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VerticalReality
Nov 24th 2009, 11:29 PM
Is it still our responsibility to tend and keep what God has created?

VerticalReality
Nov 24th 2009, 11:36 PM
Also, when I say "our" responsibility, I mean mankind as a whole . . . not just Christians.

-SEEKING-
Nov 24th 2009, 11:44 PM
Well let's put it this way, if not us, mankind, then who?

BrckBrln
Nov 24th 2009, 11:45 PM
I would certainly hope so. Why wouldn't it be our responsibility?

VerticalReality
Nov 24th 2009, 11:54 PM
How would you all say it is mankind's responsibility to tend and keep what God has created?

Additionally, many teach that when God gave man the authority to tend and keep what He had created, in reality an even better meaning is to guard and protect it.

Specifically, how is it that mankind is intended to guard and protect what God has made?

-SEEKING-
Nov 24th 2009, 11:56 PM
So do you take care of yourself?

VerticalReality
Nov 24th 2009, 11:58 PM
So do you take care of yourself?

That's certainly debatable. I suppose that everyone here more accurately would say that they somewhat do yet somewhat do not take care of themselves.

-SEEKING-
Nov 24th 2009, 11:59 PM
Exactly. So some people take care of what God has created, and others don't.

VerticalReality
Nov 25th 2009, 12:05 AM
Exactly. So some people take care of what God has created, and others don't.

Certainly. So, what specifically has God called us to protect, and what exactly is it that we are supposed to be protecting it from?

Dani H
Nov 25th 2009, 12:20 AM
Well, there's the fatalist approach that goes something like "oh it don't matter what we do, God is gonna make a new earth anyway."

Then there's the stewardship approach which goes something like "it don't matter when God is making a new earth; meantime in the Batcave, I'm supposed to tend that which has been given to me and treat it responsibly."

Which I believe includes people, first and foremost, and material stuffs secondly.

I don't think it makes God happy when people "go green" and get environmentally conscious and then come home and abuse their spouse. Crass example, I know, but there's priorities. Because people are eternal. Physical stuffs -- isn't. :)

Sirus
Nov 25th 2009, 01:29 AM
If we are, then we are protecting what God cursed. Isn't that futile?

VerticalReality
Nov 25th 2009, 04:33 AM
I don't think there is anything wrong with trying to protect the environment and that sort of thing. However, I'm speaking more in spiritual terms. For example, is it not reasonable to conclude that Adam and Eve's responsibility in tending and keeping the garden was to keep it clean of all things contrary to God instead of submitting themselves to the leading of the serpent?

What about today? Any relation?

Sirus
Nov 25th 2009, 05:01 AM
Yes. Guard and protect the dominion God gave man and subdue all in the earth, which included the serpent. Totally applicable today for every believer. Both authority and sin is a spiritual issue.

I said what I did above because only the ground was cursed and I do not believe the ground is still cursed, but since that's not what you are talking about, nevermind.

Dani H
Nov 25th 2009, 06:10 AM
Well, that depends on how you perceive Eden and its purpose.

Jesus came to redeem people, first of all. The Sabbath is for man, not man for the Sabbath. What God creates, is for our benefit. So if we abuse things created for people's benefits, we're indirectly abusing the people themselves. Certainly God appreciates His creation and calls it good, but the pinnacle was man, and for him to tend, and to enjoy, and to appreciate. Eden was the birthplace of the human race as we know it. The New Jerusalem is made up of people. God's Kingdom is made up of people.

ThyWordIsTruth
Nov 25th 2009, 07:43 AM
Is it still our responsibility to tend and keep what God has created?

Yes. For the saints give thanks to God for destroying those who destroy the earth.

Although I don't think we should spend the majority of our time, efforts and money in trying to protect the earth (that wasn't God's commission to us, men's souls are more precious, and the fate of the earth is already prophesied and thus cannot be changed) we are expected to do what is in our power to do to protect the earth.

Rev 11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever."
Rev 11:16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God,
Rev 11:17 saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.
Rev 11:18 The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth."

