There is a great tug of war going on between the industry of man vs. the husbandry of God. In a recent post, called scarcity vs. flourishing, I referred to it as “industrial vs out-of-the-dust-real”. This narrative is imperative to understand if we want to have a proper relationship between God, creation, and man. Engaging in the husbandry of God is THE most joy-filled experience mankind will ever endeavor to do.
If you’re new to the blog in short God’s narrative plays out like this:
As a master craftsman, God creates the world and then Adam and gives him a stewardship role to play within all of the creation – he is to be given to husbandry
With this epic work in view, God provides him a helpmate suitable to do that job well – Eve would become known as the mother of all living
In order to fulfill their role, Adam & Eve had to be fruitful & multiply to fill the whole earth
But they chose to believe the Revisionist’s lie instead of the Creator’s narrative
Ever since, man continues to choose his own way and demonstrates, “I’ve got this!”
Yet throughout the story, God’s way continues to prove true and man’s way proves vain and fraught with peril
Therefore, our history looks like one massively long experimental exercise in futility and rebellion against God, with very few isolated incidents of God calling people to follow Him and in response, they trusted in God’s way.
Throughout the narrative, God has been extending the hand of fellowship and salvation to mankind and calling us to repent and believe in the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and become an apprentice to His good work
This is most clearly seen in Jesus Christ (the second Adam) throughout the Gospels and His calling out of the new Eve (the Church), in Him they would be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth
What initiates as a call to make disciples of all nations, culminates in restoring God’s creation from the effects of the fall with a new heaven and new earth
This narrative causes one to see that Jesus was Lord of all even at the beginning of the narrative when Creation was being formed and even the whole way through the story
Pastor or Consultant?
How does this relate to being a niche textile consultant?! I believe all people who are engaged in developing business should be thinking about the husbandry God has already put in place in our world. This will require the use of care and concern for what has been created. In my line of work, we talk about the creation of natural fibers all the time. It is our job to look at the order of its design and discern how to organize processes that will allow others to flourish from the value we’ve added to it. This type of endeavor should be applied across all industries – or as this post is arguing we could say husbandries. God as the creator and sustainer of all creation should be dynamically involved in this process.
Most are much more familiar with a narrative where there is a clear divide between what is sacred versus what is secular. In this view, there is no need to (flip a statement on its head) “inquire of the dead on behalf of the living.” So when we encounter someone who is breaking down those walls and forcing us to think about a wholistic 3-D faith it’s… well it’s lots of things. We tend to just leave well enough alone because we are more comfortable with mediocrity. We see this as an unnecessary rocking of the boat.
This morning I was thinking back to my junior year in college when I first woke up to the fact that Jesus had always been and always will be Lord of everything… all my files got dumped out and realigned according to the Lord’s narrative. In many ways, I’ve never left school. He has been teaching me the art of life, which has required a lot of relearning and defragmenting of my thinking. I think we could all use a good long defragmentation that allows our operating system to realize a unified whole of God, creation, and man.
Cultivating God’s Creativity…
Hopefully, something seems significantly different when you start to take a serious look at what I’m writing/saying. I believe understanding His narrative and trusting in it leads to joy-filled business for mankind and the healing of the earth. We will find a way forward that works in harmony with God, creation, and mankind.
I don’t believe that this is one of those conversations that would be nice to have if we get the time someday. This impacts your wife and kids, your backyard, and that of your neighbors and town, the farmland that’s around you in the countryside as well. If it was properly understood, I believe it would launch a systemic change in our culture for the glory of God being made known in all the earth. We need to cultivate the creativity that God has already endowed all of creation with.
The Marriage Bed of Industry & Husbandry
Many would argue that I have too many thoughts being dumped out and it is a waste of their time and mine. Brace yourself. What I’m about to say will be graphic, but the word picture actually epitomizes this reality of this terrible tragedy to a “T”. Marriage, procreation, childbearing, and childrearing are under attack. In our sexualized culture, God’s narrative in these areas has been systematically undermined. The undertow of these false ideologies from the Revisionist is sweeping unaware thrill-seekers who thought they were just playing in the surf out into a sea of sexploitation.
Stop for a second and think about why it’s called procreation…
Marriage has always been God’s design for a wonderful union between male and female, complete with a wonderful blend of pleasure and purpose. The Lord designed it to encompass image-bearing, intention, and intrigue all into one. But from a young age, I have watched it being stipped and mutilated in the public square. The male and female bodies are seen as little more than objects of worship. Sex is pursued for personal gain alone. We have sought to find ways to experience the pleasure of the act without the product of procreation. The list of ways we have sought to eliminate the order inherent in the act of procreation is staggering. We are championing a culture to despise this most ancient form of husbandry.
