BIBLICAL MANTRA FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Text: Letter to the Romans 1:8
Synopsis: It is an ecological reading of Romans 8: 19-22 for a relevant biblical solution to the present ecological issues especially in India. It also provides praxis for present day Christians to have the vision of sustainability and preserving for whole creation. It begins from a wider ecumenical perspective
What you mean by theology? Now- a- days theology is defined as sensitive towards creation, God and human beings. The Letter to the Romans is written by such a theologian who was sensitive to the eco system-Paul, an ecological apostle, who travelled through land, sea and sometime flied- taken into third heaven-sensed all facets and moments of nature’s movements. Mainly present writer attempts, here, is to view Paul’s statements with an ecological concern.
[Context of writing the letter]: He wrote this letter to Jewish and gentile Christians at Rome. Paul’s writing is intended to read inside the synagogue where we see a mixture of Jews, God fearers, Christian Jews and gentiles. The community Paul addresses is a synagogue community that is why the language and theological coherence are high in standard. Therefore every passage, peripherally need to see from an Old Testament or Jewish background. His main concentration is the problem of sin in the Genesis and God’s way of restoration. And read portion stretches such concept into a cosmic dimension.
1. Cosmic Problem
For the creation was subjected to futility v. 20
The creation is in the bondage of corruption v. 21
Paul writes to the audience about the present situation of the creation. The creation is subjugated to futility and it is in the bondage of corruption state. The terms futility and bondage of corruption are really taken into note off. The noun mataioteti is translated here as futility. It also is a state of being without use or value. It means an object that does not function as it was designed.
Phthoras is the term rendered as corruption. NIV and NRSV render the phrase as bondage to decay. The meaning is that the condition of creation has all the ugly and destructive face behind the slavery bondage. Therefore Bible clearly states that creation was not only subjected to futility but also a slavish corruption. This combination of phrases communicated an awful, futile and desperate state of affairs in the creation.
We need to look his statements in relation to the Genesis account of creation. Genesis chapter 1– after creating all, God said it is ‘good’. The good statement of God was on all His creation. But then my question is; who made this vulnerable situation? Who made that good earth corrupted and futile? Who is responsible for this cosmic problem? The Jewish tradition answers this question and, Paul and audience were well known the factor- Adam’s sin had brought harm and the domination of evil powers to all creation. The causative factor behind this problem is nothing but the so called crown of creation. The problem makers are we –ourselves. For the selfish and lavish interests we exploit and pollute the creation. The concept of stewards of the earth is turned into killers of environment. Making fertile land into pesticide land, making good air into poisoness air, the rivers and streams with pure water turned into garbage area. The so called punya nathi Ganges is under threat. Yes my dear friend, cosmos is in an age old problem. Do we not understand that earth quakes, floods, volcanic eruption and hurricanes are the result of human’s environmental abuse? The problem is not settled till now but continues with its giant way. The problem is continuing with global warming, loosing of species from the planet and animal kingdoms, whereas on the other side the problem makers are billions and millions. It is the problem we face today. The voice and cry of the creation is not heard by the majority so called crown of creation....
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