Monday, May 5, 2008

Loving the Earth, Bible style

"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." (Job 12:7-10).

It always amazes me how flippant Christians can be about the Earth. And the more passionate they are for their faith, the more their heart is on fire for the Lord and His Word - the more they consider the planet that we live on to be nothing. To be something to take from as we need, with no concern for caring for the future. This is a natural result of the belief in Heaven and Hell, that deep-seated belief that the point of life is not this life, but the one to come after. Why worry about plastic in the oceans? Why worry about global warming? There is no need to worry about those things if 1) God is in charge of everything all the time, and if He wanted to clear the oceans of plastic He could with a snap of His ephemeral fingers, 2) getting to Heaven to be with Jesus is the point of living in the first place, and 3) we are nearing the End of the World and the faster it burns out of control the quicker we get to Armageddon, Rapture, and the Second Coming of Christ. With these beliefs guiding your actions, recycling seems moot.

But, ladies and gents, it is absolutely not Biblical to live in unconcern for the Earth. All throughout the Bible that is taken so very literally as the Divine Perfect Word of the Lord God Almighty, there are verses extolling the beauty and majesty of the world as a GIFT from God Himself; His people are placed in a position of responsibility - not to be a greedy, childish parasite sucking the life from all of Creation but to be a wise caretaker who appreciates and cherishes the diversity of life around him.

It is also not Biblical to reject the reality and purpose of the Earth itself. It is not Scriptural in any way to believe that the Earth is anything less than - at the very least - a glimpse into the mind of the Creator. We have no means to envision such a Being, our human mind can't comprehend such vastness. But all around us the Earth blooms, and swirls, and exhibits majesty and wonder. I am baffled that anyone can look at this world and not see God in every blade of grass. And I think God, such a God as is supposedly the focus of Christian worship, would be quite sad to see His Creation treated as insignificant and meaningless. What other meaning could there be for His creation, but to BE His Creation, to revel in all of His Creation?

I hope there is a Judgement Day, really, I do. And I want a front row seat to see the faces of fundamentalists when faced with a disappointed deity, when they hear His voice: "I saw how you cared for my wonderful Earth. I saw your disregard for the complexity and beauty and divinity that is inherent in every leaf, every raindrop, every speck of dirt, every bee in its hive. I saw you loudly berate those who would find meaning in what My hand had made. There is no greater sin." The Earth is a revelation of the Divine, that unfolds before us every single day. We are part of that revelation! What a shock to most fundamentalists to finally find out that we are not the apex of all Creation. WE are not the point. The Earth itself is the apex, and we are simply part of that larger whole.

And when you envision the Earth in its context of an enormous, magical solar system... spinning pulsing galaxy... and mind-boggling universe... God becomes so much larger than Christianity would have Him be. And man becomes much smaller than he can bear to consider.

The truth is, the Bible reveals in many ways that even believers in YHWH can and should look to Nature, to Creation itself, as a means to understand and find communion with the Divine. The fundamentalists will scream something unintelligible about "making the Earth an idol" and "pagan" and "worshipping the sun"... not realizing that their devotion to the King James Version Bible Scripture is a most devout form of idolization. And even in the grand old KJV, there are verses upon verses proclaiming delight in the Earth, and awe for the Creator as His hand is seen in the world around us.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

If We Are To Survive...

If We Are to Survive . . . . .
". . . . . if humanity is to survive, if it is to repair the damage done to the earth, then the human race must unite and unite firmly in spirit! No race, no people should be left out of the great quest for human spiritual unity, which will travel then to all races, all religions, all cultures, for unity among us, the human inhabitants of this earth.

What breaks my heart is that spiritual people don't want to unite. They don't want to even talk to each other. You find groups which do their own thing, ignoring others as if they are the sole possessors of the great truth of eternity. They are not. They are just silly little children playing with something they found on the dusty road. We must unite! There are things to be discovered. There are searches to be made. There is a cleaner, healthier world to build and it can be done by uniting human beings across every spectrum of human society."

~ Spoken by Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa, leader and Spiritual leader of the Zulu Nation. [1997]