In the OT, God commanded the people to let the land rest every 7 years, where no planting is to take place. They disobeyed over many years, and God sent them a drought (if memory serves me) as a punishment for disobeying his Law.

VerticalReality
Nov 25th 2009, 01:38 PM
Would it be reasonable then to conclude that those who blame God for why He "allows" wickedness, sin, sickness, disease, death, torture, rape, murder, etc., are pointing the finger in the wrong direction?

If it is our responsibility to tend and keep what God has created then isn't it us who has "allowed" these things?

Sirus
Nov 26th 2009, 03:46 AM
It's not man only who has allowed these things. God created evil -Isa 45. He created and made an environment where evil could be done, knowing it would. Still, He created evil anyway. So which came first, the chicken or the egg? So you then get the people that wonder why God just didn't create man a robot to not sin and to love and worship Him. Obviously a robot without choice and the capacity to sin can't love and worship Him. Creating evil and enduring

with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
is necessary

that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, -Rom 9:23

ThyWordIsTruth
Nov 28th 2009, 11:17 AM
It's not man only who has allowed these things. God created evil -Isa 45. He created and made an environment where evil could be done, knowing it would. Still, He created evil anyway. So which came first, the chicken or the egg? So you then get the people that wonder why God just didn't create man a robot to not sin and to love and worship Him. Obviously a robot without choice and the capacity to sin can't love and worship Him. Creating evil and enduring
with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:is necessary
that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, -Rom 9:23

God doesn't create evil. God brings calamity. That's a horrible translation.

In him there is no darkness.

Scruffy Kid
Nov 28th 2009, 04:33 PM
Is it still our responsibility to tend and keep what God has created? Yes!
God gave to humankind responsibility to care for the ground, the garden, to tend and to dress it.

This includes responsibility for the physical world, and its plants, animals and atmosphere of course. Scripture condemns wanton acts of destruction of the environment, and enjoins kind care for animals, and the created order.

However, I agree that the creation mandate to care for creation, and to keep it in good order, is not primarily directed toward the physical creation, but toward moral good, the care of the human heart, and care for human beings. (Naturally, these things go together, anyhow.) Further VerticalReality, the OP, is particularly interested in our care of human life, and not just the physical environment.

In general, God has delegated a lot to human beings. That doesn't mean denying that He is still ultimately in charge. He is; but he leaves lots of things in our care. Jesus repeatedly tells us that our attitude, until He returns, is to be that of good stewards. Paul tells us to " work out our salvation with fear and trembling" exactly because God is our help -- "for it is God that is at work, both to will and to work according to the good he intends."

Jesus particularly tells us that we are to care for other human beings, and make their welfare our priority. (This is the meaning of the oft-repeated and emphasized commandment "Love your neighbor".) Jesus tells us, as do the apostles and Moses and the prophets, that we are especially to care for those who are hurt or vulnerable, for the poor and needy. In this way, our attitude is to be those who are God's servants, for God is the giver of life and good, and cares for all people, and all the earth which He has made.

At the same time, caring for that which God has entrusted to us also means, especially, guarding our own hearts and minds, and teaching people -- children, those who do not know God, our friends, and especially ourselves -- to walk in God's ways, and to know God. This, together with care for those in physical need, is summed up in James's maxim "True religion and undefiled before God, the Father, is to visit orphans and widows who suffer, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."

Many specific Scriptures say that we are to work for the good of the place we find ourselves in, and for the good of those around us. Jeremiah (29:7) teaches those in exile (we are exiles in this world, too) that they should " seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. " Jonah is sent to bring repentance to Israel's enemy Nineveh, and God says "Should I not have compassion on Nineveh that great city in which there are over 120,000 clueless people, and also much cattle."

