I have a great church and I like my pastor a lot. He is compassionate and loves to study and meets the needs of his congregation well. His words of wisdom on a Sunday 4 years ago altered my view of God for the better and are tattooed on my soul…
A few weeks ago though, I almost walked out of the service.
He was teaching a message titled “Am I Unique?” which was pretty good up until a certain point…
and then, for some reason (I really don’t remember what the correlation to the subject at hand was) he made some sort of wisecrack about Al Gore and that God’s gonna be the one to destroy the earth so we’ve really got nothing to worry about (referring to global warming, I guess).
And the congregation erupted in a mighty cheer.
I haven’t felt so out of place in a really long time.
It reminded me of services from my youth when the suit-and-tie-bearing preacher would slam his fist on the big fat pulpit while simultaneously decrying the satanic evils of rock-and-roll… always followed by a hearty “AMEN!” from all the Baptists in the hizzouse…
I was mad.
I was mad because no one should ever feel alone in church.
I was mad because I thought he was preaching to the choir not the seeker… not the one really wondering “Am I unique? Do I have value”
I was mad because this particular idea has been a hindrance to the gospel for the past century.
This idea that God’s going to destroy the earth, so why bother trying to save it… that anyone who happens to care is an idolatrous tree-hugger… that any idea remotely associated with “liberalism” should be thrown out with the rest of the stank bathwater…
This idea is poison.
Because it gives man entitlement. We start to think of this earth as “ours.”
and it isn’t ours.
We are just the stewards… If you claim the Genesis story at all… literal, figurative, mythical, philosophical… then you should know that God created man and gave him a job to do…
Take care of this planet.
But instead of taking care of it… treating it like it is someone else’s perfect creation… like it is something that brings honor and glory to that creator…
We’ve exploited it.
The thing is… no matter your political persuasion… no matter your perspective on climate change… no matter your eschatology… you should do everything you can to treat the earth respectfully… and keep her healthy.
Think global warming is just a conspiracy to sell more products in green packaging?… fine! I don’t care…
Think the universe is going to burn in a post-millennial lake-o-fire? Great!
But that doesn’t mean we should trash it now… we’ve still got to live here, you know?
And just because our world will end doesn’t mean we should hasten that day… I mean, your kids are going to die eventually, but you don’t feed them cigarettes for breakfast.
Besides all that… the way we treat the earth has a very direct impact on how we are treating other human beings… but thats another long post for another long day.
When it comes down to it… I am not an environmentalist because of climate change or because I’m trying to save the planet…
But because I am a part of creation… and I’m lucky enough to have been given a job to do.
Take care of this planet.
Today’s post has been my part in a global social change event, Blog Action Day 2009