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Friday, March 04, 2011

the supremacy of creation

Creation is a sort of neglected topic in Christian circles.

Yes, it's a big deal if we're talking about "creationism" and the young earth theory or wondering about the "big bang theory" and whether the universe had a Creator.

But other than that, how many Bible studies have you been part of on creation? How many messages have you heard preached? How many classes have you sat in on that taught it?

Yet it underlies everything.

Consider the whole idea of salvation or redemption. What is it except the re-creation and restoration of a human soul?

Consider healing and prayers for healing. What is healing except the re-creation of the physical body, its restoration to a state of health? What are prayers for healing except asking God for that re-creation and restoration?

Consider exorcism or deliverance. What is that except calling upon Christ to re-create a state of spiritual cleanliness in a human being?

Everything about God and God's Kingdom is about making things new. Everything in the Bible is about creation and re-creation. Everything in your life, if you take a few minutes to think about it, moves along the same lines.

It matters that you create. It also matters what you create.

Holy or unholy.

It is always interesting to me that although our modern age (or postmodern age) says evil does not exist - that there is no Lucifer, that there are no demons - it remains fascinated with the idea of all of it. The horror genre in literature and film continues to expand and the concept of evil beyond human evil is always a big part of the offering. I was surprised to discover that the 2005 movie Constantine - about a maverick exorcist doing battle, in Wesley Snipes Blade-like fashion, not only with demons but Satan himself - continues to enjoy quite a following, including persons writing into forums and chatlines and asking how they might become Christian exorcists in the shoot-from-the-hip style of John Constantine (played by Keanu Reeves).

The whole idea of good against evil, holy against unholy, light against darkness, has never quite left the modern consciousness. Hollywood panders to it. Some Christians believe in it, some don't (though why the Bible would teach the necessity of redemption from evil, sin, and hell if there is no Satan or demonic does not seem to strike them as being at odds with their unbelief).

Satanists and devil worshipers and practitioners of black magic and witchcraft know the battle exists. Which is often troubling to me. Why do the children of darkness believe in the truth about holiness and unholiness when many of the children of light do not?

Those who follow "the fallen one" wish to create evil and chaos and hell on earth - though create is perhaps too positive a word to use for the mayhem they wish to construct. Perhaps it's better to say they destroy what has been created - they de-create - in order to produce a living hell absent of light, goodness, love, and God.

It is up to the creators to create. And they need to do so, insofar as they possibly can, in the image and spirit of the Creator.

Yet, as I said at the outset, creation and creating is a neglected teaching unless it connects with creationism and the creation of the physical earth and its lifeforms.

But we need, all of us, to be creators, not only of families and friendships and ministries of truth and compassion, but of light, holiness, and goodness - in everything in which we are involved.

We need to say: "Listen, it is not only the pastors who are pastors, it is not only the missionaries who are missionaries, the ones who create stories of light and holiness are pastors too, the ones who give us stories of God and purity and hope in darkness are missionaries too."

We neglect the Christians who write, sometimes, because we forget how important creation is, how it underlies every Biblical truth.

We neglect the Christians who make films, sometimes, because we forget how important creation is.

We neglect Christians who write poems, or dance dances, or make music, or paint paintings, sometimes, because we forget how important creation is.

We make much of our pastors and missionaries and worship teams and denominational leaders and Christian professors. We do not make as much, sometimes, of our artists. We ought to celebrate and support the former without ignoring the latter.

All of us create (and hopefully do very little to de-create). But some of us are given to create much more. And those creators need our prayers and encouragement especially if they have been given the task of creating to an extent the rest of us are not called to.

For creation undergirds everything that is holy, everything that matters. And the God who creates and re-creates through redemption, healing, and deliverance is creating and re-creating still through his chosen people.

We are all his chosen people, all we who believe in Christ as Savior and Master. God creates and re-creates in all of us and through all of us.

Yet some he calls to be creators extraordinary - just as he calls some to be teachers, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, while he calls others to do other things, wonderful things, in his name.

The creators extraordinary are as important to us as anyone else within the Body of Christ. And not only important but crucial. Especially in these days of so much ungodliness and destruction of the holy and so much de-creation. We need our creators extraordinary as much or more than we ever have.

We needed them at the building of the Tabernacle. The creators extraordinary, who included artists and artisans, created a place for God to dwell among his people. The first time a human was filled with the Holy Spirit was at the creation of the Tabernacle and it was one of the artists.

At the building of the Temple the same inspiration of God in the lives of his creators extraordinary was also crucial.

Now, when the Temple is the believer in Christ and the people of Christ, those creators remain indispensable.

Those who nurture, create, and re-create in the lives of believers, in the light of the one holy God, are the creators we all need in this day and age and all of us are those creators.

But some, as I have said, are asked to do more.

Pray that they do so. Bless them that they do so. Praise God that they do so.

It may be you. It may be another.

But we need our creators who create and re-create and restore and replenish in the name of Jesus Christ. Quite possibly we have never needed them as much as we need them now.

Please God, let these brothers and sisters be free to serve you and serve your people and to bless the human race you died to restore, re-make, re-create, and redeem.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

Amen.