Saturday, June 12, 2010
Oil spills and the responsibility of stewardship
When your family gathers together, are there certain discussion topics that are declared off-limits at the dinner table? I know they are in the Ray Family home, for example, a number of families I know avoid the subject of politics at family gatherings.
It might seem odd, but my large, that some Christian families has added another topic to our list of taboos: Creation theology. Everybody’s got a strong opinion (were the days of creation literal 24-hour days? Could God have used evolution as his means of creating the world? etc.), and we’ve learned over the years that dinner-table debates over that particular article of faith create more heat than light. Another example is how we as Christians view other religions view Creation theology (example Muslim, Buddhism, Catholic etc.) My brother in-law as a Christian will be faced with some challenges next year with his teaching in theology, and I'm sure the question will arise.
I was intrigued by the latest devotional from Wonder of Creation, which offers a fresh perspective on the opening chapters of Genesis and on the mandate it contains for Christians today. It suggests that the most critical component of the Genesis account is not the specific details of the act of Creation, but the call to Christian stewardship over God’s Creation. That call to stewardship assigns us responsibility for taking care of Creation, and also holds us accountable for harm that we allow to befall it:
…we do know, according to Genesis 2:15 that we are to “take care of it,” and we know according to Psalm 145 that it showcases our Creator’s majesty and that He has compassion on it. Hence the Gulf oil spill disaster is not merely a human tragedy taking the lives of creatures made in His image, nor is it merely an economic calamity: it should be a cause of human grief and shame—in that we have once again profaned the handiwork of God and have also needlessly destroyed the lives of non-human creatures upon which He has compassion.
That’s one reason the prophecy of Revelation 11:18 sobers me: “The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” None of us knows all the implications of that passage, but for sure we know that mankind’s destroying of the earth will be severely judged.
It breaks my heart to see what harm that something like this causes, not to mention the loss of jobs this has and will create. But protesting is not the answer to the problem. If all the people that are protesting would spend their time helping make a difference by volunteering to help clean up or other service they could provide. That could make a negative turn into a positive.
Most Christians can agree about this call to creation care, but it’s sobering to consider ecological disasters like the oil spill not just as breakdowns of energy policy or private business, but as failures of stewardship. When environmental disaster strikes, are Christians at the forefront of efforts to care for the damaged Creation left behind by the crisis?
I pray for your grace and peace be given unto us all. Lord we don't understand why things like this happen, but we do know that you are in control. Lord so many of your creatures have been killed and continue to suffer. Lord I ask in Jesus name that you have mercy on everyone that is effected by the worst oil spill in US history. God I pray for those that are volunteering their time, pray for those that have and will loose their jobs. Lord I ask that you forgive me a sinner. And to show us your grace and wisdom.
In Jesus' name. Amen