Sunday, April 22, 2012

Christian Thoughts on Earth Day

One thing I've been learning in the last few years is that "Christian" and "environmentally concerned" are not mutually exclusive realities. In fact, they actually help to make sense of each other. For example, why would Christians claim to love God and all that He has made if they don't care about the very expression of Himself that is all around us? And why would environmentalists fight to protect endangered species or care to preserve seemingly "unnecessary" plant varieties if those species are meant to die out by natural selection?  The Christian doctrine of creation gives greater significance and value-- and even purpose-- to all created reality than an impersonal "survival of the fittest." And the Christian doctrine of re-creation (that God, having rescued the world through Jesus, is making all things new) gives greater significance and value-- and even purpose-- to a desire to steward and care for the earth and all its beauties. (I wrote a lot more about this stuff here.) 

Here's a message from a Christian pastor in New York City who has said all this much better than me. If you're interested, I highly recommend listening to this guy! "Can Faith Be Green?" by Tim Keller (also free on itunes!)

And here's a post from a normal Christian person whose faith has influenced her toward seeing creation as valued by God. She's written a ton on ethical consumption, stewardship, and God's passion for oppressed laborers to receive just wages. Her posts are especially helpful for people who like the "idea" of these things but don't have a lot of practical resources. She did a whole series on businesses that actually seek to "do justice" by their very economic practices! Here's a shorter post about a conversation she had with her kids about Earth Day. "Earth Day Thinking" by Heather Hendrick. 

My favorite quote from her post: 

If God's Kingdom is coming, and our heart is set on it, I think it takes great faith to physically live as though this earth will be redeemed and restored.  As citizens of heaven, of a Kingdom we believe is advancing, I wonder if it should come more natural to us to look around this lovely place God formed, appreciate it, and want to see it protected and well stewarded?

I think so.  I want the faith to live so. 

Sometimes it overwhelms me how often God weaves into our normal, every day life, opportunities to live out faith.  I've never thought about recycling or repurposing being a way my soul longs for God's Kingdom to come.  However we care for the Earth, it's kind of nice to think of these normal, everyday, exercises being used to remind us of a coming Kingdom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is GREAT stuff! My heart says, "Yes, yes, yes!" Grandy