Monday, January 20, 2014
It's Not That You Care - It's How You Care
Creation itself inspires us and calls us to care. Many people have had their most profound spiritual experience in nature. As we behold the power and love of God in a mountain range, a sunset, or in the timelessness of the ocean, we can’t help but be moved. But creation also includes humans – our families, communities, and created landscapes. God created all things of Heaven and Earth and God is our inspiration to care for both wild places and our own cities and backyards.Good start - there is some balance there.
Psalm 24 states that “the Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.” Humans simply hold the Earth in trust for God.Fair enough - though I would dispute this theologically - not sure we "hold it in trust," I think we are simply part of creation.
At the heart of sustainability is the goal of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In a world of finite resources,...OK - now we have a sovereignty problem. "Finite resources?!" What about "Ask and you shall receive." As Christians our resources stem not from earth but from God. There is nothing finite about God.
Justice means that in addition to providing aid to our neighbors, we are called to change societal systems that cause poverty, injustice, and environmental damage in the first place. It goes beyond helping to meet physical needs to creating a society with laws and policies that allow the needs of all Earth’s inhabitants to be met.And now we have descended into pure liberal trope. To go this far one must believe that there is no final judgement and God just accepts everyone as they are, no strings, no questions, no sin.
And then there are very complicated technical questions here. What is environmental damage and what is not. What if we use resources to create greater resources? This thing, which started saying people are a part of the created order has brought itself to a point where virtually all we do is destroy.
Look, there is nothing wrong with thinking about the environment - but it has to be serious and deeply and knowledgeably thoughtful. Any Christian will agree we should care about our stewardship of the abundance God has given us - But how you do that is complex and cannot be brought down to simple sound bites.
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