Being Born Again Doesn’t Count
A few months ago I visited a church in New England and was struck with an issue that appeared to be of some concern to the leadership of the congregation. Several times over the course of the 3 day visit I was told that the neighborhood where the church building is located was pressing them to recycle and was going to be weighing their trash to monitor progress. The concern was because they did not want to bother with the hassle of recycling. I had to stop and scratch my head because I was talking to church leaders. How could people who believe that God created the world not be interested in protecting it?
Psalm 24:1 says that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. No doubt those in support of creationism and Intelligent Design will testify that Genesis chapter 1 tells that the earth was formed by God and that makes the world God’s masterpiece.
Perhaps I am missing something when people refer to the environment as a liberal issue. Seems to me that it is part and partial to the concept of Christian stewardship. If we are to honor God in our actions it also means to honor what God has given. What more obvious and distinctive gift is there but the wild, natural world?
Christians are standing up and taking notice. More and more Christians, primarily in younger generations, are taking notice of this issue and are working to reclaim the role of the church as the protector of God’s creation. The Green Letter Bible is a project to point out the environmental emphasis in the Bible. Passages are printed in green when they are in reference to the created world and to our responsibility to care for it. Also with a conservation mentality, the book itself is environmentally-friendly being printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper.
These are not only concerns from within the church community, but outsiders also see this as a discrepancy and say that it is incongruent with the values and principles taught in Scripture. The cost of not addressing the environment from the pulpit is not only to deny our Biblical mandate, but it also further indicator of the church’s further distance from being the relevant catalyst that it was in our culture.
Consider that cost when you consider what a hassle it is to separate glass from plastic.