Don’t mess with God’s creation.
Let our bodies work the way God intended.
Sometimes we like to fit in with the latest trends and fads. It’s part of our nature to avoid being unpopular. However, we ought to know that when it’s really important we need to go beyond the soundbites on Facebook or the media, and do some real research. And we ought never to allow the latest cultural beliefs contradict what we know to be true from Scripture.
I have already done a lot of reading pertaining to vaccines and whether it’s OK to inoculate our children against diseases. (You can read my findings here on MostlySensible: “A Pro-Vaccine Point of View”). And lately, I’ve been reading and thinking through the issue of “going green.” Other buzzwords are clean eating, organic, natural, environmentally friendly, etc. To put it succinctly, I don’t buy into that mindset. Given the deluge of information out there promoting organic foods and substances, I encourage my readers to have an open mind and think this issue through with accurate information.
My purpose in this post, though, is to refresh our memories about what we know from God’s Word about His creation. What is the nature of the world and all that is in it? How is that different than the pagan view of Mother Nature? Are we really just trying to Christianize the Mother Nature belief?
True: God Made a Perfect World.
God created out of nothing a perfect world, and mankind was commissioned to subdue the earth and keep it and maintain it and have dominion over it (Genesis 1:28-29, Psalm 8:4-8). The earth did not evolve and is not sustained of itself or of any other being than God Himself (Colossians 1:16-17). The Eastern mystic belief in Mother Nature is that “nature is personified as a woman considered as the source and guiding force of creation” (Miriam-Webster Dictionary). Even non-Christians mostly know that a real Mother Nature is a myth, but yet this is a driving sentiment when reading pro-organic literature. The command to have dominion over the earth was given to Adam before the Fall. Therefore, even if the world were still in a perfect, uncorrupted state, we would still be the keepers of it to cultivate and be good stewards of it. Even if the world were still perfect, we ought not to elevate it above its place. We ought not to worship the creation rather than the creator (Romans 1:25).
True: The earth was cursed when Adam & Eve sinned.
Our human bodies as well as plants, animals, minerals, elements, and weather have all been cursed and corrupted because of Adam and Eve’s sin (Genesis 2) (Romans 8:20-22). This is not to say that God did not design the world with great wisdom and precision. It is simply a biblical fact that our amazing creation is not perfect anymore. I think the world likes to believe that if we simply go back to nature and let the earth continue as it has without man’s interference, then everything will work out fine and we wouldn’t have the problems we do today. (That is an inaccurate view of history, by the way. More about that in a future post.) This fallen world left to itself, would fall into disrepair and chaos. It will attack and harm us and itself if left to its natural mercies.
An element of nature cannot be considered good simply by virtue of being natural. How many things in nature can you name that are dangerous? Weather patterns, dung, sulfur, toxic mushrooms, wild animals, bacteria, and more. We cannot say that something is better just because it is found in nature and not in the laboratory. We ought to have a healthy fear of nature and have some knowledge as to what is truly beneficial to us. I do understand that the converse is true that something that is scientific or man-made is not necessarily good for us either. Again, knowledge is key to making a determination as to what is healthy.
Stewardship of the earth involves using the resources we have to benefit mankind or the earth itself. For example, I think it’s a truly amazing thing that scientists have figured out that the black goo that is found in the earth (crude oil) can be used in thousands of applications like fuel, makeup, asphalt, plastics, etc. This is an example of an element of nature that would be otherwise useless and dirty has been refined and altered into something advantageous. My husband’s family has been in the logging industry for generations. They will tell you in no uncertain terms that a forest that is properly logged and maintained is a healthy forest. A forest that is allowed to grow wild will likely be unhealthy because its density makes it too easy for wildfires and diseases to spread. However, if it is properly thinned out a forest becomes a renewable resource that is useful and profitable. It is in these concepts that the “Green” movement has it wrong.
True: The earth will not be restored until Christ returns.
There is nothing we can do ultimately to bring the earth back to its original perfect state (Revelation 21:1-5). There is no combination of foods or chemicals that will, as I hear often, let our bodies work the way God created them to work. We may try to do everything we think is correct to our bodies, but we may still contract a deadly disease. Only Christ has the power to restore nature perfectly, and He has said it won’t happen until He returns and we are glorified.
