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Friday, April 01, 2016

Temple-Building Versus Empire-Building; the Worship of Creation

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
Cecil Francis Alexander


But Christ came [ as ] High Priest of the good things to come,[a] with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
Hebrews 9:11 

 Why are we here?

Many have asked that question over the millenia, in one form or another & many still ask it! For what purpose are we born into this earthly realm? Are we here simply to do our best until the day we die? This again engenders another iteration of the first question; 'our best WHAT?' If we are here simply to 'hold the fort' till we die, or Jesus comes back, whichever comes first, then what is the use of our being place on planet earth in the first place? Like one of the prophets said, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die' ( Isaiah 22:13 ): the wisest man on earth once said, 'a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry' ( Ecclesiastes 8:15 ), but in the context of these words, he was describing life under that first covenant, not Life in the New Covenant!

First & foremost, of course, we are placed on this earth to render due praise to the Creator! The Creation, human animal & natural ( rocks, trees & hills ( mountains ) all praise their Creator, both by their natural beauty, intricacy & voice ( if they have one ). Over the years ( millenia ), but especially in the last couple of hundred years, the sentiment has surfaced that says that all that we see is random, that the so-called higher life-forms evolved from the so-called lower life-forms. These even say that the iniverse itself came to be by mere chance, that one little bit of matter ( hmmmm, 'where'd THAT come from? ) just exploded one day, setting of a randoms series of events & now we have our present solar system on the edge of countless galaxy & millions of miles of 'empty space'. Both these are so ridiculous & easily refutable it's hardly worth the time!

Empires come & empires go, at least as far as mere earthly ones! What we now know as the American Empire, greater really than all those that came before it, is simply the next iteration & in fact, one could easily prove, simply an extension of the British Empire. All the empires we read about in the Hebrew & Greek testaments were examples of earthly empires which contested with the heavenly for the dominion. Adam & Eve were commanded to have dominion ( Genesis 1:28 ), but pretty much since the dawn of time, human being have striven to TAKE dominion ( by force, if necessary ) of their fellow human beings, even the natural creation ( this is called 'raping the land' )!

The Covenant Creation model ( some see the Truth of it, some don't ) opens up a whole new can of worms when it comes to the formation of empires; if Adam & Eve were simply our first ( covenant ) parents, the first Adam, as the apostle Paul calls him, being our first Federal Head ( Christ, the Last Adam being our NEW Federal Head ) then what should that tell us about mankind's History of Violence ( empire-building )? If the first covenantal beings were to have dominion over those human beings ( represented by animals throughout the Hebrew Scriptures ) that were not yet aware of the Creator & His Blessed Presence, then what should our response be to those, especially Christians who support the building of empires other than the ONE established by our Heavenly Father in the first century ( Daniel 4-Matthew 24 )? Should we STILL be seeking dominion over that which is clearly under the dominion of our Heavenly Father? We ARE, I believe, still to exercised the dominion over what our King has placed in our care, but it is not by force of arms that we do this, but by loving our neighbor as ourselves & doing unto others as we would have them do unto us!

Worship is our Heavenly Father's due; as the Creator of all; He deserves the worship of all! Sadly, the Creator of Heaven & Earth does not receive the worship of all, at least not on the level He should ( much of what He does receive is more along the lines of the idolatry of Israel of old, where He was worshiped along with false gods ). Rather than worshiping the Creator through the loving reception of His most bountiful gifts, mankind has taken these gifts by force & used them to the point of abuse & beyond! The Creation itself, as the apostle Paul alludes to wistfully in his letter to the Church at Rome ( Romans 8:21 ) was liberated from the bondage of corruption, in the first century. This liberty was given to us, not to use or abuse to our own advantage & for the kingdom, or empire of man ( kind ), but in order that we might share it with our 'world', for the expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven!

In this biology, there truly IS, in a sense nothing better for a person to do than 'to eat, drink, and be merry', but even more important than one's own personal enjoyment, though often one of the biggest factors, is to share that merriment with others! This would include, not only our earthly fruit that we've earned, but most importantly, that spiritual fruit that we have been given, that which we did not earn. In this life, it seem that too many people, including some Christians, are so focused on their earthly fruits that they've all but forgotten that we are here to share our spiritual gifts as well. On the other hand, though, there are those so focused on leaving this earth when they die, that's all they seem to think about & work toward; snatching brands from the fire so they can go to 'Heaven' when they die!

We are here then, to ascribe worth to our Creator! the Creation itself worships the Creator; it cannot help but worship Him! By our very being, the worship of the Creator is established; one cannot help, with all honesty, but look at the Creation & wander at its Creator!  

We are here; let us worship the Creator by honoring Him in all we do & say, by having the dominion over that which He has given us, not by forcibly taking what we want!

'Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and let the empire ( s ) go to hell!' 

Charles Haddon Shank


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