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Gamaliel's Desk
Friday, April 16, 2004
Christian Environmentalism

I was startled this week to discover that there are Christians
who are getting involved in the environmental movement. I have no idea where they are getting the idea from that this is a godly pursuit but I am sure it is not from the Bible. I fear that these soft-hearted, mushy-headed do-gooder wannabes are well meaning in their deluded state but they certainly have no Christian foundation for their actions.

The most dangerous aspect to this affectation is the spirit of compromise that permeates the whole endeavor. In order for a Christian to pursue the environmental agenda he has to associate with a lot of unsavory unspiritual characters. The environmental movement is filled with heathens of all sorts. There are nature-loving tree huggers, feminists, evolutionists, anarchists and Democrats in the movement. Why on earth a Christian who values their walk with the Lord would want to associate with such folks is beyond me. Even worse than that, environmental activism is getting to be a popular theme among so-called "Emerging" or "Postmodern" Christian writers as Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo. That should be reason enough to stay away from the environmental movement.

Aside from associating with non-Christians and heretics, there are plenty of other reasons why we shouldn't be involved with environmentalists. Mainly, it's not our responsibility. God put Adam in the garden to "keep and dress it" in the book of Genesis. Since the fall, our mandate has not changed. The world exists for our pleasure and its purpose is to nourish and care for us. The earth is for our pleasure; we are not for the earth's pleasure. We are not supposed to take care of nature because it is supposed to take care of us. The earth serves man, not the other way around.

Even more dangerous than that, environmentalism is a dilution of our purpose on earth. God sent his Son to die for the world - not the earth. Romans 8 tells us that the whole creation is groaning in travail because of its awful condition, yet we don't see Jesus dying to redeem it. Instead, Peter tells us that one day the elements are going to melt with a fervent heat. Why would we waste time trying to save the earth when it's going to all burn up anyway? No, the environment is not an issue we should waste our time on because it distracts from what we should be doing. All our time should be devoted to studying the Bible, reading and teaching doctrine. Anything else is just a minor detail and a fool's errand.

Be warned, however, that environmentalists will try to use every slick trick they can think of to persuade you to join their cause. There is no emotional ploy they won't pull, no manipulative method they won't try. This is proof that the environmentalist movement is not of God because you would never see these tactics used in sound Pharisee churches.

• Guilt - Environmentalists will try to make you think that you are personally guilty for everything that is wrong with the world today. They realize that you didn't cause all the evil but they will point to the life of excess that you lead as proof that you are exploiting the world for sinful personal gain.

• Fear - Environmentalists will try to convince you that something awful is going to happen to you if you don't join their cause. They say you will die of cancer or heart disease or lung disease or brain damage from all the troubling things that people are doing to the environment and that your only salvation lies in joining their movement. In fact, they are so exclusive as to believe that the ONLY way to salvation is by joining their cause.

• Doomsday - One of their favorite tactics is to play the TEOTWAWKI card. For those of you not aware of the latest acronyms it is "The End Of The World As We Know It." Environmentalists will try to convince you that the end of the world is right around the corner and the destruction of our planet is only a matter of a few years away. They won't set any date for the destruction, claiming that no one can know for sure, but they are certain that it is soon and we all better get ready.

• Globalism - This one isn't as big as it used to be but there are still some environmentalists out there who believe in some vast conspiracy that is seeking to rule the world. For some reason they make a connection between their belief system and the notion that there is going to be a one-world government and a one-world economy that will make slaves of us all. This was a popular theme of science fiction books and movies like Soylent Green, Logan's Run, and George Orwell's 1984 which isn't nearly as popular as it was before the mid-1980's. Still, there are plenty of people who take a post-apocalyptic scenario and exploit it for personal gain like the makers of The Matrix movies.

Don't let them deceive you. Stay faithful to your Pharisee church where we would never try to make people feel guilty, predict dire consequences for failing to adopt our worldview, warn of an immanent impending world-wide disaster and try to convince people of a coming one-world government.


The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2 (NIV)

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