Monday, March 30, 2015

The Good Of Our Neighbor


Another article for you.

Whether it's "green" environmentalist farmers, or conventional or "industrial" farmers, our farm has a unique relationship to them both. We can be friends and learn from each other -- here's why:

The Good Of Our Neighbor

Peter Bartlett February 7, 2015

If I were to tell you that Bartlett Farms is an organization dedicated to saving nature from destruction and pollution by man, what would you think? Would you associate us with some environmental organization with an agenda to confine people to “human settlements” and depopulate the planet?

Or what if If I told you that Bartlett Farms is all about pumping the most production out of every animal, plant and person on our farm. What would come to mind? Possibly some concentrated animal feeding operation using robots and computers to manipulate and automate everything.

Well, I’m glad to say we do not operate under either of those two skewed perspectives. Yes, that’s right. They are both skewed. Our philosophy is a Christian philosophy and encompasses the driving force behind each of those ideologies, yet is subject to a greater governing rule of thought which is the law of God.

No human being can derive a motivation to do anything apart from perverting something God has created and revealed in the world. This is because the creation itself is a revelation of God. It means there is always some common ground that we as Christians share with those of differing philosophic perspectives in our experience.

Our environmentalist friends corrupt the fact that God created man’s environment to be stewarded well by man, idolizing the world and denying the personal God who made it. They bow to a cosmic law that pervades nature, but fail to see the person Who is the source and personality of that law. Their desire is to worship a being, but the being who inhabits the world of their imagination is none other than their own person. They cannot bow to a personal God and law outside of themselves, because this would incur guilt for sin against Him, and this is something unregenerate man is too proud to admit.

Industrialists do a similar thing when they take the tools of efficiency and orchestrate them according to the mind and will of man as the center of the universe. Their desire is to impose their autonomy onto the world around them and do without God. It starts in the mind and works its way into the motivations and purposes of their business. What may begin as a creative innovation, is transferred to the belief in an altogether new reality. Once men believe they have initiated an altogether new reality and advanced society to a new level, there creeps in a denying of God’s creation order, and God’s judgement inevitably follows.

An example of this can be seen in the development of modern medicine. Once science claimed a treatment of disease based on a belief that man has comprehensive knowledge of his environment, universities set aside any reference to a divine first cause and their cures were developed and sold as true cures. These cures soon proved ineffective and newer more sophisticated remedies replace them, only to be replaced again and again.

Conformity to God’s standard of conduct is the only thing that can and will “work” for man in the world because he is created by God. Unbelievers unknowingly conform themselves to God’s law when they practice biblical stewardship, though it is only partially done and unwillingly. We may learn many things from them because of this, but we must always steer clear of the perversions that always accompany their teaching.

Bartlett Farms, as a God-fearing business, is working from a vantage point that realizes the needs of all men and the world at large. This is because we have been brought to submit to a divine law outside of man that ultimately provides what man and the world needs in Christ. The differing ideologies that our neighbors hold, although fundamentally opposed to our starting point, have some valid concerns that they bring to the table. We recognize and respect them as our neighbors and seek to bring their concerns into compliance with the pure standard which their ideologies have corrupted. Then we can work for the answer in terms of the one and only standard of God’s word in Scripture.


"The Defence of the Faith" by Cornelius Van Til
Chalcedon Apologetics Module, by Michael Butler, listen here

1 comment:

Emmy Tolbert said...

I like the definition of your farm! Neither "green" or "conventional"! =)
But a "God-fearing business"!
And of course, being good stewards of what the Lord has given you.

Good article! I appreciated your point on modern medicine too. Funny how those "true cures" continue being ineffective and replaced!