India’s Under-appreciated Hero: Colonel Ole Bie

Colonel Ole Bie, A True Friend of India (Especially India’s Widows)

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.   (Psalm 102:18)

Here is my limerick about the under-appreciated contribution made to India, about 200 years ago, by Colonel Ole Bie, Norwegian-born Danish trade colony governor of Serampore, a Lutheran who supported Baptist missionary William Carey (and other Christian missionaries) in their efforts to share the Gospel of Christ in India (including Bible translations and the establishment of Serampore College)   —   as well as to promote the Genesis Mandate (by politically opposing the then-prevalent widow-burning custom called “sati”) for Adam’s descendants to “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth”.

In time, after much lobbying of the British colonial government, a political victory was gained (to protect the lives of India’s widows).  Consequently, many families in India today can trace their genealogical existence back to widows who were allowed to remarry — and who, as remarried, later gave birth unto children (of their second marriages).

baby-in-the-womb

COLONEL OLE BIE, A TRUE FRIEND OF INDIA

India, long ago, traded with Danes;

‘Twas win-win, with both nations’ gains;

Labored Bie, Carey, and Roy,

Sati’s threat to destroy —

Ending those life-quenching banes.

See James J. S. Johnson, “Contending for the Faith and the Genesis Mandate”, ACTS & FACTS, 43(5):19 (May 2014), posted at  https://www.icr.org/article/contending-for-faith-genesis-mandate  .

Because every human life is precious to God, even if a single (and “unsung”) life is a inconspicuous as a water-drop.  [ See  https://pinejay.com/2019/12/05/is-your-life-like-a-drop-of-water/  .]

OleBieChurch-Serampore-India.monument



 

 

GOD MADE THE HEAVENS AND EARTH, TO PROVIDE FOR MANKIND AND OTHER CREATURES

GOD  MADE  THE  HEAVENS  AND  EARTH,  TO  PROVIDE  FOR  MANKIND  AND  OTHER  CREATURES

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God Himself Who formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.   (Isaiah 45:18)

How has God made Earth to serve as “home” to mankind and to animals, providing them with what they need to live?

God intentionally designed and made the heavens and the earth to provide for the needs and benefits of humans, with earth to serve as the home of mankind and other creatures. (See, e.g., Isaiah 45:18; Psalm 115:16.  See also “Why We Want to Go Home”, ACTS & FACTS, 44(4):20 (April 2015), posted at  at http://www.icr.org/article/why-we-want-go-home/ .)

The universal habit of using a personal shelter, a home that belongs to us, is nothing new. Longing for home is not limited to humans. The Lord Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests” (Matthew 8:20). Eagles, swallows, sparrows, storks, doves, owls, and other birds use nests (Job 39:27; Psalm 84:3 & 104:17; Deuteronomy 22:6-7 & 32:11; Isaiah 34:15; Jeremiah 48:28 & 49:16; Obadiah 1:4). Spiders make web-silk homes (Isaiah 59:5). Worms and other creepy creatures live underground (Micah 7:17; Job 21:26 & 20). Lions have dens (Job 38:39-40; Song of Solomon 4:8; Nahum 2:12).  Salmon routinely return “home” to spawn.  Polar bear mothers sometimes live in dens, sheltered from colder weather outside.  The list could go on and on.

But what explains the origin of homing habits? Scripture does provide the key for understanding this universal habit—the Genesis mandate. God commanded humans and animals to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. Because God designed His creatures to do more than just populate, He programmed diverse creatures to fill living spaces all over the globe—on land, in water, and to some even the air is a home of sorts.

God has providentially equipped creatures with physical bodies (with helpful anatomies and physiologies) and programmed bio-informational instructions (coding and equipping for habitat-interactive behaviors) that are fitted to the ever-changing challenges of physical environments (and animal-and-plant communities) all over the globe.

The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD‘s: but the earth hath He given to the children of men.   (Psalm 115:16)