August 29th 2010

Creativity:  A Reflection Of God

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them….”
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV)

When I was a boy I read Mark Twain’s classic story, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. One of the memorable scenes was a meal at King Arthur’s table, vividly described in all its historical detail. The knights and courtiers ate like slobs using hands and fingers, tearing off hunks of meat, grabbing handfuls of side dishes, sloshing ale and throwing bones over their shoulders for the mass of dogs around the table to fight over. It was a mannerless, napkinless, forkless, bacteria and germ paradise.

When forks finally were introduced to England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, the clergy attacked them as an “immoral luxury intended to undermine the very fibre of the people and to attract the wrath of God.”

Most innovations, small and great alike, meet with considerable resistance at first. Sad to say, historically speaking, it has often been members of the clergy who fuelled the opposition. The telegraph, the railway, “store-bought” canned goods, the motor car, antibiotics, radio, aeroplanes, television and the Internet, have all been condemned by one preacher or another as “inventions of the devil”. On the other hand, it has often been Christians who pioneered and spearheaded the very advancements in scientific understanding that some of their fellow Christians were busy condemning.

Not all change is progress, of course. But Christians should be the first to applaud legitimate progress. Instead of condemning innovation and new discovery, Christians can, through example and education, urge humanity toward the right use of its God-given creativity.

When we oppose progress, we undermine the relevance of the gospel in the modern world by making it seem backward and ignorant. But God created us to use the intelligence and creativity he gave us, which is a reflection of God’s dynamic creativity. It is seldom that a new invention or discovery itself is evil. What might be evil is the wrong use that some people put it to.

God has never stopped creating. In fact, every person in Christ is already a new creation, as Paul pointed out in the passage quoted above. And Revelation 21:4 tells us that the day will come when God will at last make all things new and wipe away all tears. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain because the old order of things has passed away. Now, that will be real progress.

Holy Father, we acknowledge you as creator and sustainer of everything. Human beings see things through fixed and at times narrow viewpoints; but help us to grasp the breadth of your vision as you oversee the development of your creation and our part within it. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach 

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