I was up early as usual this morning, and was talking with my goofy friend Damon, via the electronic super highway. No sooner did he have to split then I heard a very interesting news story on National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128130198 It was an interview with Dr. Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention. It turns out that the S.B.C. is calling on the government to make sure that something like the B.P. oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico never happens again, and that corporations are held accountable for their actions. In fact, Dr. Moore said that this should serve as a wake up call for all Evangelicals to essentially start going "Green."
This really caught me off-guard, because American Evangelicals tend to be the last hold-outs in the environmental movement. Evangelicals in general, and the Religious Right in particular, seem to view a healthy ecosystem as a left wing plot being furthered by our Islamo-Socialist President. (O.K., that's being sarcastic. But seriously, you should see the e-mails my dad gets from Tea Party folks and other nut jobs around the country.)
At any rate, I was really happy to hear this story...and rather proud. I have never really understood why ecology and working to keep the planet relatively clean should be a political issue for the Right or the Left in the first place. I especially do not understand how or why someone who calls themselves a "Christian" would be opposed to this issue.
In the first of the three creation stories, when God creates humans, twice God points out one of the main purposes for humans in his creation. We are to Subdue & Rule it. The Hebrew words are "Radah" and "Kabash," and they have the ideas of stewardship and co-creating in them. In other words, God instructed humans to be respectful managers of the world that he made.
It's important to remember that Creation was never intended to be static. Creation was designed to re-create itself, i.e. plants producing seeds, fish having baby fishys, etc. And God places humans in his creation to take it somewhere as his representatives.
With all that as context, I have serious doubts that God ever intended humans to spill toxic waste all over his land and water, or pump poison into his air. I fully understand that it is impossible to be 100% clean and non-wasteful all the time. However, we can certainly do a better job than we currently are.
(I recall being in Beijing a couple of years back, and being not only able to SEE the air, but also to TASTE it due to the pollution. That was a fine "How do you do" to have on my breakfast cereal. Ick!)
Another issue that Dr. Moore pointed out was something that hadn't really occurred to me before...at least not in this way. Dr. Moore points out that trusting a corporation to do the right thing all the time, with no, or minimal, rules is like expecting a person to be ethical at all times when there is no one holding them accountable. It's a rather naive world view, and certainly isn't biblical. After all, if humans are fallen and have a sinful nature, then a large corporation made up of fallen humans is going to have it's share of issues.
It's not as if we all have to go back to using only horses and buggies. But as I said before, we can certainly do a better job than we currently are. I'm proud of the S.B.C. for taking up this issue. I wish more people who call themselves "Christians" would do so too.
On a side note, God reveals himself in that "General Revelation" kind of way through his creation. I am in no way a "Creationist" in the classic sense, in that it all happened in a literal six days, (That's really taking the passages way out of context.) but I do believe firmly that God created everything. (I rarely worry all that much about how he went about it.) I also believe that this creation screams out the evidence of it's creator.
Honestly, how can you possibly look at the complexity of something as beautiful as a tree and walk away saying, "Well, ain't we lucky that pure chance over the course of millions of years caused that to randomly come together"?
"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard. (Unless you are willfully deaf.)
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."
Psalm 19: 1-4
Now, if that is all true, then maybe we ought to be more respectful to it.
OK, OK...I know that I am not supposed to do a post without leaving a video or song behind. So I re-edited this post and added the following. It's funny, yet sad, that comedy is often more truthful than real life.
P.S. Here is a link to Dr. Moore's own blog, and the article he wrote for touchstone magazine. http://www.russellmoore.com/2010/06/22/christ-and-katrina-five-years-later/