Is what’s true in the marriage of husband and wife, true in the marriage of man and machine, man and idea? We’re not dealing with an infertility of ideas, but an infidelity of our role. Are we raising these “children”? What I’m trying to say is that I believe there are similar derelict actions being developed and employed in various other domains that have resulted in little more than “mental masturbation”, a “technological one-night stand” and “social carousing”. We are trumpeting all the benefits of pleasure without addressing the deeper realities of birthing and rearing a responsible “child-like idea” and launching that mature thought into the real world of usefulness. They are not being formed for the purpose of mankind being better stewards of the earth. Imagine the whole earth filled with the businesses we are now creating. Does this result in the whole earth being full of God’s glory? This trajectory, often found in the industry of man, defies the natural order which God has put in place.
The Great Divorce & Step Children
What if we want to go back to a different way of life where the husbandry of God is the ruler by which things are measured? What if God’s narrative is true and there is a harmony of God, people, and creation? What if we don’t want to be married to the objective of exploitation? As Wendell Berry suggested in his question, “How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet?
Mankind’s developments must include deeply intellectual, and stimulating conversation while rooted in a very practical purpose and intention to which God designed creation so that all would flourish. This goes far beyond euphoric thought, and the pleasurable carousing of creation, to the intimate production of a full-blown “man-child” with holy ambitions, attitudes, and actions.
What has been missing from our culture today is the intentional, pleasurable, and purposeful union between things that God ordained. Just as husband and wife are to each other, so is God, mankind, and creation are bound in a holy intimate union. These are things that God joined together in such a way that they might be fruitful and multiply. While some might call my meddling in our segmented files unwarranted, God has demonstrated that all of life goes together in one unified whole by His design. I’m simply trying to apply myself to His wisdom, and lovingly provoke us to a new action.
Can I take this a step further?
In the few conversations, folks have been willing to have about this topic there has been a consistent theme. It all centers around the concept of repentance. In the changing of our minds, what should be rejected and what should be nurtured. Some of the questions come out like this:
Are you saying that we are to repent and return to a purely agrarian culture?
Are you saying that we should leave behind science and technology?
Are you saying that we have no use for the other “fields” of study?
Are you saying that all industry is wrong?
The Lure of Specialization…
I want you to think about where the concept of specialization has gotten us. Where did it get the young man who wanted to go into the ministry? After significant time in bible college and seminary he comes out twice the bastard to the earth as when he went in. Where did it get the young lady who wanted to get into farming? After four years in college specializing in agribusiness, she knows how to perfectly exploit all the resources to be fully productive and be profitable. But her farm will be little more than a factory. Where did it get the aspiring teacher who got her masters in teaching to train up young children in the art of learning? She now is left with little more than an opportunity to indoctrinate a classroom in the answers that are required for the standardized test.
We have decided it’s better to specialize in a particular field of study and to isolate and extract parts of creation out of their divine order, but this does violence to God’s design. When we take our science and organize those isolated and extracted parts according to our own calculated thought of what is technologically sweet, we are subjected ourselves and creation to a very destructive practice. Our wisdom has not been rooted in the fear of the Lord – in the maker of all of heaven and earth. Our practices assume that injecting these new technologies into the ground, or into our bodies, or into the air, or into our water is only limited and not far-reaching. This is to assume that God, creation, and man are not a unified whole.
Hubris & Hybrids
This demonstrates our folly and ignorance of what the Master has crafted. Worse yet, we are boldly proclaiming our rebellion to His rule over and authorship of that design. We have been inserting our own will onto the world to satisfy our own pleasures instead of giving thought to the Word of God and discovering good. God’s intended purpose is to cause it to be fruitful and multiply and our role is to be good stewards of that process to have dominion over it. This is a gross dereliction of the natural order God has designed. So what do you and I do when we find ourselves on the hubris side of history and humanity?
In our hubris do we just continue to become more hybrid? Would it not appear that we have championed these concepts in the last three centuries of the industrial revolution, and now proudly stand to boast of our accomplishments?
Talking like this probably causes all of us to become a bit uncomfortable – me included – but the provoking is intentional. The house is on fire. The car is careening. And we are asleep. What we’ve intentionally forged for our debased pleasures, God intended for a beautiful medley of stewardship that resulted in flourishing! If I’m right we’ve been following a very long line of fools who are boasting in their genius, but all it’s resulted in is a long exercise in futility. Not because of our infertility, but because of our infidelity!
Almost pun, bear with me…
So before I get too long-winded (I know it’s too late…) let me weaveyou with the basic outline that is becoming clear. I think you’ll notice there’s one singular thread that runs through what’s weft.
