Friday, July 11, 2014

On Being a Green Christian (in West Texas)

I admit it, I cringe when I see an article that mentions green and Christian in the same line. I even cringe when I tell people that I am a green Christian. I don't thrive on conflict. I thrive on working for improvement. So, when I read the title of this article on Grist.org yesterday, my skin did a little creeping. And the article said what I knew it would say - that we modern Christians for the most part are a selfish and destructive lot. I don't know it to be true everywhere, but I know that in my immediate circles in this dusty Texas town, most Christians could care less about saving our environment. There is a lazy and prevalent attitude that God is in control and that we can sit back and do whatever we want as long as we stay vaguely close to the Ten Commandments. We can't be bothered with things like preserving resources and environmental destruction. That would interfere with our green yards, long showers, and short drives to get cold stuff in styrofoam cups - none of which are addressed in the Ten Commandments.

When I finished reading the article, I went for double jeopardy - I started reading the comments. Generally, religion + comments on the internet = loads of inflammatory crap that does nothing to improve anyone's situation, but those comments do a great job of fueling anger and hatred.

But I found a nice surprise in several of the comments:

Yea! A Katherine Hayhoe reference! (You can find her in a few earlier MH posts.)

Yea! I learned about arocha.org, an organization I will be learning more about and hopefully getting involved with.

A beautiful and inspirational verse for us huggers of trees.

A few more passages I will read closely.

I take most of my biblical inspiration from the New Testament where I see countless examples of living in non-judgmental generosity, of serving others, and of leading a fairly simple life; however, I (unsuccessfully so far) aspire to to follow a mandate that I find in the first few pages of the Old Testament:

And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.
Genesis 2:16  (KJV)

May we ALL work together to make this a better place. Period.

PS. To my non-Christian friends who read this blog (most of whom are known for their generosity and eco-consciousness - I was offended that you are all addressed as heathens in the article. You are anything but.)

PPS. I sincerely apologize to our local Christians who very quietly and tirelessly work to serve and work for the betterment of others. I look at groups like the Carpenter's Church, the Dream Center, the Salvation Army, and many others with awe and thanks! Keep up the great work!