Well, today is Earth Day.
And many fundamentalists around the globe are saying, So What?!
In fact, as I was growing up "Earth Day" had a hideous reputation (in my circles) of being some kind of "liberal" conspiracy to turn our planet into an idol.
Many conservatives (fundamentalist and evangelical alike) disdain any talk of caring for our planet. Whether it is the hot topic of global warming or the initiative to recycle, I have observed a deliberate apathy among many Christians.
This can be aptly illustrated by a comment I read a couple days ago posted on a blog which was discussing Bush's new global warming policy.
Here it is (and it's a doozie...):
"Imagine trying to save the Earth from global warming. The same Earth that God is going to destroy in His own time."
Not only is that really bad theology, it is really bad theology.
Which makes me wonder - How did we as the church get here?
Have we fallen prey to Biblical amnesia and forgotten about the very first commandment that God gave us as human beings?
26 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."
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 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."
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
God created this earth, and said that it was good.
It is the amazing work of His hand, and He entrusted it to us!
Here in the pages of Genesis is a Creation Mandate - which simply means - it is part of God's fundamental design that we as image-bearers care for His earth in order to reflect our God's character. He keeps everything in balance, and we are called to do our best to tend to our planet.
Now, it is important to note that we are to subdue the earth - which means that yes, we as humans are superior to and in charge of animals and geological elements.
So, we should never make environmental causes our "god", and we should not be consumed with caring for the earth.
But, care for it we must.
The best we know how.
This is not a post to declare global warming as "the most pressing issue of our time" or "the greatest hoax of our time".
I am not a scientist, and I believe the scientific data is still coming in on this issue.
But I have studied the Bible a little, and I know what the Bible tells me. Whatever we conclude about global warming, we as image-bearers must be engaged in conserving our planet - graciously, realistically, and wisely.
Even if we have dropped the ball, it is time to prayerfully pick it back up.