Sunday, April 28, 2019

Earth Day or God the Creator Day?

“All creation is meant to be a finger pointing us to ultimate glory, the only glory that can ever satisfy the human heart, the glory of God.”
                                                                                                Paul Tripp

  You have to admire commitment and creativity. After all, that’s how God designed us. Thirty-two-year-old Korey Nolan of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, spent seven months collecting hundreds of used Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cups to fashion a surfboard made out of 700 cups and more than 30 plastic straws along with other materials. Most of the cups came from family members who gave them to him, though some were picked up from the roadside. He placed 2nd out of 15 finalists in an innovation contest a competition put on by surf brand Vissla called the Creators and Innovators Upcycle Contest. Nolan compressed the raw materials together and finished his board using bamboo, epoxy, fiberglass cloth, fiberboard and Masonite compression mold. He says it “rides great.” That’s creativity!
  As Bible-believers, we’re to obey God’s Creation Mandate first given to Adam and Eve in the Garden, “And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).   
  Why do Christians often overlook a biblical commitment to creation? Last Monday was Earth Day. Many celebrating Earth Day “worship” the earth and creation living out Romans 1:25, “they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” Such wrongheaded thinking prioritizes creation over the Creator or the pinnacle of God’s creation – Man. We are and should be repulsed by idolatry. It can result in a foolish approach to environmentalism with a lack of thinking and an overreaction. A.W. Tozer insightfully observed, “the modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world.” Yet, we are wrong to jettison a commitment to rightly manage God’s world that He’s entrusted to us because some prioritize the creation over the Creator.
  We must not allow those who are foolish to alienate us from our biblical responsibility. For example, some States and large cities, like San Francisco, have banned  plastic straws. Supposedly San Francisco uses a million plastic straws a day, but while the city bans straws, San Francisco hands out nearly 5 million hypodermic needles to drug addicts across the city. The claim that a straw policy is for the betterment of the environment, yet needles they distribute and also the lack of enforcement of not using streets as an open toilet go against that absurd thinking. Add to that, a straw ban hurts the disabled and can be a matter of life or death. Even a national ban won’t dent worldwide plastic output, and where is any serious research justifying a straw ban. The oft-cited figure that “Americans use 500 million plastic straws a day comes from a survey conducted by a 9-year-old.” It seems that a strawman is the basis of a straw ban.
  Another example would be Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent inane comment that “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change.” While it made headlines (and her look foolish), such “the sky is falling” thinking isn’t backed up by real science.  While we must be committed to taking care of creation, if it’s not accompanied by an international commitment, we’re only hamstringing our own economy. Unless China or India and a host of other countries agree, we could sanitize the air to nearly pure oxygen, yet it won’t make a difference if those nations are polluting what we’re seeking to purify. Wise solutions to environmental issues are complex and need much more than fads and knee jerk reactions. Bible-believers should be some of the most respectful and wise when it comes to creation. Why?
  We’re managers of God’s property. Because God is the Creator and since humanity is the pinnacle of His creation, He’s entrusted this world to us. We must take seriously what’s been termed “creation care” and care for God’s property that He’s entrusted to us wisely. Wanton pollution or wasted resources are disrespectful and disobedience of God.
  God’s primary posture toward creation is affection, not apathy. God cares when a sparrow dies, so shouldn’t we to some level? We must care about what God cares about if we’re going to have the heart of God. Noah could have built a much smaller boat if God didn’t care for His creation.
  God’s primary posture toward Creation is pleasure, not production. In Proverbs 8. wisdom is symbolized as a woman. Proverbs 8 reminds us that  God rejoices and delights in His creation (vss. 30 & 31). One of the funniest animals is the platypus. Study a platypus or a monkey and try to argue that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Have you ever made something just for fun? It doesn’t do anything. It’s just for sheer pleasure. God enjoys His creation and wants us to enjoy it, too.  
  God’s primary posture toward Creation is celebration, not consumption. Seven times in Genesis 1, we find this phrase, “God saw that it was good.” God celebrates His creation. What do we do with flowers? We admire their beauty and smell them. Painters paint them, photographers take pictures of them, but you don’t often eat flowers. Much of God’s creation is like that. We celebrate its beauty, admire and appreciate it.
  Christians and contemporary environmentalists share many common goals. Both oppose the abuse of nature. Yet, environmentalists often function from a worldview that condemns virtually all human activity as intrinsically evil. The child of God cares for creation for a greater reason – we are obeying our Heavenly Father’s mandate. Good management of His creation that He has given us dominion and responsibility over honors and pleases Him…after all, this is our Father’s world.

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