The Oblivious and the Extremist

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This post is part of the September  Synchroblog, entitled, “Loving Nature: Is God Green?” Links to the other contributors articles are listed at the end of this post.

The Oblivious

I have some interesting mental images of how certain unnamed family members, friends, and neighbors have violated my environmental sensibilities. It’s an environmentalist’s proverbial hall of shame. Here they are:

  • Trying to kill those pesky gophers with any lethal chemical that could be found in the garage (Poor gophers, poor ground water!)
  • Refusing to recycle because “it’s a racket” (Why not reuse stuff, rather than bury it is a hole and hope for the best?)
  • Throwing non-recyclable items in the recycling dumpster just to keep the sorters on their toes (That’s just plain ornery!)
  • Turning the air conditioning so low that you could hang meat in the room. (You know who you are.)
  • Dumping any unwanted items in the ravine and creek across the street (Eventfully someone will have to clean it out!)
  • Buying big, gas-guzzling cars. (More, more, more!)

All of these people claim faith in Christ. Most are heavily involved in church. I love each of these individuals dearly, but I disagree with the way they disregard their environment.

I am old enough to remember when the environmental movement began. So, I remember when people didn’t think twice about engaging in this type of behavior. Certainly, the church was late to get the message they should respect God’s creation.

The Extremist

Extreme opinions and behavior begat extreme opinions and behavior.

  • Al Gore was less than convincing when he testified before Congress that the earth is sick. He explained, “When someone has a temperature, he is sick. Therefore, the earth is sick.” (Weak explanation, Al.)
  • Our county forest preserve district is regarded as one of the best in the nation, but it owns thousands and thousands of acres and keeps buying land, most of is totally undeveloped for public use. Some of their park facilities that have been developed are beyond nice; they’re lavish. Yet, the county and many of its communities seem to be unable to fund basic road repairs and quality education for our children. (Time for setting some reasonable priorities.)
  • Developments are frequently delayed or scrapped altogether because of a tiny, itsy bitsy effect they may have on the habitat. (Around here developers can even buy off the environmentalists if they donate some land to the forest preserve district somewhere else.)

Common Sense

I love nature more than most people I know. Nature restores and heals my soul. It’s stupid to disregard it from a biblical or just plain common sense perspective. Earth is our home. If we don’t take care of it, we will regret it and unbridled human consumption is not sustainable.

It is stupid to poison our home, deface it, or disregard it. We get to enjoy its majesty and complexity.  So, we should protect it from unbridled consumptionism and foolish disregard. While creation is not an object of worship, it certainly reminds us of our creator.

We are in a great awakening as we are coming out of an industrial period of over one hundred years of ignorance and disregard toward the environment. We have demanded more and more from the earth as our population and consumerism has skyrocketed.

We are changing our ways, but it needs to be sensible and incremental, since it will involve a complete reshaping the economy of the entire world.  It will always be a fine and wavy line that exists between legitimate human need and responsible creation care, but such is our task. 

 

The other contributors:

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is the author of An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith. He encourages independent minded people of faith through his writing, speaking, consulting, and one-on-one relationships.
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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for calling attention to the need for balance. There are plenty who could be added to your hall of shame, but you’re right, it can go too far the other way.
    I’m interested that you see us in a “great awakening as we are coming out of an industrial period of over one hundred years of ignorance and disregard toward the environment.” I pray you’re right! I see hints of hope, but plenty of signs that we’re headed in the other direction.

    • Carol – It has improved greatly from 30 to 50 years ago, but you are right, we have new challenges, too. Growing population, expanded consumerism, whole cultures with little regard for the environment, and new types of challenges, like electronic waste have come along, too.

  2. Pingback: Link list – September 2013 – Loving Nature: Is God Green | synchroblog

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