I'll fairly warn you before you read this post that it is peppered with biblical truth and it may be just a little spicy to those who don't hear the truth, BUT...if you are my friend you will likely agree with the point I'm about to make. So please bear with me and read on.
There is an email going around. It talks about the volcanic eruption and how in just a few days "God has undone what the efforts of tree-huggers have worked so hard for in the last 5 years." It goes on to tease the people who have tried so hard to turn around this country's selfish thinking and the premise is this: ultimately God is in control of it all.
I agree. God *IS* in control of it all, and this earth and all that are in it are given to us for our pleasure, because Genesis 1:26 says:
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, and let them rule
over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the
earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground." (God made the earth for us, so that we may utilitze her treasures to build shelter, have food and drink. Everything around us works together to ensure our survival and our abundance)
But that does NOT mean that we can do whatever-the-hell we want because 1. we are made in HIS image...certainly the Lord who created all things and called each one good would not rape His own creation! and 2. we are called to be STEWARDS. Look at Genesis 2:15:
"The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." (God put his favorite creation, us, and put us in His world to get what we need from it and take care of it, so that it will last for the next generations)
And Numbers 35:33-34
"You shall not pollute the land in which you live.... You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell; for I the LORD dwell among the Israelites." (God has given us this gift and we should not trash it. If someone gave you a delicate bone china tea cup that had been in your family for generations, would you put it in the microwave? Eat oatmeal out of it and let it crust to the side before washing it? Put it through the dishwasher on the pots n pans cycle? Toss it on the counter as if it were a plastic plate? No...you'd prominently display it and show it off to guests and if you were to use it you would carefully handwash and dry it, taking care to not ruin the precious gift you had been given.)
Furthermore, God addresses those who ravage their environment...OUR GIFT!!...for their own pleasure. Take a peek at Ezekiel 34:17-18
"As for you, my flock... Is it not enough for you to feed on
good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is
it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with
your feet?" (in today's words: Why are you so ungrateful? Do you think this thing I gave to you is a joke? Do you not care that others would also like to use it? Do you not care that you yourself will need it again and again in the future?)
"I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But
you came and defiled my land and you made my inheritance detestable." (do I really even need to elaborate here? Hello Gulf waters once rich and teeming with life that we NEED and enjoy and are now an inky death sentence!)
"...and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches and
the desires for other things enter in and choke the word and it becomes
unfruitful." (but because we buy into the lies Satan has sold this world we believe that we need it to be bigger, better, faster and NOW! Though the evidence is overwhelming that most products sold in grocery stores is bad for us because it's been sprayed with umpteen pesticides, herbicides and hyped up genetically and each of those things has bad effects on our bodies, we still buy it because it is "cheap and convenient." We love to live in ignorance so that we don't feel guilty when that guilt is called CONVICTION and we should be listening to the ways God is telling us that this way of living is downright WRONG...morally, physically, financially, etc.)
God is not showing us how to treat the earth with volcanic eruptions. Just because God sets off a volcano and causes millions of pounds of ash to be launched into the atmosphere does not mean we should go out and reinstate polystyrene containers, use products with CFC's, throw our plastic in the ocean and drive cars that get point zero three miles per gallon. We could get into the possibilities of why a volcano erupted, but that's another post for another day. For now, I'm just sayin': REGARDLESS of what the King of Kings allows to happen on this planet, we are still called to be good stewards, caring for all things and all people here. We are still to continue our mission of being sure this place is ready when our Lord comes back. See Matthew 24:42-44:
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (if we do not stay alert and ready, keeping care of the things that we should be keeping care of, we might run out of resources before our appointed time. We also will appear ungrateful to God, who gave us these gifts to treasure. Apply this truth to your family and friends, as well.)
Now that we understand exactly why what these people are saying is untrue, let's explore the way they're going about their argument. First of all, the snarkiness is completely uncalled for. What does it accomplish? Do you know what every person who does not live in the light of God's glory hears? Arrogant, selfish, uncaring Christians whose only mission is to dominate and therefore destroy everything around them: their wives, their children, their earth. Is that what Christ preached to us? Is that what He meant when He said to go and spread the word? NO! And in fact, we have been commanded, not requested, not pleaded with, but COMMANDED to spread His LOVE and MERCY so that the whole world may know of His saving Grace. 2Corinthinans 6:3-6 says:
"Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed. But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned" (We are called to show the world purity, knowledge, longsuffering, kindness, wisdom and LOVE. This is how the world will know we are different. After all, if the food you eat is rotten and teeming with worms, who wants it? If you have a choice steak with brightly colored vegetables and a rich, gooey dessert, everyone will want a bite. No one wants a savior that gives life that looks a whole lot like what the rest of the world has...they want a savior Who truly saves and brings to the saved purity, knowledge, the ability to be longsuffering, kindness, wisdom and LOVE. Think about it!)
We were warned that those who have eyes would not see and those who have ears would not hear. The lost world does not respond to your damning scriptures and your holier-than-thou attitudes because they don't believe it. What they can believe and want to believe is a faith that brings peace, contentment and joy because the world is hopelessly devoid of those things. We have no shortage of people willing to judge, condemn and look down on! If you will truly live the life Jesus called you to live, (as a Christian), you will see people flock to you. And who will flock? The broken, the lame, the sick and the hungry. And whoever of you feeds one of these has fed Him and will be rewarded by Him in heaven. You will see exactly what the love of Christ can do...blood that washes away grief, bitterness, hurt and guilt. If you stand on His throne and you look down and pass out rotten, wormy meat, what will you get? People who thrive on ugliness, greed and self-love. You will one day look around and realize that you are in the streets with weeping and gnashing of teeth. But you sure spent this life feeling good about your self-righteousness, didn't you?
I'm going to end this now, but I want to leave you all with one thought. Paul said in 1Corinthians 5:12
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? (We are not to judge those outside of the church, we are to model a life worth living; a life in Christ, so that they will want to be a part of the church.)
And to my friends who don't believe in Christ, I'd like to challenge you to stand up and ask the next Christian who throws some snarky, condemning words at you, "Would Jesus REALLY do what you just did? What scripture backs that opinion up?" Because what we all need is a healthy dose of conviction, even if it comes from the strangest places. We are called to be lights in this world, not to spread darkness!
I love you all and I hug trees, too!!!