And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31
Have you ever wondered what went wrong? God, the almighty, all powerful, made everything and He was happy with the result. He made man, and said it was ‘very good’. There are many interpretations of the creation, and different views expressed by very clever and learned men, but whatever your views, when the world was created by God (I hope we can agree on that!) everything in the garden was rosy (literally) until man was put in charge. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad we have been given free choice, and we can exercise it as we like. We can accept or reject God’s love. After all, if He had not given us choice, we would have been no better than robot toys in the hands of our maker.
The great danger is that our ‘advanced civilisation’ has messed up God’s great design, and we don’t really see it, or if we do, we don’t care. We don’t take care of His garden, His planet. We pollute it daily, and in the process plants, animals, and yes humankind die. We pay lip service to ecology, and all the while big commercial businesses pump toxins into the atmosphere, and ruin the air we breathe. That’s bad enough on its own, but there is a bigger and more serious problem in our freedom we have been granted.
Man turns on man, killing and maiming to get what is wanted by one section of humanity. The price doesn’t matter as long as I get what I want. We have downgraded that old problem of sin, and given it nicer names. It could be an unfortunate upbringing, or a bad neighbourhood, or we fell in with the wrong crowd. The big get out is the phrase ‘we need more education and better housing’. When the TV is full of foul language, violence and explicit sex, we say it is only a reflection of what’s going on already. It has nothing to do with the media. So where can we turn for help and a way out, a way back to God?
Faith is the answer to that, but once again, we have really messed that one up big time too. We have turned faith into religion, and in the process once again have successfully turned man against man, this time in the name of theology. We even blame God for making us this way! Take a look around you. There is a major religion of the world where we are rocked almost daily with revelations of child abuse, not in one country, but many. They hide behind the fear that they will do their religion harm by creating a scandal! We have another major religion who kill and bomb their way into the news, and we are not allowed to mention them by name, or colour, in case we offend them. Then what about those who hate each other with a passion, enough to send rockets across their borders, while they hide behind human shields of women and children. There are times that I despair about where this world is heading.
And then, I remember. These examples are religions. They are not the ultimate example. Go back to the God of the garden, because he had a plan to give us the way back to Him. When our own planning failed, and the abuses and killings came in the name of religion, God sent His son Jesus into the world, that we might be redeemed through Him. Not a faith. Not a religion. Not a Pope. Not an Imam, and not an army. The answer lies in a baby who grew up doing good, and was ultimately killed to take our sin, and what we decide to do with Him. We still have a choice, and in the middle of the mess mankind has made of the world, we still have a way back. Yes, we have made a real mess of our social, community and personal responsibilities, but the question remains. What will you do with this Jesus? It’s not enough to look around and blame other people or religions for our mess. We will only make a difference one changed person at a time. Are you in, or do you just want to keep on blaming religion? Your choice!
What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah? Pilate asked. They all answered, ‘Crucify him!’ Matthew 27:22 NIV