Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Caring for God’s Creation (Part 2)

This is the second in a series of posts concerning the spiritual aspects of caring for God’s creation.

Unfortunately there have always been those who refuse to acknowledge that behind this amazing creation is a divine Creator. Some may think that not recognizing God as Creator isn’t a big deal. So let’s take a look at what happens to society when people don’t recognize God as Lord and Creator. The Apostle Paul gives us the four results in Romans 1:21-25 based on what happened historically – and we clearly see these things happening today:

1. Minds Become Futile

First, “They became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools. “(Romans 1:21-22) If you don’t recognize God for who he is, then you are living in darkness, which is what’s happening more and more in this country. There are many who are considered wise by the world, but in God’s eyes, they are fools, and they are fooling many others as well. Yet God doesn’t want anybody to be lost or in the dark, per 1 Timothy 2:4:

[God] desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. NRSV.

2. Worship Images, Not God

The second result of not recognizing God is, “they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images.” (Romans 1:23) You may wonder how otherwise intelligent people can turn to idolatry? Idolatry begins when people reject what they know about God. Instead of looking to God as the creator and sustainer of life, they see themselves as the center of the universe. They soon invent “gods” that are projections of their own self-centered ideas or desires.

These gods used to be wooden or stone figures representing some aspect of nature such as fertility or good weather. Today our idols are goals or things we pursue, such as wealth, power, or possessions. Sometimes even good things are made into gods, such as science. Our idols may even be misrepresentations of God himself—making God in our own image.

3. Sexual Sin Abounds

The third result of not recognizing God as creator is, “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves.” (Romans 1:24) Paul is talking specifically about sexual sin – “impurity and the degrading of their bodies among themselves.”

Why does sexual sin result from not recognizing God as creator? For one thing, why should we respect one another and control ourselves if all we are told is that we are slightly more evolved animals? On the other hand, the Bible says we were created by God in his image. If you believe that, then you will be more respectful of one another and not view somebody as a sex object to be used as you see fit. If you don’t believe that everybody is God’s creation, fearfully and wonderfully made, and that God is over all everything, then anything goes. Why? Because you are not restricted by any moral code, you have no respect for others, and you don’t feel you are accountable to God.

4. Worship Created Things, Not God

The fourth result of not recognizing God as creator is, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” (Romans 1:25) People tend to believe lies that reinforce their own selfish, personal beliefs. Our beliefs and behavior should be based on biblical principles. Since we are constantly exposed to beliefs that are contrary to the Bible, it’s easy to be pulled in bad directions if we aren’t firmly grounded. Non-biblical beliefs have us serving the creation rather than the Creator. If the Bible is our basis, then we serve the Creator and respect and honor his creation, which he said is good in Genesis.

More on this topic in a future post.

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