From the Forums: Sustainable Christianity


nathancreitz asks:

Do Christians have anything to offer the conversation when it comes to the environment?

Some would immediately say no. Many Christians have been unconcerned about climate and conservation issues. Many church leaders have spent time preaching against environmental issues and have spent all their time focusing on abortion and homosexuality to the point that they have alienated themselves from many. They have tended to think that environmental activism is not the answer to our problems, Jesus is the answer.

It's almost like some Christians believe if we just invoke the name of Jesus all problems will be solved (much like some politicians believe if we just throw money at a problem it will be solved). Well, to those fundamental Christian leaders and to those politicians I say we need to act. Jesus' message was a message of activism. He taught love for God and love for neighbor. The Bible tells us that faith without works is dead and for any Christian who refuses to think Christianly about protecting the environment or ending sex trafficking or poverty, that's not true Christianity and I'm tired of having my thoughts marginalized because everyone thinks of Christianity as a stereotype.

I believe those of us who are truly seeking to follow Jesus, we do have something to offer the debate on environmental issues. We can join with everyone else who is acting and seeking to make a difference and call the Church to arms. Sometimes, the Church falls asleep on issues such as this and maybe the best thing I can do is wake them up! I do my best to reduce, reuse, recycle. The electricity in my home is solar and wind. My wife and I eat healthy / organic / local at least 85% of the time. I commute by bike six miles a day, etc. However, through my blog and my networks in the church, I hope to rally the troops and force them to consider this issue. Only then will we begin to have a faith that is sustainable, long-lasting, and relevant. Living an organic and sustainable Christianity is meant as a double entendre. Living a faith that lasts but also living a faith that is concerned about the world and the living things in that world.

Now, I write this post, not in the hopes that you will bash Christianity. I believe we have a lot of problems in the Church but they are doing a lot of good things as well. How can we partner together with faith-based initiatives to make the world a better place? Do you believe the Church has anything to offer by way of solutions to problems in the world? Are you a Christian seeking to live an organic and sustainable faith? If so, what have you learned?


EcoInteractive says:
(Many) Liberals just can't bring themselves to put their rhetoric aside and do the right thing for the environmental movement. For (many) liberals ideology is more important than progress. Sad.

While eugene comments:
I do not beleive that Christianity conflicts with the basic treehugger beliefs, I feel that the organized denominations are where the issues come from, but most people know more about the organizations. If you throw out all the man made stuff, the "I'm a catholic or methodist or baptist" and look just at being a Christian you see that the Bible teaches the same basic princilpes. That the earth and everything on it belongs to God not to us, we are simply using it for the short time we are here and we are to take good care of it while we borrow it much like when we borrow something from a friend or loved one. The Bible teaches us to be a goot steward whith the resources we are provided.

jcoffman:
Whew... I am going to bite my tongue here because I could get myself in trouble, but I will add a few comments.

I do NOT think Christianity has anything to do with environmentalism. You do not have to believe in any one god or another to reduce your resource consumption or try to preserve the planet. Now... that being said, if the Christians as a GROUP.. and NOT a religious power decide they all want to be green, then great. But that is no different than any other group whether religious not doing the same thing.

I like Eco am not Christian... That being said, I allow my daughter to go to churches with her friend, and ask questions that I will do my best to answer, or get answered from one of my Christian friends. I do that because I want to allow her to choose her beliefs. With that in mind, I teach her to try to reduce her consumption and needs for stuff as well as recycling and preservation. So again, my belief in some higher being have absolutely no bearing on my desire to preserve the earth and I don't understand why anyone would have to save the planet only based on the interpretation of a book.

If you feel that saving the earth and its resources is important, then it doesn't matter if you are Christian or Wican. If you can then convince the other members of these groups to do the same thing, then great, but dont do it because the preacher said you had to to be a good Christian. Thats just your selfishness showing.

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There's much much more of this discussion in the forums. Chime in?