More on Genesis 1 (Part 2)
Note: in an effort to be brief enough in preaching, there are parts of chapters that will be glossed over. I intend to visit those parts on the blog. These thoughts are not always fully developed, since the main effort is developing the sermon. Feel free to interact.
VI. Fruitful and multiply: it is good to have children and grow in family: guess what, folks? There is a Biblical reason to have children. If this was a command in original creation, there's not much reason to think we shouldn't consider it now. There is a responsibility to care and provide that you cannot ignore, but there is nothing ungodly about those who are able choosing to have 5, 10, however many children. It's time we stop mocking these folks. And don't give me the "overpopulation" argument, either---you look at population density in this country and that argument doesn't wash. You look at the age shift in this country and realize this: another 20 years and we'll be in a big mess. Same with countries where there is real overpopulation: China is way out of gender balance and will see a break down, India's just a mess population wise anyway.
All that is a digression: 1.8 kids may be the American average, but we should not mock a Christian family that chooses to drop the decimal point.
VII. Creation care: rule over the earth does not mean strip-mine the whole thing for gold and jewels.
This is an important one. We are responsible for the planet. In fact, there's a good point here in general: while the Biblical word is "rule" the original carries a force that invokes "care for" as well "be the boss." We have oversimplified that in English and applied the worst illustrations. Rule is not the dictatorial rule of an absolute monarch, but rather the benevolent reign of one. In the case of Creation, it's an assigned role to mankind over the rest of the created order. This means that we should be minding the things in Creation---not trashing it.
This does not mean that we should be hyper-stressed out and advocating mass population reductions (see the previous point), but rather considering our behaviors. Should we be strip-mining for gold and jewels? Not likely: we can live, and live well, without them. We should also be looking at better resource management, water management, and other sustainable modes.
However, the trees are there to be cut down and used….then plant new ones. The plants grow to feed us, so do the cows. The fossil fuels are there: use 'em, but when they're gone, they're gone. Unless the rumors that the Nazis were close to synthesizing petroleum, but I haven't found anything more than historical rumors on that.
If there are ways that provide a better world, we should do that. In fact, Christians ought to lead the way in this: this is our Father's world, and we ought to take care of it.
VIII. Stars and planets to mark the seasons: it is valuable to study these, and the progress of seasons and times is natural. This leads me to suggest that the manned exploration of space is a good thing, but I'm pretty biased. I love space and long to be the pastor of First Baptist Church, Lunar Rock. However, we can gather a great deal of 'pure science' information by study as well as the practical implications of the effort.
Beyond that, how do you look up at the heavens and not marvel? The wonder does not get any less to know there are varieties of star types nor to consider there are other planets. If our faith cannot survive the presence of galaxies, we're a little weak, aren't we?
IX. Relationship of naming to authority: God names the big stuff, man the lesser:
This connects back to other points: God named Adam, and we people answer to God. Adam named the critters, and they are there for humanity's use. It's important to collate this with the fact that God feeds the ravens and clothes the lilies, but those are there to point us back up to Him.
One of the keys of looking at Creation is that if you look down, you see plants and flowers that point you to look up. If you look up, you see stars and wonders that cause you to look deep.
And when you look deep, you see this: there's a plan and a purpose here.