Christ Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI


As a Christian, there are views about humanity that can really rile me up.  

Here is an example:

The view that humanity can do whatever it wants with this world is wrong.  This is the Jurassic Park question.  Just because humanity can make dinosaurs, doesn’t mean we should.  

Of course, we find in that movie that when humanity trespasses this limit, and in the movie’s case, create dinosaurs, we will find that their dinosaur creations will break loose and cause untold amount of devastation and chaos. Science is amoral.  It only teaches us what we can do, not what we should do.  For what we should do, you need an ethic and a worldview on how the world is.  

You didn’t know that Jurassic Park was such a philosophical movie, did you?  

Our technology is the battle ground where this issue takes place.  In this example, we find that humanity can’t and should not play God.  God has placed a limit on humanity that is to be honored.  The limit is good.  God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden to promote a healthy view of humanity that is limited in its potential.  

The story of Scripture, of course, is that the limit that God places on us is good and liberating.  Of course, Genesis 3 tells us what happens when mankind ignores God’s limitations on us as creatures.  All sin is a manifestation of mankind defining good and evil on our terms: of us wanting to be the Creators of our own world.  Testing animals, exploiting creation, messing around with God’s design of our bodies.  All of these transgress the limit, we can’t accept that which God has given (or not given!).  

That is what makes Christ’s victory over temptation such good news.

Devil, “you can command this stone to become bread, do it.”  
Christ, “No.  I live only by God’s ethic of how things are.”  

There are such deep thoughts and conversations here that I just can’t get into now.  I will just point you to Philippians 2:5-11 where Paul fleshes this line of thought out more clearly.  Jesus is reestablishing the Father’s order of things on the creation and when Christ returns, he will finish the job and put everything in line.  

But today, I heard another thought about humanity that riled me up.  It has become a popular hashtag: #Wearethevirus.  Or if that is too annoying to read: “We are the virus.”  

It has been cool to see God’s good world filtering out some of the human abuses that we have caused to it.  Animals returning to habitats, less human exploitation upon creation, etc.  

But we are not a virus. This line of thinking is sophomoric. Sin certainly causes us to use God’s world in a way that is harmful, but calling us a virus implies we do not belong here or that the earth would be better without us.  By calling us a virus implies that we should be eradicated.

This is wrong.  

The earth needs us. Without us, the goal of this creation cannot be realized.  Psalm 8 reminds us that God crowned humanity as his representative of his Creation.  We are meant to rule this earth in a way that benefits it.

Without us, this creation turns into a wilderness, and God doesn’t want a wilderness.  In the Scriptures the wilderness is where the devil and his haunts live. The wilderness and ruins are where the jackals and unclean spirits take up residence.  

God wants a cultivated garden.  Creation needs mankind to do this.  Genesis 2:5 has what appears to be a throw away line that we would do well to take note:

“When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground…”

No man to work the ground. Creation needs man to cultivate so creation can do what it wants: grow food, spring up plants!  Creation is to be tamed, so that creation can function as it wants.  This is the charge that God gives to mankind and still to us and what we will do when Christ returns. God has made us this world’s priestly lords.    

Yes, we have abused the creation.  Yes, we can act like tyrants over it.  

But because of Jesus Christ, he is restoring us to what we are meant to do with it, and one day Christ will free creation from its bondage so it can.  

We need the creation, its true.  So take care of it!  But don’t forget that the rest of creation needs us.  We are not a virus, mankind and God’s creation are interdependent on each other.  We need each other to accomplish what God has given us to do. The Creation looks to us as its good Lord, and we look to this earth as the place where God nourishes us with his good gifts!