After Fukushima – Like John or like Legion

Posted by David
Nuclear power plants around the world, 1999.

Nuclear power plants around the world, 1999.

It seems obvious to me, but clearly not to some, that nuclear power is probably the most irresponsible forms of technologies produced by man. Now that we have another public nuclear accident at Fukushima, I’ve been thinking about why it is so. For the most part, I don’t worry myself about environmental issues. I figure that Homo technicus will only last so long, after which man and creation will heal after being abused so profoundly. It is the nature of God’s creation to heal. Jesus made that abundantly clear while he walked among us. Paul helped to clarify:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

Romans 8:18-22

As I’ve stated before, I believe technology is the pride and glory of man. Technology is not an instrument of faith, but an instrument of pride and vanity. Was it not the technology of agriculture that caused God to be displeased with Cain’s offering? It was the shepard, Abel, whose offering was pleasing to God. It is acts of faith that please God.

Nuclear energy is an attempt to circumvent faith through postponing the price. But someone always pays the price. Jjustice exists in full in this univere of ours. Someone will pay the price of nuclear energy through suffering in unknowable ways.

Whether or not they are actually able to clean up the mess at Fukushima, one day power will not be restored to one of the 400+ power plants in the world. We cannot count on stability in any particular country, however Western, however peaceable they seem to be, because all civilizations eventually fall. Civilization is just a societal technology and eventually it stops working, just like your laptop. No matter how many days or thousands of years it takes for our present system to fall, we will be leaving melting cores for someone, some animal or some part of God’s creation. Why do we place our faith in technological structures rather than in the One who provides all that we need?

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:27

Some argue that because we are called to subdue the whole earth it means we should use whatever technology have at our finger tips to do so. Some would even go as far as to argue that the world we’re growing into is the future creation. This technologically advanced civilization is what God has set forth. It is the beginning of the new kingdom of earth? Poppycock.

Man is indeed in a phylum of his own. We are set aside and we are special. We are given a will and are intended to use it. Unlike the animals, our will can be used to do good or evil. Animals don’t have that privilege. With that privilege comes extraordinary joy and responsibility—a responsibility only possible through Jesus. Done with him it is with an ease far greater than that of the soaring flight of an eagle in the golden autumnal light, or no greater work than the play of a child by a stream in summertime.

But we will continue to do these sort of faithless acts, until we are shocked into submission. And then we will either be like John and lean into the breast of our beloved Jesus or like Legion and cast ourselves into the pigs.


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