Tearing Down the Walls – Part One

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.


The Tower of Babel By Pieter Bruegel the Elder Compliments of Wikipedia Public Domain

The Tower of Babel
By Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Compliments of Wikipedia
Public Domain

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

 

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7 Responses to Tearing Down the Walls – Part One

  1. Marcello Newall says:

    Yes Kathy, I was thinking about this issue in the past few days. What I find interesting is that the concession to eat meat comes after the flood when God had said that man’s wickedness was great but also after the words “even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood” immediately after the flood. Those words are very harsh. Could it be that God was temporarily lowering his standards in order to not have to condemn man? He almost seems to have given up on him for a time, kind of like saying “mankind right now is so evil that I can’t do anything else”. I think we haven’t fully understood what is going on here. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    • kathy says:

      Yes, Marcello, I agree! I does seem God perhaps conceded like you say “temporarily lowering his standards in order to not have to condemn man”… like saying “mankind right now is so evil that I can’t do anything else.” Very well put. I received your message too via FB and will check out that article you sent me a link to; will reply to you soon as I have opportunity to read it and get back to you! Part Two of this article will pick up with the thoughts you wrote about here, so I am excited that you sent me this article to read, and also for your comments! I don’t think we fully understand either, I think there is more to be revealed.

      Thanks for your comment Marcello; will be in touch! Blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark Richards says:

    A very encouraging piece, encouraging to see and hear the voice of the voiceless within the faith, thank you. I do wonder though, if our Father does ‘drop His standards’, did Moses really hear right, what God said to Noah. Noah, after being so devoted seems to have become quite despairing, getting drunk and exposing himself to his son’s. Did he hear correctly? Who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

    • kathy says:

      Thank you Mark for your kind reply and encouragement. I wonder if it isn’t so much about dropping standards as it is “meeting us where we are at in order to draw us out from there and closer to his standards”? I think in looking back at Genesis and the flood (or any time period really) through the cross of Christ, we get a better picture of what God was doing then. Christ is the Father’s ultimate and final revelation of Himself to lost mankind (Heb 1:1-4). All other scripture now should be interpreted through this lens. Throughout man’s history from Genesis to Christ, we see God stooping to meet us where we are at, from giving us the animals for food to allowing us human kings though his desire was for his people to choose him as king over them, and much more. It appears the Father continually concedes his highest desires and will for us in order to bring us through to the time of Christ, where, all scripture was fulfilled.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Tearing Down the Walls – Part Two | Shepherding All God's Creatures

  4. Kathy, I understand your suggestion that our loving Father, “meets us where we are at”, and maybe He is just being pragmatic and merciful towards humanity, though at the expense of withholding that mercy from other sentient beings. I have difficulty accepting that He is speciest in that way, but I may well be wrong. I prefer to see it as a case of those who authored the scriptures, though clearly inspired by God’s Spirit, saw the world around them through the eyes of their time and culture, and thus believed God would be merciful to their weaknesses. If, however, we do choose to attribute literal acceptance of their writings, our Father’s nature is reduced, in my understanding. I pray He will show us all His Truth and perspective, and in the meantime no scripture or interpretation of scripture will bring His name or character into disrepute. I do believe His Love is perfect, but my appreciation of it is severely limited by my experience and the culture in which I exist. Shalom, Mark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kathy says:

      Very beautifully said, Mark (I edited this, ever since you wrote I’ve wanted to call you “Richard” – I’m sorry! I know Richards is your last name!), thank you. And I agree with you. There is more going on here I think than meets the eye, than Biblical authors understood as they wrote through the lens of their own humanity and cultural conditioning, albeit also being inspired by God.

      I think it likely that if the Father does bend to be merciful toward us at the expense of other sentient beings, it perhaps has something to do with the created order of the whole creation, and mankind’s creation in his image over and above species-ism – but I don’t know, it is certainly worth more thought and study; in fact Marcello and I were just discussing this very thing and we both feel there is more going on at the time of the flood than we perhaps realize.

      For one, it is interesting that Yahweh says in Genesis 9 after instructions to be fruitful and multiply, that he now puts fear and dread of us upon the animals (they must not have been afraid of us prior to the flood?); he says, “they are given into your hands” in V2 – did we not have dominion over them prior to this? So why would he say that specifically? He follows that concession with “everything that lives and moves about will be food for you.” It appears the dominion we had over them prior to the flood was different than that which he now gives us, but why? People were sacrificing them prior to the flood and likely eating them, right? His love is perfect, why would he choose to allow this to sentient beings who are every bit as much precious to him as we are? Unless maybe it is possible in order to save the entire creation, he temporarily must do so? Which, I also speculate, were Jesus to come anytime soon will put us in the judgement seat in ways that perhaps the church will be unprepared for given our negligence of such matters with stewardship, especially over the last few decades. Our record with care of the earth/animals is pretty dismal to say the least.

      Liked by 1 person

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