Earth Day

If you have kids in school you’re probably aware that yesterday was Earth Day. You maybe knew about it from television reports or blurbs on the internet or maybe it’s even marked on your calendar, but for us, our Kindergartner was our biggest reminder of it being Earth Day. We haven’t done anything special to mark it. We may go to a celebration at our local Nature Center tomorrow if the weather is nice. In general, we try to conserve, recycle and reuse.

It’s always been odd to me that many evangelical churches cringe at the mention of Earth Day or environmentalism or conservation (which is at the heart of “conservative”). After all, creation care is the fist mandate God gives humanity in Genesis.

Unfortunately, many in the church have for too long believe that God’s command to rule over the earth meant to use it up–to strip it of its resources to use for our benefit, no matter what the cost. After all, someday there will be a new heaven and a new earth. But, if I read the Bible correctly, God expects us to be stewards of all we’re given (which would include the earth).

Many fear that environmentalism is the same as worshiping the earth or Gaea or some other goddess (like Mother Earth). They fear that conservation will push them into left-wing politics.

St. Francis of Assisi (the pre-eminent environmentalist) called the sun his brother and the moon his sister. This is uncomfortable talk in the evangelical talk. It crouches on the cusp of pantheism. But God did create everything–it all came out of Him. Yes, humans were created differently, specially, but we are connected to the world God placed us in. Romans 1:20 tells us that creation alone is witness enough, that we should be able to see God in it and know He exists.

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the crew of the Enterprise goes back in time to twentieth century Earth, to bring a pair of whales to the future, where they no longer exist. The movie illustrates well the point that there may be major consequences in the future because of our lack of stewardship today.

Instead of being afraid of becoming an earth-worshiping tree-hugger, why don’t we in the church start setting the example for what stewardship of the Earth is all about. Maybe, just maybe, we can find ourselves worshiping God in the midst of it.

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~ by Dave on April 23, 2010.

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