19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:19-23)
Until that time, the end of the ages, we can strive to correct flaws and prevent damage and protect each other. God said to Adam that it will be with difficulty that we must maintain the earth. Science continues to learn and progress, and it will make mistakes. We will continue to discover parts of creation that amaze and astound us for its brilliant design. We have many wonderful resources at our disposal with which to glorify God. I believe we ought to use the resource of scientific achievement in the same way that we use any intellectual pursuit to improve our lives. Discarding such a blessing is a mismanagement of our creation.
As we look at all of the resources at hand, we mothers and wives ought to choose wisely which things will help our families and households to be a place that is managed well for God’s glory. I don’t have a problem with folks wanting to use “natural” solutions. I know many who do this simply because they prefer that lifestyle. I know others who do it because it can be a way to save money. Still others use natural substances because in their experience it works better than synthetic solutions for various reasons. However, I do object to the use of so-called organic substances and food simply because it is “natural.” I also object to the demonization of research companies and pharmaceutical companies. Their work is just as valid and worthy of praise, in my opinion. God has blessed those folks with the intellect and opportunities to produce amazing products that have been life-changing and life-saving. To simply dismiss their work is to be unthankful for those resources from God. Moreover, it is leaning too heavily on the so-called virtues of nature, rather than having dominion over nature. Nature is not to have dominion over us.
What’s My Point?
I’m not against folks trying clean living in any of its forms if wanted. I know many who do this simply because they prefer that lifestyle. I know others who do it because sometimes it can be a way to save money. Still others use natural substances because it may work better than synthetic solutions because of allergies and sensitivities and other situations. I am simply asking my readers to avoid sweeping generalizations which demonize legitimate scientific progress and achievement and which elevate a fallen creation above its place. I believe that scientific advances in chemistry, agriculture, and medicine have been a benefit to the vast majority of humankind preventing untold deaths, diseases, and hunger. For this we ought to be thankful.
Below I am including just a few links to some sources that are on the less-popular spectrum of the organic movement. There is so much pressure out there to be organic, or go green, or be natural that we are forgetting the basics of chemistry and biology. Please read any article you find online with discernment and a Mostly Sensible mind. I may not agree with each of these articles 100%, but they do give an alternative view to the sentiments we hear so often. As I learn more, I hope to share them with you. Happy reading!
Mother Nature’s Most Dangerous Toxins (Illinois Poison Center)
It’s one of the biggest poison myths of all time: ‘all-natural’ or ‘organic’ substances are safer than their man-made or ‘chemical’ counterparts. However, the fact is that some of the most toxic substances known to man come straight from mother earth (or her creatures). There may be many positives about organic or all-natural products, but being inherently safer to humans is not one of them. read more >>>
Top 5 Lies About Biotech Crops (Reason.com)
The Institute for Responsible Technology, an organization opposed to crop biotechnology, has published a list of reasons to avoid GMOs—that is, genetically modified food. It’s a mish-mash of misinformation and disinformation. All of the institute’s assertions are unfounded, but here are the five most dubious claims on the list. read more >>>
Mark Lynas, a former anti-GMO activist, speaks out (Mark Lynas.org)
I think the controversy over GMOs represents one of the greatest science communications failures of the past half-century. Millions, possibly billions, of people have come to believe what is essentially a conspiracy theory, generating fear and misunderstanding about a whole class of technologies on an unprecedentedly global scale.
This matters enormously because these technologies – in particular the various uses of molecular biology to enhance plant breeding potential – are clearly some of our most important tools for addressing food security and future environmental change.
This is a blog maintained by graduate students and scientists in plant genetics. Basically they write articles showing the science behind the benefits and safety of genetically modified plants. An example of one article is this one about a pig study. “The new pig feeding study has really made a splash in the media, with uncritical journalists taking it at face value. The paper is titled: “A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet” by Carman et al, if you’d like to read it. Happily, many highly qualified bloggers have provided thoughtful rebuttals on various aspects of the study. I’d like to present my own review.” read more >>>
What’s for Dinner? (Science Based Medicine Blog)
Diet advice changes so fast it’s almost a full-time job to keep up with it. Avoid cholesterol; no, avoid saturated fats; no, avoid trans-fats. Avocados are bad; no, avocados are good. Wheat germ is passé; now omega 3s are de rigueur. The supermarket overwhelms us with anembarras de richesses, a confusing superabundance of choices from “organic” to low-sodium. How can we decide what to have for dinner? read more >>>