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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lest the land vomit you out

Reading: Leviticus 18:24-28

It's an interesting concept isn't it? The Bible says that if we commit sins against the Lord and defile ourselves by sexual immorality or sacrificing our children to other Gods, we defile the land, which will vomit us up. This is a continuation of the idea from the fall where the sins of humanity cause the earth also to suffer, but this time the earth can fight back by vomiting us up. One can only imagine what is meant by this - perhaps a volcano, a flood, a cyclone maybe even salinity or desertification. There is a link here being made between the sins of the people and natural disasters and barreness in the land. This link can be taken too far - I would not suggest for a moment that the people of New Orleans were more sinful than other cities who were not visited with a cyclone, but there can be a link between sin and natural disasters. The most obvious contemporary example is the fact that our sins of greed, selfishness and consumerism are causing the earth to 'vomit us up' through climate change and its increase of natural disasters, and through declining fertility in the land.

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Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+