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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Christian Environmentalists

In this week's issue of WORLD magazine, Gene Edward Veith has a characteristically clear-headed column, this one on how Christianity relates to the environmental movement.

Many conservative Christians avoid environmental discussions, mainly because it seems that the movement is controlled by extremists and weirdos. At times, it is hard to distinguish between Greens and neo-pagans, Wiccans, and Gaia worshippers.

Some in the environmental movement nowadays are even calling the human race a plague or virus on the earth and call for mass extermination.

In spite of the far-left hegemony of the movement, traditionalist Christians shouldn't allow their pendulum to swing too far the other direction. Just because some liberal mainline Protestants are indulging in New Agey eco-spirituality, doesn't mean that we should comfortably ignore legitimate ecological concerns.

Indeed the human race is the pinnacle of creation and of infinitely greater value than spotted owls or harp seals. And indeed God did grant mankind dominion over the earth. But this does not give us permission to be lousy stewards of what God provides through the natural world. It is a sin to waste what God, in His generous goodness, has given us to use. And it is a sin for us to carelessly destroy anything which God has made.

We don't have to worship dirt or hug trees in order to be careful managers or stewards of the earth's resources. Avoiding both extremes, Christian piety knows how to enjoy God's creation, assert the unique dignity of man in the natural realm, while wisely using all things in service to neighbor. As Veith conclude his article, "to conserve is a fitting goal for conservatives."

Read his commentary here.

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The Beast said...

Well said Pastor Scott, I agree with you whole heartily.

Darrell said...

Great post, great links. It's nice to hear this voiced. God didn't give us dominion over the Earth so that we could waste and abuse what he's given us. Each of us is accountable for his or her actions, including good stewardship of our resources. It's a shame that worthy efforts like recycling and conservation have been "co-opted" by the tree-hugging, squirrel-kissing earth-mother Wican types. Just because it's their religion doesn't mean that it isn't our responsibility.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

I just get tired of people questioning my conservatism or even my Christianity because I would like to see environmental issues discussed reasonably. The far left fringe is monopolizing the issue. I don't accept much of what has become conventional wisdom about the environment due to radical eco-goofiness framing the debate for too long. I also don't accept the typical conservative negligence of these issues.

~Mark said...

Good stuff! I'll eat a fish, but I'll also give an earful to the person who carelessly throws a so-called "trash fish" off into the weeds to suffocate.

I don't litter but I don't want to jail somebody over a candy wrapper.

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