Tar Balls, Dead Birds and Babies


          British Petroleum Company or BP was founded in 1909 to explore the oil fields of Persia (now Iran.) Originally it was called the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. Today the company generally markets itself as "BP." BP is one of the world's largest energy companies. BP has over 80,000 employees. In 2009 BP refined about 2.3 million barrels of oil per day. Their sales and operating revenues were over $239 billion. On April 20, 2010 an explosion on the BP operated Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed eleven crew members. This also sparked the greatest environmental disaster in United States history. Current estimates put the amount of oil that was being discharged from the broken well at above 1,470,000 gallons per day. Over 400 different species of animals live in the area affected by the spill. Several hundred birds, about 500 sea turtles and 60 dolphins have been found dead within the spill area. On July 15, 2010 BP successfully stopped the flow of oil from the wellhead itself. After the well was capped the pressure has caused oil to continue to flow through the bedrock into the gulf. For many living and working along the Gulf Coast of the United States, the BP Oil Spill has had devastating consequences.


          The devastation has been great. We grieve for the families of the 11 people who lost their lives. These families have been changed forever. These men were someone's sons, husbands and fathers. Unless we should live till the Lord comes we will all "sleep the sleep of death." (Psalm 13:3) Still, death is sad and these 11 deaths are very tragic. We likewise grieve for BP. You have to know that none in this company wanted such a horrible thing to happen. The Bible speaks of "the time of your tribulation." (Judges 10:14) BP has certainly been going through such a time. We grieve for the many who have lost jobs and for those who own businesses that have failed. The Bible teaches us to work and provide for our family. One is a horrible person if he is unwilling to work to do so. (1 Timothy 5:8) Those who will not work should not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) However, many along the Gulf Coast want to work but their jobs are gone because of the oil spill. We grieve for them. We grieve for the plants and animals that have died. Nature is the handiwork of our Almighty God. We have a "faithful Creator." (1 Peter 4:19) He created both plants and animals. (Genesis 1:11-25) We grieve the harm done to God's beautiful creation by the massive oil spill. The devastation has been and is truly horrifying.


          The result of tar balls on the beaches. There likely are not many positive things to be said concerning this horrendous oil spill. However some of us still believe what we read in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." For those Christians who have been negatively affected by the tragedy God will work some blessing for their life. Tar balls have kept many people off the beaches. One very observable positive concerning that is that there has not been nearly as much immodesty. Many totally disregard what God says concerning modesty. They somehow feel that if you are beside the water that it is perfectly acceptable to God for you to be half naked or 90% naked. Wrong! Modesty is the virtue that recognizes the rightful purpose of certain body parts as something private and meant for the relationship between husband and wife. Modesty discourages lust and encourages faithful love. A consequence of the first sin was that Adam and Eve looked at each other and became aware of their nakedness. Their naked bodies caused them to be overwhelmed by a sense of shame and embarrassment. God helped them to have coverings or to be modest. (Genesis 3:21) It was Godís will that sinful mankind, both men and women, should be clothed. When Rebekah saw Isaac for the first time "she took a vail, and covered herself." (Genesis 24:65) The chaste Rebekah behaved with modesty in the presence of her future husband. Many men and women do not behave in a modest ways on our public beaches! Modesty is a Christian virtue that must be practiced by all. Modesty reveals inner beauty. (1 Peter 3:3-4)


          Are we seeing things out of focus? Jesus gave a man sight. At first the man saw things out of focus. He saw men as trees walking. (Mark 8:24) Are we also seeing things out of focus also? Much effort has been put forth to clean up the BP mess and save jobs, plants and birds. But could there be other weightier matters that demand the same kind of attention? (Matthew 23:23) What about the weighter matter of abortion? Some plants have been killed and a few animals also. Billions of dollars and many man hours of work have been put forth to stop that disaster. There is a far great tragedy taking place and our government helps it to continue instead of stopping it. There are 3,700 legal abortions daily in the USA. In the 86 days from the time the BP disaster started on April 20, 2010 until the well was capped On July 15, 2010 there were 318,200 legal abortions in the United States. This is sad, sickening and disgraceful. We do not even seem to be concerned about this far greater tragedy. We are concerned about some jobs, about a few hundred animals and some plants but not about 318,200 murdered babies? It is a baby in the womb, not "fetus." (Luke 1:36-41) Unborn children are INFANTS. (Job 3:16) Therefore, 3,700 infants are murdered legally each day in the USA. A literal and living person is in the womb. (Psalm 139:13-16) To further confirm the fact that God views the unborn child as a person consider Exodus 21:22-23. If the injured woman has a premature birth and her child lives then there's no death penalty. However, if the child dies (or the woman dies) God says the death penalty applies, "thou shalt give life for life." Why would God require the death penalty in this matter if He did not consider the unborn child to be a living, human being?" "At two weeks pregnancy, the "infant" can move alone. By four weeks the child has limbs, muscle tissue, a heart and heartbeat. Ears, eyes, and small hands are visible by the fifth week. The child responds to touch sensations by the sixth or seventh week. At eight weeks, the baby sometimes tries to take a breath when removed from the mother. At twelve weeks, the child will often struggle for life two or three hours when removed from the mother." Abortion is wrong because abortion is MURDER! How can we continue to allow this to happen? What is wrong with us?


          Let us all stand with conviction for what is right and decent. Each of us is challenged to become a Christian and to live daily for the Lord. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of all sins (2 Peter 3:9), confess Jesus as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to wash away sins. (Acts 22:16) After becoming a Christian it is then time to "Stand" and fight the Devil with all our might.


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA