Friday, August 14, 2015

14-08-15 (Friday) “Be fruitful and increase in number"

"...fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
- Genesis 1:28

We've heard that over and over. That the responsibility of the (Christian) parents is to be fruitful, make babies, and fill the earth. Many have gone even further and praised the parents of many (biological) children, saying how well they have fulfilled the commandment of God.

I only have two bones to pick from two perspectives with that interpretation. For now, at least.

1) Environmental

The call was given BEFORE the Fall
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. ~ Gen 1:31

Back then, there was ONLY Adam and Eve. Severe underpopulation meant they would need more help taking care of the whole Earth, that God had entrusted to them (though God is very much capable of taking care of everything Himself, which He IS actually doing.). In addition, God was VERY pleased with what He had created- ESPECIALLY mankind!

5 chapters after this verse, we hear the following:

 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. ~ Genesis 6:5-6 (bold mine)

The evilness of sin in mankind doesn't bode well for a world filled by humans.

Fast forward a few millennia and we have the threat of climate change with overpopulation being one of the major problems. Many movies have gone along the theme of humans being the cause of the destruction of Earth, with the extinction of humans being the only hope for the earth to survive. (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wall-E, Divergent series, After Earth, I Am Legend) I do actually believe that we have reached a population that is more than the earth can sustain. Having my own babies will only compound to that problem. We have gone past filling and subduing to overrunning and destroying the earth now!

We've crossed 7,000,000,000 (billion) people. "8b" is knocking on our door.

2) Physical or spiritual

In many instances, Jesus, the apostles and prophets talks about how the spiritual is more important than the physical. "Store up treasures in heaven", "Obey the Spirit of the law, not the letter of it", "God looks at the heart of man, not the looks" and "God desires mercy, not sacrifices".

Could God also be more concerned about being fruitful and increasing in numbers in a spiritual sense too?

Maybe the Post-Fall way of interpreting the Pre-Fall text might be that we should be fruitful and multiply the kingdom of God primarily before we multiply physically?

There are SOOOooooo many people out there who have yet to hear of who Jesus is, who God is and what the whole Gospel is about and this work still requires MANY more workers to work this field.

What about adopting and fostering?

What about the problem of idolising one's own children?

Our (Erene & I) struggle with this area is that having a baby will severely incapacitate our ability to serve in ministry, at least for a few years, while the child needs THE MOST attention. Sure, we can nurture the child to become another strong member in God's family but how do we know what child God decides to give us(the counter-argument goes along the same line)?

In the time we take to nurture a child to a productive age, we could have taught and nurtured a hundred times over of other youth, students and/or young adults in the way of the Lord and raised up many Christians to bring the Gospel to all parts of the world!

Each child would be restricted to one physical place to share the Gospel but reaching out to the many people who we come into contact with by not being stuck at home with an infant means that the restriction is only the places that these hundreds of people go out to when not with us!

I am definitely NOT arguing for couples to stop producing babies. I think many are called to be great parents as Christian witnesses and they are to bring up amazing, God-fearing children. I'm just saying that maybe a bit more thought should be given to it than just "oh, let's get married and have children and through the tears and joy, it will be a great experience and we all live happily-ever-after".

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  ~ 1 John 3:1


Friday, June 12, 2015

12-06-15 Crisp Mornings

Came into work early this morning to meet up with a pal. it was nice and crisp. A frosty -3 degrees Celsius as the sun slowly crept in in the wake of the canvas of colours.
You can almost make out the frost on the grass and the condensation on the windows in the background.

I like the cold. It is very different from what I grew up with. The constant heat and humidity.

I like the cold. It reminds me that I am in a land far away from where I grew up in. That I am in a foreign land. Not foreign in the sense that I feel different to the people in the land. I don't. I feel more welcome in this land than back where I came from, at times. But yet, I did not grow up here and was not from here. Even though I have actually spent a quarter of my life here now! It also reminds me that this is not my permanent home. I am just passing through.

My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

I like the cold. It's different from the heat just a few months ago. The different seasons in the year reminds me of the different seasons in life. It reminds me that time does not stand still. That "change" is the only other constant in life.
One of the last leaves I saw in official autumn. Some leaves are still hanging on now!

I like the cold. It reminds me that man can only adapt to the climate and not actually change it, no matter how great or amazing our technology is. Geoengineering is awesome but we are still at the mercy of what happens around us!

What do you like? The heat or the cold?