Corruption of Creation

Sep 28 03:48 2019 Bruce McLaughlin Print This Article

Just in time, the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ redeemed or bought-back all creation from the bondage of evil and offered redemption from the bondage of sin to all persons.  But Satan was not a willing seller and will never acknowledge the legitimacy of the sale. 

This article draws from the teachings of 2nd century Christian leaders (e.g. Justin Martyr,Guest Posting Athenagoras, Origen, Tatian and Irenaeus) who, in contrast to Augustine and his theological progeny, were no more than one generation removed from those who had personal contact with the Apostles and, therefore, with the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

Consider the following as simple statements of fact with no implied chronology.  God created both angels and humans as first-cause agents of choice with the free will to accept or reject God’s wishes in every situation.  God created the universe with such precision that the slightest change in any one of its properties would preclude our existence.  God designed the earth as a home for man.  God placed certain angels in charge of his creation and instructed them to be good stewards.  Some began to oppose God under the leadership of Satan, the most powerful and intelligent of all rebellious angels.  Satan, who holds the power of death (Heb 2:14) and is the prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30-31; 16:8-11), exercises a pervasive, structural and diabolical influence which caused all creation to be captured by the bondage of evil.  That which God created as good began to exhibit a pain-ridden, bloodthirsty, sinister and hostile demeanor.  “Mother Nature,” became an inherently violent and terrifying system dominated by disease, suffering and death – a system red in tooth and claw.  Not wanting free will to be an illusion, God is permitting, for a time and within limits, certain consequences of rebellion and corruption caused by both fallen angels and the humans who join them.  Rebellious angels and humans, under the leadership of Satan, are the first-cause of all evil.

 

Consequence for Humans

 

According to G. A. Boyd, “A theme that underlies Jesus’ entire ministry is the apocalyptic assumption that creation has been seized by a cosmic force and that God is now battling this force to rescue it.  Jesus understood Himself to be the one in whom this battle was to be played out in a decisive way… His whole ministry was about overpowering the ‘fully armed’ strong man who guarded ‘his property’ (Luke 11:21) – the earth and its inhabitants who rightfully belong to God… He came to ‘destroy the works of the devil’ (1 John 3:8; Heb 2:14) and to establish God’s domain on earth.   Every exorcism and healing – the two activities that most characterize Jesus’ ministry – marked an advance toward establishing the kingdom of God over and against the kingdom of Satan.  Consequently, in contrast with any view that would suggest that disease and demonization somehow serve a divine purpose, Jesus never treated such phenomenon as anything other than the work of the enemy.  He consistently treated diseased and demonized people as casualties of war.  Furthermore, rather than accepting their circumstances as mysteriously fitting into God’s sovereign plan, Jesus revolted against them as something that God did not will and something that ought to be vanquished by God’s power... All sickness and disease was considered a form of satanic oppression, and so in freeing people from it Jesus demonstrated the presence of the kingdom of God.”

But, one particular consequence for humans is far more insidious and devastating than demon possession, decay, violence, disease, suffering and death.  Every person since Adam and Eve, except Jesus Christ, was born with a sin nature and no person, except Jesus Christ, has lived a sinless life.  Thanks to Satan, every soul is born in bondage to sin just as he corrupted our earth to form an inherently violent and terrifying system in bondage to evil.  Even if our human bodies were set free from disease and suffering, our souls would remain black as lumps of coal. 

 

Consequence for Nature

 

Generations of books, magazines and TV documentaries have portrayed nature as a magnificent and beautiful system almost deserving of worship.  The Gaia Philosophy even views the entire biosphere as a living entity. But when we look through the veil of hype, what do we really see in nature?  G. J. Romanes provides a good description of the animal kingdom: “teeth and talons whetted for slaughter, hooks and suckers molded for torment – everywhere a reign of terror, hunger, sickness, with oozing blood and quivering limbs, with gasping breath and eyes of innocence that dimly close in depths of cruel torture.”  W. E. Stuermann gives an equally sobering description of nature’s web of interacting events: “The web unravels as often as it is woven in order.  Frequently and brutally its threads are ripped in sudden and disconcerting manners, and the orderly tapestry of life unravels, leaving men broken by disaster and despair.  Chaos looms before them and stretches to the horizons of their lives.”  Could Stuermann’s description apply to such events as a mega-tsunami caused by the collapse of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma, the eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano, a gamma ray burst pointed at the earth from within our galaxy, a large asteroid impact or a worldwide biological plague?

Look around!  Did our good, omnipotent God create the inherently violent and terrifying system we see in the world, a system rife with decay, violence, disaster, disease, suffering and death?  Does nature itself appear to operate contrary to the character of God?  Does the world at every level appear to be at war?  Does the world appear to be permeated and corrupted at all levels by an evil influence?  Did Jesus believe that someone else had been given authority over this world and Jesus Himself must repair, reconstruct, restore and repossess?

Just in time, however, the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ redeemed or bought-back all creation from the bondage of evil and offered redemption from the bondage of sin to all persons.  But Satan was not a willing seller and will never acknowledge the legitimacy of the sale.  He believes his property was stolen from him and he is battling God to retain possession.  Consequently, creation is legally free from the bondage of evil but it is not free from the influence of evil itself through Satan and his minions.  Similarly, salvation sets us free from the bondage of sin but it does not set us free from the influence of sin itself.

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