care for creation

Three primary relationships are set up in the creation of the world; God’s relationship with man, man’s relationship with humanity, and humanities relationship with the created world.  The Bible teaches that each of these three relationships is damaged by sin.  God and man no longer have intimate fellowship, the man and woman begin to notice each other’s flaws, and the Bible talks about man having a tough time working the earth and being banished from an incredible garden.

Over the years the church has given a lot of focus to fixing the first two relationships.  After all Jesus did say that the two most important things are to love God and love people.  But I wonder if it is time to focus on mending the third relationship.  Not to minimize at all the importance of loving God and People but rather to highlight the love for them by respecting and caring for our created world.

I’ve heard people from PETA shout, “Animals are people too!”  No they are not, they are animals, which deserve humane treatment.  I’ve seen people ready to sacrifice their lives to save a tree, while I believe their life is infinitely more important than the tree, I love their passion for protecting God’s creation. We are not called to worship creation, rather to respect it.

I think the biggest problem with living a lifestyle that respects and protects the earth is the constant threat of being branded as an extremist or a liberal who is, “drinking the coolaid of the left…”  That is what I was called in an angry e-mail when I suggested on another Christian Leader’s blog that we need to respect creation) And yes they spelled Kool-Aid, “coolaid.”

My point is that Christians should stop talking about global warming or climate change in a politicized-rhetoric type of way and focus on loving our neighbors and God.  If I leant you my car and you brought it back all banged up, without even an attempt to fix it, what would it say that you thought of me?  God put some time into this earth.  I’m not sure if you have been to the Grand Canyon, but it’s elaborate.  Have you been SCUBA diving in Maui and seen the thousands of species of fish?  God spent some time creating all of it and God delegated its care to humanity.  Paul even talks about nature as a form of evangelism, “his invisible qualities are clearly seen,” since the creation. (Romans 1) Creation shows the power and majesty of a sovereign God.

Respecting nature is also a way to love our neighbor.  There has been some clear evidence that CFC’s had lead to a breech in the o-zone layer over Australia.  Scientist theorized that this lead to the alarming amount of skin cancer cases in the region.  So as good neighbors, we discontinued the use of CFC’s.  The hole is naturally mending.  Further, what does it say to our Brazilian friends when we clear-cut parts of the Amazon Jungle?  For some of the locals, the jungle is their means by which they survive.  How does it love to our global neighbors if we destroy the forest that changes carbon into life giving oxygen?

When it comes to creation care, we need to take conservatism and liberalism out of the equation.  Whether or not we are in a man-made global warming or in a cyclical time of climate change, our responsibility to care for this earth has a Biblical mandate.  Jesus’ imperative to love our neighbor and care for the poor necessitates that creation is duly protected.  May you so love God that you respect His creation and may you so love your neighbor that you protect the earth.

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