Some of you know me as someone who avoids chemicals in my food and body care. That means I deliberately travel miles out of my way to buy pastured, organic meats and vegetables. I also hunt and gather household products with minimal petroleum-based ingredients. You will have to search to find artificial fragrances or preservatives in our home. It is time-consuming and expensive.
Yesterday, I tuned out of my public radio station's fundraiser (not without some guilt) to the local Christian station. They had on a Christian scientist discussing the Biblical view of the earth and the environment. Full disclosure: I did not listen very long because frankly, it made me impatient. But it also made me think more clearly on why I choose to live the way I do.
The program made three very important points in the Christian, Biblical world view:
A. The earth was not created to last forever.
B. Human beings are distinct from all other living creatures.
C. We will not find eternal life in preserving the earth.
And I ascribe to those points. The Bible tells of the "end times," that God created man and woman distinctly from the rest of Creation, and that it is through faith in the Messiah alone that will bring us back to a full, eternal fellowship with God. I will not become holy by the things I eat or not eat. Those are "orthodox" Christian beliefs.
"Orthodox" Environmentalism, however, espouses saving our planet because it is our only home, that all creatures are equally valuable, and that we will endure only if we have an earth to call Home. These views are distinctly different, aren't they?
But in addition, I believe these Biblical views:
1. We are to be thankful for what God gives us and be wise stewards of our resources.
2. We are to take care of our bodies and ourselves, not only as the temple of the Holy Spirit, but also as a way to increase our gifts (talents.)
3. We should not act carelessly, expecting God to show His grace.
I do not find A, B and C to contradict 1, 2 and 3.
However distasteful it may be to some of you to think of raising animals only for their fur, I have no intention of throwing red paint on anyone. I suppose it may be distasteful to some that I condone the raising of certain animals only so I can enjoy eating its meat. The Bible says all things are approved for us to eat. Whether I choose to do that or not, is a different issue. That I would save a human being over any animal any day, may not be palatable to some. I refuse to call fish "sea kittens" to promote PETA's world view. However, I believe that saving bats and bees is taking care of the earth that God made for us, intricate in its interconnectedness, which sustains humankind.
I am not an Environmentalist, or a Feminist, or a Democrat or any other label - I am a Christian. Firs. And from that world view do all other views flow. I choose to live my life caring for the things and Creation that God gave to me. I choose to feed and care for my family with the safest and healthiest out there so they can be strong and productive for Him. I married a man who respects all people as the image of God, and that each of us have a useful role to play. I teach my child the same thing, to be grateful for the garbage collector. to be kind to everyone. I believe in caring for the poor, that they are not any more lazy or cursed than the rich; that the poor will always be with us.
I do and believe all these things because I am a Christian.