Deut 4 (Old Testament)
19 “And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
20 “But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.

Rom 1 (New Testament)
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

The above scripture speaks of God’s sovereignty in reprobation and man’s wilful rebellion against God unto eternal damnation. We ought to understand that though all things are reconciled in Christ (Col 1:16-20), none can come to Jesus unless the father first draws them (Jn 6:44). In this reconciliation, Jesus makes peace by the power of His blood between God and the elect and thus the elect who are called out from this world as peacemakers and sons (Mat 5:9), these rightfully oppose the world, who from their appetite for anarchy are given to abuse their stewardship over the earth by using everything to serve nothing more than themselves.

Yesterday I was unfortunate enough to pull my beloved building dog Hoppit out of the gutter. The reason he jumped in was because he wanted to escape the firecrackers of Diwali. I have heard many Hindus contemplating on the kind of nuisance their festivals are and I do agree with them fully because their festivals showcase a very poor stewardship over the environment. Besides every attempt made to keep Diwali safe, Holi safe, Dahi Handi safe and Ganesh Chaturithy safe has failed badly. I think the main issue with these festivals is the idolatry because these people have exchanged the worship of the living God Almighty with the lies they themselves have fabricated to deceive their own souls into eternal damnation. As an Indian, I believe in talking about all the issue that affect this country and I couldn’t care less about people who are scared about raising important issues out of fear of displeasing the masses. If we want a clean India, we need to deal with all the major factors that are affecting this country and not just the ones which people are OK to talk about.

Those who live in Mumbai will know that at high noon, it is hard to even get a straight 300 meters of visibility, thanks to the smog which is worsening day by day. There was a time you could see the Gateway of India even when you were far-off by ferry but that doesn’t happen today. It said, since 2010, the average Diwali pollution levels have shown very rapid build-up at least seven to eight times, while peak levels have hit ten times the standard. As per a study done by Chest Research Foundation (CRF), Pune, fire-crackers increased the level of sulphur dioxide 200-fold above the safety limits prescribed by World Health Organisation (WHO). This doesn’t only affect us but has a profound impact on birds and animals as well in the area. Such pollution levels happen to trigger asthma attacks in people and cause new cases of asthma with pollutants linked to firecrackers such as:
Sulphur dioxide: Causes wheezing and shortness of breath
Cadium: Can cause anaemia, damage kidneys and can also affect the nervous system
Copper: Irritates the respiratory tract
Lead: Affects the nervous system
Magnesium: Can cause metal fume fever
Nitrate: Can cause mental impairment
Nitrite: Can cause skin problems, eye irritation, and respiratory problems in children

Gen 1 (About our God given stewardship)
28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

John 3 (How salvation is holistically dependent on Christ)
18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Rom 5 (How we are restored in Christ from fallen Adam)
17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

If we were to look at Gen 1:28 & Rom 5:17 in the light of Jn 3:18, we understand that the poor failed stewardship of Adam is restored only in Christ, and it is for this reason that nations which were shaped by the Gospel happen to do more for the environment than any other because if truth be told, if you are living for nothing more than yourself then you happen to be robbing yourself of all the hope, life has to offer you in God.

John 12
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
26 “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him.

Someday we shall understand that the origin of government is not the people but God and that exactly is the issue we have with democracy because though we have laws in place like the ‘Right to Sleep’… a fundamental right, which moved the Government of India to ban firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am during Diwali, while also having The Central Pollution Board of India ban firecrackers with a decibel level greater than 125 at a distance of 4 meters from the bursting point; though we have such laws in place, nobody follows them because the government in its attempt to appease the masses denies the individual his/her rights and so demonized democracy exercises anarchy and functions as an ochlocracy (mob rule) in infringing upon the rights of the individual.

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And He said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

To conclude, the issue with Diwali as it is with many other festivals, which so often infringes upon the law, is that the people do not have God first in their lives and so long as God is not first in their lives, everything they have been given stewardship over, they will use to sinfully satisfy their own appetite. It is no wonder that the Bible teaches in Rom 8:19 that the earth anxiously awaits the revealing of the children of God (Jn1:12-13), who will ascertain their rightful stewardship over the earth in living for God’s glory.

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