Tenders of the Garden

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Genesis 2:15 (NIV) “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Doesn’t a Scripture like this compel us to feel a responsibility to the earth and the creatures on it? It seems to me that the church at large ought to have a much greater voice in the protest of what our culture does to the earth and to the animal kingdom.

So much of Christian culture is silent on this subject. It seems that industrial revolution Christianity has lost its voice on this subject. We speak of the transcendent while allowing the extinction of so many species. The estimate has been three a day. Many kinds of mammals and birds gone forever, while a silent confessing church remains silent. Try swimming in the Arkansas River by Tulsa, Oklahoma…you’ll end up in a emergency ward. Coral reefs are almost gone in so many places. Islands of plastic are in the oceans as a testimony for our lack of care and irresponsibility. Fertilizers, chemicals and carcinogens pollute our streams, rivers and seas. Elephants having to be saved in park reserves. There were millions of elephants roaming wild in 1900. By 1989 they were down to around 600,000. Now the number is way less especially with the rise of capitalism in China and the ivory trade revived. Rain forests are being sawed down daily. Many fish populations are depleted because of over fishing and pollution. We could go on and on…

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What does the church at large bring to the table to stop these atrocities? We are to be tenders of the garden not destroyers. Certainly we must live but can’t we fight to live with nature rather than raping it with policies and practices that destroy? 

We see chickens raised with no sunlight and never graze and shot up with growth hormones. Many are unable to stand by seven months old with broken bones from such fast growth. Do we treat our cats like this? The smartest animal on a farm is a pig. So many sows in corporate farms never even stand up. They lay and give birth, suckle and then are slaughtered. Do we treat our dogs like this? No we don’t or we would be arrested and in jail. We see cattle that should graze but are corn fed in huge pens without any real freedom. Our sterile corporate food industry tortures animals systematically and no real Christian out cry against it is heard. What should be the Christian response?

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We see a real disconnect with the enlightenment humanism and it’s ethics of conservation, animal rights, clean air and water and modern Christianity. We know the reasons are complicated in history. We want to come from a Biblical perspective to be apart of the discussion with conscience. We believe in land preservation, good treatment to animals, breathing clean air and drinking clean water.

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We do not want to be so heavenly minded that we do not stand up against the systematic destruction of our environment. We can’t have an attitude that the Great Tribulation is coming so it doesn’t matter. If that were the case we would stop making our beds or sending our children to schools. We can’t have an attitude – it’s going to blow up! We have to try especially in countries where some freedom remains. In R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy of middle earth fantasy, he admitted it really was an allegory of the industrial revolution gone to far. The Orcs were symbols of industrial man under the wizards of industry working for greed hacking and whacking every tree down. Many consider him a real environmentalist. Even if a Great Tribulation is coming we need to stand up against evil. Do you want someone throwing their garbage in your yard? Do you want your children breathing and drinking polluted air and water? Do we want major corporations dumping in the rising industrial world? Do want to live in the coal-burning city of a Beijing, China? Do you want world capitalism polluting our brothers and sisters somewhere else because we are so selfish we close our ears and eyes? As Christians we need to fight evil on all levels when it makes a difference. Table of the Lord believes global warming is real and we believe in environmental agencies not just working for corporate profits but the people…. all of the people. We believe these problems and oppression is beyond democratic or republican or rightwing verses left wing. We believe they are universal and in the realm of good verses evil.

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Leviticus 25:1-7 (NIV) “The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6 Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7 as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.” Here we see the law given from Mt. Sinai to Moses. This law was not the Levitical Law given to the priests; it was for all the tribes and people. Every seven years the land was to rest for a full year. Notice how it says the immigrant could gather and even the animals were replenished. Can you imagine if it was like that today? This was not just libertarian law and ethics but the law of the land even all those with private property. The Scriptures teach us because Israel did not keep this law they were taken to Babylon for seventy years. 2 Chronicles 36:18-21 (NIV) “He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there. 20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah

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The Law is filled with testimony of being good stewards of the land and treating animals properly. The entire book of Psalms deals with the beauty of nature reflecting Gods love. Do you want your children to be able to eat the fish they catch in our waters? Shouldn’t we leave the land better off then when we came? Look what the Law in the Bible says about fruit trees. Leviticus 19:23 (NIV) “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten.” We see the land so over used and businesses and corporations trying to squeeze the maximum profit out of it until we ruin it in many areas in our world. Shouldn’t the confessing church in nations where our voices have effect protest this?

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We are now in a world of genetically modified products (GMO’s) where nature itself is being changed. We see salmon grown on farms being tampered with because their streams are shut down or damned. We see way too many lakes and waters polluted and contaminated. We see way to many animals filled with growth hormones. We see corn, soybeans and other products mixed with round up. We see genetically modified products unlabeled daily in our stores. We see companies trying to undermine us; not telling us exactly what is in their products. These corporations spend vast amounts of money to protect their secrecy. They spend huge lobby dollars and tie up courts with high priced lawyers. They try to get in many different countries. Many countries have outlawed these companies. Our technology has reached the place where we clone and mix species together without ethics. We must stand up against them!

car-exhaust-fumesI had a renter who had a nine-year-old daughter. She took her daughter to the doctor with female issues and the doctor thought she had been raped. On further analysis her daughter was diagnosed with problems from growth hormones from food she was eating. Do we want this in our children?

Table of the Lord hopes to support more organic farms, farmers markets with no GMO’s. Home gardening without fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals or carcinogens. We certainly are not going to make doctrines out of this but we want a culture amongst ourselves that is healthy in all ways. We don’t want to create a new legalism where we tell people what and how to eat but we are trying to show a Christian concern. Please don’t take us wrong. We feel care of the land and protecting it against greed is also apart of our Judea-Christian ethics. We hope to encourage businesses that treat their animals’ right. We support free grazing and better treatment of all Gods creation. We believe a lot of the obesity of our times is related to processed food. We believe a lot of Type 2 Diabetes is brought on by marketed diets that are unhealthy. We pray for the sick don’t we? Staying well by eating healthier helps people. Encouraging exercise and healthy life style is certainly love for people isn’t it?

M35.07W12WChristianity has always had a relationship with the land. Anabaptist agriculture communities, the Amish, Quakers and Puritans. Tolstoy agriculture communities influenced Ghandi. Israel and kibbutz communities are inspirational. With todays corporate farms taking over and the loss of family farms we need to emphasis this aspect of our Christian heritage. The dehumanization and depersonalization of the food industry should be looked at and fought. The splits in the confessing church in Christianity with social justice and environmentalism was not always there. We want to see the culture of our Christian churches broader and not so monolithic.

Don’t let these giant companies like Monsanto ever stop you from knowing what’s in your food and talk you into not asking by their lobby dollars. Stand up for labelling all GMO’s. Stop eating genetically modified corn, soybeans and foods sprayed with carcinogens. They lie! They don’t want to feed the world, they want to get rich off of their poison!Monsanto

Table of the Lord believes in good realistic environmentalism. We are against any cruelty to animals. We stand up against any unproven GMO’s and are for labeling. We are for the continuing development of clean technology that doesn’t pollute. We want clean water and clean air. We want food without growth hormones and carcinogens from chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers etc. We believe in a civil Christian protest to all this present pollution and evil.

 

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