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February 20, 2016

← return

‘Let us eat and drink,’ you say, ‘for tomorrow we die!’
— Isaiah 22:13b

Uh, it wasn't Dave Matthews who said, "Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Nor was it any one of several other people who get credited for this quote. Even the Apostle Paul quoted it from a source more than 700 years old at the time when Paul wrote. He was quoting most likely from an oracle concerning the "Valley of Vision," to those remaining in Jerusalem after a siege and who were biding their time till another siege came. 

I want to address a thorny issue for some Christians. One night I was talking to my son, who is a junior in high school, and he said, "Some people say they are Christians but don't care about the environment." 

This is true. There are many Christians who don't care one bit about the world God made. The reasoning is that we bide our time till Jesus comes, and God is going to destroy the world and make heaven a new place. There are all kinds of problems with this view that it's hard to even know where to start, but let's dig right into the heart of this view and work our way outward.

The Bible doesn't teach that the world will be forever destroyed. More rightly, the Bible teaches the creation will be restored to the goodness God intended. Evil will be destroyed. Fire seems to be included as a means of destruction of evil and refining of the creation, but Revelation 21 speaks of a New Heaven and a New Earth. For more on this, read N.T. Wright's Surprised by Joy.

This brings up our concern to be part of the problem or the solution of God. Romans 8 speaks of creation groaning until the end times when it will be redeemed along with the sons and daughters of God. Even creation itself needs redemption? Yes, the ground, animals such as the serpent that the devil embodied, were cursed in Genesis 1. Jesus came to break the power of this curse, the power of sin and death, but until his return and the judgment, the effects of sin and decay still remain in the world. We can see signs of this worldwide. 

From the beginning, God ordained humans to care for the earth he created and called good. There is nothing in the calling of a Christian that would tell us to not care about the decay of the earth, extinction of a species of animals, and environmental destruction. 

Living in such a way as to not care about the world, an attitude of "eat, drink, and be merry on earth, for we're all saved and going to heaven" is a terrible way to live a Christian life. We do not bide our time till the end. Our calling is to live as passionately as Jesus in this world to bring about good for the glory of God. If we can't do that in this life, one could wonder if there is a future for you and me to do that in the life to come. 


Help us not to simply have a hedonistic attitude about life, to eat, drink, and be merry all the time. Help us to see the bleeding, hurting, decaying parts of creation and clean it up in your name and for your glory, whether plants, animals, humans, or society.


Fast from not caring about creation.


Give to an environmental organization working to redeem creation. Do Christian environmental organizations exist? If not, why not? Is it not C.C.C.? (Christian Conservative Correct)