Sunday, May 9, 2010

Subjected to futility in hope; Pastor Min's view

For the creation itself was subjected to futility, not willingly, but by him who subjected it in hope. For the creation itself also will be delivered from its bondage to corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but even we who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our bodies

I want to go into this deeply, because I love it and I'm inclined to just take Pastor Min's word on it.

Here is Pastor Min's view, as I remember it:

So Adam and Eve fell and God, being God, loved them and wanted them to come back to Him. He knew the plan He had to save them and their descendants, through Jesus. Also, being God, He knew that if things were always easy for them and they continued to live in His perfect creation, they would not really have any incentive to seek Him or return to Him, now that they had chosen their own way and to be separate from Him. The devil would have things his own way and all people would be condemned to separation from God forever. So God, in His mercy, wisdom and love, cursed His perfect creation so that people would realize their own need and deficiency and be able to come back to Him and be saved. That is, creation would be subjected to futility, in the hope that people would come back to God. When all people do leave the slavery of their separation from Him and come back to the liberty of being united with Him, the purpose of the broken creation will have been fulfilled and it can be restored to being in harmony with His will and design. This is why it is eagerly waiting for the sons of God to be revealed, assuming that that is a euphemism for people becoming like Jesus, and why its current state of violence and pain in just birth pangs... it is giving birth to a new humanity.

I don't think Pastor Min talked much about what futility meant (and what a great word that is!) but I am assuming it means the violence, the brokenness, the cruelty and inefficiency-- sort of the opposite of Isaiah 11, where

"They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea

Looking at this, it seems that the principles of the strong preying on the weak, of things having to eat and hurt each other to survive, are especially things that Christ's rule will change. I'm not sure whether this actually refers to animals or whether it is a metaphor for what happens with people, but I am inclined to think that it is both, because it says that THE EARTH would be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Looking back to the words of the curse itself, it's interesting that the idea of the strong preying on the weak is kind of seen in the relationship between Adam and Eve "your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you," and a little bit the idea of competition... what the ground had given freely before would now have to be fought for.

Is there evidence elsewhere in the bible for this? And what does it mean that we, just like creation, are groaning? Next post!

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