Saturday, October 3, 2009

Should Christians "Go Green"?

As a Christian, should I "Go Green"?

My verdict is...yes and no! :)

Lately it seems that everyone has turned into an environmental activist.  Everywhere you turn there are products labeled as "Green", "Natural", or "Organic".  Much of this, unfortunately, stems from the idea of global warming and/or climate change, and not so much a genuine concern for the care of the planet.  Whether or not global warming is an actual threat to the world, the fact is that God is not the primary focus of this movement.

This movement is a result of human fears of having something to do with the destruction of the world.   The primary focus is ourselves and our future grandchildren, great-grandchildren...and so on.  It is true that humans have had a bad effect on the environment and the only responsible way to react to this is to stop what we've been doing and take steps to erase the harmful effects of what has been done by man.   This is a marvelous act of stewardship, it is taking care of the planet, which is what God intended for us to do.

My problem with "going green" is that most people do this to save the planet and all if its inhabitants from extinction.  It is a fear that humans are going to destroy the earth and will no longer be able to survive.  The truth is, God is in complete control of this planet and it's destruction will not come as a result of human activity alone.  The earth is "warming" in some areas because it is God's will for it to happen, and it is "cooling" in some areas because it is God's will.

Heating and cooling are  natural occurrences that have happened before and will happen again as long as the earth exists.  This is how God designed our planet. Our mistreatment of the environment may be one way he brings it to destruction, but in the end it is God who will destroy the earth, the sun, the moon, and everything else in this universe.  I believe our culture puts too much emphasis on the goodness of this earth, it is believed to be the sole sustainer of our lives and our love of the earth can quickly turn into idolatry if we are not careful  to realize that God is the true sustainer. As Christians we are to worship the Creator, not the creation. (Suggested reading: Deuternonomy 4:15-20)

That is not to say that we are not to be good stewards of the Earth and do all that we can to care for it. However, it must be done for the purpose of God's glory, not out of fear for our own existence. God has given us this world to rule over and we should not abuse it.
Genesis 1:26-29: God gave man dominion over the whole earth - the animals, the plants, everything.

“Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Christians have a huge responsibility when it comes to the environment because we know it was given to us from God.  This is where we dwell, it is God's beautiful creation, and there is no reason for us to think that it is ours to abuse.

So the act itself of "Going Green" is a good thing, it is the label that I intend to stay away from as much as possible.  I know many Christians who have no problems with "Going Green" and that is fine, it just means that they do not have the same convictions that I do.  When it comes to things that are not discussed in the Bible, we are to go off of our convictions and we all have different convictions.

I believe a more accurate and less earth-glorifying term is "Natural".  My husband and I have decided to make a turn towards natural living with the focus being on God's glory, improving the overall health of our family, and caring for God's creation to the best of our ability.

Suggested reading: How should a Christian view Global Warming?


  1. Excellent post! Though I would add that the earth has actually been COOLING. Notice how suddenly they are talking about "climate change" rather than "warming'? It's to cover their butts because the evidence for warming is just not there. One ice cap may be warmer... but the other is getting MORE ice! :-) funny how that works...

    I have been thinking about this more, as emergent gurus like Pagitt and Bell get on the green bandwagon, many evangelicals are following blindly. I do think we should, as you state, take good care of the planet, as the stewards God has made us. We should be responsible in the energy we use and not waste. Yes, I do recycle... but it isn't the unpardonable sin NOT to do so that many make it out to be today.

    and don't get me STARTED on the GREEN BIBLE... ugh. lol.

    Again... good post. :-)

  2. Have you read "Crunchy Cons" by Drehr? I think that's his name. I recommend it. Kelly, Beth, Anne and I read it together and it gave us a new outlook to things.


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