I’m not a tree hugger, forgot about Earth Day on April 22, don’t know whether global warming is a natural or man-made phenomena, and believe that people are far more important than animals.
I see the danger of thinking that our well-being depends more on our respect for Mother Earth than on our Father in heaven. As one of our friends pointed out in response to my last post, earth care has become like a religion for many who have no hope of a life beyond.
But if this is “our Father’s world,” I’m not sure that it reflects well on him for us to be counted among those who are trashing it.
Over time, I’ve become increasingly convinced that, according to Genesis, God entrusted the care of the earth to our first parents– and through them, to every generation that followed. Moses later gave Israel principles of earth care. One of those instructions involved giving the land a a rest every seventh year. (Lev 25:1-4). Moses added that if Israel refused to give the land its rest, God would hold the nation accountable (Lev 26:33-35). The warning was fulfilled during seventy years of Babylonian Captivity.
Yes, the law of Moses was fulfilled in Christ who is now our Sabbath rest. But when the apostle Paul talked about the inspiration and value of all Scripture (2Tim3:16-17), I believe he was telling us that the Law and the prophets can be mined for timeless principles of wisdom.
Today, when we sing, “This is my Father’s world” we are adding our own voices to an ancient song that said, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him” (Psalm 24:1). This is the idea behind our Discovery Series on Celebrating the Wonder of Creation.
But couldn’t environmental clean-up be a time-consuming distraction for the family of God? Yes, I think it could be. I doubt that any of us would deny that it’s a losing effort. But we care for our bodies and health even though that too is a losing battle.
Respecting and caring for the environment doesn’t have to be a false religion. It can be a way of honoring our God and caring for people. Countless stories can be told about the effects of polluted water, toxic waste, and fouled air on the health of our children.
Again, until recently earth care has been the cause of “new agers,” pantheists and even atheists. But I wish we hadn’t left caring for our Father’s world up to those who only think of Mother earth.
That’s why I’m convinced that whether global warming is a man-made problem or the result of recurring natural cycles isn’t the real issue.
Let’s at least keep the conversation going :-).