Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stewardship

Now that my head's a little clearer and the car seat is drying again, I will try to behave myself. We poured baking soda on it this time and let it sit in the sun some more. Hopefully, the cats won't smell any pee. Cats tend to pee in areas they've peed before if they can smell urine. I was able to go to the library and procured some baby books. And Hallelujah! The drop-side stuff from the recall came in. It looks complicated so Hubby and I will tackle it together. The instructions look harder to figure out than when we put the crib together. I'm still a little edgy. I'm sort of an outsider looking in on a nasty situation, trying to help, and feeling caught in the middle. Everyone has experienced something similar, and we all get upset and frustrated because there is nothing that we can do. Now you have an inkling of why I'm edgy.

Okay down to business. The more I focus on what I can control the better I will feel.

Genesis 1: 28
God blessed them, saying to them: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth."

Genesis 9: 2
Dread fear of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all the creatures that move about on the ground all the fishes of the sea; into your power they are delivered.

2 Peter 3: 10
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be found out.

Revelations 11: 18
The nations raged, but your wrath has come, but the time for the dead to be judged, and to recompense your servants, the prophets, and the holy ones and those who fear your name, the small and the great alike, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

Genesis sets up the stage for humans to be stewards of the earth. The word "dominion" can mean two things: that humankind owns the living things or that humankind rules over the living things. Genesis says that people also have the power over living things delivered to humanity and that creation fears us. Nowhere in Genesis does it say that people are to use up all the creatures of the earth or that humans have the power to completely destroy living things. In fact, Genesis says to both man and creatures to "be fertile and multiply." Also as God creates the earth, He steps back each day to say "it was good." Clearly, God wants humans to be in charge of creation, but in no way shape or form does that mean we have the right to destroy it. On the contrary, since God wants creation to be fertile and multiply, I propose that this means that we, as rulers, must facilitate the survival and prosperity of the earth.

To continue on this idea of benevolent rule, at the end of times everything thing done on the earth will be found out, according to 2 Peter. In my opinion, this includes how humankind ruled as stewards. How I come to this conclusion is the passage in Revelations "your wrath has come...to destroy those who destroy the earth." One could interpret this passage to mean those who tempt the holy ones to sin, but then why doesn't it simply say to "destroy those who destroy mankind or man?" Instead the phrase implies the whole of the earth or the whole of creation. Since humankind's job as stewards is to rule over and aid the prosperity of creation, wouldn't it be natural to be judged on that as well? Therefore, one can conclude that not only how people treat the poor and how we love God is at stake during our judgment but also how we care for and were responsible with God's earth.

To reiterate, humankind's job is to protect the prosperity of the earth, and at the end of times people will be judged for how they did this. So why on earth aren't humans doing their job? I believe it to be a cop out to say that people can do as we please because we are in charge. I also believe that even though a new earth and a new heaven will be created for us, people still need to care for this earth because God calls us to do so. People can make all the excuses that they want to not be green or follow sustainability practices, but in order to be proper stewards, we need to behave in this way. We are called to be protective rulers not tyrants.

Note: I am not a theologian. I don't study original word meaning. I read a lot of other people's writings who are theologians. Many have also come to these conclusions. However, I understand that the Bible is debatable, which is why Christianity has so many denominations. What I say is simple but can be interpreted in many shades. I respect that others will not draw the same conclusions that I have.

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!