Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Most Environmentally-Friendly Verse in the Bible

A Very Convenient Truth - US$3.99 on Amazon Kindle
... excerpt from A Very Convenient Truth.

The Word of God is shot through with references to and images of the love God has for His Creation, the love Creation has for Him and the responsibility He has placed on us to take care of it. What’s more, He’s given us guidelines to follow; the root of the current problem is that we have strayed away from those guidelines. 

            First, though, a Scripture Reality Check: 

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth.
-- Genesis 1:1

            “In the beginning ….” – the first thing we have to acknowledge is that God made this whole show, wrote the whole script and is moving everything along according to a Plan He’d already worked out before He ever said, “let there be light!” He takes credit for all things that have been made (John 1:3), and as Job pointed out, that includes the “bad” as well as the “good”; notice how He says, in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, that He will “shut up heaven” and bring other such natural disasters. 

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people;
If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Genesis 1:1 is the most environmentally-friendly piece of Scripture in the whole Bible. How? Because it establishes that there is a well-defined Authority to whom we’re accountable. God created everything and for that reason alone, we need to subject ourselves to Him. As we’ll see shortly, there are lots of other reasons to subject ourselves to Him when it comes to the environment.

Why do I believe Genesis 1:1? Because it's written in His Word --the same Word that tells me I’m saved, redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ and given a new chance at life.

All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
-- John 1:3

And because God created all, we are answerable to Him, which is what makes Genesis 1:1 the environmentally-friendly verse. We have a very high Authority to answer to – certainly higher than any scientists, politicians, activists and celebrities who have spoken out on the issue. These are, after all, fallible human beings, just like anybody else. 
            Now consider this: “… and God saw that it was good.” 
            Throughout Genesis 1, that is the coda to every stage of Creation: the indelible stamp that God saw that what He had done was good. Now since, as Jesus says, there is “none good but God” (Matt. 19:17[i]), anything God has made is an extension of Him. That tells you just how high the stakes are in this game: our lives are surrounded by extensions of God and we (as we’ll see shortly) have been given the responsibility to care for and nurture those extensions.
Mind you, this is not to say that we regard Creation as being God Himself. Paganism and animism and similar philosophies take that fatal step, but in so doing, they deny the vital principle of accountability to an Authority. I believe that’s one of the reasons why alternate theories like evolution and natural selection become so popular – even in the absence of real scientific proof – humans, fallen creatures that we are, really don’t want to be accountable to anything but to our own conscience. 
            Strangely, many people who believe in Creation miss the point about accountability, themselves. The environment is repeatedly sacrificed either for the perceived need to feed one’s family or out of greed, plain and simple. Have you ever tried to convince someone – especially someone who thinks they’re “right with God” – that they’re committing sin? Yet we’ll see soon that destroying Creation without taking steps to replenish it is the “original environmental sin”.

            And if people try to “clean up the mess” or prevent it from happening in the first place without acknowledging their accountability to God as Creator and in control of all things, they find the efforts are futile. In fact, if the object of the efforts is to “stop global warming,” they’re already doomed to failure.

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