Marching To The Beat Of A Different Reality

Monday, September 26, 2016

Anthropomorphizing Earthquakes

Oklahoma just had one of the largest earthquakes in recent record. 

Immediately, I began to see Facebook posts pinning the cause of this quake on fracking. 

First, fracking has never been the issue; injection wells (a separate part of the process) have been implicated in the cause of minor, localized earthquakes, but this in no way describes this 5.6 magnitude event felt as far as Wichita, Kansas and Houston, Texas. 

Secondly, I have subscribed to a USGS alert which sends me an email for all US earthquakes above a 3.0.  Some days I have as many as 6 alerts - most always west of the Mississippi - from such wide ranging places as Nevada and Alaska.  

For the apparent many who have never read a basic Geology text, it's important to understand that earth is made up of a series of heavy rock plates which actually ride around the outside of the globe on the sea of lava at its core at a constant, though very, very slow rate of speed.  Throughout earth's geologic history, however, there have been times during which these plates have moved a GREAT DEAL.  One has but to do a basic internet search of 'Pangea' to see this fact come to life in living color.  

Truly, today's humans are a bunch of narcissistic know-it-alls with Atlas-like hubris who quite apparently like to think nothing happens on this planet we didn't somehow cause. Earthquakes?  Of course, humans caused these by 'fracking'!  Global warming?  Certainly, humans caused this by burning 'fossil fuels'.  Unfortunately, people today are mostly ignorant about both Earth Science and the Bible. 

Earthquakes are not only mentioned frequently in the Bible, they were center stage at a number of enormous events including the death of Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45).  Human beings had not even begun to realize the sun as the center of the universe at the time of the writing of the Bible, so obviously, there was no contention for a human-centric cause of these otherwise well-documented geologic events by Jesus disciples - or others of the day.  

In fact Colossians 1:16 says, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him."  I would hope Christians might intuitively believe we're not the creators and/or movers of the Universe - that title belongs to another - and as such, would realize we paltry, weaklings called human beings could do little to thwart His creation. 

This doesn't mean we are not to be good stewards of, and care for, that which we have been given, but we must rest in the fact that we are but stewards and nothing more.  

Beyond this, however, each time an earthquake shakes my senses, I tend to think of two specific verses. 

First, Mark 13:8 says, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows." Some record of these words of Jesus' regarding his return are written in every Gospel but John, so they were apparently very important. One couldn't look at the state of the world today and, I would hope, not think solemnly upon this verse in context with keeping our lamp wicks trimmed (Matthew 25:7). 

The state of our present world also makes me think of Luke 19:40, "And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." 

As fast and easily as we throw our Lord under the bus today, I wonder if, in fact, the earthquakes felt in this time are NOT the rocks crying out because so many refuse to accept the deity of Christ and a loving relationship with him.  Before we Christians choose to get on the 'bandwagon' of popular media sentiment, let's take time and think on these things, and of whom we serve.