Imagine that these words are more than warpedpuns…
I’m using them because they are exactly the opposite of the ancient woven tapestry that God designed. Maybe you’re starting to see my point! We need to start rethinking how things were originally made, instead of this bass-ackwards approach where man is his own maker. Consider what the Lord’s prayer would sound like if we prayed what we’re actually doing?
“‘Our Father who art in hellven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in hellven.
Give us today more bread than we could consume.
And teach us to be exploited
as we also have exploited our Maker.
And lead us boldly into your temptation,
and deliver us from God’s anointed one.
For yours is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory,
A gross violence to the text of Matthew 6:9-13
This is the most audacious dereliction of our Lord’s prayer that he taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13, and yet quite possibly it is the clearest mirror for us to see what we’re actually doing.
The essence of what He’s crafted?
I think you can see it in the hashtag #IAMmastercrafted. We are not a construct of my own making, and yet we are wonderfully made. I have curated below some seeds found in the sacred writings that make up the foundation upon which God has established all things, as He has clearly laid out in the narrative.
We were created in God’s image, given a role to play within His creation. This was to such a degree that He refers to us as His Workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works that He prepared beforehand that we might walk in them.
From the beginning of the narrative, Satan (The Revisionist) has sought to rewrite that narrative and glorify himself.
Mankind has corrupted themselves and believed this Revision of the narrative, hoping to rewrite their history – to aim at something other than God’s glory. This is the root of all sin.
This has led to an internal civil war that is happening within the very heart, head, and hand of every man, and we find ourselves on the side that rages against the Lord and His anointed.
This requires a renewal of our ambitions, perceptions, and actions. God’s narrative is now foreign to us rebels.
God’s economy has always been in the opposite direction from the exploitation and greed of man’s industry, calling us to return back into the joy of husbandry as a steward of God’s creation.
This industrial “gift” of a commodity product, where all the players involved see themselves as little more than a benefactor, factory or a consumer, breeds ghettos and captivity.
We are prone to lifestyles rank with recreation and leisure, and adverse to honest work and kindly use of creation and relationships to foster genuine community.
The response to exploitation often seeks to conserve our limited resources but this is the opposite of nurture. We are called to master a stewardship that cultivates these resources so that they flourish – each to the degree that they are able.
This view acknowledges the interdependence of all things together in a well-ordered system designed by God, but mankind attempts to organize these things in ways that deny or even alter that divine order.
This view inspires collaboration between stewards (farmers, craftsmen, etc) who are nurturing and giving true gifts to new stewards (artists, homemakers, etc.) from the wealth of the earth that they have cultivated and kept – everyone working in tandem, causing it to flourish even more. (The medium could be food, fiber, wood, metal, etc)
This is a ministry of creation stewardship being redeemed under the authority of Christ (Master Craftsman), by the power of the Holy Spirit (The Tutor), to the glory of God the Father (Giver of all good things).
The apprentice craftsman is only one small part of a dynamic unified community in which he/she advocates for the farm and the household that they might flourish in their good work.
These apprentice craftsmen are not crafty salesmen peddling to consumers – enslaved to further the exploitation of people, places and things for the purpose of building empires.
They are instead decidedly choosing to participate in something that is truly agrarian and truly cultural – an agri+culture that brings harmony between God, creation, and man.
This redemptive stew, in which each one does its part to cultivate and keep the earth and causes it to flourish, reveals the flavor of the greater hidden beauty.
Mankind’s response in all of this is humble repentance, to confess that we are lost when we strive to be an entity to ourselves and seek to be reformed into a dynamic part of a larger whole that is in harmony with all of creation.
This is the acknowledgment that God (the great I AM) master-crafted everything and in His time He is making all things beautiful and we are called upon to join Him in the narrative that He has already written.
Those who repent and believe in God’s good news narrative (the Gospel of the Kingdom of God) are actually the antithesis of industry and empires seeking only to exploit and enslave God’s creation in all of its wonderful living facets, they now live to partner with God’s work to reverse the curse of sin.
Therefore, the Church is the manifestation of this dynamic unified whole which has intentionally equipped the saints for the work of this ministry – for which Christ has graciously provided us with apostles, prophets, evangelist, shepherds, and teachers to assure it’s proper formation here on the earth.
God’s desire is that all would come to repentance and cultivate a life worthy of the workmanship by which they were created in Christ.
Ultimately the Revisionist is damned for his role in the rebellion against God’s glory, and anyone who refused to repent and continued on peddling the Revisionists seductions of “stolen water” and “bread eaten in secret is sweet” will join the Rephaim in the depths of Sheol for eternity.
If you’ve made it this far I’d love to have you post a comment, or better yet select a time to call that fits with your schedule and let’s discuss the implications of this way of thinking and why it’s so revolutionary for you finding joy-filled business. Simply click the button below…