Quite often, I see society acting as if we, human beings, have no inherent value. We see a lot of what God created for good, being distorted. Places where we see the rotten fruits of this issue are in, the intimacy between man and wife, the command of having children, and the responsibility of caring for our animals. It is our responsibility that God’s entire creation be getting proper stewardship from us, but we do not have to repudiate the value of human life to make this happen. We can’t make the Earth more perfect than God, and we can’t stop it from dying either.
“Save the Planet”
Ever heard someone say they will never have children in the name of “saving the planet”? As Christians, this goes directly against what the Lord commands us to do. “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Gen 1:28). There is two ways that we try to take control of the population; preventing, or stopping pregnancies. Apart from all the horrible contraceptives, and even surgeries you can have to prevent a future life, abortion (murder of babies) is grossly encouraged almost everywhere you look. Each of these options however, are all attempts to stop new life from happening.
When did killing children become normal? We are to “fill the Earth and subdue it” and scripture holds fast to this command, so why aren’t we following through with this?
Looking into scripture, the Lord encourages us to be taken in marriage, and create a family! Not only to give example of Christ and His relationship with the church as they live in unity together, but as a blessing, and protection against temptations for us too. Recently, I read a great book titled “Be Fruitful and Multiply” by Nancy Campbell (linked here) It mentions a lot on this subject, so wonderfully. I highly recommend reading it (with the Bible in hand), if you want to research more on the topic of marital intimacy, and having children.
Genesis 1:28 ESV “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 2:24 ESV “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Psalm 128:1-4 ESV “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.”
A blessed man’s house is full of children, isn’t that praise worthy? The belief that we can better the planet by not having them, is blasphemous. We cannot do anything to change the day that God has planned for the Earth to be done.
Equal to, more than, or less than?
Gen 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
All of creation has inherent value, but humans and animals are of different values, entirely. When we place the value of creation above the value of humanity, we are almost saying a few things; 1) that God is a liar, so therefore is not sovereign, 2) that the Earth or it’s creatures are worth more than humanity, and 3) that we know better than God, so therefore do not have to submit to Him. Like mentioned above, the animals have value and all creation is God’s glory, so it is our duty to be good stewards of it all. But a problem arises when we bring our value down, and a dog’s value (for example) up.
Matthew 6:26 ESV “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
I enjoy pets, as most people do. The domestication of animals has come such a long way! Through careful breeding, we have pulled out the best qualities for so many different animal breeds. However, in my opinion, there is 2 major downsides to this. Firstly, we have distorted these same animals by heavily breeding those with unacceptable and dangerous traits. The second downside, is our excuses. For example, an ill-behaved, dangerous dog. Some cases, require removing the dangerous animal, and getting it to a proper handler for more extensive training. Other times, it requires putting the dog down entirely. However, instead of fixing this situation, many people will just make excuses for the animal, and continue putting themselves and others at risk by letting it stay. In both cases, no one is putting a stop to the vicious cycle.
When we create an emotional relationship with a pet it can, at times, cause us to go against what God commands. We too often expect these animals, who are in our homes, to carry the very same feelings we feel, and act as we would act. I do not believe that we are truly taking dominion over the animals in our care, when we are treating them just as we treat our fellow people. A pet should never be entrusted with the safety and well-being of those around it, when this trust is based only on their good disposition and this expectation for them to act as a human.
No matter how we feel towards a pet, emotionally, we need to act and treat them accordingly if they act out in any way that is not acceptable, putting us and our family in harms way. We cannot keep valuing them more than our neighbors, and more than our children. Ultimately, when we start treating our pets just like, or better than our children, we must ask ourselves if we understand creation’s natural order.
Matthew 10:29-31 ESV “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
It unfortunately, makes sense that a world that rejects God and His sovereignty would put creation in His place of Authority and make that what they worship instead. We must realize, that the reason the Earth gets abused so frequently is because we are wretched sinners in need of a good God. Before we can be good stewards of this Earth, we must first know what scripture says is true, good, and just.
This is My Father’s World
My best advice to you, fellow Christians, would be to stop worrying so much about how we are killing the planet, start praying for the Lord to search your heart, and delve into how a steward is portrayed in scripture so as to better act that responsibility out.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some simple questions you can ask yourself and your family:
- Are you submitting to the Lord in the ways of your stewardship, how so? What does scripture say, and show on how we act this out biblically?
- Are you confusing the dignity and worth of an animal with the worth of a human? Read in the Bible, how animals were treated and what their purposes were vs humans. What does this tell us about our worth to the Lord, the differences between us and animals, and lastly, how we should be treating our animals?
- Is the love you have for Earth and it’s creatures, based on your view of love or God’s? Read in the Bible, how God defines love and what He says is true/untrue. Have we been basing our decisions on what He says is loving, good, and just or what we think is?
- Do you think human life is valuable? What does scripture say on this topic?
- Do you think you can make planet better than God? Do you believe that by your choices, you can stop the Earth from dying? What does scripture say is good, and true about creation, and the Lord’s sovereignty?
With every blessing and gift, comes responsibility. I pray we follow the commands of Christ and take rest in His love and truth, even if it is uncomfortable for us to do so.
This is my Father’s world:
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad!
Lastly, here is some more scriptures to dive into on this topic of stewardship, the gift of children, marriage, human value, and how God is the ultimate true, good, and just authority. I do however, encourage that you read much further!
Gen 1, 2:15-25, 9:2, Matt 12:12-13, Psalm 24:1, 104, 127, 139:13-16, 82:4, 146:9, and 41:1, Hebrew 13:4, Job 12:7-10, Acts 10:34-35, col 1:16-17, Prov 27:18, and 12:10, Mark 10:14-15, Jeremiah 1:5 , James 1:16-17, Romans 6, and many more!
By His will, not thine.