It’s pretty difficult to read this week’s issue of Time, and not be convinced that global warming is both real, and progressing at a faster rate than was earlier projected. Perhaps one of the most alarming statistics is the fact that we Americans, who make up 5% of the world’s population, and contributing 25% of the CO2 emissions that are, according to the vast majority of scientists, responsible for the warming trends.
And so, I’m wondering how ‘the church’, both globally and my own local one, should respond? Should we care? Should we care enough to live differently? Or is it enough to say that the end is near, the time is short, and so we need to continue to focus on getting people saved?
This issue is a great example of how Jeremiah 29 applies to real life. We need to work for the well being of the civilization in which we find ourselves, for in it’s well being is our well being. So I would argue that because this is an important issue for humanity, it’s an important issue for all of us, including Christians. To ignore matters of such import is to reduce the good news of the gospel to some sort of privatized ‘born again’ experience, and to shrink salvation from it’s full orbed transforming power (spirit, soul, body, culture, cosmos) to ‘spirit only’, or perhaps spirit/soul/body. Salvation is thus cheapened, and a window of opportunity for us is bear witness to Christ’s holistic care for creation is thus lost. After all, the final future is one where every atom is shot through with the glory of Christ.
There are plenty of things one can do individually to help stem the tide of environmental degradation, and as Jeremiah says, work for the well being of the place in which you live, for in it’s well being is your well being. Why wouldn’t we drive smaller cars, ride our bikes, take the bus? Such small steps are a way of taking up the mantle given to us by God in the garden to ‘care for the earth and keep it’. Check out this link if your interested in doing even more.