Home » A Thin Green Line – Christian Environmentalism    


A Thin Green Line – Christian Environmentalism — 9 Comments

  1. Excellent lesson Lilliane! I love your example about caring for your aunt and uncle's home. yes, we are stewards of this earth, and he who is faithful in little will be given much. Why would God trust us with a new earth if we destroy the one we have now? But if we show we can be faithful stewards of this earth, He will give us an even better and New Earth to care for.

    • It's true my sister, God loved us before, and grace begin in Eden, where our forefather Adam and Eve sinned against God but they didn't die because of grace.

  2. Thank you Lillianne for that powerful lesson. Why indeed should God trust us with a new Earth when our behaviour has thus far shown us to be untrustworthy? I pray we will all become better stewards.

  3. Powerful lesson. I have been touched about this lesson. Think of it; how often have we just stepped/drove on God's insects on the road. Ants moving in a line, carmelions, centipedes, snakes:-innocent reptiles. Think of the rush for minerals, exploring of the earth for minerals like gold, coal, diamonds etc. Some places people even killed because of love for minerals. Oh how I wish the Lord would rekindle a new spirit in us that would lead us to have a heart for His Creation.

  4. We live in a the powerhouse area of Australia. If I drive to the top of a local hill I can see 5 power stations, each of them devouring a small mountain of coal every day. I can see the scars of huge open cut mines and they snake across what was once prime dairy farming land. And on top of all that 80 wagon trains are travelling into and out of the port of Newcastle at so many trains per hour. I visited the coast last week and counted 24 ships off the coast waiting to be loaded with coal to take it to China. It is not uncommon to count 50 - 60 ships. Typically these are loaded at the rate of about 3 per day. Many of the locals are employed in either coal mining or power production. My wife Carmel, who is a local has roots in the coal mining industry that go back to when coal was the main fuel for trains.

    There is no escaping the influence of coalmining in this area and it often boils over in political antagonism. Only recently the local coal mining company decided that they wanted to open-cut mine the area north of Cooranbong, with its high population of Adventists. Public meetings were held and Adventists were at the forefront of the battle with the mines to force them to either abandon mining the area or force them to go underground. Clearly the big motivator was the economic impact of having an open-cut mine on the villages front yard.

    The "green" cause is often a political and economic issue and sometimes it is wise to see it as that. Clearly everyone sees mining as a threat when they see huge earth-guzzling machines marching towards their homes. On the other hand we also use and enjoy the benefits of the energy provided by such industry. As with many issues such as this the boundaries are blurred.

    Being environmentally responsible as a Christian is more than political protesting. It requires environmental responsibility and an understanding of how that responsibility affects the whole of our lives. Sometimes it does mean protesting. I took exception to the French using the Pacific to test their bombs. If I had been aware of it I would have protested about the Poms (English) using Australia to test their bombs. (I was a bit young at the time) However a Christian perspective of environmental management is more than protest. There is one area where I believe that we can make a positive contribution to both the environment and the cause of Christianity. Many areas have landcare groups that are interested in ensuring that the land is well looked after environmentally. They spend time getting rid of noxious weeds and re-establishing primitive natural plant communities. Many of these organisations rely on volunteers on weekends. I wonder if it would be a good missionary endeavor to join one of the groups and spend time with them on Sabbath afternoon. Is that something Jesus would do? Maybe I could photograph birds for them on Sabbath afternoon!

    • Hello Maurice, I can relate to much of what you say. Montana is a mineral rich state where mining, oil, lumber, and agriculture are major industries. The mining industry in our state is forced to clean up after their mess by involving themselves in land reclamation. The lumber industry has learned the hard lessons of over production and voluntarily enters into reforestation programs in order to ensure a renewable resource for themselves. I don’t think the question is whether we use the resources or not but how we use it in a way that doesn’t wreak havoc on this planet.

      To me one of the most damaging practices is the denuding of tropical rain forests but then how do you tell a people that they can’t use their land to earn a living when most of us live on a much higher standard than they do? Certainly greed and gluttony are the tyrants in the destruction of our planet especially when outside interests treat other countries as nothing more than vassal servants for the use by the wealthy and literally rape the land for profit.

      Personally I have to heat my home in the winter else I would freeze. With what am I to heat it? No matter what I do I have to use a natural resource. I do conserve the best I can by getting efficient light bulbs and lowering the general house temperature down to 60° F with only my office heated to reason. I also use a bicycle for 95% of my travel. But even when I do all of that something somewhere is being consumed and somebody is making a living on my use of the original resource I use.

      And what can we say about our production practices which engineer planned failure into every product to ensure their company has something to sell in the future. I once worked for a company that made a machine called a FlowTurn. They made it so well that it never wore out and soon there were no more sales so people lost their jobs. It certainly would be great if things could last forever but then who would have a job under those circumstances? We could all revert back to the cave but realistically that doesn’t seem to be a very practical option.

      To me the ultimate answer is the second advent and the rebuilding and restructuring of this planet where the economic and survival issues no longer exist. But until then we all must live in a real world with real needs and real problems that have to be addressed.

  5. Wow, what a lot you have given me to think about! You have helped me see another perspective. Here in the United States it's easy to just see the economic benefit of doing things a certain way or the loss of jobs if we don't do something else.
    Photographing birds, animals and nature seems like a beautiful way to spend the Sabbath honoring our Savior.
    Thank you for reading and commenting.

  6. The dominion God gave the man and woman is actually, in the original language, not unlike that of a king, or a ruler of some kind. By following Satan's suggestions, Adam and Eve gave that dominion over to him. Notice that during the wilderness temptations Jesus did not dispute Satan's assertion that he was able to give all the kingdoms of the world to Jesus. On three occasions (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11) Jesus referred to Satan as the "prince of this world". The redemption Jesus completed on the cross includes the defeat of the present ruler of this world in order to be able to turn it back over to His people upon its re-creation.

    Realizing this does not address the stewardship responsibilities that go with "ruler-ship", still it is an important concept for us to bear in mind even as we study and discuss the need to care for our environment. A good ruler will certainly exhibit good stewardship of that for which he/she is responsible. And while the "prince of this world" and his "ruler-ship" have not yet been completely destroyed, his doom is sure and it is appropriate for us, to some degree, to take back the authority God planned for us to have and care for at least the "little corner" of the world in which we live.

    I have no patience with the environmentalists who use false science, lies, radicalism and even violence to push their cause. But I can be certain that for which I am responsible is not harmed or unwisely used and share it with God's creatures (I'm not quite certain that every "animal" in existence today was created by God--at least not in the form and behavior they exhibit today. Did God design termites to destroy our shelters? Is it wrong to exterminate for protection from termites?)

    • Excellent point, Terrance. Satan has perverted both our use and our stewardship of His creation. We, as individuals, honor God with out stewardship of our own little corner.
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>