An Enemy Has Done This – Part Two – Destroying Creation Destroys God’s Revelation

In Part One, we left off with a series of questions.  Let’s look into the last one, “How does the enemy lie, divide, and conquer within animal welfare outreach efforts we try for God’s Kingdom?”

Psalm 19:1-4
“The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display His marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world…”

It is important we examine how animal welfare advocacy in the world functions without God at the center of the movement in order to understand the great need we have as followers of Christ to be a part of it in an effective way for God and the Kingdom he is building upon the earth.

Secular animal welfare movements are usually not centered on God.  It is an important distinction.  His intentions always have been that he be at the center of his creation in all that we do – he is the source of all life.  This distinction is not being made to divide people or groups, nor to judge those who approach animal welfare from a secular point of view; it is not said to judge those who perhaps are atheist/agnostic or subscribe to a different religious viewpoint than that of the Gospel message.  In fact, secular animal welfare functions in large part as the eyes and ears, hands and feet of God (though most do not know it) by shedding light on the darkness that has creation held hostage.  Their tireless efforts raise awareness, bring mercy, rescue, and love to the earth and animals which are neglected, abused, tortured and exploited.  God uses these means perhaps because the church as a whole historically has not taught about nor put on display Christ-like stewardship as he intended.  He  uses governments, other established man-made organizations, institutions or movements, orchestrating as much good out of them as he can in order to bring about his kingdom on earth (Romans 8:28).

Yet an important element is missing.  The recognition that God reveals himself to us through creation.  When we destroy creation, we destroy his revelation.

A little history…

Satan has been at war with God likely long before we were here (see this and this article; also the series, Spiritual Warfare and the Animal Kingdom).  Gap Creationism which “posits that the six-yom creation period, as described in the Book of Genesis, involved six literal 24-hour days (light being “day” and dark “night” as God specified), but that there was a gap of time between two distinct creations in the first and the second verses of Genesis, explaining many scientific observations, including the age of the Earth.”  Greg Boyd on ReKnew.org has written several good articles about this view (here).  Referring again to Gap Creationism:

“For some, the gap theory allows both the Genesis creation account and geological science to be inerrant in matters of scientific fact. Gap creationists believe that certain facts about the past and the age of the Earth have been omitted from the Genesis account; they hold that there was a gap of time in the Biblical account that lasted an unknown number of years between a first creation in Genesis 1:1 and a second creation in Genesis 1:2-31. By positing such an event, various observations in a wide range of fields, including the age of the Earth, the age of the universe, dinosaurs, fossils, ice cores, ice ages, and geological formations are allowed by adherents to have occurred as outlined by science without contradicting their literal belief in Genesis.” (Gap Creationism, Interpretation of Genesis)

Understanding when humans may have appeared within the creation story sheds light on the dilemma we are in with evil; it also helps us see God’s problem with it.  God’s part and our part when it comes to redemption from evil is much clearer.  I am not here talking about salvation, which is a free gift.  We cannot earn salvation.  But we do have a part in our redemption now.  Not conforming to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2), manifesting his will on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10), relying on Jesus as the source of life (Book of John), are some examples.

Open Theism is another theological viewpoint that has helped.  God created the angels and us with a certain amount of free will for the purpose of love, and love must be chosen.  We are not puppets on a string; neither is the angelic realm.  We can thwart his will, just as Satan has done.  When we do, we display a Satanic image rather than the loving image of our Creator.

God created us to be in relationship with himself while also placing us as overseers of the animals and the earth, to “rule and subdue” (Genesis 1:28), to “care for, keep and/or maintain” the garden (Genesis 2:15).  We were to occupy the land, protect both the animals and earth from forces of chaos and evil, while living completely dependent upon God as the source of life and well-being.  When the first humans listened instead to Satan’s lie that we could “be like God” and know “good from evil” (Genesis 3:4), the decision to eat of the forbidden fruit (knowing good and evil) not only broke the covenant agreement initiated by God between God and man, but gave Satan control in essence over the Garden through our separation from God and our brokenness.  Satan could then use mankind not only to destroy mankind but also everything God created.

Present day…

Fast forward a few centuries.  Jesus has come, died and rose again.  We now know that God reveals himself to us in a few ways – through our conscience and imagination; through scripture; through Christ; and through creation.

The fullness of God’s revelation and his character is through Christ.  All we need to know about God’s character and what he is up to in the world as far as his church and it’s mission is concerned can be found in Christ (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 2:9; John 14:6; John 1:18; a good article on this can be found here).

In revealing himself to us through what he has made, however, is unique.  We can easily see God’s attributes.  He is powerful, intelligent, creative, kind, merciful, has a sense of humor, is gracious and righteous.  He is personal – if we can communicate in all the ways we do, and the creation can communicate with those of their own kind as well as with other species and with us – then so can God!  Those who have pet cats or dogs or have been on a farm and paid attention know that animals speak to us in many different ways.  We speak to animals when we love them and care for their needs.

What is happening spiritually in the world can be seen by what is happening physically to the creation.  One of the major ways that Satan lies, divides and conquers is through the creation.  There is a direct correlation to godlessness in our societies and the destruction of creation because people are hungry for God, truth, and love but don’t know it.  Satan first convinced God’s church that animals are of no theological concern, that we could use them in ways we see fit without consequences to us, them, or the earth.  He then divides believers from secular animal welfare and secular animal welfare from believers.  In keeping us divided, he not only destroys the church’s outreach toward non-believers in the animal welfare movement, he can continue to convince us to use and ravage creation inappropriately in the ways we do, which destroys God’s physical revelation to all of us.  Satan is able to further grieve God’s heart, while we the church, break it even more.  The church – which is charged with revealing God to the world by how we live on the earth, how we shepherd creation, which is every bit as important as how we teach and preach – is made ineffective.

