Those treehuggers. Hippies. Liberals.
I find it ironic that the reformed community, where covanentalism abounds, and phrases like “the creation mandate” escape the lips of more than a few, still makes a sour-puss face when words like ‘green’, ‘sustainability’, or even #gasp# ‘ecology’ show up in the conversation.
Not like that happens much, in a positive sense anyhow.
What is up with that?
I suspect it has more to do with politics than it does religion.
So why do so many Reformed Christians appear to be on the wrong side of the fence? The fence being, the awareness that how we live in our environment has an impact on that environment, for better or worse.
Did you get that memo?
Francis Schaefer wrote ‘Pollution and the Death of Man’ in the early 70s.
I am gonna air my suspicions: there was a time when it was commonly understood that the creation mandate contained in its principles a sort of fiscal responsibility, ecologically speaking. But as the schisms continued, the liberal mainline, with its conflation of ‘social’ with ‘gospel’, created a knee jerk response in the orthodox community. If the liberals are going to make social causes their thing, than we are gonna make the pure gospel our thing. With those lines drawn, it is no surprise which camp is more cognizant of the current ecological crises (and it is a crises, to be sure).
The conservative camp has a few excuses in the form of dispensationalism: if the world is going to hell and the church is going to be raptured from it, then why spend time polishing the brass on a sinking ship? It’s all gonna burn, right?
But what about those non-dispensationalists? What do the amil and post-mil think? After all, it is at least conceivable that the millennium continue for quite a few more millennia. If that is the case, shouldn’t we want to be paying attention to certain ecological facts? You don’t have to be a main liner to see how poor food quality is becoming in the USA. You don’t have to be a genius to understand that poor food leads to poor health, and poor health leads to poor economic production, not to mention exorbitant medical expenses on a national level. This is merely one issue on a very long list of issues.
Do not be confused, this is not a call for the church to go green ( I am reformed after all). But the church is to be the salt and light, to be the body of Christ, to be able to explain to the world that our Father’s creation is to be handled as if it mattered what kind of condition it was in when it was entrusted to our stewardship, as if it mattered to us that when our Master returns we might say “see, with what you gave me I was able to increase it a hundredfold”, and not, “oops. We had no idea that this or that activity would have caused such drastic long term damage to your creation, Lord.”
We may not be given the permission to destroy His work entirely, but I am pretty sure we can mess things up to the degree that our children’s children live lives in horrible contrast to the abundant lives we live today.
So what do you think?
Are we being good stewards, or not?
Does it matter, or is it all gonna happen the way it happens so don’t even think about it?