Stop Damning Creation with a Lie!
If you ask your neighbors who are not ornithologists or bird watchers,
how many species live in watching distance from their home in rural USA?
They might say five or six, they suppose. The reality is they may only be
off by 50 or 60 species if the property has both shaded and sunny areas and
a diversity of trees and shrubs. In the past dozen years I have seen several
species increase, while dozens and dozens of them have decreased so far that
for practical purposes, these species may just as well be extinct.
A few of them would include the Indigo Bunting, the Cedar Waxwing, the Eastern Bluebird, various Nuthatches, quite a few Woodpecker species, Baltimore Orioles, Orchard Orioles, White Crowned and White Throated Sparrows, Kinglets, Barn Owls, Sparrow Hawks, Barn Swallows, Tree Swallows and Purple Martins, the plethora of hummingbird quantities, Bob White Quail, and a variety of Warblers. If given a little time I could add many more to this list yet my yard, with all this reduction in bird species is still a small piece of paradise for the birds and the watchers. Of course if the decline continues at its current rate, there will be no birds or as the scripture says, “No flesh saved.”
I do what I can to encourage everything except house sparrows, starlings and grackles, because I love birds, mammals, sea creatures and even human beings. I have no shame or reluctance about making sure the birds in winter receive the nourishment they crave or that the shrubs and flowers I plant provide nectar for the hummingbirds. As I said, I love these creatures, and as I mentioned even the ones that tend to be the most destructive, specifically those who cut down trees and bushes during nesting season where eggs and fledglings can be killed or exposed to danger and those who allow their precious cats to feed on the bird population. Satan is called the Destroyer and those who follow his ways are his brothers according to the scriptures.
Before this message goes any further, we need to put down a misunderstood, misinterpreted and misused section of Romans Chapter One. Pastors do badly enough when they insinuate that animals do not have a mind, emotion or a will. It is commonly taught in this area that animals couldn’t go to Heaven because they do not have a soul. A soul is composed entirely of the mind, the emotion and the will. Anyone who really knows animals realizes that they clearly possess all three. Some so called spiritual teachers say, “People are different because God breathed in to humans, the breath of life.” (Genesis 2:7) When Adam became a living “soul,” the word used to describe that was nephesh. This word means a breathing creature including the animals. Look it up in the Strong’s Concordance. If we read on to Genesis 6:17 it indicates that animals and humans have received the breath of life, not just man. We quote it here, “And behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.” Genesis 7:15 reiterates the point, “And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh wherein is the breath of life.” Not only is it true that all creatures have a soul, therefore, they can go to Heaven, but they also have received, along with us, the breath of life.
I am very concerned that so many Christian expositors try to convince those who are already Christians that they can go into a fallen state because they profess to believe that we all need to know we can mistakenly love the creatures more than God. God is not competing with a squirrel, a rabbit or even a dove. This is worse than comparing apples and oranges. Christians glorify God, but they merely care about animals and reassure them of God’s love. Also, Christians try to draw as near as they can to the Heavenly Father. Romans 1:21 makes it clear that Paul is addressing those who knew God (past tense), they did not glorify God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. This is the sort of person he is addressing with our key scripture, Romans 1:25.
Many Christians believe that if you care about creation and all the creatures in it, their damnation does not lurk far behind. The truth is far different than that. I am referring to verse 1:25 of Romans along with the rest of the chapter. These scriptures imply that both male and female homosexuality is the result of replacing the honoring and worship of God with a lie, and worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator who is blessed for ever. Here are some accurate translations that get across the real meaning.
The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into the English language preceding the King James Translation by 51 years. Translating Romans 1:25 it says, “Which turned the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature, forsaking the Creator which is blessed forever, Amen.” A key phrase in this translation is “forsaking the Creator.” Real Christians don’t forsake the Creator; they honor Him and are thankful daily for all the blessings that He is to their lives. Just forsaking the Creator is a very dangerous pastime. Worshippers of God would rather suffer great loss than failing to honor God and worship Him. They might adore many creatures but this does not mean they worship them, or their mates or anyone other than the Creator. This entire section of Romans deals primarily with the fact that what we do unto others, will also be done again unto us. If we sow disrespect, God may disrespect us and if we worship anything other than God we stand to lose greatly. When we sow bad seed we harvest bad things. I do not know of one Christian who worships the Creation instead of the Creator.
Another translation that conveys the true meaning of this text is God’s Word Translation and it says, “These people have exchanged God’s truth for a lie. So they have become ungodly and serve what is created rather than the Creator who is blessed forever. Amen!” Most intelligent Christians strive to be godly not ungodly. If Christians can see it they would never exchange truth for a lie. They would never exchange the Creator for what is created. Just because we protect an endangered plant or animal does not mean that we have exchanged plants or animals for Almighty God. We would have to be crazy to consider such a thing. There is no comparison!
The only people I know of who would do such a thing are called animists. Animism is used in particular as a term for the religion of indigenous tribal people especially prior to the development and/or infiltration of civilization. Animism is practiced by many neo-pagan people or people who believe in no god but treat animals or even non-living things such as statues or totems to commit all their prayers to instead of the True and Living God. They often teach that there is no difference between physical and spiritual beings. There is much more complexity and refinement to animism than I have addressed here, but animism is not practiced by those who know the Creator. Whether we feed a bird, transplant endangered plants that are in the way of construction, or only place unwanted pets in a no-kill shelter does not mean and is not suppose to mean that in any way we have forsaken the eternal God who made all things.
A third bible translation, The Good News Bible, says from Romans 1:25, “They exchange the truth about God for a lie; they worship and serve what God has created instead of the Creator Himself, who is to be praised forever! Amen.”
If you are counting we are now going to our fourth translation of the Holy Scripture. The Message Bible which I love says, “And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshipped the god they made instead of the God who made them – the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh yes!” No Christian thinks about or worships a fake god or worships a god they made rather than the God who made them. They are not under any curse due to such a stupid failure. The scripture says that some people knew God and did not honor Him or want Him in their life. They got their wish but they do not know, apparently what life without God is like.
Our fifth translation of the bible is called the New Living Translation. “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshipped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” I have faith that there are a lot of Amen’s out there for that one. I pray there are no readers who have traded the truth of God for a lie, or any who have worshipped what God created instead of the Creator Himself. He alone is worthy of eternal praise, and if we have a personal relationship with Him, we know that. Again I say, this was not written to people who exalt our Lord Jesus Christ and that does not matter if we are a Christian environmentalist or a Christian animal rights person. God is both!
This scripture and this chapter is designed to warn people who would dismiss God and pray to a mummy, a hippo, a certain phase of the moon, a stone dog or to a god like Molech who was no god in reality, but a place to dispose of living baby boys and girls. All worship that is not of the true God who made Heaven and earth and all that is therein is an act of disregard for the one who died for our sins and gave us His life to dwell within. To worship anything less than Him is a display of our ignorance. Anyone can fall into any sin including homosexuality. God loves you and He can forgive your sin, my sin and everyone’s sin if only they will repent which means turn fully back to Him. We were created to please Him and not to go our own way.
After salvation, transformation is the next step. We are transformed as our mind is renewed according to what the scripture really says. It doesn’t matter whether some tyrannical government forbids us to share the gospel or makes the worst crimes lawful. Ultimately, it is God, our Creator to whom we must answer. Loving the creatures and the creation will not offend the faithful God who has reconciled all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (See Colossians 1:20)