Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What About Recycling?

There's a lot of hype out there about saving the planet for the next generation.  "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has been the mantra for most of my life.  I remember being scared out of my wits in the fourth grade when CFCs became taboo for burning a hole in the Ozone.  On top of that we're killing the polar bears by driving our cars and burning incandecent lightbulbs in our homes. 

There have even been a few movies put out fairly recently about a post apocoplyptic world.  In one the ozone was all but destroyed and the world was too hot, too bright, water and food were both scarce.  In the other the sun burned out entirely.  Time stopped and all plants and animals died.  In both cannibalism took hold.  Pretty scary stuff!
As a Christian I don't buy into that fear anymore.  I believe the God who created this world can and will sustain it until, in His timing the old world passes away and there is a new heaven and a new earth; where the glory of God is the only light and warmth and food we will need.  I have no fear that we will ever be in a situation like either of those movies portrayed.  Even during the 7 year tribulation when 1/3 of the lights will fall, there will be scorching of the earth, rivers drying up, waters turning to blood and all manner of horrible things, we christians won't be here, and God will still be in control.  Though it may seem that things are spinning out of control, God is holding us firmly in the palm of His sovereign hand!  It doesn't really matter what we do or don't do.  These horrors will come to pass regardless. 
Most Christians I know are equally unconcerned withour ability to destroy the earth that our God sustains and this tends to affect their behavior toward the earth.  As Christians we're pretty wasteful.  Let me state that I'm not one of these tree hugging  environmentalists.  I believe in hunting to keep animal populations in check and for good old fashioned fun.  I'm not afraid of killing Bambi.  I don't think we should get crazy about drilling bans and moratoriums.  I believe God gave us that oil so that we could use it.  I'm not worried about my "carbon footprint".  Global Warming is a cyclical process, it has nothing to do with how much oil and coal we burn; that's been proven scientifically.
So why bother with recycling and the organic farming/gardening movement (besides our health, of course)? Simple- we've been given a mandate.
     Genesis 1: 28-31
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

When they sinned and God sent them out of the Garden, he didn't take the commandment from them; he made it more difficult to carry out.
     Genesis 3:16-24
16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Should this become the main focus of our lives as christians? Certainly not!  But I urge you, please be mindful of what you are putting in landfills.  Compost if you can.  Recycle if it is available to you.  And support the "Real Food" movement where you are able.

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