I watched this sermon, “Tearing Down The Tower,” about demolishing the tower of babel. The main point is that part of what Jesus did on the cross was destroy the dividing lines, creating one humanity under Christ. With all the racial tensions in America and indeed world wide, this is timely teaching.
It is vital that we begin confronting another kind of babel that churches as a whole are blinded to. And that is our call to Christ-like stewardship of the earth and animal kingdom.
I’m titling this post Tearing Down The Walls as not only do we need to tear down the walls between people and people groups, but also between animal welfarists and the church as a whole. We need a unified understanding that the Bible teaches that all flesh is included in covenants that God made and it is time that this subject becomes as important a foundational issue as is unity between peoples. It is about the restoration of ALL things under Christ.
In response to Tearing Down the Tower:
God is calling us to tear down the barriers within the church that blind us to creation care responsibilities. His word is clear – many of Yahweh’s covenants are with ALL flesh.
Covenants in Genesis
Genesis has humans in right relationship with the animal kingdom before the fall, perhaps well into our history in Genesis. Adam is brought before the animals and names each one. (Genesis 2:19) The food of the Edenic diet was “all seed bearing plants” for humans, and “every green plant” for animals. (Genesis 1:29,30) But at some point after the first couple ate of the forbidden fruit, the Israelites began to have a taste for flesh foods. Perhaps it is connected with the sacrificial system through influence of the surrounding nations (a great article here about sacrifice); other nations were sacrificing animals as offerings to appease their gods, as well as likely eating them for food.
At the time of the flood, God made a covenant with animals and Noah and his family, that he would never destroy them in a flood again. The report of this divine bond is repeated five times in the ninth chapter of Genesis. Also during this time period, the Father conceded that they could be food for us – why? One reason could be there likely wasn’t much vegetation. And in Genesis 8:21 we read that the hardness of our own hearts certainly must have played a large role in this decision.
Perhaps God is also stuck between a rock and a hard place, as he of course was able to discern the future for his creations given the wickedness in our hearts. Yet he concedes and gives them to us for food. With this decision came many rules from God, the Jewish people called them Kosher laws. They were extremely detailed, in large part perhaps to serve as a deterrent for us.
Imagine all this – it must have broken God’s heart to know the fate of his animal creations. In order to save the entire creation, it looks as though our great God chose to make a terrible sacrifice by placing them in our hands in order to meet us where we were so that he could continue to carry out his plan to save all creation from the Powers, Principalities, and Rulers that now had destroyed the created order and have jurisdiction over the entire creation.
Covenant at the Cross
Colossians 1:19-20: “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross.” Greg Boyd says in the feature sermon that issues dividing us as humans such as race are a front burner issue that Jesus shed blood over. As we read the Colossians verse above, so too, one can juxtapose, is taking our first mandate responsibilities to protect and care for the animal kingdom! Does the church take this seriously enough?
Stay tuned for Part Two coming soon. Thank you for reading and following our blog! We pray you are blessed by what we write and will share it widely with others as well as with your congregation and church leaders. Blessings ~ Kathy