It’s been my experience that too many evangelicals do not really care about the earth. To many of them, it’s like the old house they were raised in. They know that they have “invested” in the retirement home of their dreams so why bother repainting the walls, fixing the porch, and worrying about the ozone layer, “This house ain’t worth it no more. It’s going to someone else’s problem.
My aim in this post is not to make an “environmentalist” out of you (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but to expose our neglect of the stewardship of our planet. It seems to me that too many evangelicals have dismissed environmental concerns such as consumption and pollution as a part of the left Democrat agenda that can either be ignored, dismissed, or refuted. My problem is that when it comes to the care of the planet, more people think of Al Gore than the Church.
We can debate all day whether there is global warming or global freezing or whether these global problems are man-made or part of the natural cycles of the earth. Indeed we cannot stop volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes or tsunami’s, but we can make our land fills smaller, our waterways cleaner, our soil richer and our world more beautiful. I am not saying that we ought to stop preaching the gospel in order to do this; I’m saying that this is part of the gospel. While I do not think that I am the chief offender (for once I’m not), I know that I have not always been the most faithful steward of my world and I find myself convicted.
I wonder about the parable of the talents in relation to being faithful stewards of the earth. No, I’m not necessarily saying that we need to invest in the earth and multiply it in the “talent” sense and try to get two earths. But if the servant who was given one talent was despised for hiding it, I’d be afraid to think of what his master would have said had he invested foolishly or worse, spent it recklessly! Leaving the parable, God has given us something to be faithful of, to manage, guard and enjoy. As a church, it is my opinion that we are neglecting this responsibility.
Almost every believer I know thanks God for “this beautiful day” when they pray. Almost every church I know doesn’t recycle. Almost every believer I know loves nature. Almost every church I know uses Styrofoam cups during their coffee hour. Almost every believer I know believes that Christ’s resurrection has conquered death, saved our souls, and redeemed all of creation but I see us love our America significantly more than our earth. If the earth is something that God has called us to be faithful over, then how can believers ignore this?