I had a brief conversation online the other day with a lady who was responding to an article about a new local recycling business and then was decrying how many Christians these days make caring for the environment into an alternative religion or an idol. The conversation went something like this:
Lady: Yes, I am glad we are taking care of our world but to so many Christians it has become a religion and almost an idol. So sad.
Me: Shouldn’t responsibly ‘tending and keeping’ this world GOD has given us be part of our religion? Where do you draw the line between faithful stewardship and idolatry?
Lady: When it becomes a total focus of ones purpose. I have seen this in family and friend. It is the utmost goal of their life. I don’t mean to offend….I agree we need to be responsible… It’s when it colors everything else in ones life.
Me: Thanks for the reply. Honestly, what disturbs me more is how many Christians fill their life with the idolatry of mindless consumerism and a kind of un-Biblical fatalism that says: “who cares what happens to the planet – GOD’s going to destroy it anyway”. I think faithfulness to the LORD is found in understanding we will have to give account for how we have received the gift of this world – most Christians right now are seeing it as theologically and spiritually irrelevant instead of wrestling through what an embodied Christian faith looks like. He who is faithful with little will be faithful with much. In our case I think the Church is largely guilty of being faithless in GOD’s covenant with the earth.
This conversation plus other comments from fellow Christians along these lines makes me realize how difficult it is to discuss these issues sometimes – especially when the terms are not defined. Some of this casting aside of environmental concerns is theological, some of it political and some of it cultural. There is also a pushback from many Christians who do not discern the difference between radical environmentalism (or even shallow pop-environmentalism) and the Scriptural mandate from GOD our Creator to tend and keep the garden of this world.
I honestly agree with the argument that environmentalism has become somewhat of a religious movement. It espouses it’s own form of righteousness, guilt, redemption – and even a state of utopian salvation. And radical environmentalism doesn’t mince words in it’s message that humans are the enemy of the planet. But is this more radical view an undercurrent in popular views on the environment?
What is your perspective? Why do some Christians associate care for GOD’s Creation with radical environmentalism? Is radical environmentalism influencing governments and even churches today? Take a look at the documentary The War on Humans that ‘documents the decline of the environmental movement toward a Utopian and explicit anti-human ideology’.
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