One Sins, We All Suffer

(Another Lenten reflection from the collection I did with Chalice Press, this time looking at the nature of sin and suffering in an environmental context.)

“Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins.”

-Isaiah 58:1

Alternative energy sources are proliferating, almost as quickly as our infrastructure can support them, including more solar power, wind, hydroelectric, nuclear and biofuels, among others. But for every plus, there seems to be a maddening minus.

Some see nuclear power as a viable alternative, while others consider it laden with disastrous potential. 

Hydroelectric power is exciting, but opponents contend that the ecological consequences of dams and turbines are worse than the benefits.

Wind power seems a brilliant solution, but some have concerns about the imbalance the windmills present in native habitats, killing owls, bats and other creatures.

Electric cars are attractive, until we imagine the millions of deceased batteries, with their toxic innards leaking into our water supplies.

Biofuels promise to help reduce our dependence on oil, though some claim that leaders the proliferation of biofuels, and the subsequent food shortages to which they contribute, are a crime against humanity.

Sometimes we only recognize the impact of our decisions after the fact. Is it a sin to be indirectly responsible for suffering, even if we had the best of intentions?

It becomes a sin when we know the result of our actions and still do nothing to change it.

We’re no more off the hook in avoiding the truth than we are in doing nothing about it once we know it. It’s almost like this sin thing could change someone’s entire way of life, from the bottom-up.

But where in the world to begin?

God of grace, guide not only my individual actions, but help me speak the truth in love on behalf of all who suffer.

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He has a memoir on faith, family and parenting called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date, and Hachette published his first hardcover book, "postChristian: What's left? Can we fix it? Do we care?" in 2014. His first novel, "Blood Doctrine," has been optioned by a Hollywood production company for a possible TV series.

Christian is the cofounder and cohost of the Homebrewed CultureCast, a podcast about popular culture, current events and spirituality that has a weekly audience of 25,000 people (

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