Tuesday, February 26, 2008

First Ever Guest Blogger!

It is with great pleasure that I introduce our first ever guest blogger - Cool Dad from Are We Still Cool? Let's give him a warm Unscrambled Eggs welcome! Although we've just 'met' I feel like we're 'Family' - Take it away Cool Dad!

The earth and the greatest commandments

Hello Unscrambled Eggers! Thank you to Matt for asking me to guest post. I am honored! This is my first-ever guest post, so I hope to not lose all credibility for myself and Matt's fine blog. Radical! (note to self: delete evidence that I still say 'radical' after all these years)

Matt asked me to write about what I think a Christian's role should be in taking care of the environment. I'm not a biologist or scientist of any sort, but I have an opinion.

Caring for the environment has become a hot topic in churches with believers often taking sides: strongly for it or vehemently opposed to it. Arguments against caring for the earth include ideas like:

1) We should spend our time ministering to people instead.
2) Jesus is coming back and this earth will be destroyed. Why bother?
3) That's a Democrat/liberal thing to do. We don't do that around here.

Despite those arguments, I am for caring for the earth. Well, thanks again to Matt for asking me to guest post. What's that? Oh, I should explain? Why, sure!

I see caring for the earth as a way to follow the greatest commandments: Love the Lord your God with everything that is in you and love your neighbor as yourself.

LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD

The earth gives God glory and hosts His glory. Here's part of why I think so (all NIV).

Psalm 96:11-13
Let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them, they will sing before the LORD

Psalm 72:19
May the whole earth be filled with his glory

Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made (note: the earth is included in "what has been made")

There are many verses that connect God, His glory, and the earth. If we love God, I think it makes sense to be good stewards of something that gives Him so much glory and is filled with His glory. Also, I believe He crafted the earth with us in mind.

Isaiah 45:18
He is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited.

He prepared this place for us. If God made this earth with us in mind, I want to do my small part to not wreck it.

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

When God says "neighbors", I think He means more than the people in our homeowner's association. He means everyone we meet. Maybe everyone in the world. Is there anyone who He would not want us to love as ourselves?

It's loving to our neighbors to care for the earth because they live here, too. Also, caring for the earth helps the poor, who depend on the environment as it is. They can't clean their water, import food from faraway places, or haul their waste to somewhere else. They suffer from whatever problems the earth suffers from.

WHAT TO DO

First, I don't believe in exalting the environment. God/Jesus is the only one worthy of being exalted. And I don't believe this is something to devote your life or much time to. People's souls are infinitely more precious. They are eternal. The earth is not.

However, caring for the earth is simple. It's not a huge time commitment to choose to recycling an aluminum can over throwing it away. It's the same with using reusable shopping bags. Or replacing your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. There are many lists of how you can be "green" in your everyday life, so I won't rehash anything here.

Caring for the earth can involve simple actions that create a great impact when many take part. That kind of addresses the argument #1 We should spend our time ministering to people instead. This is what I think about the other two:

2) Jesus is coming back and the current earth will be destroyed, so why bother?

Does anyone KNOW when Jesus is coming back? Jesus could come back before I finish this po




Just kidding, no Rapture yet. Or He could wait another 500 years. If He does, I want my kids, grandkids, and so on to enjoy the same earth that I did.

3) That's a Democrat/liberal thing to do.

What's so political about wanting clean air and water? Or wanting to an alternative to paying $4/gal for gas? Or wanting to save money from my energy bill? It's not a political issue. It's a human issue.

So that's what I think about Christians and the environment. Lemme re-read Matt's email to make sure I've covered all my bases. Wait... he asked me to talk about the Others and the Island? Man!

9 comments:

Kristin said...

I completely agree.

Sam Davidson said...

This is a very good - and timely - post (as I'm preparing to share this same idea with teenagers this weekend).

For me, it's all about a relationship.

In the creation account(s), what we see is the progression and a series of relationships - between God and us, between God and animals, nature, the elements and between us and nature. It's all related and has been since the beginning.

Thus, as Christian, we can't ignore the relationship we have been given with nature since Day 1.

cool mum said...

I gave Cool Dad a high five after reading this post. Woo!

Amy said...

Great post, cool dad!

I remember reading something from Rob Bell, citing the example of a homemade gift given to you by your child: "How you treat the creation reflects how you feel about the creator."

It kind of changed my whole perspective.

Chet Harvey said...

Good post. I like the connection between caring for our neighbors around the world and caring for the earth. I had never thought of that connection before.

and matt, i'm going to start interacting with your lost posts as soon as i officially get caught up. i'm scared that if i read them now some plot lines will be given away.

Justmatt said...

Look forward to it Chet! Hopefully you can clear some things up for us : )

Elizabeth said...

Great post! Cool Dad is right... the ideas he presented here are so easy to implement. It's sad that most Americans view believers as "people who don't care about the environment."

Justmatt said...

Good point Elizabeth! Hopefully we can change that.

Rebecca said...

Hi,
I'm a bit late in the game, but hooray for this post.

I just wanted to add two points in favor of this argument:

1. God gave us stewardship over His creation. When God talks about leadership and wisdom, does it ever include disregard for His creation to serve a short-term goal?

2. As believers, people who believe that the earth and the environment were masterfully designed (a shorter or longer timeline here is irrelevant), wouldn't we be MORE inclined to protect it? Why is it that the people leading the way to care for the environment are those that believe it was a massive scientific mystery/accident? Really, isn't Global Warming totally irrelevant when you consider that we are not caring for the glorious universe gifted to us by a Master Designer in the best ways we can?