we have taken an equally wrong swing in the other direction.  Instead of seeing the call to subdue and have dominion (Gen 1:26-28) as a call to care for, grow and cultivate creation for God’s glory and our good we have instead often taken the idea of dominion as a free pass to damage, abuse and destroy and that does not glorify God or do us any good.  We need to not discard the concept of dominion but instead need to see it for what it was intended from the beginning, as stewardship with a mind that sees all as belonging to God and thus of value.

This stewardship we are to provide extends not only to the animals, foliage and land God has placed around us but also to our bodies and how we treat them.  If you think clearly, and biblically, on this I think you will find they are inter-related.  In all of this we are to seek to be the best stewards we can be; not to stop some theoretical end of the world but to bring glory to God as we show the world how we revere God and what He has graciously provided.  If we take God’s sovereignty seriously we should not only think that God has created that which is around us but that He has created it to work and live together as He designed it.  When we seek to modify this God ordered symbiosis we in essence say we know better than God and in the process seek to be God.

Is that not at the heart of much of what we do, that is to say God meant to do such and such but stopped short and we need to finish what He could not do.   I realize it is not always easy to see where our actions are trying to be as God and where we are seeking to work according to God’s purposes.  But there are areas that where it is much more clear such as in man’s attempts to genetically modify that which God has placed among us and thus seek to create new kinds.  This work of modifying what God has designed oversteps our bounds of stewardship as we attempt in our sin-tainted wisdom to create what God could not, or at least by our actions we say God could not.

So over the next few months or so, as time provides, I will be writing on a number of areas from care for the land to sustainable agriculture and whatever area comes to mind, all from a biblical perspective.  Since God’s word is applicable and sufficient for ALL areas of life I believe God wants us to live as such.  This view of life needs to flesh itself out in more than what we deem as spiritual, since at the end of the day all of life has a spiritual aspect, but needs to be applied to the physical as well.

Other Posts in this Series:
God, Work and Redemption

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