Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Creation Care in Perspective

It is not unusual for (post)modern evangelicals to sound the alarms arm in arm with the secularists about the pending doom of creation if we don't act fast. It's commonplace, at least in my quarters of evangelicalism. And it's not that I am against stewardship of God's creation, but I do want to speak against what I perceive to be a lack of proportion and priorities.

I do believe that Christians should be good stewards of creation. But we need a focusing of our priorities. And so let's begin with creatures created in God's image who are eternal beings, and who are killed by the millions in our nation. It seems mentally and spiritually imbalanced to get bent out of shape over creation and not care much about God's image-bearing creatures who are taken to the slaughter in abortion clinics near you.

Now of course I realize that politically one issue is accepted and encouraged by many secularists (creation care), while the other isn't (civil rights of unborn children). And so therein lies the challenge. It's easy to go along with creation care in our culture—unless we're talking about the crown of creation, namely, human beings.

Many evangelicals are zealots when it comes to saving the planet (whatever that means), but these same evangelicals often just don't appear to care much about the unborn who are slaughtered by the millions, butchered for profit, with their parts sold cooly and calmly for grand and noble purposes (like buying a lamborghini). 

Perhaps even worse, many just don't want to get into it because it involves swimming against the tide culturally and politically. It involves cross-bearing. And that's uncomfortable to our tender little evangelical hearts. If we stand up for the unborn, in Jesus' name, we just might not be accepted. And above all we can't have that.

So, yes, let's be good stewards of creation. But let's not let secularists define for us how this looks. And surely the crown of creation—image-bearing human beings—ought to be the focus of our energies and efforts in caring for creation. God cares more about human beings than he cares about trees and lions. (Not doubt about it. Not afraid to say it. But, at the same time, this is not the same thing as saying he doesn't care about trees and lions at all.) And perhaps once we've stopped shedding so much human blood our hearts might be in better shape to think and act straight about trees and lions and the like.

How could anyone argue otherwise? Well, actually, no one, so far as I know, is arguing that caring for creation while ignoring creatures is the way to go. Yet the relative neglect of concern for the unborn among creation-care types should give us pause before following their lead. When these folks start giving themselves to the most vulnerable and most valuable among God's creation, God's beloved image-bearers, then perhaps we should pay a little more attention to what they're saying. Perhaps then their hearts will be in the right place to speak wisdom about creation care.  

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