In regard to the physical needs of the world about us, Jesus notes that "if you have not been faithful in unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches" (Luke 16:11); and of course he says that we should sacrificially give to help the poor, and that in as much as we have helped the least person, we have helped him. (Matt. 25) Jesus came and preached healing the sick, giving to the needy, liberating those oppressed by demons, and pointed to this as the very sign of his Messiahship. John similarly emphasizes that we cannot love God whom we have not seen if we do not love our brothers whom we have seen (I John 4), and similarly -- after saying that our vocation is to gaze upon Christ, and so be transformed into His likeness -- emphasizes that if someone is in need and comes to us, that we will care for those needs, if love truly dwells in us. James makes exactly the same point in his epistle. Jesus emphasized generous care for others, saying that we should give to those who ask, and not turn away from them. (Matt 5)

In general with respect to the care of that which has been entrusted to us, or left here on earth, Paul instructs us to "be rich in good works, ready to contribute" (I Tim. 6:18) and commends those who "have brought up children, lodged strangers, washed the saints' feet, relieved the afflicted, [and] diligently followed every good work" (I Tim 5:10). More generally Paul urges us that "as we have opportunity, let us do good unto all men" Gal. 6:10.

This also, particularly, involves caring for the deposit of faith that has been given us, and for living upright lives. Paul tells Timothy (I Tim. 6:20) to "keep that which is committed to thy trust" He tells us "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Phil. 4:8). We are also assured that "whatever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord" (Eph 6:8).

The Bible in its entirety teaches us that God is good, the good and loving creator of the world, who does not hate or despise what He has made, but continues to care for it, even if it has lapsed into destruction. Indeed he sends His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be with us, and to redeem us, "to seek and to save that which is lost". He continually urges us "to do good and not evil", to care for the earth, the animals, other people, and for righteousness of heart, and also to forgive. In doing these things, God is not asking us to do some strange thing, but rather to live on the very principles which characterize His action in the world, creating, ordering, restoring, saving, blessing.

Sirus
Nov 28th 2009, 05:38 PM
God doesn't create evil. God brings calamity. That's a horrible translation.

In him there is no darkness.That's what I said. You obviously did not read. That's also what the context says (both passages). Does He or does He not allow evil?

ThyWordIsTruth
Nov 28th 2009, 10:07 PM
That's what I said. You obviously did not read. That's also what the context says (both passages). Does He or does He not allow evil?

I apologise firstly for this slight derail. I wanted to address it as I didn't want anyone to have the wrong idea about God.

Yes I did read it, and it in fact led me to conclude that that was what you were saying? This was what you wrote:


It's not man only who has allowed these things. God created evil -Isa 45. He created and made an environment where evil could be done, knowing it would. Still, He created evil anyway.

Man's evil has nothing to do with God. God gave man free choice, and God also gave man the ability to choose to love and obey Him, or not. If giving man the ability to choose puts the creation of evil back on God then I'd have to say it's faulty logic, and it is in fact a great slander on God's character.

An analogy of that would be me loving my son very much and I gave him a gift of a brand new car on his 21st birthday, and he got drunk and killed someone with it, and then he came back and said that because it was I that gave him the car, I'm indirectly responsible for murder and in fact condone it.

You quoted Romans 9:23, and I submit to you that you have a wrong interpretation of what Paul meant when he wrote that. In fact a whole system of theology exists because of a faulty interpretation of Romans 9, but I shan't go into it here. Listen to what the same author of Romans 9:23 wrote in another epistle:

2Ti 2:20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
2Ti 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

Sirus
Nov 29th 2009, 07:35 PM
Man's evil has nothing to do with God. God gave man free choice, and God also gave man the ability to choose to love and obey Him, or not. If giving man the ability to choose puts the creation of evil back on God then I'd have to say it's faulty logic, and it is in fact a great slander on God's character.You want to say God gave man choice but do not want to credit God for doing so. So who has the faulty logic and slanders God's character?


An analogy of that would be me loving my son very much and I gave him a gift of a brand new car on his 21st birthday, and he got drunk and killed someone with it, and then he came back and said that because it was I that gave him the car, I'm indirectly responsible for murder and in fact condone it.If you gave your irresponsible immature son a deadly weapon before he had proven himself to have the responsibility to handle it just because you 'love him very much' I'd say you didn't love him enough because he could have killed himself as well. Who kills with God's love? It doesn't mean you or God approves the evil.


