I’ve been thinking a lot about the environment lately. I spent my summer in the Smokey Mountains, my fall break in the Blue Ridge Mountains and my spring break in the Rockies. Those mountains are so beautiful, so incredible, so green-so unlike the smoggy, filthy gross cities across the globe. I love being in those great places and I cringe at the thought of them being destroyed and tainted by man’s destructive irresponsibility that seems to be spiraling out of control. I’m a conservative. (Gasp!) Many of you knew that but if you didn’t, welcome to the program and thank you for joining us. A problem I have with some republicans/conservatives is that the environmentally conscience are often labeled as a bunch of hippie freaks living in denial. A few of them are, but that doesn’t mean the concept of environmentalism should get tossed out the window. Going green isn’t synonymous with going blue.
Simran Sethi, an award winning journalist, spoke at Tech on Tuesday night about the environment. She mentioned how going green makes economic sense and how it’s the right thing to do for future generations of earth. I really enjoyed her thoughts on appealing to people’s spiritual side in the effort to convince people to go green.
There are many ways in which someone could convince someone to go green. My favorite way is appealing to someone’s faith and spirituality. That makes sense to me. Regardless of what a person believes, their faith and religious beliefs is usually big part of them.
Personally, I can’t drive through the mountains without being in awe at what God spoke into existence. Mountains are awesome. If we had to get rid of mountains or beaches and it were up to me, beaches wouldn’t stand a chance-they’d be outta here (I’m from Florida and I’m sick of the sand, salt water, and 100 degree heat being so popular). Don’t get me wrong, beaches are pretty, but mountains are amazing. I dig ’em like that frog does Smacks Cereal.
I personally believe that man is special among the works of God for many reasons. But one is that mankind was given dominion over everything else on earth. God made Adam steward over all creation. Genesis 1:26-29 tells us that the animals, the oceans, and the environment itself are man’s to rule over as steward. God gave mankind the responsibility of planetary caretaker. According to Matthew 25:14-30, God desires for us to be good stewards of the resources he gives us. It’s fair to say that the earth is full of resources.
My question is, “Am I as a Christian being a good steward of what God gave us?” And the same goes for those who are Muslims, Jews and even those of faiths without a “god” or deity. Most religions have some sort of compelling relationship with the planet earth. As a Christian I believe what the Word says about earth and our responsibility to its well being.
The Bible says Christ is coming back to make all things new. Revelation 21:1-5 says he will destroy the mess we’ve made of earth and create a new earth. We literally can’t screw it up beyond repair. However, if you get nothing else, understand this: Christ making it new again does not give us license to destroy it. Don’t hide behind God’s sovereignty and use it as an environmental cop-out. Christ saying, “I’ll fix it” does not warrant a “well then let’s not worry about breaking it” attitude. The consequences of that mindset are devastating.
Look.I worship Jesus the Christ. Maybe you worship something else, but regardless of whether you put your faith in Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Confucius, the Universal Spirit, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or whatever, I would ask you to consider pondering, “Does my religion give me license to turn the earth into a dump?”
For Christians, the answer is “no.” God gains glory from His wonderful creation called Earth. This planet is stinkin’ sweet! Trying to keep His planet clean is way to honor God.
He told us we’ll break it, and he’ll fix it. And yet we should still put forth our best efforts to preserve the planet. Why? Because he said so, and he wants us to be obedient.
It’s inconvenient sometimes, but be green anyway. Get the energy efficient light bulbs but don’t stop there. I sold my Infiniti QX4 and got a Honda Accord (because I can’t afford a Prius or new hybrid yet). It had to be done but that’s only scratching the surface. Get active. Write important people really angry green letters. You can do it! I’ve seen the proof.
Encourage your campus ministry, your church, your temple, your synagogue, your wherever you meet, to use less energy and consider how they can really go green. And when I say “go green” I don’t mean like people go green for Saint Patty’s Day. It’s not a faddish, once a year thing. Recycling is really hard and I’m still learning to discipline myself to be more eco friendly.
This is my challenge for everyone: be green.
Christians, don’t go green for the sake of the environment, but for the sake of obedience. Not for “Mother Nature,” but for your Father in heaven. Not for the creation, but for the Creator. Saving the environment isn’t about salvation, it’s about obedience. Honor God with your best efforts, even if they never make a difference.
I saw a WWJD bracelet the other day (I couldn’t believe they’re still selling those) and I asked myself: What Would Jesus Do?
I think Jesus would go green and so should you.