They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge
of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. – Isaiah 11:9
We are so blessed. America is an amazing country. The breadth and diversity of our land and coastlines, the abundance of all our natural resources can only be attributed to God’s divine presence as America was created.
It is the sin of man that led to the destruction of the cultures that were decimated in that process.
As Americans have developed in our culture and faith, we have become better neighbors to the cultures we were so injurious too. As broken people of faith, we know in our hearts we have a very long way to go in being the neighbors Jesus called us to be.
When we think of who owns the land in America, there are dozens of answers that people come up with. It’s private property. The federal government owns it. A foundation or a public land trust and the list goes on. But as Evangelical Christians, there is only one true Biblical answer. God owns it. He has only entrusted us with care for this land. He called us to be good stewards of everything he has given us.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
Therefore we must intentionally include in our daily walk a love and care for God’s creation. Sometimes that takes us to places that we are not comfortable. Sometimes that takes us to places that we are not comfortable and we don’t know what to do.
Called to call
Right now, we as American Evangelical Christians are called to protect God’s land. You might have heard about the Bears Ears National Monument, or Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah. You might have heard of the Antiquities Act. At this writing, all three are at risk.
The current administration, along with a handful of congresspeople, are pushing through an agenda that reduces Bears Ears by a million acres and Grand Staircase-Esclante by a million acres.
To add insult to injury, Bears Ears is considered by some of our most iconic Native American tribes to be sacred grounds. This 1.35 million acre area is home to Navajo Nation, Hopi, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and the Pueblo of Zuni tribes. The land has many sacred sites. Are we loving our neighbor by opening this land to mining, outdoor recreation vehicles, and anything else a local county government wants to do with it without public hearings?
There are three bills moving through congress right now. The bill dealing with Bears Ears has been renamed to Shash Jaa National Monument bill. Our Native American brothers and sisters who live there are greatly insulted by this renaming because it is not inclusive of all the tribes living in the area.
When you call your congressperson you can reference HR 4558 Grand Staircase-Esclante and the HR 4532 Shash Jaa National Monument and tell them you are in opposition to the bills.
The House of Representatives is also trying to gut the Antiquities Act. The Antiquities Act was established in 1906 by Republican Theodore Roosevelt and sixteen presidents have not only honored it but added to the sites on the list. The current Administration and Congress are now trying to dismantle it. The bill name sounds like it is trying to reinforce the Antiquities Act, H.R. 3990 - National Monument Creation and Protection Act. However, what the proposed bill actually does is radically redefine the purpose and allow the recall national monument designation. It would give any president the right to remove designated lands under 85,000 acres with no input or approval from anyone. If the bill had been law then, Teddy Roosevelt would not have been able to protect the Grand Canyon.
God looked at everything he had made, and it was very good. Evening passed, and morning came.
This was the sixth day. – Genesis 1:31
For the two-thirds of Americans who live east of the Mississippi River, this might not seem urgent. But if you have ever been blessed to visit the Grand Canyon or any of the other great national parks, including the most visited park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to know that reckless legislation that is not listening to what the American voters (according to the latest polls it is 85%) want is being considered wouldn’t that move you to make one simple phone call to a congressional office? It’s really that simple. One call. Tell your congress person that you don’t support any of these bills that are dishonoring God’s creation.
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