just an apprentice

the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Is God Green?


“Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: ‘I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you…every living creature on earth.’”
Genesis 9:8-10

“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God’s curse. All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”
Romans 8:19-21

I watched a documentary by Bill Moyers last week entitled—Is God Green? You can watch each segment from that PBS program at this website. It is encouraging to see evangelical Christians embracing the Biblical imperative to care for creation. It is disheartening to hear the counter voices like the theologian from Knox Seminary who does not see any connection between faithfulness to the God of Scripture and the care, conservation and good use of earth’s resources.

Tri Robinson, pastor of the Boise Vineyard, has begun to teach his congregation the importance of viewing care for creation as part of our responsibility as Christians (watch the clip of this segment--Chapter 1 of Is God Green?). Indeed, pollution is a sin issue. Not because we owe it to “Mother Earth,” but because the earth is the Lords (“this is my Father’s world) and everything that is in it.

So we don’t treat the earth as if it is sacred in and of itself—pagan spiritualities. Nor, on the other hand, do we use and abuse its resources in a way that leads to pollution, global warming and ill health effects. The bottom line in our treatment of the earth is not just the almighty dollar—a cost/effect analysis. A Biblical view of creation care will be distinguishable from the forces of market capitalism.

This statement, on Christians and Climate, was signed by many influential evangelical leaders, including Rick Warren. The statement bascially calls Christians to see care of the environment as a part of faithfulness to the God of Scripture. It takes into acount the empirical research of serious science that indicates that global warming is real. Christians are bringing their faith into the political arena on a broader range of issues. It is more important to Biblically consistent and politically inconsistent than visa versa.

Here is the counter statement drafted as a response to Christians and Climate statement. This statement was drafted in large part by Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. (history/history of political thought), associate professor of social ethics at Knox Theological Seminary, co-founder of the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, coauthor of the Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship. This statement basically says that global warming is just a hoax a scare campaign by liberal, tree-hugging, save the whale types. No need to conserve pristine wilderness lands when we could dominate and use the resources there for our capitalistic purposes.

When Christians see taking care of our environment as part of faithfulness to the God of Scripture—that is good news. When other Christians just dismiss these voices as sell-out tree-hugging liberals—that is bad news. Humans suffer when creation is misused.

Check out the blog conversation that is taking place out of this program on PBS.

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