CARING FOR GOD’S CREATION: a practical theology of ecology. The environment is our home, its destruction is important to all of us. This post will highlight a good case of stewardship of nature, while first placing this example w/in the context of: what the Word of God asks us to do, what the World is claiming to scapegoat Christians, & what is really responsible for the destruction of nature’s ecology.
CHRISTIANS ARE TODAY’S SCAPEGOATS. The Elite-created Sierra Club (for instance, in their Sierra mag. 5-6/’93 edit. p. 112) blame Christians for the entire ecological crisis. Feminist Rosemary Radford Ruether does the same, “Nature, the world, has no value, no interest for Christians. The Christian thinks only of himself & the salvation of his soul.” (Boy, has she ever heard that Christ taught selflessness!) Lynn White, often quoted, got this hate campaign started in the sixties, by blaming the Christians for all the environmental damage worldwide & claiming the answer is to go back to paganism. Historian Arnold Toynbee, author James Nash, & others write similar things. Supposedly pagans love nature, & Christians hate nature because it is of the world (not spiritual), & the world is going to be burned by God. The dualistic concept that material is evil & that spirit is good comes from Socrates (the Greek philosopher) & the Gnostics…it is not a Bible-based Christian belief. These Christian haters also misquote GEN 1:28 where they say God told man to have “domination” over nature. What it actually says is to have “dominion”, which is totally different, it really means to be the caretaker of a garden, not the destroyer of nature. They have exaggerated the negative role of Christians, & failed to realize that the churches have been tools of the elite (the real villains) who have used their unrestrained power to create the industrial revolution & large soul-less corporations, destructive wars, as well as promoted/spread secular materialism (which philosophy has inspired lots of greedy destruction of the environment). One word pinpoints the true source of destruction: SIN…a word pagans & radical feminists don’t want to hear.
Having relatives who are Christian farmers, having lived & farmed w/ both Amish & Mennonite communities who are also good farmers, it strikes me as totally ludicrous that Christians are blamed for the destruction of the environment worldwide! All the Christian farm people I have known have nurtured & cared for life & the environment, far more in excess of the common person in fact. JER 4:23-26 writes about Babylon’s scorched earth policy of destroying the environment of a nation they conquer, the land was empty of not only people but birds. The fruitful land had been turned into desert. The anc. Greeks destroyed their forests. In reading firsthand accounts by people conquered by the Romans, they describe how the Romans would come & pillage & destroy. They certainly destroyed the productivity of Palestine when they got angry at the Jewish revolt. The Roman provinces in No. Africa turned the land to desert by destroying the forests. They killed countless animals for sport in the Coliseum. The Haitian natives w/ their voodoo beliefs completely destroyed the ecology of Haiti after they revolted from France. The atheists of the USSR & east. Europe were demonic in how they poisoned & destroyed the ecology of eastern Europe & Russia. Examples abound from around the world of non-Christians destroying the environment in both anc. & modern times, pagans included.
CHRIST SAID, “CONSIDER THE LILIES…” God-fearing men such as Abraham valued nature. The Law of Moses emphasized care of nature: birds were to be cared for (DT 22:6-7), trees were to be cared for (DT 20:19), & a new concept from God not practiced by the pagans was the land was left fallow to rest every 7th yr. (LEV 25)…. Nature not only was created by God & its goodness pleasing to Him but it belonged to Him. (PS 24:1) In Genesis 6 & 9, a close look shows that God made a covenant not just w/ Noah, but an everlasting universal covenant w/ all living life, symbolized by the rainbow. God puts Job in his place (JOB 38-41) by talking about nature w/out man…in other words, man is but a small part of His Creation. Now we praise Him from whom all blessings flow, & every Christian I have ever met, is grateful to God for nature & its blessings. It is common to use nature scenes as the background to posters w/ Bible verses. So it was what we’d call “par for the course” for Thomas Aquinas (written c. 1270 in Summa Contra Gentiles) to warn, “Any error about creation also leads to an error about God.”
RESTORING CREATION. And now to share my example of a Christian family that is creating a Christian community around their 12-acre farm. Their farming is sustainable, organic, non-GMO, Christ-based so that the land, water, & air are valued, as well as the connection between the farm, the produce & the people who eat their food. The couple is Ray & Aki (Akiko) Epp in Menno Village in Sapporo, Japan. They have re-introduced ancient beneficial farming practices as well as modern ones. Here are a few of the clever things they do:
• Clover & wheat are seeded into a standing rice crop. When the rice is removed, the wheat takes over. After the wheat is harvested, the clover grows until the field is flooded for next year’s rice crop.
• Broccoli shades lettuce planted underneath & the lettuce keeps weeds from growing around the broccoli.
• Rice hulls are smoldered in an oil drum to create charcoal, it is spread on the fields & used in the chicken house to promote the growth of good bacteria. In the chicken house a mixture of bacteria taken from the forest floor, rice charcoal and chicken manure in an aerobic (oxygen rich) environment, makes for a floor that gives off warmth and does not smell.
• Rice bran & cull soybeans are spread in the rice field to promote the growth of bacteria in the water. The bacteria end up smothering the weed sprouts so that herbicides are rarely needed.
Perhaps you also know of an excellent example of Christian stewardship of the environment. If so, please feel welcomed to share that on the thread.