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Archive for the ‘stewardship’ Category

A targum of Psalm 8:

1 Yahweh our Master!
Your Name is priceless throughout the universe!
Your glory is unsearchable and inscrutable
and utterly beyond our capability to measure.

2 Even the smallest and inexperienced ones; yes – babies
they praise you – just as you wanted
all this is like ignorant and inane babbling to those who hate you,
yet this incoherent baby-noise completely silences sinners and evil-doers.

3 When I ponder the chaotic-order of the cosmos,
the mechanics of your workshop,
whether multiple distant galaxies or single stars,
knowing you plan and place them all,

4 I wonder why you bother thinking of mere humans,
or why you concern yourself with homosapiens?

5 But – no other thing you’ve created comes as close to your divine greatness,
potential and power, reason and rhyme; you gave it – we have it.

6 Everything that you’ve created, we are now responsible for;
under God and over creation:

7 over the lions and llamas,
and every land-dwelling animal,

8 over every single thing that flies in the air,
and every thing in fresh-water or salt-water,
indeed – every kind of ocean-floor crawling and swimming thing.

9 Yahweh our Master!
Your Name is priceless throughout the universe!

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watch it here (worth all 20 minutes of your time).

Note: The scope of this thing is so huge, please don’t fault it for making sweeping statements – to cover what it does in 20 minutes, it has to make its statements as general as possible.

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I saw some footage tonight from a hot-dog eating contest

Disgusting…

Utterly disgusting…

Yet somewhat amusing…

But later I thought…

“Hey, isn’t that shocking? All these people cramming down (and I don’t know how long they stayed ‘down’…) dozens of hot-dogs each, while food is scarce for most/many in the world!!??”

Is this utterly immoral?

Am I too idealistic?

Now, I do think that we are capable of growing plenty of food for all to have enough to eat – heck even enough for us to have a bit of fun with our food. But these kinds of clashing realities (or to use a phrase from NZ Baptist Assembly last year – ‘colliding worlds’) just seem to jump out at me more and more…

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You really must go and see the movie that my wife and I (and others) saw recently.

It’s called ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ It chronicles Al Gore’s message about global warming that he’s been sharing for more than a decade. To say it is a must see would be a grave under-statement. The theatrical trailer can be viewed at http://www.climatecrisis.net

Now, many of you may be thinking, “Oh yeah. Global warming. Yeah, some scientists say that this is a problem, others don’t. I’ll wait till it’s really an obvious problem before I get too worried…”

I used to think this way.

I don’t now.

Gore has done his homework. And more importantly, he has talked to a lot of people that have done their homework. This is his life passion. But even this isn’t the reason that you should go see the movie.

You should go see the movie because you need to see what Western culture and life-style does to the planet. God’s planet. The Creator’s planet. The planet God has left in our hands. This is not a side-issue in God’s economy. There are no side-issues.

I am from a region in the United States (which – as many of us know – contributes the most towards the demise of the Earth) called the ‘buckle of the Bible belt.’ Christianity has been so established in this area, that these Christians enjoy many privileges that other Christians have never known and probably never will (and probably won’t be any worse off…). I know what it’s like to live a comfortable ‘Christian life’. You don’t have to go into a normal bookstore to get your favourite Christian books, because you can go to a Christian bookstore and avoid having to be exposed to books that don’t align with your world-view. Heck, in some places, you can go to a Christian bookstore that aligns more comfortably with your denomination. What’s more, many Christians see this as a demonstration of God’s favour on them.

In addition to enjoying the benefits of the established nature of Christianity in the U.S., American Christians (mostly) live identical lifestyles of comfort, convenience, busy-ness and everything else stero-typical of what it means to be an American. Most Christians would assume that the American Dream is fully harmonious with God’s Dream. While I cannot – and will not – include all American Christians in this description, it fits the strong majority quite well.

Why the rant about American Christians?’ Well, I used to be one, and as a participant of such a culture (or sub-culture, actually…), I cared less about the world around me and mostly about my safe, comfortable Christian-hood. A warning about global-warming wouldn’t have phased me much, and I probably would have just shrugged and said, ‘Well, Jesus is about to come back, so what does it matter?’ After all, Al Gore is a Democrat (which 98% of American Christians consider to be obviously not God’s political party), and so therefore he obviously can’t be a Christian and why would we care what he has to say? I know, it’s a little cynical, but it’s not far from the truth…

My point? Care of the earth is an issue at which Christians should be at the fore-front. No, I’m not saying abandon issues such as abortion, family values or other ones. I’m just suggesting that we need not treat this as if it were something that is un-important.

Nuff said…

Go see the movie.

(Note: I just want to add that I’ve now seen and heard too much from either sides of the debate to fully commit to either position.  But having said that, even if we aren’t causing global warming as much as some think we are, there are still plenty of reasons to live differently and be eco-friendly, etc.)

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