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June 06, 2006

Comments

Patrik

I don't know what Mr. Cho would think of my take on fighting demons, but I wish them Good luck. There i certainly an need for purging the world of a few demons.

Craig Bennett

It does make some sense, I think the storm Jesus rebuked was a form of a demonic stirring and not just a natural occurance, though it cannot be proven to be so through the scriptures. It is interesting though the demons of legion knew Jesus was coming.

We know demons can inhabit pigs from this same passage, and so I don't see why nature can't be inflicted in this way. I think sin is the cause of it, meaning that sinfulness is what normally allows demonic strongholds in a persons life, and so I don't see why sinfull use of business or land cannot invoke a stronghold of some kind - a bit like a house can be haunted, why not the land?

Deborah Taggart

Thanks for sharing that, Shane! I really respect Dr Cho's willingness to admit he missed something of God's vision for the world, and is now wanting to broaden his own vision (and the vision of the people under his influence) so it matches up better.

Luke P

Interesting.

[quote]But the fact is that nature does groan. Insects and animals groan when they die... Because nature's curse was brought upon by the fall of Adam… Every insect, even a single worm is made by the Lord's hands. They are suffering because they live in this cursed earth[/quote]

My reading is Yonggi Cho’s ‘eco-theology’ is based on a literal type understanding of a ‘literal fall’ and that nature is ‘cursed’ in the sense that creatures ‘die’ and ‘suffer’.

Clearly he believes before the fall insects and worms did not ‘die’ or ‘suffer’, and the fall effected radical changes in the natural order as we now know it.

He says :[quote] We have to pray for nature. Every insect, even a single worm is made by the Lord's hands. They are suffering because they live in this cursed earth. We have to stop destroying nature. We have to bless and pray to revive nature. Thus we should stop the activities that destroy the environment and let the Lord's blessings and grace fall upon nature.[/quote]

We understand that we (human beings) won’t be free form the physical effects of the fall until we have been given new spiritual bodies that are not ‘subject to decay’. All the praying in the world for a fellow human being will not liberate that human being from the physical effects of the curse in this sense. Why does he think we will be anymore successful when we pray for insects and worms (i.e. that they will be “blessed and revived”)?

Isn’t praying for insects and worms, for someone with his 'literal veiws', a bit of a waste of time?

Luke P

I should point out I think another statement Dr. Cho made is a far better rationale for protecting and maintaining the environment

“For people to live, nature has to live”.

I think this is probably the most powerful reason that can be advanced for conserving the environment. Of course this argument only justifies conserving the environment insofar as it will promote human health.

Craig Bennett

Coming from a farming background, It would be interesting to see what would happen to the enviroment if farmers followed the OT laws about caring for the land, giving the land a rest every 7th year, etc?

I think the message of salvation has to effect every part of the land, and not just humans. An interesting tangent, is that in cases of revival the welsh mining pit ponies stopped working because they could not understand what the miners were saying without the swear words and the ponies had to be re-trained.

I'm thinking also of one of George Otisis video clips on Transfomation where a Latin American countries agricultural output has truly grown, the land apparantly healed...I would be interested in verifying the facts about this - though I have no reason to doubt the info on the tape.

Should we concentrate on the land, or does the healing of the land come about as a consequence of people being healed and transformed through revival?

Shane Clifton

Luke, i think cho's use of insects and worms is illustrative - his point is that we pray for the earth. And i certainly think that praying for the earth only for our own sake misses the fact that God created, declared the earth to be good - and creation thereby has inherent value (in addition to whether or not it helps us to eat).

Craig, you would be interested to know that a one of the Hansei scholars talked about the importance of the ot laws in relation to fallow land and the year of jubilee as a means of showing the OT concern for the health of the land.

Patrick - i enjoyed your post on demons - even if i dont completely agree. See my response.

Craig Bennett

Shane any possibility to a link to that paper?

I think it would make good reading, yet how does that then intergrate into our interpretation of the law and grace for Pentecostal practice and theology?

Shane Clifton

Craig - unfortunately the paper has not been published. The journal might come out in 6 months or so - so if your remind me then.....

Luke P

Shane (sorry for the delay, I’ve been a little busy) - Yes, I’m sure he was attempting to illustrate his argument when speaking of worms and insects, but I’m not sure what difference that makes.

I’m interested to know what exactly so you mean when you use the words ‘nature’ and ‘creation’, which have this ‘inherent value’. Your lifestyle attests to the fact you don’t mind destroying various parts of nature (your not a vegan, confessing above to eating a wriggling animal, and even if you were a vegan you would still destroy various plants). Which parts of nature do you say we should not destroy, and why only those parts? What parts of the earth should we pray will enjoy the “Lord's blessings and grace” (and thereby somehow participate in the salvation or ‘renewal’ of Jesus Christ)?

And how do you reconcile an argument that the gospel message includes some sort of ‘redemption’ or ‘renewal’ or ‘salvation’ for all of this “nature” you are presently keen to preserve with various scriptures that indicate God is going to destroy it all? For example 2 Peter 3:7-11.

Shane Clifton

Luke - you need to distinguish between preserving the environment and eating a particular plant. The protection i am referring to is the former. So, i can eat animals or plants (indeed, to survive i can do no other), and still value the earth. This means i am interested in the preservation (and flourishing) of the environment - at the same time recognising that we need to eat to live.

Your final question raises an important (and difficult) issue for Christianity. In brief, we need to recognise that the future involves both continuity and difference - destruction and restoration; and we make a mistake if we focus on only one and not the other. Indeed, the apocalyptic passages (and there are many) highlight the fact that judgement is essential if the future is to be actualised - if the future is merely a continuation of the present, then evil is not overcome. But the future is not merely destruction, but also restoration. And, as i have suggested, this restoration extends to the whole of god's good (and presently corrupted) creation.

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