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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Christianity without a cause

In Elton Trueblood's, The Company of the Committed, Samuel Taylor Coleridge is quoted. Coleridge said, "He, who begins by loving Christianity better than Truth, will proceed by loving his own Sect or Church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all."
A little later in the book Trueblood writes, "...labor union members often think that they have found a cause of their won which makes the Christian cause unnecessary." This book was published in 1961 and there a plenty of "prophetic" statements made by Trueblood which have, unfortunately, come to pass. While Trueblood may not have been writing to "foretell" he was certainly writing as a means to provide a corrective to the church universal. Unfortunately, much of what he wrote is still, largely, not being applied.
Back to the two quotes at the beginning of this dialogue.
Both statements help to point out the probelm of the christian church, whether evangelical or mainline or catholic, whether "conservative" or "liberal," our agendas tend to replace Truth, and we love our causes, thus ourselves, more than the truth.
Let me apply this to the "conservative" side, often referred to as the evangelical side, and the issue of global warning. So many of the political "right" and evangelicals are in bed together so they share ideologies which includes the notion that there isn't global warming. Now I am not here to argue this issue at all, for me this issue is irrelevant to the purpose of this writing.
The issue is that Truth is being ignored in order for the "cause" to be perpetuated. The cause being that we should continue to consume and live as if we cannot affect/effect our environment and that stewardship of resources somehow doesn't apply to this issue.
Of first note, often pushed forward by Limbaugh and Hannity, is that we should continue to consume because we can and because we are American. Since they believe that global warming is a hoax (again not here to argue that issue) we shouldn't make correctives in our materialistic/consumeristic society.
For the believers of Truth, the global warming issue (again, regardless of factuality or not) is an excellent time to teach about the proper stewardship of the earth's resources, conservation of those resources, and learning to live life with less consumption.
The argument that we can't hurt this hurt is ludicrous in a spiritual sense as well as in historical realities. We are commanded to steward, in part, because of our human nature to abuse, serve ourselves, and ignore others.
Historically, we have witnesses the devastation wrought on our environments due to strip mining, deforestation, and even nuclear mishaps. We can bring plenty of harm to this world we have been created to live in and ordered to care for.
An important step for the church to reclaiming relevancy in society would be to establish leadership in biblical stewardship and care for this planet's resources and encourage our children to pursue the sciences, through a biblical worldview, which would help humanity discover ways to develop cleaner, more efficient uses of energy, while the church teaches strongly the Truth about stewardship/conservation being part and parcel to the transformed life given to us through Christ.
I doubt Christ would have been "green." But I'm certain he would have minimized His consumption and sought the most efficient means to live in this society. That seems quite apparent when He walked this earth. SUV's are not from the devil, but thinking that it is a "right" to purchase one just because we can does come from evil.

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