Recently, I spoke on our stewardship of the environment. — Some Christians aren’t interested in environmental concerns because they think the “New Heaven & New earth” mean this old earth doesn’t matter. I do not agree!
The way I see it, we’d better do better environmentally, because:
1) It’s our Job –
“God has shown us what is good: to do Justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.” [Micah 6:8]. It’s a justice issue – the poor and oppressed are always the first to suffer when the environment depletes. They lose their land, their land is degraded, they lose their livelihoods, they do the labor that costs their health, they suffer from rising water levels, they have to live on the rubbish pumped out by a system in crisis. For the sake of justice & mercy, we need to fix this environmental disaster.
2) It’s Our World – now and probably forever!
Follow this: In Genesis 3, we are denied access to The tree of life, and in Revelation 22 we regain access to the tree of life. You can’t go visit this angel and flaming sword, so what is this about? It’s a metaphor for our access to the “other dimensions.” The dimensions that higher mathematicians postulate about, and spiritualists experience. We might call them the spiritual dimensions. Lets say there are 10 dimensions in all. In Genesis we are restricted from the other 6, in Revelation we are returned to them. But meanwhile we live restricted to 4 dimensions (3D space, and time.)
But, Jesus’s resurrected body was MORE than 4D, but it was ALSO 4D! It could eat, drink, be touched, and yet could pass through locked doors, and ascend to heaven. And 1 Corinthians 15 says, SO WILL OUR resurrected bodies be! And so will Creation be more than 4D but including the 4D we now have.
In other words, it looks like this 4D reality may be part of our lives forever, and we may have to live with what we’ve done with it!
3) We join Christ’s Work!
Colossians 1 names the fact that by means of his death, Christ saves ALL of creation. Romans 8 clarifies that all of creation groans and waits for its liberation from decay, when God’s kids are revealed (end times). In fact this is in line with the Jewish idea of Shalom – ALL things as they’re meant to be. This was Jesus’ idea of the “Kingdom of God” – God’s over ALL things.
So how are we doing in this part of Christ’s work? Obviously pretty bad. Over-fishing, over-hunting, over-populating, over impacting, using all the photosynthetic potential (badly) – everything that can contribute to the collapse of society, we’re doing it on a global scale. But not only are we living completely unsustainably and heading for a deadline, but we’re largely refusing to join with the One we say we follow. We’re even getting in the way of His work!
4. What can we do?
Well, we humans collectively made this mess, so maybe we can collectively help fix it. And it will take a co-operative approach. Just like parts of the Body. As Annie Leonard says in www.storyofstuff.com, “there are so many points of intervention.” None of us can do it alone, but each of us needs to find our place in the big picture.
- Restore forests, soil, water, fish & live stocks, atmosphere
- Lobby systems and governments
- Help the poor
- Reduce eco-footprint /population
- Green technology buildings, energy, transport, communication, recycling
- Green economy/trade
- Localize production
- Sustainable native land care
- Reuse & Recycle
- Legislate for “Enough”
- Promote the Gospel: Kingdom of God / Shalom
Every one of us has to do our bit. What will I do? What will you do?
Choose one at least – for Christ’s sake!
Time is short.
– Whatever we do, we’ll have to live with the consequences.
– Remember the dimensions – 4D plus? Jesus said, “whoever proves trustworthy with little, will be given much. But whoever cannot be trusted with little, even that little he has will be taken away from him.” [Luke 16:10].
Note: the older “waste-not-want-not” generation who lived through the war and the depression, still use less than younger generations. We probably need to listen and learn from them too.