Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Creator, creation, care

I saw this meme on a friends Facebook page, and thought it too good not to blog about. It's an interesting, and provocative statement - and it seems to me to be a challenge from outside the Christian community to do exactly what it should be doing.

The first thing to think about is that this is not an either/or. It is care about who created that should motivate us to care for creation. This is far more obvious in the first and second greatest commandments. Jesus says we are to love God with all that we are, and to love our neighbour (which he expands to include those we see as our enemies). There is a direct connection, because we love God, we love those whom he made in his image. This is our Christian neighbour, our Muslim neighbour, our atheist neighbour, etc.

But likewise, if we are so keen to establish that creation had a creator, so too we need to understand what that means for how we live in that creation. As John Walton (and others) has argued, Genesis 1 is more about who created and what for, rather than how. The idea that creation itself is a temple and human beings images of God in it means that creation is sacred space, and we have a sacred responsibility. Christians should be at the forefront of caring for that which was declared "very good". Arguments about how it was all created are important but secondary to the task of looking after what we have been given.

The meme is right (though possibly not for the right reasons). Love God, love neighbour and care for creation.

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