Pilgrim: Monk, how should Christ’s disciples respond to environmentalism?
Monk: That depends. What do you believe environmentalism to be?
Pilgrim: It’s about saving the planet.
Monk: Is that what environmentalists aim to do?
Pilgrim: Do you doubt that?
Monk: Before I answer that, perhaps I should respond to the spirit of your question.
Pilgrim: You mean, should Christians be environmentalists?
Monk: As always, we should allow the Scriptures to inform us.
Pilgrim: Fair enough.
Monk: First, we must acknowledge that God is Creator of the universe, including the earth.
Pilgrim: What about evolutionary theories and the Big Bang? It seems like a lot of Christians are now trying to reconcile them with the Genesis creation.
Monk: Pilgrim, I have no reason to doubt the creation in Genesis. If I trust God, then I trust him to speak truthfully.
Pilgrim: What about scientists who present evidence to support evolution?
Monk: That is an excellent question for another time. At the moment we trust God’s explanation. He is either trustworthy or he is not.
Pilgrim: Fair enough.
Monk: At the end of creation, God gives dominion of earth to Adam and Eve.
Pilgrim: If that’s true, his ancestors have done a lousy job.
Monk: There is no doubt. But it also shows the unique relationship humanity has with creation. One day we will give an accounting of how we have cared for our Lord’s creation. We have a responsibility to be good stewards.
Pilgrim: See? We have a lot in common with environmentalists.
Monk: There is some overlap, but it is small.
Pilgrim: How can you say that? We all want to save the earth.
Monk: Again, if our Lord can be trusted, the ability to save the world is out of our hands.
Pilgrim: You confuse me, Monk.
Monk: We are stewards of creation, but ownership remains in God’s hands. We are told that at some time he will make a new heaven and earth. Ultimately, there is no saving this planet.
Pilgrim: Until then we still have to take care of the earth.
Monk: That is true. We do that because we are obedient to our Lord’s command.
Pilgrim: That seems like a semantic difference to me.
Monk: Words flow from the heart, Pilgrim. The difference between the two is a matter of obedience. We care for creation because we serve God. Environmentalists work to save the planet because that is what they worship. I prefer to worship the Creator over the creation.
Pilgrim: You can’t paint everyone with the same brush, Monk. There are a lot of reasons to be environmentally responsible.
Monk: You are correct, Pilgrim, but in all things, serving the Lord is the highest priority.
Pilgrim: Monk, you never cease to amaze me.
Monk: I will take that as a complement, Pilgrim.
Pilgrim: As well you should.