You quoted Romans 9:23, and I submit to you that you have a wrong interpretation of what Paul meant when he wrote that. In fact a whole system of theology exists because of a faulty interpretation of Romans 9, but I shan't go into it here. Listen to what the same author of Romans 9:23 wrote in another epistle:

2Ti 2:20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
2Ti 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. I agree completely. That is my interpretation, so if my interpretation is faulty so is yours. Take a trip to the potters house (Jer 18) and you will find the same. We decide what kind of vessel we are, not God.

ThyWordIsTruth
Nov 30th 2009, 01:47 AM
You want to say God gave man choice but do not want to credit God for doing so. So who has the faulty logic and slanders God's character?

You're twisting words my friend. It's not that I am not crediting God for giving men free choice, it is you crediting God to be the origin of evil. We are responsible for our choices, not God. If God were responsible for our choices, it would be insane to have us stand in judgement before him to answer for it. It's a complete mockery of justice won't you agree?

God also gave us the gift of sex, food, drink, enjoyment in work, etc. If we abuse those, we cannot point the finger back at God.

His Word clearly says that:

1Jn 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

By attributing the origin of evil to God are you then not slandering Him?


If you gave your irresponsible immature son a deadly weapon before he had proven himself to have the responsibility to handle it just because you 'love him very much' I'd say you didn't love him enough because he could have killed himself as well. Who kills with God's love? It doesn't mean you or God approves the evil.

Really? Is your analogy accurate? Was Adam then ready for the responsibility of choice when God gave it to him, or are you also accusing God of not loving Adam enough and in fact gave him choice when he was not "ready?"


I agree completely. That is my interpretation, so if my interpretation is faulty so is yours. Take a trip to the potters house (Jer 18) and you will find the same. We decide what kind of vessel we are, not God.

I again disagree.

The potter's house has nothing to do with individuals, read what it says carefully. It is talking about the course of a nation.

Jer 18:6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
Jer 18:7 If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it,
Jer 18:8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.
Jer 18:9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it,
Jer 18:10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.

Let's not derail the thread, if you'd like we could start a seperate thread to discuss this.

Sirus
Nov 30th 2009, 03:16 AM
You're twisting words my friend. It's not that I am not crediting God for giving men free choice, it is you crediting God to be the origin of evil.I've done no such thing.


We are responsible for our choices, not God.agree


God were responsible for our choices, it would be insane to have us stand in judgement before him to answer for it. It's a complete mockery of justice won't you agree?agree again


1Jn 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

By attributing the origin of evil to God are you then not slandering Him? No I am not. Can a mortal know good if he doesn't know evil? Nope. In fact, knowing good and evil is a God trait -Gen 3:22. I disagree with your use of 'origin' of evil. The created environment where both good and evil could come does not attribute God with the decision made by the created.


Really? Is your analogy accurate?yes


Was Adam then ready for the responsibility of choice when God gave it to himyes
scripture is clear on this. He had the commandment. God did not push mankind into death and sin because Adam did not know and understand what God said and meant. That would be unjust, and God is just.


I again disagree.wrongly
Jer 18:11 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
You'll find the same in Ezekiel 18.

ThyWordIsTruth
Nov 30th 2009, 05:43 AM
Then we have no disagreement then on all the other points.


Jer 18:11 Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
You'll find the same in Ezekiel 18.

If you wanted to speak to a nation of people, who do you speak to if not the people living in it?

In the verse above which you quoted, does it not say:

speak to the men of Judah
to the inhabitants of Jerusalem

When God wants a nation to repent, He obviously won't tell Jeremiah to go instruct the trees and cattle would he? Or speak to the ground where the nation is geographically demarcated and ask the soil to repent?

Let theology not cloud our God-given common sense.

Sirus
Nov 30th 2009, 06:02 AM
God is dealing with a nation made of men in Jer 18. A nation cannot repent for a man. Each man must repent for himself. Also, all instances in the NT, including the one you quoted, pertain to each man individually. That is what the potters house is about. Individuals. The very concept of a potter making individual vessels for use in His house proves this.

Let theology not cloud our God-given common sense.