Monday, December 28, 2009

Jesus Hates Trees (and Penguins.)

The movie Avatar came out last weekend, and, like they do with everything that doesn't have a Judeo-Christian theme, the militant Christians are calling foul.

Quick facts about Avatar, in case you live in a cave:

- There is a very strong Environmental theme. The main race is very in-tune and respectful of nature, and their (female) deity manifests herself through a tree. She is not actually a tree, but uses is to communicate to her people (like a burning bush, some would say).

- I would use this bullet to give another quick fact, but basically, that first one is where people are taking issue. It's the same thing that happened with Happy Feet. Apparently Jesus doesn't love Penguins either.

The point here is not (thankfully) the Christian relationship with the media. That's a topic for a whole other blog. My point this time is the stance so many Christians seem to take against Environmentalism. I have, over the last week, seen several facebook posts decrying Environmentalism as a dangerous, terrible idea, full of hypocrisy and dangerous philosophies.

The way I see it though, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Granted, Nature WORSHIP is certainly not what God had in mind, but switching to canvas bags?

According to the Genesis account, God created the Heavens and the Earth, and truly, did a stunning job. The natural world is a testament and a witness to the Great Artist. Go to to the Mountains sometime. Or the Desert. Or anywhere. Just go and marvel at what his hands have made. Phenomenal, truly. After creating all that beauty, we come to find out that it's a gift! It's possibly the second greatest present ever given to anyone, ever, and it is given to the next creation: Man. God made the man, breathed air into him, gave him a name, and put him in the Garden of Eden. Why did he put him there? According to Genesis 2:15, to work it and take care of it. The Amplified Bible says "to tend and guard". The point is that God's purpose was clear. The Earth was a gift, but it was up to Adam, and, consequently, Adam's children, to care for it.

Shouldn't we, then, as Christians, be the most environmentally concious? Not in spite of our greater goal, which is the expansion of the Word, but if we truly believe that this earth was a gift, should we not be the first in line for environmentally friendly options, or are we so confident that God does not see how we squander his gifts? That's what it is, in case you have forgotten. It was the first gift, even before the gift of a mate. It has fallen into disrepair at our hands, and yet militant christianity sees no need to repair the damage mankind has done, and even seeks to destroy a movement that has the possibility to restore a fraction of this world's beauty. When God gives, he gives with the understanding that we will be good stewards of what he has provided.

Granted, if the focus of a life is entirely environmental, it could indeed pave the way for nature worship (I guess). But instead of seeing the environmental movement as a threat to the Message and warning against it, could we not use it? Could it not serve as a reminder to God's greatness and a tool for ministry? Are we that unimaginative that we can think of no way to both honor the great commision and be good stewards of what God has given? Come on now.

God gave us this earth, and he gave only one. I believe he will call us home before it falls to shreds, but that isn't the point. We care for it because we appreciate what we have been given and the care we put into the earth is how we show our gratitude to its creator.

I leave you today with this cartoon:

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