Animal welfare in the secular world is doing the best it can without God being placed at it’s center.  So it is foundational to who we are as the church to become aware of these dynamics, seek an understanding from God of our charge as stewards, resist evil forces that seek to divide and conquer us over issues regarding creation.  It is important we portray Christ ourselves living in a right relationship with God, others, the animals and the earth so that we attract the lost to the kingdom.  And it is imperative that the church as a whole begin to teach their communities the theological meaning of why we must care for creation:

Creation is God’s revelation of himself to us in tangible ways by what we see, feel, touch, smell and hear.  Not only does creation reveal him, he cares for us through it!  For example, the sun and the rain nourish the earth and all of us, providing vegetation for all to eat.  He is in the beauty of a sunset, the quiet of the breeze across a lake or in rustling leaves of a tree; he is in the eyes of a cat, the character of a cow, the majesty of an elephant, the speed of the ostrich; he is in the miracle of birth whether it be a human baby or a four legged one.  All was designed to please him, all was made out of love, all were made to live in covenant with him enjoying complete Shalom!

 

Thank you for reading/following our blog!  We hope you will share these messages widely with others, and are blessed by them.  Comments are welcome.  ~Kathy

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8 Responses to An Enemy Has Done This – Part Two – Destroying Creation Destroys God’s Revelation

  1. Jill says:

    Excellent and well written. I pray that Many read this post and that it opens up the eyes of anyone who doesn’t have a relationship with the Lord. We need Him to move this mountain; He wants us to come to Him with ALL our burdens, and He is the only one who can give us the peace we need to continue to move forward with making a difference for the animals and for His creation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you Jill, appreciate the encouragement. And AMEN, yes, I agree. I pray that many read it too, and that the Lord is able to use it to open eyes and hearts and to call others to himself, as well as to move mountains for the welfare of animals and the earth and the revelation of himself through both.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Roslyne says:

    AMEN! Wow Kathy – this whole piece is fabulous!! You explain, so clearly, why it’s so important to understand the great need we have as followers of Christ to be a part of animal welfare advocacy, in an effective way for God and the Kingdom He’s building upon the earth. I love how you point out that secular animal welfarists function, largely and unknowingly, as the eyes, ears, hands and feet of God by shedding light on the darkness that holds creation hostage. As you say, “their tireless efforts raise awareness, bring mercy, rescue and love to the animals which are neglected, abused, tortured and exploited. God uses these means perhaps because the Church as a whole, historically, has not taught about, nor put on display, Christ-like stewardship as he intended.” Thank you and Blessings, Ros

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you Ros, appreciate your encouragement! I enjoyed writing this especially. I have a special place in my heart for rural and undeveloped places. I grew up in the countryside, rural Minnesota, and for many years, there were only a couple of us families living on the dirt road that ended at a dead end, the road being about a couple miles in length. It was all wooded when my parents homesteaded the area. I remember the wolves howling at night, the crickets and the frogs; the night came alive with the sounds of God’s creatures! And it was so dark when the stars and moon were not out that a person could not see their hand in front of their eyes! I can remember the smells, the sounds, the feel of the dark country night like it were yesterday! And to this day when I think of being alone with God, I think of the woods adjacent to our house. When the wind blows through the trees and the leaves rustle, I imagine God walking through them, stirring the leaves under his feet! He is in ALL he created, praise God!! Thanks again, Ros, will be in touch. Blessings.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Marcello says:

    Excellent piece Kathy! Very interesting and deep. I especially liked your treatment of Gap theory and how you analysed the relationship between Christian and secular animal welfare. Blessings

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kathy says:

      Marcello, thank you for the encouragement and comments! I want to do more with Gap theory. And more work theologically on the variances between Christian and secular animal welfare; God’s revelation in this area to all mankind I think hangs in the balance. It is great to be vegan, to save animals, and all that the secular community does, God is able to use these movements to raise awareness and ease some of the suffering through them; yet the church has a revelatory responsibility in this area. To reveal why it is important to eat mercifully or adopt a vegan lifestyle, show mercy, and treat the creation kindly and lovingly – we are the kingdom of God on earth, advancing that kingdom! Thanks again, Marcello, blessings to you, as well. Will be in touch.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Anjanette Jones says:

    Hi, I’m Anjanette. I am so blessed by reading your blogs. I know this sounds funny but I don’t know how to follow blogs on the Internet. I only know how to follow someone on Facebook. Could you please tell me how to follow a blog I’ve asked three people and I can’t seem to follow the blog she’ll have online. I’m so blessed to know you’re there.
    In Him and for Him with all his creation, Anjanette

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Anjanette, so glad to get your message! And that is okay, doesn’t sound funny at all, before I began this blog, I was quite uncertain about how to do things on the internet and on blogs!

      I am glad you found the blog and are here with us, we have great fellowship here in our mutual concern for animals, and can find support it is often hard to find in our local communities and churches when it comes to their welfare issues.

      To follow the blog: go to the top of this page; at the right, under the archives search box, you will see a button that says “follow.” Click on that, and it should give you instructions there to enter your email address, then click “okay”. OR – the button that says “follow” may after you click on it say “following” which would mean your are then following and should begin receiving a notification when we post a new article.

      Let me know please if you would if you found success; if not, I’ll figure it out and send you the instructions somehow! 🙂

      Blessings in Jesus,
      Kathy

      Liked by 2 people

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