Get out your pen and paper (or notepad document) and lets do some stream of conscience on one name:
…Son of man, tall, friendly, loving, scary, unpredictable, peaceful, lover, sacrifice, lamb, husband, church, kingdom, wine, shepherd, savior, calls men, lovely…
Look over your list. I doubt anyone wrote “green,” “tree hugger,” or “captain planet.” Why should we anyway? Jesus never mentioned pollution during the sermon on the mount. He never said “Blessed are environmentalists, for they will outlast global warming.” He never told the parable of the Chemical Dumper and Lazarus.
I would guess most people (Christian or not) do not believe scripture speaks relevantly to today’s controversial environmental issues. More over, there is little historical dialogue on Christian environmentalism, and what little exists bastardizes nature and its resources. No doubt, most Americans are familiar with the subversive theology of business tycoons during the industrial revolution who justified strip-mining Appalachia and polluting countless river systems with Genesis 1:28, God’s command to “subdue … and have dominion” over creation.
Today political Christian leaders are not known for their sympathy to environmental issues, and I can’t think of any Churches teaching the virtues of going green, and protecting the environment. The church is laboring on more important issues. Perhaps apathy best describes the Church’s relation to environmentalism, or at least the common person’s perception of it.
I’ll end with some questions:
- Does elementary environmentalism lead to Pantheism?
- Does the bible speak to environmentalism, and is there a historical discourse on the subject by Christians?
- Many churches break the aforementioned generalizations, is this to fit current cultural concerns, or are there good biblical reasons to do so?
- Do Christians have a spiritual duty to protect and redeem nature?
- Would Jesus go green?
Next time: are New Age religions better suited to protect and care for the environment?